Male calves in commercial dairy in India

Dear Readers,

I have seen a lot of discussion on the commercial dairy farming in India on this forum.
Can anyone show some light on what happens to the male cow calves on a commercial dairy farm?
On a small dairy farm of 100 lactating cows, you produce 50 male calves every year. It could mean substantial loss or profit depending upon the way of disposal of these calves.
Even if you leave the economic aspect, there should be a described method for disposal of these calves. I mean you can not leave them on the road.

Dr. Wasim Hadi

i guess these male calves will be sent to slaughter house? if so what would be the price they are sending it?

Dear Dr.Wasim Hadi,

I am a person having nearly 22 years experience running behind jobs related to dairy farming and i was fortunate to see almost well organised farms in south and central India.

Most of the male calves are disposed within 3 months( goes to culling center) or selective calves are reared for their own use in the farm(breeding). The selection depends upon the breeding purposes of the farm where they are born or reared to become good breeding bulls and sold at a good price clearly saying the details of its parents, yield,breed,production abilities and so on. Calves reared for such purposes are fed well and they carry out adequate vaccinations, de-worming and so on.  Most of the male calves go to the butchers within 6 months or go as donations to ashrams ( religious center) or goshalas ( place where the cows, bulls, male and female calves are reared on a no profit basis to avoid culling and they need milk also for their inmates). Now a days good calf rearing programme  is there in most of the big farms in India. 

Murali Krishnan

Dear Mr. Murli and Mr. Sanjeev,

Thanks a lot for your attention to the topic and your reply.
I am sorry but I have doubt about the idea of sending the cow calves to slaughter house or butchery. It is such a sensitive issue that even for suggesting that, I could get my dairy farm closed down within hours. I am talking about the part of India where I live. Situation may be different in other regions.
After opening this discussion, I went on searching and found a solution which may be more feasible.
The use of pre-sexed semen for insemination.
I even contacted one breeding center and they confirmed that they are marketing pre-sexed semen in India.
Imagine a situation where only female calves are produced on the farm. The advantage may be two way.

  • you don’t have to bother about the disposal of male calves.
  • you get 50 more heifers every year for replacement of your old stock.

I am not aware of the success rate of the technology. Your valuable comments are awaited.

thanks and regards
Dr. Wasim Hadi

The below links should give you some direction. … -for-cows/ … karnataka/ … 1/#msg8281

Sexed semen straws can be made available in India. Not all states allow import of semen.

Dr. Hadi,

I am from a leading state (Gujarat) in total dairy production, and simultaneously being a very sensitive state for culling of cows. The old saying “loose lips sink ships” is very true in this regard. Its extremely prevalent to transport the male calves to other states where cow slaughtering is allowed, and no one even at dairy farm needs to know the true intention of why they are being transported. Everyone does it, but no one talks about it. There are buyers from those states who handles the transportation, and all you have to do it sell it to them without asking about their final intentions. Its kind of like a dont ask dont tell policy. For all you know, they might be buying male calves for breeding purposes (even though only 5% are actually used for that).

I am a small farmer. That’s why I don’t let my cows to conceive for more than two times. Gap between each conception is more than two years. They may continue to give milk till they want even after calf stops drinking milk. I use their dung for jeevamrutham,compost and milk for home. I there is more milk left over, I sell them. I use the same principle for my bufellows also.  I don’t want to send any of my animals to slaughterhouses.

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