In order for farm owners to make a profitable living, small ruminants must be kept under an intensive production regimen that requires precise timing of breeding, drying, and nutrition adjustments suiting various stages of animal development and lactation status. We have an excellent experienced professional team to assist you by sharing their knowledge and help you make the right decisions. These people will help you to use the afimilk management system to generate the essential reports providing the information related to the specific operating decisions.
Before starting a small ruminant farm, it is highly recommended that our specialists carry out a thorough study of the prospective project on your behalf. Such a study enables, with a relatively low cost, a better understanding of the project's scope and vision. We offer the preparation of a Master plan that will include a brief text description of the project according to the prospective needs and vision considering climate and other environmental data and definitions for all animal housing.
Steps are taken in determining herd size, holding pens, milking parlor(s), and milk bulk tank(s), preparing a layout design showing the concept, indicating and positioning of the animal sheds and barns, traffic lanes, milking parlors, feed center and its different components, roads, draining and surfaces. The work will be executed on an updated topographic map (1:500 - 1:1,000) that will be supplied by the customer. Our expert team will collect all the necessary information and data for analyzing the project's scope and viability.
Proposed plan for the dairy and Sheep/Goat projects - type of animals, milk production technologies, feed production methods and practices involved in the management of the project, estimated milk and meat output and technologies for maintaining the quality of the milk and meat.
Labor requirements for the dairy farm according to departments and sectors, management structure for the complete enterprise and for the various elements of the project.
Technical assistance requirements for the local staff by specialized experts.
Detailed cost appraisal of the required investment for the complete project.
Basic economic calculations:
- Estimation of production costs.
- Potential revenues
- Annual profitability
Required steps and timetable toward implementation of the project.
The herd will be based on high yielding animals, Assaf breed in sheep and Alpine or Sannen goats.
In case there are no local animals on site, it is considered that young animals will be imported from a Western European origin (or other quality origin).
The target is to achieve a production level of 400-500 liter/ewe/year, and 800-1,000 liter/goat/year.
Herd development plan assumptions:
- 1.8 new born lambs per ewe per lambing, 2.2 per year. 1.9 new born kids per goat per year
- 30% replacement rate of milk animals per year
Mastitis will be treated by advanced milking equipment that includes automatic cluster removal, and early detection system for mastitis.
Fertility and conception rate should be obtained by using automatic managerial tools for detection of the suitable animals for heat synchronizing.
An automatic sorting gate will sort animals according to the decided groups or treatments.
An automatic weighing scale can be applied onto the same construction as the sorting gate.
Nutrition, Feed and Feeding
Roughages, concentrates will be used according to animal's physiology state and production level. TMR (Total Mix Ration) is an option as the feeding method.
The ration is calculated on the basis of individual animal production and applied to a group of similar animals.
Animals will be kept in groups according to their feeding requirements.
There should be different rations for animals according to possible criteria:
- High yielding animals - just after parturition - steaming up.
- Low yielding animals.
- Drying animals.
- Dry animals.
- Pregnant animals (last 30 days)
Replacement animals and fattened animals (an option according to market conditions) will be kept in age/size groups and served special rations that meet their requirements.
Computerized Feed Rations LP (linear Programming)
The optimal (nutrient and economical) ration mix for each feeding group will be design by special feeding software.
The program calculates the optimal ration recipe which is determined by the cost of various feed components, their nutritional value and their availability.
All feed components will be weighed before being loaded to a stationary ration mixer for mixing.
After mixing the feed ration for each different feed group, the feed will be distributed to each group according to the number of animals.
Sheep and goat are seasonal animals, responsive to daylight hours. Most breeds are not cycling during winter and spring (January - May), depending on the specific breeds, nutrition, level of production and husbandry.
In order to induce out of season a cycles few technique are used on the intensive production systems. The use of hormonal treatments such as Melatonin and light or male effect or flushing is in use as common routine.
Sponges or CIDR and PMSG (hcG) are use for synchronizing mating or AI (Artificial Insemination).
In some seasons natural breeding is an option.
Pregnancy diagnoses by ultrasound are a common technology in sheep and goat farms and are part of the management routine.
The first stage before starting the mating/AI process is as such: AfiShepherd ranks the animals according to production level, then the manager decides which animals will be culled (low production) and which animals will be synchronized. According to the level of production, medium level will be synchronized early in lactation and high yielding animals at a later stage.
Timing for pregnancy diagnosis, drying off, will be according to reports generated by AfiShepherd.
A large variety of reports is available for animal evaluation according to fertility performances.
Sorting gates as a tool for grouping or for picking animals for specific treatments are an option.
Lambing/kidding and replacement management
New born Lambs/kids will be tagged and weighed, then fed colostrum for the first 3 days. They then will be placed on an automatic milk powder feeder for 25 -35 days. Data will be entered into the afimilk system and at the end of each lambing/kidding cycle a detailed report will be generated including total number of animals, animals born( males/females), fertility and prolificacy according to parity number, as well as mortality rates.
Males will be weaned and moved to a fattening barn until marketing. Periodical weight data will be entered in AfiShepherd and the daily weight gain reports will be generated according to the specific cycles.
At the age of 3 months, females will be moved into a separate barn, and fed a specific diet in order to assure a moderate growth rate and avoid fat gain.
Replacement animals will generally be first inseminated at 9-10 months of age in ~ 70% of the mature weight.
Mature animals will be mated/inseminated according to the breed and type of animal, season, and milk production.
Pregnant animals will move to a separate barn 60 days before expected lambing date. Groups of pregnant animals will be designed according to positive pregnancy diagnosis reports and timing of dry off will be at 80 - 85 days of pregnancy, according to the reports.
For the first 30 days of the dry period, animals will be kept on a maintenance diet, then for the next 30 days fed a gradual increase in energy and protein level according to the breed's requirements.