Agrodoks Agrodok 014, Dairy Cattle Husbandry
More Milk Through Better Management
This Agrodok provides information about the main aspects of dairy farming in the tropics such as feeding, breeding, health care, reproduction and recording. It is meant for smallholders with some education and some knowledge about dairy cattle. The second target group are technicians like extension and animal production officers, who as advisers can assist smallholders planning to start or improve milk production.
A production of 1500 to 3000 kg milk per cow per year seems feasible for smallholders and this is the assumed level of production in this booklet. A combination of improved management and genetic improvement of the herd can also contribute to increasing milk production. However, farmers who only have a few cows, a long calving interval and high calf mortality, have little scope for selection of replacement heifers. Furthermore, selective breeding may be difficult, especially when the choice of semen or bulls is limited. Seek expert advice from an animal breeding centre, if available.
Version 3, 2008