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Main types of Cow breeds selected for farming in Kenya

When it comes to dairy farming having the right breed of cows is really important. According to statistics 60% of success of dairy farming in Kenya depends on the type of feeds and feeding.

In Kenya the main dairy breeds that have been selected include Ayshire, Friesian, Jersey, Guernsey and their crossbreeds.
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Fresian Breed
The Friesian cows have a large body that weighs between 500-550kgs with black and white coat design. Their milk potential is 40-50 Litres of milk daily. They’re the preferred choice for dairy farming in Kenya highlands. They are heavy feeders eating 90-110 kg fresh forage per day or 3 gunny bags. They should have plenty of clean water about 60 Litres/day should be provided. They have a few shortcomings though; They are heavy feeders thus feed expense will be higher than other cows,Susceptible to diseases, milk fever and  high temperatures.

Ayshire Breed
Ayshire cow is a large bodied animal with average live-weight of 450 Kgs. Its milk potential is 30 Litres per day. The body of the ayshire cow is covered in brown with white patches in almost equal amounts. It requires around 90-110 kg feed consisting of fresh forage per day or 3 gunny bags. It also needs plenty of clean water about 60 Litres/day should be provided. Ayshire are hardy animals and is adaptable to most climates, thus making it suitable for dairy farming in Kenya.

Guernsey breed
Guernsey cow is yellow to reddish-brown with white patches around its body, adaptable to all climates and management systems with milk yield potential of 25 Ltrs per day. Amount of feed required is 65-85Kg fresh forage per day or 2 gunny bags and  40 Ltrs of water per day.

Jersey Breed
Jerseys usually have a body colour of light brown, though the colour can range from almost grey to dull black. Its average milk production is 20 litres per day. To spot a true its nose is black and bordered by almost white muzzle.

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  • Hello, I liked your article about the common farming cows and would like to know the average prices for each of the types. kindly provide this information as my desire is to venture in this business in the near future.
    Thank you.

    • Hi James, The prices of the cows vary between 50,000 – 200,000 depending on the genetic potential. Are you planning to buy from a renowned breeder or local market?

      • Loganathan

        Hi,
        I am doing farming in 150 acres in naivasha. I would like to get 50 holstein friesian cows to start with. Can I get lists of farms who is selling from a good pedigree cows.

        • Hello. Search for Baraka Farm Eldoret, Wilsam Farm Eldoret Kapseret, Maraba Investments Eldoret, Baraton University Farm

  • muita

    You are doing a commedable job teaching us beginers .Cogratulation. The issue has always been how to get the right semen.

  • muita

    You are doing a commedable job teaching us beginers .Cogratulation. The issue has always been how to get the right semen.

  • Davis

    Thanks for the great work you guys are doing.
    Am an aspiring dairy farmer in Webuye Bungoma county which basically hot and wet. What would be the best breed for such climatic conditions? For a starter how many cows would you recommend for one acre piece of land?
    Thank you and best regards.

  • Davis

    Thanks, Total acreage is 1.5acres for both structures and feeds.

  • Mary Kiritu

    Am a 3rd yr student at Kemu and would wish to venture into dairy farming advise on the best breed and where to get them..would wish to start the venture in Naivasha.

  • Emmanuel koech Bayas

    I have started dairy farming but I have many changes especially when it comes to choice of high yield cows

  • Am a beginner cow farmer which recently gave me a very health and strong male calve, which I want to feed well, on maturity I sell and buy another pedigree milking cow. my question, is it okey to feed on dry matter to milking/calving cow, will it reduce milk input?? again my cow had very small teats at calving hence I decided to give the calve to sack now its one month old nad its mother has started hiding milk for me. i struggle to milk while the calve is sacking, am so distressed what gone I do. coz I need both.

  • Am a beginner cow farmer which recently gave me a very health and strong male calve, which I want to feed well, on maturity I sell and buy another pedigree milking cow. my question, is it okey to feed on dry matter to milking/calving cow, will it reduce milk input?? again my cow had very small teats at calving hence I decided to give the calve to sack now its one month old nad its mother has started hiding milk for me. i struggle to milk while the calve is sacking, am so distressed what gone I do. coz I need both.

  • Kennedy

    Hello, I need advice on where I can buy genuine 5 pedigree Freisian or Fleckvieh heifers and at how much. Kindly advise. I have been learning more of feed and animal management and I am good to go. I visited Kabete Vet Farm but couldn’t get any and was advised to visit Githunguri Farms. Unfortunately, with money and farmers in Kiambu, you can never be sure and that is why I would like your assistance.

  • lawrence

    am a beginner dairy farmer looking for pedigree jersey heifers in coast counties please advise if u know any farmers there am based in kwale.

  • Sylvia Reda

    There are many more breeds of dairy cows, some of which might be much more suitable under challenging conditions: http://www.makitosha.com/cows.htm
    and
    http://www.livestockkenya.com/index.php/cattle/300-the-best-tropical-dairy-cows

  • George

    a begginer where can i get cows of fresian nd jearsey origin nd at how much

  • korir

    How do I check the bull semen(straws) for quality? The AI officer will tell you this is kshs 2000, 1500, or 1000. How would you know if they don’t charge you ksh2000 for kshs1000 worth of straw.

  • kenneth

    hi! am kenneth from kiambu,where everybody owns a cow. i wanted to make a change by having invested in them as my main source of income and job too.am glad to have been following you guys and hoping to make ends meet through cow farming

  • muluken

    i am muluken from ethiopia i need to buying Ayhire breed cow then how much the price each cow and how to send to me?
    best regured
    muluken

  • AMOS MOUNDE NYABANDO

    Am interested in dairy ,am from trans nzoia county which is the best breed

  • AMOS MOUNDE NYABANDO

    help me know the right breed that can do well in trans nzoia