Must Read

How I rear 250 dairy cows on three acres to make millions

At Mutunduri, about 5km from Embu town off the Embu-Nairobi highway, sits Tujenge Farm, a modern dairy outfit with...

I earn Sh. 12,000 from my official job, but make Sh. 140,000 from my side farming business

Farming businesses in Kenya: The past 14 years were frustrating to Stanley Lagat. His job saw him only earn...

How to start a dairy farm and remain successful in dairy farming

Dairy farming has grown tremendously in the last couple of years. From being a hobby activity, dairy farming in...

Friesian Cows in Kenya:The friesian dairy cows are highly popular in Kenya. But before you buy one, you need to know the following information:

BY OTHIENO JOSEPH / THE STANDARD: Ask any farmer which is their preferred dairy breed and they will say Friesian. Ask why and they will tell you it produces more milk and therefore more cash.

But they forget one fundamental thing which should have enabled them to go for smaller breeds depending on their plan and available resources.

The end result is normally a huge initial investment in buying a Friesian cross or a much higher price for the pure bred and thereafter getting less milk; much lower than their expectation.

Poor feeding

Many farmers have called me to their farm to solve for them the puzzle of their Friesians not producing enough milk as expected! In all these farms a root cause analysis pointed to poor feeding; a few previous mastitis resulting from dirty environment of incomplete milking – in summary poor animal husbandry.

Raw milk prices sink to Sh. 25 as processors sell at Sh. 110 to consumers

Now you need to know a few things about Friesian. This will make you be prepared to work hard as a dairy farmer if you have to optimally benefit from Friesian or Holstein breed.

Good side of Friesians-Holsteins

Holstein has its origin in northern Germany while Friesians originally came from Netherlands. Both have been bred over the years for optimum milk production.

History has it that Germans have a liking for big things; start with Friesian cows, to German shepherd dogs and German automobiles – size is a main denominator.

Holsteins and Friesians have been for long crossbred a reason why the two names are often used interchangeably.

Friesians have a characteristic white and black hair coat. The average weight of a Friesian is about 600kg at full maturity; the huge body size has found favour with beef production and as a result some countries breed Friesian for meat.

Friesian bull calves respond well to intensive beef production and are ideal for short finishing farmers. Friesians have a greater longevity with some recording up to 12 lactations in their lifetime. They are excellent conception rate and will mature as earlier as 13 months with good feeding.

Crossbreeding has come in handy in producing generations of crosses that can withstand the harsh climatic conditions in Africa while at the same time producing relatively more milk. A pedigree cow produces between 8,500 and 10,000kg of milk per year.

The other side of Friesians-Holsteins

All the above good things about Friesian don’t just come like that! They carry a terms and conditions that must be applied for the genetic potential to be expressed in the level of production.

Their introduction into the tropics requires a bit of adjustment. Friesians in the tropics are prone to the cancer of third eyelid and skin photosensitivity due to continuous exposure to sunlight excess sunlight.

Friesian have low heat tolerant abilities and will thus do well in cool regions. Worst of all is their susceptibility to tick borne diseases. In as much as Friesians produce more milk, the butter fat content is relatively low.

Heavy feeding

Perhaps their greatest challenge to farmers is heavy feeding. Friesians are heavy feeders. They will require 50 to 70kg of fresh feeds and over 60 litres of water daily. That is what goes into milk production and without enough feeds, forget about the milk. As you might be aware, feeds make the greatest cost in farming.

Many farmers compromise this; when this happens milk production is greatly affected.

Because they are great milk producers they also have the highest risk of mastitis infections which have a negative lifelong effect on milk production.

Because it is prone to tick borne diseases, regular spraying and strict biosecurity measures on the farm is key.

In conclusion, when well managed Friesian Cows in Kenya have the potential to give lots of milk and cash.

- Advertisement -

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Recently Published

Jalang’o now joins KISS FM breakfast show

Jalango Kiss FM: Popular comedian Jalang'o has joined Radio Africa's KISS FM. The move comes barely days after controversial...

Shock as marathoner Wilson Kipsang banned for four years over doping

Wilson Kipsang Banned: NBC Sports: Wilson Kipsang, a former marathon world-record holder and Kenyan Olympic bronze medalist, was banned four years for whereabouts failures...

How to prepare grilled oriental pork chops

Grilled Oriental Pork Chops: Chef Justus Munyao Mulei who worked as the Sous Chef at Tamarind Tree Hotel will show you how to prepare grilled...

Angela Kariuki: Customers’ credit book almost killed my business

Angela Wanja Kariuki is the founder and owner of Angie’s Closet, an online and physical clothing line business that styles the modern woman. My boldest...

Chinese companies tap into African markets through global trade week

Global Trade Week: With more than 20 years of global experience in the exhibition industry MIE Events has pioneered the channel for Chinese companies...

More Articles Like This

- Advertisement -