Why Record Milk in Dairy Cows?
-Determine milk production of the registered dairy cows.
-Authenticate milk production of the registered cows.
-Assist in getting bull calves from outstanding dams.
-Increase value of bull calves and female calves from pedigree cows.
-Add value of the live animals and their off springs.
Who Keeps the Milk Records?
-The dairy farmer at the farm level.
-The Kenya Livestock Breeders Organization through Dairy Recording Service of Kenya (DRSK) at the national level.
-Payment for production certificates are as follows-
- Cow entry 100/= Once in lifetime.
- Lactation Report/certificate 150/= at the end of lactation.
- Herd average Report/certificate 350/= on farmers request.
What is Milk Testing?
This is the analysis of milk for Butterfat, protein level, minerals and vitamins.
Who does the milk testing?
This is done by the Ministry of Livestock Development through the six Butterfat test laboratories in Mtwapa, Karatina, Nakuru, Kitale, Nairobi and Maseno.
Charges for sampling are currently free.
A certificate is issued at the end of the lactation, while herd average and lifetime production certificates are issued on request. The certificate as a report shows the days the animal has been on milk, calving interval, quantity of milk produced, and butterfat content in kg and %.
Livestock recording centre analyses the milk data from DRSK ranking the animals in terms of their production, it also ranks all the animals with production data, breeds. The analysis calculates the Breeding value which is used in selecting dams which will be dams of sires.
The breeding value is used as a selection tool for dams which will be mothers of the next generation.
- There are very few breed inspectors in the republic.
- Very few farmers are aware of the importance of livestock registration.
- Delay in issuance of certificates by the Kenya Stud Book. Certificates sometimes take over 6 months before reaching the farmer/s.
- Poor record keeping by the farmers make registration work difficult.
- Few breed inspectors are known by the farmers.
- Breed Societies should recruit more inspectors to be closer to the farmers.
- Government in conjunction with Breed societies should train livestock officers as inspectors.
- Breed Societies and livestock officers should intensively campaign through mass media, exhibitions, shows, field days and visits to interested farmers in various parts of the country.
- Invest in manpower and equipment and decentralization at Kenya Stud Book (KSB) office to improve efficiency of production and dispatch of certificates.