Caring for dairy cows properly can be a challenge for you, especially if you are a beginner in this business. Actually dairy cows require more care, and caring for dairy cows involve a lot more hard work and responsibility than caring for beef cows. Caring dairy cows is more hardy, because you have the extra added duty of regular milking.
Here we are describing more about the process of caring for dairy cows, especially the guide is for beginners. However, you need to setup everything (shelter, feeding and watering areas, fences etc.) before bringing your fist cow or herd of cows.
Caring for Dairy Cows
Quality feeding is the most important of caring for dairy cows. You also need to maintain a good herd health program for keeping your animals healthy. Check them on a regular basis for any sign of sickness or illness. Milk your dairy cows timely and regularly clean the milking supplies. You also need to maintain a good breeding program for keeping your herds productive.
Feeding quality food to your cows is the first and also the most important part of caring for dairy cows. In order to keep your cows healthy and productive, you must have to feed them adequate and quality food. Grain, silage and hay are the common food for dairy cows. And the dairy cows also need a lot of green feeds for maximizing milk production.
Along with quality feeding, you also have to ensure, your cows are getting constant access to clean water. Actually dairy cows require more water and they should never go without water (especially when they are being raised for milk).
In case of raising your dairy cows on pasture, you must have to ensure the pasture is fresh and safe for the cows. You also need to switch paddocks on a regular basis if your cows are on a rotational grazing schedule. You can switch their paddocks daily, or at least as many times per week as necessary.
Also ensure your dairy cows are getting a formulated ration which are high in calcium, energy, protein and also phosphorus. Doing this will help to keep your animals in good health, and also help to produce very high quality milk. You also need to allow your dairy cows free access to loose mineral.
Keep the living place of your cows as clean and fresh as possible, and this is also a very important part of caring for dairy cows. You have to clean the feeding, staying and milking area daily. Replace dirt bedding that has been soiled from manure with clean bedding. You must have to keep the place clean for avoiding introduction of mastitis in your dairy herd.
Regularly Check for any Signs of Injury or Illness
You need to check your cows regularly for any possible signs of injury or illness. Because the dairy cows are highly susceptible to mastitis and lameness issues, and this may need to be attended to as soon as possible.
Vaccinations and De-worming/De-Licing
You must have to vaccinate your cows timely for maintaining a good herd health program. You also have to keep up-to-date with de-worming and de-licing programs. You can contact a vet in your area for certain vaccinations, de-worming and de-licing products that are best for your herd and easily available in your area.
Most of the dairy cows generally need to be milked twice a day (once every 12 hours). You can milk them either by hand or by machine, depending on the number of cows you have in your herd. It’s a good option to have a machine if you have more than 3 cows to milk.
You need to keep the milking equipment clean, for having fresh and hygiene milk.
You also need to maintain a proper breeding program in order for the dairy cows to be productive. Dairy cows generally need to be bred once a year for producing a calf.
These are the common steps of caring for dairy cows. You can maintain a good herd and keep your cows productive if you follow these steps properly. Good luck!