Raise Your Dairy Business

Dairy farms take a lot of money, and capital to start up, way more than a meat operation does. Know what you're getting into and how you want to get into it before you decide to start a dairy farm. Even if you grew up on a farm, managing your own means sitting down for long, careful planning sessions.

The most common dairy animals are cows, goats (good for a small farm), or water buffalo (in south Asia). Each one has many dairy breeds, and local knowledge is your best way to choose between them. Contact government institutions, university agricultural extensions, and established dairy farms and ask for info to help you make the decision:

  •  Rule out breeds that can't thrive in your climate.
  •  For each breed, divide annual upkeep cost by annual milk production to find production cost per unit of milk.
  •  Is there local demand for the breed's milk (based on species and milk fat %)? What about for butter and cheese (where a high fat % is useful)?
  •  How much time and money does it take to raise a calf to milk-producing age? How much can you sell the male calves for?