Livestock Farming

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 the 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 Ayrshire, Friesian, Jersey, Guernsey, and their crossbreeds.

Friesian Breed

Friesian Cow Breed
Friesian Cow

Characteristics

  • Large body that weighs between 500-550kgs
  • Black and white coat design
  • Milk potential of 40-50 Litres of milk daily
  • Preferred choice for dairy farming in Kenya highlands
  • Heavy feeders eating 90-110 kg fresh forage per day or 3 gunny bags
  • Need plenty of clean water about 60 Litres/day

Shortcomings

  • Heavy feeders thus feed expense will be higher than other cows
  • Susceptible to diseases, milk fever, and high temperatures

Ayrshire Breed

Ayrshire Cow Breed
Ayrshire Cow

Characteristics

  • Large bodied animal with average live-weight of 450 Kgs
  • Milk potential of 30 Litres per day
  • Body covered in brown with white patches in almost equal amounts
  • Requires around 90-110 kg feed consisting of fresh forage per day or 3 gunny bags
  • Needs plenty of clean water about 60 Litres/day
  • Hardy animals and is adaptable to most climates, thus making it suitable for dairy farming in Kenya

Guernsey Breed

Guernsey Cow Breed
Guernsey Cow

Characteristics

  • Yellow to reddish-brown with white patches around its body
  • Adaptable to all climates and management systems
  • Milk yield potential of 25 Ltrs per day
  • Amount of feed required is 65-85Kg fresh forage per day or 2 gunny bags
  • Needs 40 Ltrs of water per day
Also Read  Tilapia in Farm Ponds (Part 1)

Jersey Breed

Jersey Cow Breed
Jersey Cow

Characteristics

  • Body colour of light brown, though the colour can range from almost grey to dull black
  • Average milk production is 20 litres per day
  • Nose is black and bordered by almost white muzzle

Conclusion

The choice of the right breed of cows for dairy farming in Kenya depends on a number of factors, including climate, available feed, and desired milk production. The breeds discussed above are all well-suited to dairy farming in Kenya, and each has its own unique advantages and disadvantages.

Learn how to improve your dairy cows to the best breed here.

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Author

  • Graduate Farmer

    Empowering Ambitions, Cultivating Success: Graduate Farmer is dedicated to inspiring and equipping young men and women with practical solutions to kickstart and thrive in profitable agribusiness ventures across Kenya.

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28 Comments

  1. 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.

      1. 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.

      2. Hi, Am doing farming and would like to improve my breed .The prices are good for 50k can i get a good dairy cow?

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

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

    1. hello mr mounde,i always advice farms to check on the breed records origin, in transnzoia all types of breed can work very well ,i like you to try ayrshire or holstein friesian.

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