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How to start a dairy farm

Views: 0     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2022-04-07      Origin: Site

Dairy farms take a lot of money and capital to start up. Know what you're getting into and how you want to get into it before you decide to start a dairy farm. This article will help you through these, but remember that local knowledge is invaluable for any farmer.

Planning Your Dairy Farm


Research species and breed. The most common dairy animals are cows, goats, water buffalo. Each one has many dairy breeds, and local knowledge is your best way to choose between them. Contact government institutions, agricultural university, and established dairy farms and ask for info to help you make the decision:

  • Rule out breeds that can't thrive in your climate.

  • For each breed, divide annual upkeep cost by annual milk production to find production cost per unit of milk.

  • Local demand for the breed's milk. What about for butter and cheese?

  • How much time and money does it take to raise a calf to milk-producing age? How much can you sell the male calves for?



Decide on a food source.

Livestock need about 4% of their weight in forage each day. Ideally, your pasture should produce more than this at peak season, so you can stockpile the surplus for winter.


Create a breeding plan. Dairy bulls have a reputation for dangerous behavior, and in any case raising one year round gets expensive. The safer options are paying for a bull's service at breeding time.

Male & female herd ratio varies between species and with the male's age. A young bull can typically service 20–25 cows, while a healthy, mature bull may be able to handle up to 40.


Study farming practices. If you don't have dairy farm experience already, take some time to learn about breeding, calving, manure management, weaning, milking cows, and crop management. Farming requires a great deal of time, work, and knowledge, so walk into it with open eyes.


Invest in capital. A farm requires a large one-time expenditure to get started.

  • A sterile facility for storing milk, and for pasteurizing if required in your area

  • Dry, sunny sheds or barns protected from weather and temperature changes

  • Milking parlor with stanchions

  • Feed storage and manure storage

  • Separate living space for calves

  • Equipment (including tractors) and equipment storage area

  • Well for watering cattle, plus water transport system to tanks in pasture

  • Irrigation system for pasture (optional)


Find a good source for animals. Inspect all dairy animals personally before buying, including several milking tests. The animal should be healthy and vaccinated against disease. Ideally, purchase the animals right after calving, on its second or third lactation (when milk production is highest).


Research the local milk market. If you're starting with just a few animals, talk to nearby dairy farmers for advice on selling to local stores and individuals. If you have a slightly larger herd, you can get a more stable income by selling the milk to a company that will handle distribution.



Contact the government. Your local or regional government may require permits and paperwork to run a farm, sell milk, irrigate your land, and/or hire staff to help you.


Create a business plan. Put all your financial estimates into a plan that covers the first few years of your business. In addition to the necessary items above, remember to include the estimated cost of veterinary care per animal, and the cost of any labor you plan to hire. Also look into an additional source of profit: selling manure.

Contact government institutions about subsidies and loans for farmers before you take out a loan from a bank.

Use the average milk prices (or slightly lower) over the past few years when estimating future profits.

Qingdao Xinguangzheng Steel Structure Co., Ltd can help you solve the problems to have a better performance in your dairy farm construction. Our products and projects have been exported to more than 130 countries and regions around the world. We are glad to hear from you!

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