The following important factors must be considered for the selection of site for a dairy farm:
- A dairy building should be at a higher elevation than the surrounding ground to offer a good slope for rainfall and drainage for the wastes of the dairy to avoid stagnation within.
- Soil should be fertile as it is required for fodder cultivation
- For selection it should also be kept in mind that dairy building should have maximum exposure to the sun and it should be protected from prevailing strong wind currents whether hot or cold.
- Easy accessibility to the buildings is always desirable. So the building of dairy farm should be located near all-weathered road
- There should be abundant supply of fresh, clean and soft water.
- Areas infested with wild animals and dacoits should be avoided. Narrow gates, high manager curbs, and loose hinges, protruding nails, smooth finished floor in the areas where the cows move and other such hazards should be eliminated.
- Dairy buildings should only be in those areas from where the owner can sell his products profitably and regularly. He should be in a position to satisfy the needs of the farm within no time and at a reasonable price.
- There should be regular supply of electricity.
Dairy Farm Equipment / Components
The following structures/components/facilities are required at dairy farm:
- A wheel dip filled with disinfectant at the main gate of farm for biosecurity
- Shed for milch animals
- Shed for dry animals
- Shed for pregnant animals
- Shed for Replacement heifers
- Shed for Calves
- Shed for Diseased animals
- Postmortem Room
- Milking parlour with a record room
- Storage room for milk
- Silage bunkers
- Stores for concentrates and dry roughages
- Mangers/feeding tables
- Water troughs
- Foot bath
- Manure pits
- Artificial insemination shed attached to a semen processing and storage laboratory
- Veterinary dispensary
- Shed for parking tractor, trolley etc.
- Workshop for repair and keeping of farm implements
- Offices and facility of accommodation for farm manager and staff
Housing of animal is the most important factor in dairy farming. A good housing leads to good management practices and ultimately optimum production. The housing of dairy animals depends upon:
- Number of animals
- Type of breed of animals
- Local environmental conditions
- Finances available
- Facilities to be provided
Some general considerations which must be considered for housing are:
- It should be less expensive
- It should be well ventilated
- It should protect from extreme environmental conditions
- It should have maximum sun exposure
- Its axis of length should be east to west
- It should remain dry
- Its environment should be hygienic
- There should be availability of feed and water for 24 hours
- It should have adequate provision to reduce the heat gain by the animals and promote the heat loss to avoid heat stress during summer season.
- It should be so planed that future expansion may be possible if required
For housing it should also be considered that animals should have five types of freedoms:
- Freedom from hunger and thirst
- Freedom from discomfort
- Freedom from pain, injury and disease
- Freedom to express normal behavior
- Freedom from fear and distress
Different types of housing of dairy animals are:
- Free stall
- Tie Stall
- Loose Housing system
Among these, free stall is the only recommended type of housing for successful dairy farming.
Different types of milking parlours are given below:
Thetandems parlour usually has two to six stalls at each side of the pit. There are two types of tandem parlours, namely the side-gate type and the walk-through type. The side-gate type has entrance and exit gates on the one side of each milking stall, that can be operated by hand or hydraulics. Tandem milking parlour is especially suitable for smaller dairies (less than 100 cows) or for stud farming.
In the parallel parlour, cows stand on an elevated platform at a 90-degree angle facing away from the operating area.Access to the udder is between the rear legs, which reduces visibility of the front quarters and can make unit attachment and udder sanitation more difficult. A partitioning door that swings when a cow enters the milking stall opens the adjacent milking stall for the next cow. In most parlours, the gates overlap, to prevent the cows from entering the milking stall beforehand. As a cow enters the parlour, there is no milking stall available to enter, except the last one in the line.
Herringbone (Fishbone) Parlour:
Cows enter the fishbone parlour in groups and stand at an angle to the milking pit, so that only the udder part of the cow is exposed to the labourer. This layout reduces the distance between the udders significantly and saves walking time for the labourers between milking points. Many variations of the fishbone parlour, sometimes called the ‘para-bone’, have been installed, which reduces the distance between cows with 760 mm and 860 mm. Standard fish-bone parlours vary in size from 4 to 20 milking points at each side of the pit. Fishbone parlours are suitable for dairies with 200 to 500 cows.
In the rotating parlour, cows are milked on a rotational, raised, circle shaped platform. There are many variations of this type of parlour, based on the way the cows stand on the platform. They can stand in tandem, fishbone or parallel formation, with their heads directed towards the inside or the outside of the platform. The most logical choice is the parallel-type with the heads of the cows directed inward, as this takes up the least space per cow. The labourers remain in the same position on the outside of the platform, while the cows move in rotation towards, them. The speed of the platform can be controlled to give the labourers sufficient time to prepare the cow and fit the claw piece.
The advantage of the rotary parlor is that the cow movement functions are largely automated, freeing the operators to tasks more directly associated with milking. Rotary parlors typically require three operators: one for unit attachment, one to detach units and/or apply post milking teat dip and one to tend to any problems occurring while cows are traveling around. This parlor type is not expandable and the capital cost is usually higher per stall than for non-moving parlors. Because of these characteristics, rotary parlors are best suited to larger herds (>1000 cows).