Starting Organic Dairy Farm Near Bangalore -- Blog

Farming was thought to be a retirement activity for us, just couple of years back…But things changed when a few close friends joined together and started exploring the possibilities of a farm life !

Yes, we are a group of IT folks in Bangalore, wanted to try something different, other than IT ( for a change :slight_smile:
Idea was to set up a farm where we can escape to, with our families, in the weekends, enjoy and come back on Sunday evening with some fresh vegetables, milk, egg and other farm produces !

We thought that it is a much sweeter idea than investing in Mahindra Holidays or Country club where in our money is used to build their asset !

At first, it was endless research on Dairy farming. That’s how, a few good active forums like this, opened up in front of us. Forums and the comments were very helpful . To get a real feel of things, we visited several farms like NDRI , Christ College’s farm on Mysore road with 500 cows, Oxygen Acres near Mysore, a farm in Ooty, one in Kerala, and the huge farm in Mathigiri, Hosur. Everytime, we learned some things , unlearned many things… atleast weekends were very interesting with all these trips…

We started making a plan, more like a mind map, using Google Drawing… This helps us to do research on multiple things in parallel, instead of getting stuck with one area…Our research topics included Farm Land, Cow selection, Breeding , Animal Nutrition, Housing / Shed, Silage preparation, Milk parlors, Calf management, Diseases, Variety of grasses - pros and cons, Milk handling / Clean processing, Organic farming, Packaging, Logistics, Marketing, Financials / Cost sheet and many more…

We wanted to see a pure HF - as pure as possible- just out of curiosity, after we heard that most cows we see on the road with black and white patches are just 50% blood level or less.
Once we drove for hours near Krishnagiri with a broker, to see a pure HF !
Next week, we found another one just behind NDRI, Bangalore -in a poorly maintained cow shed with 12 cows, couple of them with high HF blood level ( 80% + ) . Atleast, we can differentiate them with looks now :slight_smile:

Experts told us not to go for pure HF in the beginning. There are reasons which I will explain in later posts…

It is already more than 2 years… so many stories to post… And it is past midnight in Bangalore now…

( Those who are enthusiastic about the current state of the farm : We bought a beautiful piece of farm land , next to a forest, very near to Bangalore ( 50 kms from E.City ) and dug a bore which yielded 4 inch water. Things are moving much faster now ) 

Wait for future posts… Hope this helps some another group just the same way as the old discussions helped us or even we can get more like-minded families to join us in this endeavor !!! Journey has just begun.

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Nice topic, awaiting more!

Hi Organicdairy,

This is encouraging. Pl. keep posting more articles/experiences. I too am in IT field and slowly turning myself into a farmer. would like to learn more from you guys.

It would nice if you share some facts abt where you purchased the cows from, cost, feeding patterns, your strategy in silage making etc.

Good luck
Biju

Hi Organic Diary,

If you are interested go and have a look at a beautiful cow rearing place,  near Kagalipura, off Kanakapura road, Goashram from Ramchandrapur mutt.

Its worth a visit. You can see different breeds of pure Indian cows and their partners. Having seen that type of varieties, I am sure you would like to add to the HF,  some 100% , pure indian breeds also.

Ongole Breed is the one I liked, beautiful to look at. Almost all the beautiful nandi idols in south india, the sculptors have take this as model.

Regards

Murali KG

Dear Organicfarm

I am working with DeLaval Pvt. Ltd., world’s pioneer in dairy farming business. We have huge amount of info to share if you really want to set up a organic farm. We have set up more than 100 dairy farms in India. You can contact me anytime for more info.

Sumit Chandla
sumit.chandla@delaval.com

Thanks for the responses and sorry for the delay in the next post…

@Murali
  Thanks for the info regarding the farm. We heard about it. Wanted to visit. But somehow missed from our list ! Thanks for reminding…

@Biju & others who wanted to know where we bought the cows, we haven’t yet bought one… just got the land and preparing it… Let me write about it this week…

Cattle Trading in India

For anybody who wants to get into dairy farming, it is a simple logic : get few cows and rear them ! We also thought so. That’s why, our first few trips were in search of cows.

We found couple of guys from Hassan and they took us to a cattle market in Channarayapatna. We started early morning from Bangalore…but by the time we reached , there was not even a single cattle there ! Lots of stones were lying on the field… somebody explained that those are used to tie the cattle. It was just 7:30 AM and all over ! We met few middlemen who told us to come the previous day ( next week ) and stay in lodge… The market starts at 4:30 - 5 AM or so…

Livestock trading is still happening in age old way. There are traditional cattle markets which have been existing for centuries. Cattle to be traded are brought by local brokers or the owner themselves to the market early morning. There are middle men who helps in negotiating with dealers. These are the people who buy cattle from one market and sell in other bigger markets or to fulfill a major order. They buy truck load of cattle and leave. They interact with middlemen in the local market. Local middlemen act as experts. In case of cow, it is milked there itself and shown the yield. Most of the trading is for ox for cultivation purpose or export to Kerala ( just guessing… ).

