In the FFS cattle modules (beef fattening and dairy cows) the most important topics you learned were:
- Cattle selection
- Feeding concentrate
- Green fodder
- Measuring body weight
- Urea Molasses Straw (UMS)
- Dairy technology
- Record keeping
This webpage shows cattle messages which you can share with your neighbors. Invite them to see the animals on your farm so that they can see and learn from your experience.
Provide good housing for your animals
When you want to rear cattle for beef fattening or milk production you need good housing for your animals.
The cattle shed requires:
- Located in a high place
- Housing measurements at least 4 x 6 ft for each animal
- Floor of hard material: concrete or bricks
- Floor has slope for draining urine and water
- Gutter behind animals to drain urine and water
- Feeder and water trough in front of cattle at convenient height
- Mosquito net against insects
- Proper ventilation to allow light and air flow (shed facing north and south)
Select productive animals
Start your cattle rearing with healthy and productive animals.
For beef fattening consider:
- Male cattle
- Cross breed
- Age of 2-3 years
- Long legs
- Loose skin
- Healthy appearance, but with relatively low weight
For dairy cattle consider:
- Local breed. Three good local breeds for dairy are: Red Chittagong Cattle (RCC), Pabna, and Foridpur cattle
- Exotic breed. Examples of good HYV are: Holstein Friesian, Jersey, Shahiwal, and Shindi
- Select animals of which the mother gave more milk.
- Select animals with a healthy appearance.
- If available use AI service.
Advantages of local breeds are:
- Disease resistant
- Consumer demand of beef
- Available in the locality
Disadvantage of local breeds are:
- Low productivity
- Growth rate is slow
- Milk production is low
Advantages of HYVs are:
- Growth rate is high (meat)
- Milk production is high
- Long lactation period
- Progeny sold in good prices
Disadvantage of HYVs are:
- Sensitive to diseases
- Purchase cost is high
- Need more care and feed
Maintain hygiene and sanitation
Sheds and animals should always be kept clean.
Always do this:
- Daily cleaning and disinfection of the shed and equipment to kill germs
- Daily wash the animals
If you maintain proper hygiene you prevent diseases and animals will grow and produce better.
Supply concentrate feed
Dairy cows and beef fattening cattle require concentrate feed.
Concentrate feed is a balanced mix of different ingredients. It has to supply the proper amount and proportions of nutrients for growth, maintenance, lactation or gestation.
You can use locally available ingredients to prepare balance feed.
To prepare one kg ration use:
- Wheat bran: 400 g
- Rice Polish: 220 g
- Pulse broken: 150 g
- Oil cake: 200 g
- DB powder (multivitamins): 10 g
- Di-Calcium Phosphate powder: 10 g
- Salt: 10 g
Feed requirement beef fattening:
- An animal needs 1-2% of the body weight.
- So an animal of 200 kg requires every day 2 to 4 kg of concentrated feed.
Feed requirement dairy cow (dry period):
- Per 100 kg body weight, animals require 2-2.5 kg concentrate feed per day
- If the animal is pregnant it needs extra 1.5 kg feed per day
Feed requirement dairy cow (lactating):
- First 3 liters milk production require 3 kg concentrate feed
- For each additional liter of milk provide half kg extra
- Do not provide more than eight kg per animal
If your animals get enough concentrate feed they grow faster and produce more milk.
Provide sufficient green fodder
In addition to concentrate feed, animals also need green fodder. Green grass is a source of vitamins and mineral.
Cattle need to get 4% of their body weight in green grass.
So an animal of 200 kg needs 8 kg of green grass per day.
To be able to provide green fodder you can grow Napier, Para, Jamboo or German grass.
If animals get sufficient green fodder they will be healthier and more productive.
Provide abundant fresh water
Cattle require an abundant supply of fresh and clean water. Preferably provide as much water as the animal wants to take.
If water is scarce, it is recommended to supply 1 liter of water for every 10 kg of live-weight of the cow plus 1.5 liters of water per 1 liter of milk produced.
So a cow of 300 kg live weight and milk yield of 10 kg a day needs 30 + 15 = 45 liters of water every day.
If animals get sufficient clean water they stay healthier and are more productive.
Measure the body weight of your animals
You need to know the weight of your animal to understand how much feed it requires.
You also need to know this when you want to sell the fatted animal.
Measure the Heart girth and length in inches.
The following formula can then be used:
Heart girth x Heart girth x Body length / 600 = Animal weight in kg
For example, if a cattle has a heart girth equal to 42 inches and a body length equal to 50 inches, the calculation would be (42 x 42 x 50) / 600 = 147 kg
Use UMS to increase meat production
For beef fattening, the animals need a diet that contains extra carbohydrates, proteins and minerals.
Urea Molasses Straw (UMS) can be used for quick fattening.
You can prepare one kg of UMS with:
- 1 kg dry straw (cut in small pieces)
- Half liter of clean water
- 250 gram molasses
- 30 gram urea
Mix these ingredients together and then keep it wrapped up in plastic for one hour.
Per 100 kg body weight an animal can be fed 2 kg UMS per day.
For fattening also make sure that animals can drink water as much as they want.
Beef fattening with UMS is especially profitable when you target to sell animals for Eid or other festivals.
Vaccinate your animals
There are several diseases that can make your animals sick.
Important cattle diseases are: Mastitis, Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), Black Quarter (BQ), Hemorrhagic septicemia (HS), and Anthrax.
These diseases will reduce growth and milk production, or can even cause the animal to die.
Proper vaccination protects your animals from these diseases.
If you vaccinate your animals timely they will be healthier and more productive.
Find a Community Livestock Worker in your area who can provide vaccination services and advice.
Keep your animals free of parasites
Worms can infest the digestive system of your animals, especially the stomach, intestine and liver. Infested animals grow slower and produce less milk.
Regular de-worming (every 3 months) with chemical or herbal preparations can reduce the amount of parasites in your animals.
Provide DB vitamins to the animal after de-worming.
You should also regularly remove external parasites, such as ticks and lice.
If you keep your animals free of parasites they will be healthier, grow faster, and produce more milk.
Contact a Community Livestock Worker or livestock officers of DLS for de-worming medicines and advice.
Earn more with dairy products
Fresh milk life span is 4-5 hours only before it spoils.
You should try to sell fresh milk soon after milking.
You can also use your milk to produce ghee, cheese, cream, butter, or flavored curd.
Always clean and dry the utensils immediately after use.
Selling dairy products is more profitable than selling fresh milk.
Keep records of inputs and outputs
Make sure that you are aware about all income and expenses. This helps you to calculate the profitability of your animals.
In a notebook write down:
- Cattle rearing related costs:
- cost of buying animals
- cost of housing
- cost of feed and fodder
- cost of ingredients for UMS
- cost of vaccinations and de-worming
- transport costs
- The house hold consumption of milk (kg) and estimate the value (Taka)
- The quantity of milk or milk products sold and money received (Taka)
- The money you received when selling a fattened animal
- DLS officers / Veterinarians
- FFS facilitators / Resource farmers / Contact farmers
- Community Livestock Workers / CEALs
- Feed suppliers
- Cattle buyers / Milk buyers
At the end of the year or season then calculate the net benefit of your animals
Share and look for information
Share your knowledge with your neighbors and friends.
Write down the names and mobile numbers of persons who can provide more information about cattle rearing and dairy production.