- The initial step to be a livestock entrepreneur to understand the strength, weakness, opportunities and threats of the sector of interest. Make extensive studies and make time to visit already established farms and successful entrepreneurs. Feel free to consult experts in Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University.
- Before starting a farm make sure that all the methods for proper waste disposal and containment are set up in the proposed site.
- Never aim for large number of animals in the beginning. Start with smaller numbers (less than 10), learn the pros and cons, correct mistakes and expand the strength of animals gradually.
- Generate income also from by - products like manure, urine, biogas etc. rather than solely from main products like milk, meat, egg. Enrichment of manure enables selling them at higher prices.
- As per the present law, even if you are selling your surplus food products (egg, milk and milk products etc.) to the neighbors, you will be called as Food Business Operators and have to register at the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and avail a registration certificate.
- Value addition and branding of surplus products ensures better financial return.
- Mechanization of the farm helps to thrive through labor shortage. But unnecessary capital investment on mechanization is not advisable.
- Dietary fiber is very important in ruminant feeding. So ensure year round supply of fodder/roughages for production enhancement and health of the animal.
- The optimum interval between two calving of a cow (inter - calving interval) is one year. Ideally one calf a year from a cow should be maintained to run the farm profitably.
- A management error among the farmers of Kerala is that they take a very long time to inseminate the animal after calving, sometimes wait even up to seven months. The optimum service period (period between calving and next successful conception) helps the animal to recover from the stress of calving and also to get back the reproductive organs back to normal. For cattle the optimum service period is 60-90 days. If the service period is too prolonged the calving interval prolonged, less number of calving will be obtained in her life time and ultimately less life time production.
- Dry period is the period from the date of drying (stop of milk production) to next calving. The animal should be given rest period to compensate for growth of fetus. A minimum of 2 – 2 ½ months dry period should be allowed. If the dry period is not given or too low dry period, the animals suffer from stress and in next lactation, the milk production drops substantially and also it gives weak calves. On the other hand if the dry period given is too high, it may not have that much effect on increasing milk yield in the next lactation, but it decrease the production in the present lactation.
- All the animals in the farm should be insured.
- The level of non-conventional feed (beer waste, other agricultural and industrial byproducts) should not be more than 30 % of the total feed allowance.
- Record keeping is very important in farm management. Records should be kept in a farm for evaluation and to improve management practices.
- Vaccinate your animals regularly.
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