Only few development has come into these markets for probably last 4000 years :

  1. Currency instead of barter system
  2. Vehicle for quick transportation which allows faster price balance across markets
  3. Cell phones ! 

Everybody has a cell phone. If you tell a broker about your specification,he makes 5-6 calls… Each person who gets the call, makes another 5-6 calls… and it goes on until they get the right information or reach the target… very similar to neural networks. I am not exaggerating… In the last post, I mentioned about seeing a pure HF cow somewhere near Krishnagiri last year. It happened like this. The broker didn’t have much clue where to find one. But in half an hour he could find and took us there…

There are many traditional cattle markets near Bangalore - Yelahanka, Chandapura, Yeshwanthpura, Kelamangalam (TN)  etc. They meet on a particular day of week. If one market is on Monday, another market meets on Wednesday. No two nearby markets meet on the same day. Dealers hop across the market with cattle on vans / trucks / tata ace. All are rented and paid for each transportation. Govt doesn’t seems to have any track on where these markets are and when they meet. Some information is collated on Tamilnadu markets in TN agri university site…

If you are looking for a cow for your dairy farm, markets are not the place to buy. Usually good cows don’t come to the market, unless the owner wants to sell desperately. Good cows are directly bought by brokers from their homes and sold to buyer. There is a parallel market of good cows !

There could be exceptions too : I heard Erode market is good and lots of cows come there. It is one of the biggest. Yet to go and see.

One issue with cows from such market is that they may have been impregnated using some medicines. Next time, successful pregnancy could be difficult… The owner knows that and sells off the cow in the market. I think that is the reason, it is suggested to go for cows in second lactation… ( any experts , pls comment )

Tips to Remember :
[ul]
[li] Find out which is the market day for that particular market as market meets on a particular day of week only. It is difficult to find though. [/li]
[li] Reach the town on the previous day and stay in a lodge. Get up by 3 AM atleast and go to the market.[/li]
[li] Get an experienced person who speaks local language with you. The local brokers can trick you. They will just give you the rope and demand money from you ! [/li]
[li] Vet Doctor is required to check the cattle. Even Doctors cannot guarantee the yield. There are hormone doses and other artificial ways to boost yield temporarily on the day [/li][/ul]

Pricing
When we started searching 2 years back, price was around 35K + for HF cows.
Now it has increased to 45K+ - 55K . You may get even at 40K if you search.

When milk price goes up by Rs 1, cow price goes up by Rs 1000 - 3000

Tip: Getting few calfs could be a good idea. Prices are very low compared to lactating cows. They start yielding in 1 - 1.5 years.

Later, we put a hold on our cow search as we realized that dairy farming is not all about buying cows only. There are many other obstacles before we can get a single cow ! So we started researching on other areas as well…  ( will continue… )

Thanks for jotting down your experiences. Very informative. Do let us know if you put it all down in a blog like blogger etc. Would like to subscribe to it.


www.saverafarms.com

Hi Lathish,

Thanks for the updates.

My house is situated in Yelahanka and it is a news to me that they have a market there! I will ask around.

I like the idea of yours to buy calves. But the question is how do we guarantee the yield. The biggest concern that I have is the quality of semen they use to inseminate the mother cow. So if we are lucky we will end up in a calve that can yield good or it can totally prove to be a utter waste of money.

One of my friends (ex-colleague) has started a dairy farm in Bhadravati. I will try to get more details from him in next week or so. Shall update this thread.

Best
Biju

Hi Organicdairy,
  I have also decided to get into dairy farming. Currently I am searching for land, and I am looking for a land at around 50Km from Bangalore. Let me know if I can come and see that land you brought and can you also give me some contact who could help me in getting farm land.

Regards
Sundar

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Any particular reason for concentrating on Holstein-Friesian crosses? If you want to go in for a foreign breed Jersey should be a better alternative.Desi cows like Gir ,Sahiwal would be even better.The milk produced by Holstein-Friesians is said to be responsible for a variety of health problems due to the A1 beta-casein contained in it. Read the book “The Devil in the milk” by Keith Woodford.
                                                                            Regards,
                                                                                Yaj.

