Over the years our ancestors had followed best practices to naturally Increase cattle milk production. But we have moved away from the Natural process, as it is a slow process. But these practices will benefit in the long term and keeping your cattle healthy.
What are these practices? “A calf must be allowed to drink milk from two out of her mother’s four udder teats until she is six months old. This will ensure she becomes a healthy cow and a good milker in the future,” advises farmers. Secondly, a cow should be given 1 kg compound cattle feed and 15 kg green fodder grass as a daily maintenance ratio, whether or not she is producing milk.
For pregnant cows, the dairy cattle feed dose should be 2 kg initially and gradually raised to 6 kg close to calving. This will guarantee both higher milk yields and better calf health.
“Any indigenous cattle breed like Gir Cows will not let out milk freely like Holstein, who have no emotions”
Once the cow is in-milk, there would be the base maintenance dose of 1 kg feed (and 15 kg fodder) plus 500 grams for every liter. For 12 liters daily yield, it means 7 kg of feed and 15 kg fodder.
“It is necessary for proper feed management. Each cow has a different requirement, depending on its age and stage of lactation or pregnancy,” explains the 59-year-old Patel, Natural Farmer
But raising indigenous cattle has its challenges, starting with their not being amenable to machine milking. The reason for it is that the teats of these cows are uneven and “they will not let out milk freely like HFs, who have no emotions”. Also, their milk has to fetch a better rate to compensate for lower yields.
By following best practices cows yield an average of 3,000 liters over a 300-day lactation period, as against the normal 2,000 levels for this indigenous cattle breed.
Moreover, it can bring down their age of first calving to below three years, compared to the 4-5 years under usual grazing conditions. “If you follow scientific feeding and herd management practices, a cow can be inseminated (to be done naturally by bulls) in 24 months.
Add nine months of pregnancy, she will start giving milk in 33 months,” a Natural farmer says.
Milk sales alone can barely cover feed and fodder, labor, and other overhead expenses. To make money, farmers need to generate extra income from the sale of dung and bred cows (a four-year-old pure Gir cow can fetch Rs 1-1.5 lakh), besides cultivating their own fodder.
Calf sucking is required for the letdown of milk. Let the calf take teat in the mouth and suck till the teat is filled with milk. The calf is tied near the face of the cow and then milking is carried out.