Dairy diary- an adventure of an amateur

Big Dream came true in a very small way
it was my dream to be a dairy farmer amidst 1000’s of problem it came true when i purchased [color=red]SINGLE [/color]cow
now funny part please bear with me
[color=red]Theory VS Practicals[/color]

i was nearly good with theory
i had completed training in SLBTC,KVK baramati
visited great farms in pune ,few farms in punjab and haryana
i wanted to start a dairy of 20 cows ( i still intend to)
Cow Selection
we searched a lot and visited a lot of farmers who tried to sell all sorts of c**p  as soon as they realized we are amateurs

we had to surrender to brokers /agents who were equally cunning

they showed dummies first - a guy even claimed  that his  cow gives 40 lts/day throughout the year

next someother guy showed a non pregnant 5 year old  malnourished cow and claimed it is his best cow
i just kept my cool and smiled. one guy(he was genuine-had kept records ) he took me 100+ kilometers to show his exorbitantly costly cows
we visited few more morons
now the lies i encountered
---- this cow gives lot of milk you can test and purchase—when we went they used to say calf had drank lot of milk so yield is less,cow is tensed because of strangers etc etc
if they claim 12lts/milking actually it will be 9-10 ltrs or less

----- they usually lie about age of cows and number of calvings

------feeding habits,vaccination
since i knew theory and acted confidently agents knew i cant be cheated easily
next day they took me to some good farms
they showed few good cows with good yield but were 3rd lactation onwards so i decided their life cycle worthiness is less
i closed in on 3 cows
1st cow was 2nd lactation pregnant due in one month( records we available)–cow was not friendly at all even to the owner i decided against it
2nd one was pregnant heifer (3 teeth)r due in 20 days calm cool cow-- no records mother yield claimed to be 12lts/milking

3rd was pregnant heifer with 2 teeth cool and very friendly due in  23 days as per farmers calculations – no records udder was comparatively better compared to 2nd cow , mothers yield claimed was 12-13lts/ milking
they demanded 54k for the cow and as an amateur is started bargaining from 37k and settled at 42k
most of the farmers(in and around us) felt its too high for a heifer( i too felt its too high for a heifer but i had already fallen  i liked the cow so i purchased(there was one more customer for same cow and he stopped at 38k)

we had problems in transporting cow ( it slipped and fell twice while moving)

on same day cow delivered a weak calf (female) which took 5 hrs to stand vet said it is too premature and may not survive 
prescribed few medications

all this affected milk yield which i considered very low now on 14th day after calving my cow gives only 9-10 ltrs /day
calf is doing well( it has great appetite tries to drink milk from cow whenever we let loose) it has started to eat grass which i am trying to restrict
now comes the feeding part
i started off with 1 kg concentrate/time(twice daily- net 2 kg/day) then increased @ 200gms/ time(net 4 kgs/day)  yield was not higher
beyond 4 kgs concentrate cow had indigestion and yield was only 3- ltrs/time
green fodder: 40kg (20kg hybrid napier around 15 kg maize and 5-8 kg cowpea leaves)
dry grass: ragi 5-6 kgs( cow likes dry grass !!! choses to eat dry ragi grass over green fodder)
milking is done by nearby farmer in exchange for napier  for his cows-cool by me as we need to cut napier which is getting too rough

our cow drinks around 15-20 ltrs of water thats all

7th day
i was worried and i had spend 42k on cow and calf was weak and milk yield was low which is not economically viable
i changed my feeding strategy a little bit
mixed both green and dry fodder fed the cow only thrice reduced concentrate to 3.6 kg/day
milk yield started to rise from 3 ltrs  at 100ml /time
on day 14 total yield from cow is 9 lts
to make it drink more water i started to add jaggery @ 50gms/20 litrs
and from day 1 giving mineral mixture(nandini Rs 60/kg) @ 40gms.day

milking farmer says milk is very thick and he suggested to add water !!! :)) :sunglasses: :wink:

