Dairy Farming - knowledgebase and resources


if you already have a dairy farm then what do you need? you  know better as you already have experience


Hello all,

We have a well equipped dairy farm with a capacity of 40 cows,initially started with 10 cows near Thavarekere Magadi Road.
I need a supervisor to look after the entire farm activities,feed systems,fodder management etc.Training will be given along with good accomadation and rest. Please feel free to contact me at anytime and grab this oppurtunity.



Dear farmnest team
Can anyone tell about hydroponic fodder machine,its procedure & price.



Points to note while rearing calves immediately after birth and early stages

A clean, dry and well bedded calving area reduces the risk of infection for both the cow and calf.  Remove the calf from the cow after the birth to a clean environment.

A number of option exists for feeding colostrum to newborn calves by allowing the calf to suckle the cow or feeding with a calf bottle.  Calves that are allowed to suckle the cow normally do not obtain sufficient colostrum intake within the required time.  The best approach is to milk the cow and measure the colostrum required by the calf and feeding with a calf bottle. This will increase the concentration of the antibodies in the colostrum and it raises the level of antibodies required by the calf.  Note the intake of colostrum in the first time feeding which should be about 10% of body weight of the calf. 

The absorption of antibodies diminishes within the first 12 hours of birth, the mother’s colostrums which is rich in energy and protein and the antibodies there helps  to enhance the gut development and stops harmful scour causing bacteria from attaching to the gut wall. Milk alone do not provide enough water for the young calf and so you must provide access to clean water right from birth.

Cereals and digestible fiber helps in the rumen development, so it’s better to offer a calf starter feed, from day three.  The calves prefer a larger 6 mm pellet rather than a smaller 3 mm pencil and it motivates higher intake from  early stage. Kindly allow limited access to straw or hay in the early stages.  Do not introduce straw or hay as a major content in  the diet until it least  reaches five weeks of age.  Forages increase gut filling and reduces the potential for concentrate intake. Reduce milk feeding and start weaning when calve starts to consume at least 1 kg of concentrates for 2 days consecutively.  This increases the dry feed intake in them.  Do not change the calf starter feed until at least 7 days after weaning.

The first 12 weeks feeding period is very crucial in case of a calf.

Murali Krishnan


Dear farmnest team
If anyone using hydroponic fodder machine please tell
me about its function & price.


Dear Mr.Ajit
I would suggest you not to go for hydroponic fodder machine. Cost of fodder production is very high in hydroponic fodder machine. It is between Rs.4 to 6/- per KG of hydroponic fodder. Hydroponic fodder machine is suitable for places  where there is  scarcity of water and land is not available for fodder cultivation. Cost of production of one Kg of fodder is about Rs.1/- in traditional production. Cost of land is not very high in your area. If there is acute scarcity of water in your area you can go for low cost hydroponic fodder cultivation.


Dear members,

Need your guidance/ suggestions as I want to know if I am taking the right path or not. I am planning to get into Dairy Farming.

It all started when I visited my relatives who was working in an Agriculture University (Pant Nagar Agriculture university - Uttrakhand) in veterinary department. Post discussion with many people in Agriculture and veterinary dairy farming was finalized.

Here I would also like to mention that I already have a small piece of land (2700 sqft) in a village near university.

Had a meeting with Senior Vet professor (heading dairy dept of university), he suggested me that instead of buying/ leasing a piece of land I should start with 3-6 Cows in the land which I already have (reason – saving of funds).
He is also suggesting me the following

  1. Hire a experienced man in Dairy farming and then learn all the things by working with him.
  2. Procure all the feed from outside in starting and once you think that you have learned all the things then buy/lease big land to expand.
  3. Most important - this cannot be done from the distance and Owner has to be there all the time.
    Now the question is am I going in right direction. 



Dear Mr. Udit
I would suggest you to undergo training on dairy farming at least for 15 days. During the training period you will learn, Selection of animals for dairy farm, feed preparation & feeding methods, fodder cultivation, breeding, disease control, Risk management  and  many practical aspect of dairy farming.
You can contact nearest Veterinary collage, state animal husbandry department  or Krishi Vigyan Kendra(KVK) of your district  for the training  purpose.


