How to start a bull farm
The bull market in Kerala is soaring as we gear to produce the domestic requirement of dairy products. It has been reported that the state provides only 60% of its need, and the rest comes from the neighbouring states. Hence, owning efficient bulls who can serve the right way can indirectly help in milk production.
Mostly cattle farming where a couple of bulls are used for mating and reproduction purposes is popular along with the state. But, a bull farm is a rare sight. These are immense possibilities if you are planning to start a bull farm.
Before investing in a bull for sale, let us first understand what a bull is. The un-castrated male of the bovine family, a bull is muscular and aggressive than its female counterpart. The two major roles of a bull are-
- Beef ranching
- Dairy farming
Apart from this, bulls are also part of many adventure sports such as bull riding and bull fighting. These mighty monsters run during the ‘Kerala’s Bull Race’ that takes place in the rural backwaters. It is said to be more adventurous than Spain’s national sport.
Now you know what a bull farm can yield and how you can help the state with it. Here is all you need to start one.
Find the right space
Bulls are mighty creatures, and they also feed a lot. So, first, you may want to invest in before starting a bull farm is a land with pastures of green grass. Unlike cattle farms here there is no need of milking parlour. You may install a waste management space and a bull feed store along with the shed that will contain cubicles.
- It should be a well-ventilated area that allows a lot of natural light to enter.
- Each cubicle must be huge enough to accommodate the bull and let it lie down peacefully. However, do not allow the bull to turn around.
- Invest in a land that is away from the hustle of the city and its noises.
- Test for the soil so that you can ensure that it can provide enough greenery for your bulls.
- Also, maintain some calf pens that can be used when required. But, let them be away from the aggressive bulls
The right bull feed
When you choose to breed bulls, there are two ways to do that.
- You can buy calves or weaner and use them to slaughter after they attain the required weight.
- You can invest in a bull for sale and keep it for breeding and lending for various sports.
- The bull farm can be a combination of both 1 and 2.
Whatever be your herd size you must arrange for the best bull feed.
- Calves may need milk replacement in the initial stages.
- Once the calves are a bit older, you can introduce a calf starter feed. It contains grains in pallet form and meets all the protein and nutrient needs of your calf.
- Later hay can be introduced to them
When you get a bull for sale, its nutrition requirement is entirely different from that of a calf.
Whether you breed them for mating or slaughter they have to be well built with the right weight, only then can you yield profits out of the trade.
An adult bull will weigh around 500 to 1000 kgs. To attain this ideal weight, they must be well-fed.
- Low-starch rations with high levels of roughage will let them gain at least 1.4kg per day without storing excess fat in their body.
- The research conducted in 1995 by Arthington and colleagues states that a high amount of zinc can improve the quality of semen in bulls.
- During the breeding season shift the diet into fresh pastures. The green grass limits the weight loss that is maximum during the breeding season.
Understand their nutrient needs and feed accordingly.
Water is vital for the survival of your bull farm. Both the calves and adult bulls need an adequate amount of water to release body heat and stay fit. Especially calves cannot withstand harsh summers without a constant source of water.
The following steps can be taken to ensure the well-being of your herd.
Gather your herd
- Install automatic water bowls in the shed so that they can always drink the required quantity.
- Place a huge water trough on the fields also so that they never go thirsty.
Once you are sure of feeding and providing adequate space, it is time to get the bull for sale.
When going to purchase a bull, ensure that all the paper works are genuine and accurate. Also, take a vet along and test the bull for any diseases. Bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD) is a persistent infection that bulls face and can always transfer it to other animals in the herd. In the same way, check for breeding soundness examination (BSE) so that you beget the maximum out of your pack.
In the same way, check the calf thoroughly before paying for it. A well-experienced vet will be of great help during this endeavour. Find if it is vaccinated or not and ensure to get it done so that you do not lose your precious herd to a disease.