Discussion created on 10/12/2012

Start a livestock business

Forum: Strategies to start a livestock business

If someone starts a livestock farm with medium investment ,what should be the strategy to make his livestock farm successful?

1. He should buy pregnant cows
2. He should buy lactating cows
3. He should buy mixture of lactating cows and heifer
4. He should buy only heifers and breed them and keep them until parturition and milking start


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José Manuel Simões Dias José Manuel Simões Dias
Agricultural Engineer
January 2, 2013

Hello Mr. Asmat

Your question depends largely on your goals and time to achieve them. When you invest in milk production aims to repay the investment, it needs to sell milk.
In my opinion you should buy your herd gradually until it reaches the number you need. If you buy whole herd at once, pregnant heifers will form many animals in production at a time of the year, but will have another season with less milk (in some countries use the seasonality of production).
Regarding the purchase of livestock and productive state, I advise that you purchase in the first half of the actual purchase, 25% in 2nd acquisition and the remaining 25% in the 3rd.
I opt for pregnant heifers between 5 and 7meses gestation, depending on the source, type and transport days.
The acquisition of dairy cows can usually cause problems as producers vendors do not convey the truth of the mammary gland health and how the delivery occurred, which may cause the early sale of animals.
The acquisition of heifers in age for artificial insemination depends on the price, because we have to feed them about 9 months without producing.
Attention to the health status of animals in the place of origin is important and its genetic value.

I hope I have helped to take some questions. I'll be at your disposal for further questions.


Simões Dias

January 2, 2013

According to my experiance over 30 years I prefer to buy only heifers and breed them then keep until parturition and start with the milk production because in this case he can prepare rearing heifers good through balance feed that let him have a suitable BCS for bred and selected good bulls for them and they can adapted and also he can arrange the calving date as he need due to farm. And at least heifers at 1st lactation will have a low cullingrate than the cows. 


F Van Der Merwe F Van Der Merwe
January 3, 2013

If you can buy animals close where you farm, you can buy heifers, but your farm will take much longer to start producing. We have found that buying non-pregnant animals from far away is a bad idea, because they take sometimes more than a year to feel at home, and only then will they become pregnant. So it can take up to 2 years or longer before your animals will calve.
Calves born on your farm will feel at home from the start and not suffer stress. So they will grow fast and become pregnant sooner.

Siraj Ud Din Siraj Ud Din
January 10, 2013

I think it is best to purchase cows in their first lactation with a female calf at foot. The purchase may be made in at-least 2-3 batches. It is mandatory that arrangements should be made for proper feeding resources to maintain continuous milk production supply through the year.

Dr Jaswinder Dr Jaswinder
January 12, 2013

Never put all your eggs in one basket. Mix animal with mix status, mix ages, mix lactation's will be beneficial in long term.
The most killing factor is loan element or the interest you pay to bank.
Dr J S Shah
Nabha Punjab

M Subhan Qureshi M Subhan Qureshi
Professor and Dean FAHVS, University of Agriculture, Peshawar-25120, Pakistan; Chief Organizer, Dairy Science Park
January 22, 2013

In Pakistan, traditionally buffaloes, usually Nili-Ravi breed, are kept at peri-urban dairy farms. The animals are kept under traditional management system, with no calf rearing for cow replacement within the herd. Re-breeding is feared due to post-conception decline and sent for slaughter after getting milk during the same lactation. We have proved it to be false. Buffalo milk is liked by the consumers, purchased on higher prices and utilized for tea making. The author is of the opinion that crossbred bovine cows would perform better than the buffaloes in terms of milk yield, fertility and economics. For this reason a portion of the animals, about 30%, comprise crossbred cattle and the milk is usually mixed to be sold on a higher prices fixed for buffaloes. The traditional farmers, called as gujars, are hard to accept improved technology, and they only adopt such practices when they observe it through a fellow gujar. We have initiated the Dairy Science Park  under a series of international workshops and development project proposals.

Khushdil Maroof Khushdil Maroof
Animal Nutritionist
January 22, 2013

I need some information on Buffalos' nutrition, so any one help me, is high appreciated. thanks

Ikramullah Khan Ikramullah Khan
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
January 22, 2013

I like the idea of Dr. j s Shah and prof. Dr. MS Qureshi. Because all animals at one stage at a farm is not beneficial. Replacer stock especially heifers are needed at farm which will then replace the lactating cows and buffaloes. For this purpose we need to educate the local gujars so that they keep their young as well as dry stocks at their farm till breeding.

Dr Muhammad Ramzan Dr Muhammad Ramzan
DVM. M. Phil
January 24, 2013

It is good to start with pregnant heifers so that after 4-5 months, start calving. All animals are sound with reproduction point of view. Your income starts earlier and your are more acclimatized with allied issues like sale of milk, better nutrition and breeding issues. You are early in dairy business. One thing you can play is that first time you buy 50% and after 6 months buy remaining 50 % (2nd Stock). Now your project will be more feasible.

Shakirullah Shakirullah
February 1, 2013

In my opinion the true dairy animal should be purchased i.e. Wedged-shaped animal, free from disease, best breed for example Nili- Ravi according to the demand of that area. Unfortunately the salvage farms are not established in Pakistan for caring and rearing of dry animal and thus our genetic pool are going to waste due to slaughtering. I strongly agreed with prof. M. Subhan qureshi that 30% crossbred cattle and 70% buffaloes milk should be mixed. Crossbred cattle are more economical to the environment in terms of fertility and productions, and the demand will not also be affected.

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