Raising Dairy Cattle
 

3 Vital Pointers When Raising Dairy Cattle
 


Raising dairy cattle is one of the most rewarding activities in the world of agriculture. Cattle, specifically cows, are the most readily available sources of milk for dairy products, at least in the United States. You can raise cows that produce milk for your own consumption or for selling to others. The extensive assortment of dairy products available today—from kitchen essentials like butter and cheese to childhood favorites like ice cream and chocolate—means there is a huge and widely diverse market into which farmers and distributors can venture in the hope of generating sizable returns. Before you go into the business of raising dairy cattle, however, you must first be mindful of these important pointers:

1. Dairy cows need larger areas of fine pasture than other types of cattle do. For a dairy cow to be able to produce milk, it needs a minimum of one acre of fine pasture all to itself. Since cows tend to wander seemingly aimlessly, you can use a fence made from stands of barbwire with or without an additional strand of electric fence to keep them within that acre of pasture where you wish them to be. This is an especially important consideration if you have a large farm and you don’t want your dairy cows going into the food meant for other animals. Consuming an entirely different set of nutrients could adversely affect the quality of the milk they produce.

2. Water is an essential component of raising dairy cattle. Dairy cows produce fresh milk of superior quality if they consume the right amount of clean water as part of their daily diet. Regardless of the size of your farm, your cows must always have access to fresh water. Unless your farm is situated beside a freshwater river, lake, or stream, you may opt to have a reservoir complete with filtration equipment installed on your property. You can even harvest rainwater as an alternative option if you live in an area that experiences precipitation for much of the year though different states have different laws regarding rainwater harvesting for any purpose (In Colorado, for example, you cannot have any means of collecting rainwater installed on your property without first securing a permit from the State).

3. Raising dairy cattle becomes most difficult during the winter months. Pasture is useless when it is frozen so it is necessary to have abundant supplies of alternative food sources such as hay. Even if each cow needs to consume no less than 15 pounds of hay every day when no fresh grass is available, the former does not have as many nutrients. You can augment your cows’ diet with crushed corn or any other nutritional supplement.

Raising dairy cattle is indeed a profitable business, but since you’ll be dealing with living, breathing creatures, you need to pay extra close attention to all of the animals in your care. You must take the necessary steps to ensure your cows are always healthy enough to produce the milk that could either nourish you and your family or make more money for you.
 


 

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