Dairy Farming Manual
What should you know about milk recording?
|What is milk recording? (5-6)
1 Milk recording is:
| Why do you need milk recording? (7-10)
2 To make decisions about:
| How can
you record yields? (11-19)
3 You need to:
|What is official recording and why should
you cooperate? (20-27)
4 To improve selection of animals and production
Husbandry Unit 7.3:
Note: Numbers in brackets refer to illustrations in the Extension Materials.
Milk recording is the process of making measurements of the yield and composition of milk produced by individual animals and recording them. (5-6)
Such records are of great value
for making decisions on
What is milk recording?
|5 In milk recording, you measure
- milk yield
- milk composition
of each of your animals.
|6 You record the yield and composition.|
|Why do you need milk recording?|
- selecting calves from animals with high yields because they should have high yields when they grow
In its simplest form milk recording involves the measurement and recording by the owner of the quantity of milk produced daily by each individual animal. The common practice is to measure the yield in kg using a suitable balance or a bucket or other container calibrated in 0.5 kg intervals. (11-12)
The daily yield is used as a basis for making decisions on feed-ing. (See Unit H.4)
- selecting bulls which can produce animals with high yields
- culling animals with low production.
|How can you record daily milk yield?|
- or with a bucket marked for each 1/2 kg of milk.
Daily yield helps you make decisions on feeding. (H.4)
|The lactation yield is obtained
by adding the daily yields. This is a valuable criteria for making
decisions on culling unproductive animals and selecting of calves.
An improvement on this simple method would be to get the butter fat content measured about once a month. Assistance of the extension officer or the dairy cooperative will have to be obtained for this purpose. (14)
To measure the average fat content of the milk on a particular day, a proportionate sample of the milk produced at each milking during the day has to be collected, e.g. if 10 kg are produced in the morning and 5 kg in the afternoon milk, the sample has to contain 10 ml from morning milk and 5 ml from afternoon milk. A preservative like Potassium Dichromate has to be added to the sample to prevent it clotting. (15-16)
|13 By adding all the
daily yields for one animal, you get the lactation yield.
This helps you decide on culling and selecting calves.
|14 You should also measure the
butter fat content of your milk once a month.
Consult your extension worker or dairy cooperative.
|15 Take a 0.1 % sample from
each milking on one day of the month e.g.
- 10 ml if you have 10 kg of morning milk
- 5 ml if you have 5 kg of afternoon milk.
16 Add a little preservative (e.g. Potassium Dichromate) to stop the sample clotting.
|Information on daily milk yield
of several cows can be recorded in a single page as shown opposite.
Information on monthly milk yields can be recorded in the format given in Annex I. (18)
When lactation is completed, the information on each individual cow can be recorded in the format given in Annex II. (19)
17 You can use this table to record daily milk yields.
|18 You can use the table in Annex 1 to record monthly milk yield|
|19 and the table in Annex 2 to record lactation yield for each of your animals.|
In Asia only a few countries have official milk recording schemes. Even in those countries, only a few herds in a limited area are covered.
In official recording, an extension officer from the government or from the dairy cooperative visits each farm, records the milk yield of each individual animal and collects appropriate samples for measuring the milk composition. Subsequently, the farmer is provided with information on yield and composition of milk of each cow. (20-21)
As official recording involves heavy cost, mainly on salaries of recorders and their travelling expenses, an attempt is made to reduce the number of visits. Some of the practices adopted are:
- fortnightly recording, which is adequate for all recording purposes; (22)
- monthly recording, which gives a high accuracy for progeny testing purposes, but which only gives some guidance in selecting and feeding individual animals; (23)
What is official recording and why should you cooperate?
|20 In official recording, an
extension worker from the government:
-visits your farm
-records milk yields for each animal
-takes samples to measure composition.
|21 After checking, he sends
you information on:
-your milk yields
-the composition of your milk.
|22 Frequent visits are
better but cost a lot of money.
Visiting every two weeks is best for recording.
|23 Visiting every month
-enough for breeding purposes
-enough for some guidance for feeding and selecting animals.
| - bimonthly recording,
which is adequate for progeny testing but not sufficient for individual
selection and feeding; (24)
- a.m. and p.m. sampling, where morning milk is weighed and tested in one month and afternoon milk is weighed and tested next month - more accurate than bimonthly but less accurate than monthly recording. (25)
Whatever the procedure adopted, farmers should be encouraged to cooperate with any official recording programmes, because they serve as a basis for:
- checking farmer's own recordings
for deciding on individual animal selection and feeding; (26)
|24 Visiting every 2 months
-enough for breeding purposes
-not enough for guidance on feeding and selecting animals.
|25 Visiting to weigh and test:
-morning milk one month
-afternoon milk the next month
is better than visiting every two months.
recording helps you by:
-checking your recording
-giving you guidance on feeding and selecting animals.
|27 It also helps improve the
animals and production of farmers
-in your neighbourhood
-in your country.
Breed: .............................................................. Tattoo No: .........................................................
Birth: .............................. Born of Farm: .......................Cause
History (sheet) of cow