i searched 100s of sites about day to day yield no one had provided clear idea for first week of lactation

now theory vs practical
i had learnt in theory that per kg of concentrate yyou should get 3 ltrs of milk but in practice you get only 2-2.5 lts( hold true for many farmers i checked and verified :)) :smiley:

now most amateurs calculate on the basis of theory —
they read success stories of [color=red][size=140][size=140]A[/size] FARMER[/size][/color] who earns lakhs in dairy
read my near failure story and succeed
my economics
am paying my brother to look after my farm  no additional payment for cow
now the average yield is 8ltrs / day and may increase (current trend) but for calculations i take 8 ltrs/day
govt pays 23rs/ltr and addition 4rs incentive total 27 rs
take it as 25rs /ltr 25X8=200
now the expenses
nandini feeds costs 790/50 kg
(SKM feeds is costlier, farmers say its better but my cow likes nandini, not tried godrej -not available )
16rs/kg X 4 kgs=64rs/day

mineral mixture jaggery etc etc=10rs/day so total is  around 80 rs

for me net saving per day is around 120 rs
expense on calf (tonics,vet visits-Rs 150/visit 3 visits ) around 700rs
so far :frowning:

positive points for me
i can have my own farm yard manure  :sunglasses:
calf is in good health as of now :smiley: and  compared to other calves of same age it is taller and larger

we are not purchasing low quality milk for high prices

my sisters kids love the Ganga as it is very friendly with them and responds to them in her own way

i may not be making profits but certainly am not losing any money

thanks for reading(if anyone has read this very long post)
suggestions advices are welcome good/bad :smiley:

Thanks first to u…

me to waiting to do practical…

One thing u forget is fodder cost to add…

One more thing if u sale 25rs per day milk… & if we calculate 25% profit then your cost will be less than 20.

& your cost is already below 20… so you are getting 25%.

In any business 25% profit is good…

From next year u will get calves also… So atleast capital invest like u mentioned 42k will be saved.

So conclusion… as this is long term business… fruits will take time…

Please mention your exact location which will help experts in the forum to help you.

Before buying any cows please contact forum members near you.  I am in Bangalore any one wants any details please contact me through PM, will try to give all inputs whatever I know free of cost.

Regards / Krishnaprasad

Nice narration of your experience. Yes practical thing is very different than theory. In my family we used to keep cows for our own use and excess milk we used to sell in neighbours who used to come to pick the milk.

If you want to start dairy farming. I would suggest treat your cows as your family member. Do not expect them to give you profit from day one. Do not over feed them to get more milk.

In our place in Jharkhand we used to give twice wholeshome meal to cows, which had following incredients

  1. Rice fodder (well cut in .75 cms)
  2. Flax Seed (Whatever remains after taking out oil). Which we used to put in water whole night and mix with his food. Sometime we used to mix Mustard Seeds remains as well. (English name of this I had to search in Internet. We used to call this Tisi Ka Khalli or Sarson ka Khalli)
  3. Water
  4. Choker in Hindi (Extract from wheat after taking out Maida). Available in our market.
  5. We also used to mix the water what we used get after cooking rice. (Rice Soup??) with salt. Sorry don’t know English name.

All we used to mix and gave twice to our cows.  This meal was very tasty to cows. Rest twice/thrice we used to give dried Rice Fodder/Green grass for them to feed. We never used to give her any supplement in food. All natural. What I remember we used to get around 13-17 Lts of milk per day per cow. Max we had 3 cows.

So, whoever starting your dairy farm. Get accustomed with a single cow and treat her as your family member. Do not expect profit from day one. Time will teach your everything as how you should care for her.

Also, for determining age there is tooth method. They count number of tooth in cow’s mouth to determine age.

hi Anuj
well i selected my cow by teeth method only

Which breed of cow do you have?
Kindly upload picture of ur Cow & Calf?
what is location of your farm ??

For calculation per day per cow cost, calf drinks milk also consider or not ?

also update your current farm practice & situation, it would be beneficial for me