Dear farmnest team
Is anyone doing low cost hydroponic fodder
system.Please tell me about the procedure.


What is milk replacer ?


[color=blue][i]Calf Milk Replacer (CMR) is an alternative to feeding whole milk.  Calf milk replacers (CMR) provide a convenient way to feed pre-ruminant calves.
Milk replacers are expensive feeds that are fed to young animals prior to weaning. Many dairy calves are fed milk replacers prior to weaning to reduce costs to the dairy producer and make whole milk available for sale.  Common ingredients in commercial milk replacers include whey, whey protein concentrate, animal and vegetable fat, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Alternative proteins, including soya, wheat, and potato proteins many be utilized sometimes.
Milk replacer should contain approximately 20–22 per cent protein. Calves less than three weeks of age should be on an all–milk protein milk replacer. Non–milk sources can decrease available protein to the calf and result in diarrhoea. Milk replacers of non–milk sources are fine for calves over three weeks old.
The fat and protein content of CMRs can be used to quantify their nutritive value relative to whole milk. This should be used to decide on cost relative to the value of whole milk.  It is important that farmer understand the mixing strengths when preparing CMR for feeding calves.  Milk-fed calves require about 500 gm/day of milk solids.  CMR and whole milk behave differently during digestion in the abomasum, so require different feeding protocols.  If fed very frequently, CMR may lead to abomasum induced milk bloat.  CMR can be used to boost the concentration of whole milk.  They can be stored for a long term as powder and mixed with water just prior to feeding. Calves can then be milk reared anywhere and at any time without having to source liquid whole milk. Provided the CMR is formulated correctly from good-quality ingredients and fed according to the instructions, which are usually on the CMR bag, calves can grow equally well, when reared on CMR and their rumen can develop just as well as they grow on a diet of whole milk.

Murali Krishnan



Want to purchase a dairy farm with a production capacity of 1 lac litre milk everyday


Milking Routine - Pre and Post Milking:-

Wash the teats and wipe it dry with a clean dry cloth or towel.
Foremilk, checking for any symptoms of mastitis or abnormalities in milk.
Pre-dip the teats, allowing sufficient time for the product to work, then wipe dry with a clean dry cloth or towel.
Attach the cluster unit, confirm that the clusters are attached properly and in position and not twisted.
Prior to milking, cluster units should be cleaned, dip it with warm disinfectant solution.
There is enough studies to prove that cows milked more frequently than twice-daily produce higher yields and have a generally lower incidence of mastitis, for many farmers the extra efforts coupled with increased costs associated with labour, electricity and machinery use makes three time milking not liked by most farmers.
Frequent milking results on reduced chances of mastitis. It also reduces the pressure from the udder due to frequent milking and avoids milk leakage.
Against all these advantages, when milking more often than twice daily, there is increased potential of:
• Damage from the increased washing and drying of teats, which strips them of what little protective moisture they have.
• The extra exposure to teat-end damage from over-milking, poorly-maintained milking equipment and poor milking techniques.
• A greater risk of exposure to reverse milk flow and impact forces from liner slippage or poor cluster attachment, which can lead to teat canal infection from environmental mastitis pathogens.
• A greater risk of exposure to contagious mastitis pathogens from infected milking equipment or unhygienic milking practices.

The Milking Personnel:-

In the milking place, good basic milking techniques like effective and thorough teat washing, dipping and spraying and drying teats properly before cluster unit attachment is essential to promote good udder and teat health, controlling the spread of mastitis pathogens. Milking staff should wear disposable gloves.

Milking staff should follow routines and have to understand the value of keeping their clothing clean, particularly the cleanliness and condition of their gloves. Avoid chewing paan and smoking at the time of milking.

The milking cluster must be cleaned with alkaline based detergents using proper brushes to clean each part.

Post Milking Routines:-

The purpose of post milking dipping is to remove any contagious mastitis - causing pathogens that may have been deposited on the teat surface, including any present just inside the opened teat canal, which are transferred during milking from infected milk residues from inside the liner and claw piece, before they get a chance to colonize and infect the teats. Dip chemicals (preferably iodine based) kills bacteria present on any sores on the teats which promotes faster healing.

