Dairy farming has provided income and employment generating opportunities to millions of rural families.
Large scale implementation of scientific programmes helped in improving the productivity of milch animals with the available feed resources in an environmentally sustainable manner.
Better milk yield
To obtain a good level of milk production from a milch animal, feeding of balanced ration is must. Many farmers in North India in order to enhance milk production and calving of their dairy livestock are feeding their homemade unscientific self made formulations made of cotton seed, wheat –daliya and oil cakes, and wheat bran / rice polish.
It lacks both macro and micro nutrients and not only affects milk yield but also reproductive efficiency.
For better production and maximising profit potential, animals should be fed concentrate mixture made from 20-25 parts of oilcakes, 25-35 parts millets /cereals and 10-25 parts cereal by products such as brans/ polish, and 5-20 parts dal chuni.
This should be fortified with 2 per cent mineral mixture and one per cent common salt. To economise the cost of milk production feed the animal 10 per cent fodder along with green grass and concentrate mixture.
One kg concentrate mixture should be fed to heifers/cows during 2-3 months before calving and also feed one kg additional mixture animals in milking.
Feed additional energy rich concentrate mixture up to 35 per cent during winter and 35 per cent protein rich during summers.
The quality and quantity of water is very important for maximising production of milk because milk constitutes about 83-87 per cent of water.
Other salient points that should be kept in mind are:
Do not change the feeding / watering regimen / management plan abruptly. Quality and optimal quantity of water to dairy animals is necessary to ensure efficiency of production. Always maintain regular feeding schedule of animals.
(Rajinder Singh, Sr extension specialist (animal sciences) Lala Lajpat Rai University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Rohtak and K.S. Dangi, Director General, Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Haryana,email: email@example.com, mobile: 09416495904.)