Hi,

Do u have office in Tamil Nadu? My farm is at Ulundurpet of Villupuram district. I am planning to set-up similar kind of small Dairy Farm at my Farm. So kindly let me know how to proceed.
Thanks & Regards,
Raja,
M : 9944746636
mail : rajarajan017@gmail.com

Hi All,

Sounds really great reading and knowing about your dairy ventures… wish you all the success. However, by going thru all these informations, I am not getting any idea about where are you planning to your sell your produce?? i mean the milk produced from your diary?? This is the basic question I have  ???.  Are you planning to selling it to the milk co-op near your farm/town? What is the current rate per litre a farmer gets? kindly share all these details.

Regards,
Manjunath

Hi All,

really nice to see all the posts.we are looking forward to convert our existing farm to organic one, will you please give us details on following,

  1. Animal feed formulation
  2. Does new formulation will affect cow’s per day milk produce?
    3.looking forward to marketing by ourselves for this organic milk, does anyone try marketing here?

Thanks.

Hi?
Organic milk production is process in which more variety fodder needs to be feed to cattle.
Normally in Western ghats and coorg areas have rich natural biodiversity of plants and grass grown naturally.
Cattle in such areas reared freely with freedom for getting their fodder on their own choice.
Cattle in the said region will have freedom/choice to go to anywhere they like to consume fodder in natural forests.

A cow can consume about 100 variety plants/varieties in a day. The said plants grown with free of any manure or chemicals and growth promoters, which purely grown in natural. In addition to this, the animals treated with herbals or agriculture produce for curing any kind of diseases or disorders if any for milking cows. The milk collected from such cows can be termed as Organic milk.

Man-made farms cannot meet such rich biodiversity in production of fodder.
In such situation how it is feasible to produce Organic Milk?

You mentioned that dairy farming is not all about buying cows only, but doing everything by self. Dairy farming is like an infant baby, which requires your 100% love and dedication for its optimum result. Under such circumstances, living out of the dairy farm may not give good signals for progress to meet the expectations.

It is suggested to go for cows in second lactation… ( any experts , pls comment )
It is advisable for anyone to choose second lactation because, you can personally check milk yield from the records maintained during first lactation if any, but no farmer will maintain any such record except a small book issued by any dairy, now computerized billing system eliminated such small notebook of milk supplied by farmer. If farmer having more than one cow, then you cannot get any such record. The only way is to personally check milk yield, practically no farmer or situation (In market) will allow you neither to check nor to ask any proof to determine such fact. Ultimately whatever you can find out with bare eyes for determination is the final

Can you please come up with strategies to address the issues please?


Hello Organic dairy,

I also want to set up an organic dairy at my 1.80 acres agricultural farm in south Gujarat near Surat. I read your story. It’s truly inspirational.

If you can guide me how should I start? what is the opportunities available to sell  the organic milk?

Thanks.

  • Mahipal P. Dabholia

Hi,

how your project is progressing?

can u post the same.

thanks

kasturiraju.

Look forward to ur experiences going ahead … I’m also planning to start an Organic Dairy Farm in Himachal ( Border of Punjab - Himachal ) , small town 70 KM from Jalandhar City.I’m gathering similar information on how to begin sourcing HF and what should be the optimum farm size?

Wish you all the very best on your project… Cheers.

Vishal ( (+91-9810752512)

Hello Organic Dairy.

1.Why you did not try Govt.Breeding centre Hesaraghatta Bangalore?. It is more than 80 year old centre.

2.Why you did not chose to buy surplus animals from dairies, in and around Bangalore? in this case you have the option to visit dairy during the milking time check yeild etc. If any information given by seller is wrong you can catch hold of him.

3.In this forum many dairy farmers are there I am sure most will have surplus animals. Why you did not post an add.

  1. Though yeild is more in HF, it is less tolerant of harsh weather and chances of infertility is more compared to Jersey.
    Why you did not chose a combination of few animals of HF and few animals of Jersy.

If you are done with your purchasing please share information like price,yeild,lactation,breed,place of purchase.
I hope this will be a bench mark for other buyers.

Looking forward for further experiences of yours and get further motivated to get into the field.

Request you to keep the blog updated…

We are also a small group interested in farming… Unfortunately, We are also from the same background…IT… @ banglore… We are in a pre launch research for a dairy farm… your article hav enough spark for other newcomers like us… each and every line u wrote is jus like we think as of now…  anyway, great article… waiting for the continuation of the story… :slight_smile:
great work…
i do not hav any contact info of u, else i could have contacted u … please provide some contact info so that me n my group can learn a loooot of things from u guys…
cheers… :slight_smile:

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