Iodine based solutions, Chlorhexidine based treatments, hypochlorite based treatments, Gel like Barrier dips etc is normally seen to be used

Murali Krishnan


Hello All,

To prevent cows kicking, you can put to use “Non Kick Bar”. Its very useful for veterinarians, attending to freshly calved animals, in some cases while milking too, while inseminating cows. The cow cannot kick from the side where it is locked as the back of the cow will pain when cow tries to kick us.

Murali Krishnan


Correct management and nutrition of dry cows is crucial if your aim is to obtain:
• A healthy and vigorous calf
• Maximum dry matter intake in early lactation
• Good immunity to fight infections in both the cow and calf
• Optimum milk production in the following lactation
• Improved reproductive performance
Feeding a very good quality ‘Pre-Calver’ or ‘Dry Cow’ minerals to cows for a minimum of 6-8 weeks before calving is advisable.

Calf rearing:-
[color=blue]Good management of dry cows:[/color]-
Ensure that the cow is dried off in sufficient time to allow her calve down in a good condition. Cows that are too thin or have excess condition may have calving difficulties resulting in undue stress on the newborn calf at birth.

[color=blue]Hygiene in the calving area:[/color]

A number of options exist for feeding colostrum to newborn calves; allowing the calf to suckle the dam, feeding with a teated bottle or feeding with an oesophageal tube.  Research has shown that up to 40% of calves that are allowed to suckle the dam do not obtain sufficient colostrum intake within the required time. 

[color=blue]Milk the cow completely & feed the calf from a bottle:[/color]

The best approach is to milk out the cow and measure the volume of colostrum required by the calf and feed with a teated bottle.  This increases the concentration of the antibodies in the colostrum and raises the level of antibodies absorbed by the calf.  Target intake of colostrum in first feed is 10% of bodyweight (e.g. For every 20 Kg calf requires 2 Liters of colostrums).  Feeding with an esophageal tube should only be a last resort if the calf does not suckle voluntarily as the milk does not reach the ‘true milk’ stomach of the calf.

[color=blue]Feed Colostrum for 3 to 4 days:-[/color]
Even though the absorption of antibodies diminishes within the first 12 hours of birth the mother’s colostrums is rich in energy and protein and the antibodies help to enhance gut development and stop harmful ‘scour causing bacteria’ from attaching to the gut wall.

[color=blue]Provide clean water always[/color].

Milk alone does not provide enough water for the young calf so you must always provide access to clean water right from the birth of the calf.
[color=blue]Introduce dry calf feed in the first few days[/color]

Cereals and digestible fibre helps in the rumen development, so start offering a calf starter feed. Research has shown calves prefer a larger 6 mm pellet rather than a smaller 3 mm pellet and this encourages higher intake at an early age.

[color=blue]Feeding hay/straw
Allow limited access to hay or straw at an early age.  Do not introduce hay or straw as a major proportion of the diet until at least 5 weeks of age or one week before weaning.  Forages increase gut fill and reduce the potential for concentrate intake, leading to ‘pot-bellied’ calves.

Gradually reduce milk feeding and wean when calves are consuming at least 1 kg of concentrates for 2 consecutive days.  This increases the dry feed intake and reduces a growth check at weaning.  Do not change the calf starter feed until at least one week after weaning.

[color=blue]Why Feed Concentrates to Calves?[/color]

During the first few weeks from birth, the new-born calf depends on nutrients supplied either from cow’s milk or milk replacer.  Developing the rumen of newborn calf is one of the most important areas of calf nutrition.  In the past many calf rearing programmes have focused on milk and hay as the main components of the diet, but research shows that introducing concentrates to calves is critical to develop the rumen at an early age.  A calf weaned with a poorly developed rumen will show a poor graph  in body performance that can set the calf back for weeks after weaning.

The development of the rumen is mainly influenced by the intake of dry, concentrate feed.  Studies show that feeding cereals results in the benefits in terms of rumen development, when compared with feeding forage such as hay.  A product called butyric acid is produced when concentrates are fermented in the rumen and it aids the development of the rumen wall and making it more capable of absorbing nutrients from the feed. Offering calf concentrates and water from as early as three days of age ensures that the calves are eating at least 1 kilogram of concentrate before weaning from milk and it results in the improved calf performance after weaning.

