With a total of eleven participants the executive course on
Best Practices in dairy herd management was conducted from 5th-10th July, 2015 at the Centre of Excellence for Livestock Innovation and Business (CoELIB) as a way of enhancing their technical and managerial skills in dairy production.
Seven presentations were made. These included, “Introduction to dairy industry” by Dr. J.O. Ondiek. This presentation aimed at improving the participants know-how about the current situation of the dairy industry in Kenya. The presentation also covered aspects of Dairy production systems applicable in the tropics. Dr. T. Muasya presented “Breeding and genetics for improved performance”. He taught the participants the different characteristics to look for in a dairy cow for efficient milk production, dairy cattle breeds for different production systems, sire catalogue and breeding for traits of economic importance. He also made a presentation on “Dairy cow management” which focused on the general management of a dairy cow, lactation curve, nutritional and feeding strategies Mr. Ismail Coffie adorning the academic dress for different physiological states lactation, mid lactation and late lactation), nutritional disorders, udder health, general health management and hygienic milk harvesting.
“Reproductive management” was presented by Mr. J. Malanda. The presentation aimed at teaching the participants how to achieve high fertility rates in their dairy herd, detection of reproductive disorders and what to do if such instances occured. Breeding calendar, setting up a reproduction plan, heat detection and service, reproductive examinations and reproductive disorders and health were also covered during the presentation.
Dr. M. Ambula presented “Calf management”, focusing mainly on how to handle dairy cow that is almost calving, after calving and the calf. The presentation covered cowmanagement before and at calving, feeding schedule of the calf, weaning management, calf housing, general management practices and calf health. She also made a presentation on “Heifer rearing” which focused mainly on feeding, breeding, steaming up, housing and health management.
Participants had an excursion both a large scale and small scale dairy farms within Nakuru County, Kenya. Certificates were awarded to participants for successfully attending the course. The course exposed the participants to the latest research on innovative practices and their application on breeding and reproductive management, calf and heifer replacement management, animal and udder health and milk management.