Since time immemorial, cattle area part and parcel of rural life. There is a popular Sanskrit saying that “वर्धतांपशाव: वर्धतांदेश:” i.e., developing livestock is developing the nation. So in today’s modern world, scientific management of cattle has become very important. Today people are doing farming in technical way, because of which they can earn more profit in less time than traditional way.
Important points of scientific cattle farming are –
The farm land area should be adequate size; it should have provision for future extension.It should be slopped one, so that water couldn’t lodge in the farm.Farm shed should be placed at some higher place so that it gets exposure to Sun and wind.West-east orientation of shed is beneficial.
There should be provision of proper drainage system.Farm should be placed near market area, so that product would easily available in the market.Efficient electricity connect is essential to run a well establish farm.Water facility with electric motor connection easily provide water requirement in the farm.Farm shed should be concentrate one (made up with brick)
SELECTION OF BREED
It is one of the most important factors for production point of view. Our local cattle (Lakhimi) give maximum 1-2 litres of milk at peak production time.Similarly, they give first calf at the age of 4-5 years.However, the exotic breed like Jersey, Holstein-freisen give first calf at 2-3 years age.They give more milk upto 10-12 litres average per day. It may increase upto 14-15 litres per day depending upon diet and stage of lactation. But, farmer must note that the local breeds have highly resistance to disease while exotic breeds have less resistance.That is why, 50% Jersey-indigenous cross is preferred in Assam.This is now most popular among the farmers of the state. Hence, the cross-breeds have resistance to disease and has the ability to produce more milk.
According to research, a cattle need 9 kg green fodder/100kg body weight per day.Green grass is important for maintainance for her milk production.Today there are various types hybrid grass seeds are available. Some important grasses are hybrid Napier, para, maize, marvel grass. Farmers should keep 1-2 bighas of land for fodder cultivation, so that green fodder would be available throughout the year. Along with green grass farmers can give concentrate feed stuff like grain barley, jowar to the cattle. Some concentrate provide more protein, which is required for lactating cow. Animal origin products like bone meal, fish meal, meat meal can also be fed to the animal, it provide all essential mineral vitamin to the growing heifer.Paddy straw and rich polish can be provided to cattle, which regulates the appetite of the cow. Another very important component is water. So the water requirement for cattle at different stages of life is given below:
Calves n(1-6 month)–5-14
Amount of water requirement is more during summer season than winter season. Water keeps the animal free from summer stress. It maintains body temperature and normal body balance. So, farmer must provide adequate water to their cows.
CLEANING AND ROUTINE MANAGEMENT
Routine cleaning practice of farm-shed can reduce disease up to 60-80 percent. A foot bath should be present at the entry of farm shed. Foot bath water contains potash – water solution. It is important for sanitary point of view. Regular cleaning practices include cleaning of dung, urine and bathing the animal, grooming, cleaning of manger. The cleaning of equipment prevents growth of diseasing causing microbes. Disinfectant, fly repellent should be sprayed mid-time in the routine. Utmost care of cleaning should be taken at the time of milking and calving. Udder should be washed with tincture of iodine before milking. New born calf should be thoroughly cleaned with dry cloth and placenta should be disposed. The person milking the cows should be healthy and free from diseases like T.B and other infectious diseases. Cattle shed floor must be non-slippery. In summer month electric fans should be provided so that animal can relax from the heat stress. The farm attendant must notice the heat symptoms for detection of estrus.
General estrus signs are-
3. Mucous discharge from vagina
4. Mounting over other animal
After detection of estrus the animals should be given AI treatment. Pregnant animals should be moved away from other lactating cows. During early pregnancy stage cow should be given Ca++ supplement. Calves should be housed in calf shed. Dehorning (removal of horn) should be done at the age of 4-10 days.
DISEASE CONTROL AND ITS MANAGEMENT
“Assam is heaven of parasite”. So, farmer should regularly deworm their cattle by proper advice from veterinarians. Parasites decrease milk production, make the animal susceptible to other diseases and decrease growth rate. Quarantine practice must be followed for newly purchased animals. Diseased animal must be kept away from other healthy animals. If any abnormality is noticed in the animal, directly veterinary doctor should be consulted. Hygiene, cleaning and proper nutritional management can reduce the disease incidence upto 80 percent. Insurance of the dairy cattle must be done.
Almost 70 percent farm income is obtained from selling of milk and milk products. Assam has good milk market. Today there are many milk co-operative unions in Assam. Milk products include dahi, panner, butter, lassi, cream, ghee etc. Farmers can earn money by selling the male calves. It gives good profit to the farmer. One can sell the dung as a manure which is another state of income. Some farmer can sell the high quality bull semen for AI (artificial insemination) purpose.
Hence, it is clear that dairy farming is economically very profitable and it can also provide youth employment and income. Nowadays various financial institutions like NABARD, NRLM and RSKVY provide financial assistance and help the farmers and youth to start their own cattle farm.
(References are available on request)
~Ajay Barman,4th Year, B.V.Sc. & A. H., Lakhimpur College of Veterinary Science,
Assam Agricultural University, Joyhing, North Lakhimpur, Assam- 787051, India.
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