Murali Krishnan


Age of a cow: Note this especially when you go for buying cows.Always buy cows in the first lactation. In a cow’s life the maximum yield will be in 1,2,3 and 4th lactation. After that the yield decreases. Better buy cows in the first lactation. While buying cows, look for the dentition.

Age of a cow- 2 permanent incisors at 2 years of age, 4 at 3 years, 6 at 4 years and 8 permanent incisors at 5 years of age.

Murali krishnan


To New Entrepreneurs who are venturing into Dairy Farming-

Please note these points:-

  1. Plan for the dairy farm, subject to the land availability. Normally 1 acre enough for 8 cows for round the year feeding, production of fodder crops.
  2. Make out a good project report.
  3. Plan your housing style for your cows, make rough flooring. Make use of cow mats, water bowls, calf bottle, non kick bar etc.
  4. Proper drainage to be planned. Avoid water logging on all 4 sides.
  5. Good Management practices to be followed for the herd and the farm premises too.
  6. Proper fodder management and additional revenue generation by implementing other money earning devices.
  7. Milking by machines or milking parlors, based on your herd size.
  8. Collection and Preservation of milk using chilling devices like milk cooling tanks in large herds. For small herds, milk should reach the collection centre at the earliest, where preservation is done using bulk milk coolers. 

Murali Krishnan


Quality of Water and its Effects on Animals:

Water quality is an important aspect in dairy animal production and health. Water constitutes 60-70% of an animal’s body. It is necessary to maintain proper ion balance and body fluids – digestion, absorption, metabolizing nutrients, and elimination of waste material, removal of excess heat from the body. It also provides a fluid environment for the foetus and transporting nutrients to and from body tissues.

Water loss from the body occurs from urination, waste matter eliminated from faeces and milk. The amount of water lost from a cow’s body is influenced by the animal activity, air temperature, humidity, rate of respiration, intake of water, consumption of feed, milk produced etc.

Dairy cows or buffaloes will drink more water, if the water is having good taste and of normal temperature - not very hot or cold. They drink more water when the water temperature is 25 degrees. The animals like human beings need pure water. They remain healthy and produce more milk if they are given germ free and other additives free water. Impure water will have internal worms, especially those found in the liver. Because of these worms, dairy animals cannot digest their feed well, and their health and milk production will normally be adversely affected. The amount of water intake by a cow depends on her size, production of milk, quantity of dry matter consumed, temperature and relative humidity of the environment, temperature of the water, quality and availability of the water, and amount of moisture in her feed. Water is an important nutrient during periods of heat stress.

Utilization of Water:

Lactating dairy animals needs 3-5 liter of water to produce one liter of milk. They might require additional water if they are suffering from fever or loose motion or if the climate is very hot. Their health improves and milk production increases considerably if they are let loose and given fresh and pure water all the time.

Things to Remember:

Water should be made available for animals all the time.  Always offer them pure and fresh water.  Clean the water drinking devices daily. Please whitewash the mangers with limestone once in a month & clean them everyday.  Offer water to the animals minimum 5 times a day in the summer and at least 3 times a day in the winter, if they are in tied up system. Animals must be offered water soon after milking, because animals need one third of their daily water consumption after milking. Irrespective of the diet fed to the cows, insufficient water availability might result in the feeds not giving the expected results.

Cows consume nearly fifty percent of their water intake within an hour after milking.  That is why in Large Herd Dairy Farms, when the cows are returning to their shed after milking, on the return alley, you can see 3 or 4 water troughs on either side, where cows can drink water with ease. ( Cows feel thirsty after milking). Salinity -  total dissolved solids (TDS) and total soluble salts (TSS) are measures of constituents soluble in water. Sodium chloride comes first in this category. A second group of constituents, found in lower concentrations than the major constituents, includes iron, nitrate, strontium, potassium, carbonate, phosphorus, boron and fluoride.

Murali Krishnan


thank you for your valuable information . Sir can i get milking machine from you . please send me a qotation of machine


please provide me your number