A guide to dairy farming all you need to know

We have prepared you a full guide to dairy farming this is to answer all the questions you need to know and of course to start, scale and develop your dairy farming, Before venturing into dairy farming you probably have asked yourself some of these questions (Remember that this guide has been tailored to answer all the questions stated and bonus tips which are clearly researched and proven to be effective in dairy farming

  • How can I start a dairy farm in Kenya?
  • How much money do I need to start a dairy farm?
  • How profitable is dairy farming?
  • What should be considered before starting a dairy farm?
  • How many cows do you need to start a dairy farm?
  • List of successful dairy farms in Kenya?

Dairy farming

What is dairy farming? This is a type of agriculture that is focused on producing milk. This is different from raising animals to produce meat. Milk can be used to produce dairy products, including cheese. Species commonly used are cows (so-called dairy cows), but goats, sheep and camels are also used. In this guide we shall look into dairy farming in cows this is because it is the most kept animal for dairy.

HOW CAN I START DAIRY FARMING

This is always the first question that comes to mind when you have decided to venture in this dairy farming field. The first step here is doing thorough and extensive research. This is not because dairy farming is a very difficult venture but it is a step in ensuring that you gain the basic knowledge to get you started.

We all know that dairy farming as a business has a very high potential and is a high rapid growing venture in Africa and beyond. In Africa, Dairy farming has been a way of life and has been a means of livelihood and nutritional value. So the talking points here is to conduct in-depth market research to determine the current trends and feasibility study. This can be assisted by attending seminars, reading dairy magazines and also there are a lot of helpful articles online

Before venturing on Dairy farming here are the Key strengths you should look into

  • There is currently steady demand of Milk and its products
  • There is a well-established milk supply chain you can join
  • There are very large numbers of milk processors in the country
  • Milk has high revenue on sales
  • The initial investment in dairy farming business is low in comparison to other Industry so you can be sure of the returns
  • Cow dung from the dairy has proofed to be good organic manure and a source of biogas production

Key weaknesses on Dairy farming

  • Information on the dairy systems is not always properly accessible
  • Lack of proper support has proven to many farmers that in this venture they are always alone
  • Prepare for high work load as some dairy animals requires time for feeding and milking throughout the day
  • Financial strain is also a weakness in dairy farming because some times in the year there is low rainfall and you will need to purchase the dairy feeds to keep your production consistent.

HOW MUCH MONEY DO I NEED TO START A DAIRY FARM

This will be answered regarding your type of dairy whether large scale commercial, small scale commercial or domestic will attract different amount of money to start. Dairy farming can be a lucrative and rewarding business nowadays, but determining the amount of capital required to start a dairy farm can be a difficult and intimidating task. To calculate the cost of starting a dairy farm, document some basic information on a spreadsheet. Start by following some common steps.

  • Establish the size of your dairy farm to know the type of dairy farm you need largescale or small scale
  • Determine the number of animals the area can support and the additional requirements such as the structures, feeds, and labor costs per animal head this will help you establish how much you will have for every animal.
  • List down equipment’s and services you will need to purchase per cow and break down to the whole month. This will include the veterinary services, or the inoculation cost if you are in an area with such needs
  • Check if you will need hired labor and finally add and estimate the costs.

These guidelines above will go a long way in getting you started.

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HOW PROFITABLE IS DAIRY FARMING

According to oxfarm.co.ke on evaluation of dairy farming profits regarding various factors, net profit per cow could be 16,375 per month. Now if you keep more animals you definitely lower your costs and increase your margins. Considering that you could make your own rations, and do value addition to your milk returns per month per cow could be as high as Kshs 20,000.

The critical factors for dairy production are always

  • Cost of labor
  • Land
  • Dairy services and needs
  • Transportation costs including other essentials

WHAT SHOULD BE CONSIDERED BEFORE STARTING A DAIRY FARM

We outlined you the basic needs you should consider before starting a dairy farm in the list below;

  • Dairy house and equipment’s
  • Extensive research on the Dairy field as stated on the first question
  • Production cost whether labor, feeds or services
  • Dairy breeds and climatically and topographical requirements
  • Capital consideration
  • Licenses and fees

HOW MANY COWS DO I NEED TO START A DAIRY FARM

It is important to put into consideration that starting small and scaling your farm upwards later is effective. One or two cows may be too few and over six cows may be too many for most beginners. Five to six cows have always been a good number which then can be progressively increased as you build and improve the herd. Remember to always keep in mind the initial cost of each cow you intend to keep in your farm

LIST OF SUCCESSFUL DAIRY FARMS IN KENYA

We round up this guide with some examples of the successful dairy farms in Kenya this should motivate you to start and scale your dairy farms with lessons learnt from the list. Remember to research on this farms to see what they did well in order to become successful in this venture. As the saying goes learn from the best

  • Tujenge farm
  • Purity gachanga
  • Geoffrey Kinyanjui
  • Kefa gardens farm

Dairy companies

  1. Sameer Agriculture & Livestock Ltd (SALL) (DAIMA)
  2. Githunguri Dairy Farmers‘ Co-operative Society
  3. Browns Cheese
  4. Eldoville Dairy Limited
  5. New Kenya Cooperatives Creameries Limited
  6. Kinangop Dairy Limited
  7. Brookside Dairy Limited
  8. Lattana Dairy

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