How to choose a good dairy cow in Kenya
When looking to buy a dairy cow in Kenya, it is essential to consider certain factors that will help you select a good milk-producing cow. This article will guide you on what to look for when choosing a dairy cow.
Importance of Choosing the Right Dairy Cow
It is crucial to choose a dairy cow with the right characteristics that can thrive in the local environment. For instance, cows bred for high milk production in Europe or South Africa may not produce the same milk yields in Kenya due to environmental factors. Therefore, selecting the right cow with the correct genetic makeup for the environment will ensure optimal milk production.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Dairy Cow
Pedigree and Production Records
When selecting a dairy cow, it is crucial to check its pedigree and production records. A cow with a history of high milk production is more likely to produce high milk yields than one without. You can use records of its parents, grandparents, or other relatives to determine the milk production potential of the cow.
The udder is a crucial part of a dairy cow that determines its milk production potential. A good udder should be wide but medium-sized and should not hang loosely. The teats should point downwards and be spaced evenly, making milking easy. A cow with a well-developed udder is more likely to produce higher milk yields.
A good dairy cow should have a lean and long wedge-shaped body, enabling it to convert much feed into milk. It should have a long neck and a straight back-line. The legs should be strong and well-built, enabling the cow to walk and feed comfortably, especially when pregnant. Choose a cow with straight legs but wide apart when observed from behind or the front. When viewed sideways, the rear legs should be slightly curved while the front legs should stand straight.
Reproduction and Behavioral Characteristics
Choose cows from a family with a history of getting pregnant easily when inseminated. Also, select cows that give birth easily. A calm and docile cow is easier to handle and milk, making it a preferred choice for most farmers.
Choosing the right dairy cow is crucial to ensure optimal milk production. A cow with the right genetic makeup for the environment, good udder characteristics, body structure, and reproductive and behavioral characteristics will produce high milk yields. Check the cow’s pedigree and production records to make an informed decision when selecting a dairy cow.
Where can I buy a dairy cow suitable for Busia county?