Dairy Management

Housing of dairy cattle

  • The basic justification for animal shelter is that it should alter or modify the environment for the benefitof animals enclosed in it.
  • The animal shelter should normally buffer the extremes of climatic conditions to reduce peak "stress" on the animals housed.

Design considerations for animal houses

  • Animal houses should be located in an elevated area with good drainage facility
  • Direct sunlight shouldn’t fall into the shed
  • Sufficient green cover should be there around the sheds
  • Sufficient open area should present around the animal shed for free movement of animals

Construction of an ideal cattle shed

  • Each animal should be provided 1-1.2 mt width and 1.5 - 1.7 mt length as standing space.
  • Sufficient space should be provided for each animal in the shed or else it may lead to fighting among them. For e.g. For 5 cows the length and width of the shed should be 6 mt and 2.5 mt respectively.
  • It should have an open area of about 8 mtlength and 6 mt width. Fencing or compound wall can be constructed around the shed.


  • It should be impervioius, non-slippery free from holes and crevices. It must have proper slope.
  • The material of the floor should preferably of cement concrete.


  • The rof should be small and simple.
  • The roofing materials should preferably be asbestos sheet or galvanized iron sheets.
  • The roof should be 8’ high at sides and 15’ high at center. The height at eares is 3’.
  • If iron sheets are used as roofing materials them cover it with grass during summer season.


  • A continuous manager is constructed so that it can accommodate all the animals.
  • The height, depth and width of the manager should be 60, 50 and 40 cm respectively for each animal.
  • It can be constructed by using cement and brick or by cement concrete.


    1. The width and depth of the gutter should be 30 cm and 7.5 cm respectively.
    2. Generally the drainage should directly be connected to the fodder plots.

Record keeping

  • It helps to know the financial position of the diary farm.
  • Different records like milk production register, feed register, health register, mortality register etc should be maintained in a dairy farm.


Management of dairy cattle

Normal temperature, pulse rate and respiration rate in some domestic animals

Animal Normal rectal

Temperature (oC)

Pulse rate

per minute


per minute


(100o - 102o F)


40 - 50


20 - 25


(98.8o F, in summer up to 40 (104o F)

40 - 45

General principles of animal management:

The basic requirements for the welfare of livestock are

  • Provision of readily accessible fresh water and nutritionally adequate food as required
  • Provision of adequate ventilation and suitable environmental temperature
  • Adequate freedom of movement and ability to stretch the body
  • Sufficient light for satisfactory inspection
  • Rapid diagnosis and treatment of injuries and diseases
  • Emergency provision in the event of breakdown of essential mechanical equipment
  • Flooring which neither harms nor causes undue stress
  • The avoidance of unnecessary mutilation.
  • Good stockmanship is the key factor in the welfare of all livestock.
  • To derive the maximum benefit, the domestic animals must be kept in a state of perfect health. Domestication and rearing of animals for raising their productivity causes considerable strain on the body resources of animals.
  • It is therefore essential that these animals should be looked after well and are provided the required necessities of management, housing and nutrition.


  • Considerations of economy, productiveness and protection from inclement weather necessitate the confinement of a large proportion of Indian cattle in houses, sheds and byres.
  • The cattle-sheds need not be expensive. When designing them consideration must be given to the comfort and health of animals, the economic use of labour in milking, feeding and cleaning, and hygienic conditions for milk production. The level of lighting, natural or artificial, should be such that all the cattle can be seen clearly.
  • A stall measuring 1.5 m in length and 1.2 m in width is considered suitable for Indian cows. Mangers and gutters should be 0.75 m and 0.45 m wide, respectively, with all corners rounded up in cement.


  • The general layout of dairy farms should be planned depending on the number of animals to be housed, facilities to be provided for feeding the animals economically collection of manure, and cleaning and washing.
  • The cow-shed may be constructed in a single row if the number of animals is 16 or less, or in two rows if the number is more, with the heads of the animals facing outside, the so-called 'tail-to-tail' arrangement, so that the manure can be removed from the common central gangway between both the ranges of the stall.


  • The objective of ventilation is to replace by pure fresh air from outside, without producing draught, the air in buildings rendered impure by pulmonary or cutaneous exhalations, products of combustion, industrial processes, and affluvia arising from fluid and solid excreta, refuse, etc., so that at no time the amount of carbon dioxide present exceeds six volumes per 10,000 volumes of air.

Keeping milk clean

  • Milk is a highly perishable substance, and its flavour and keeping qualities are readily destroyed. Great care should be exercised to prevent its pollution by dust and dirt, and its flavour being lost on account of the smell and taint from dung heaps, rubbish and filth.

Record keeping

  • Complete and accurate herd records are a valuable asset to the management of cattle, buffalo and other livestock.
  • Herd records are essential in the operation of purebred herds when the management expects to register the animals in the herd-books and for other purposes. The progressive farmer must therefore maintain information on date of birth, sex, colour, tattoo and other individual identification marks of the animals.
  • In addition to these, records of breeding and performance including productivity of all animals in the herd should be maintained. These should include date / dates of services, dates of calving, calves born, number weaned, weaning weight, mothering ability of cows, rte and efficiency of gain in body weight and production, such as lactation yield, lactation length, dry periods, diseases and treatment given including diseases resulting in regard to breeding sires should be maintained.
  • These particulars provide valuable information when selecting herd replacements and aid in culling the animals. They are important in determining the net income from livestock enterprise.