If you have plans of going into the cattle rearing business, you’re certainly on the right page. In this post, we take a look at cattle production in terms of rearing and ranching in Nigeria.
One of the first things you should know about cattle farming is its profitability.
Virtually every Nigerian eats meat or beef which is sourced from cow meat. Although, we sometimes substitute it with fish, but every day an average Nigerian takes one to two pieces of meat in every meal. And only a few Nigerians consume fish exclusively.
Apart from cattle rearing, you can start your own meat production company, package them and supply them to supermarkets or local market sellers.
Other foods that can be sources from cattle include:
Milk is a popular byproduct of cattle that has high demand; you can produce several litres daily from your flock of cattles.
Cheese is another food derived from milk that can be formed into many ranges of flavors, textures, and forms. It contains proteins and fat from cattle milk. Having several vitamins and minerals, especially calcium, it is said to cut the risk of both heart disease and osteoporosis when eaten in modest amounts.
Hide & skin
The hide and skin of cows can be used for the production of leather items like shoe, bag, footwear etc.
Cow bones can be used for producing, flutes, jewelry, fertilizers (bone meal), chinaware’s (dishes) and plastics.
Cow hoove is an excellent product for producing fire extinguishing foam. Keratin, a protein extracted from cow hooves is used in creating a fire extinguishing foam which is commonly used in the airport.
Cow offal or organs
Cow’s organs are used in the pharmaceutical industries for the production of certain drugs. For example, cow pancreas is used for producing insulin.
Cow faeces is a good source of organic manure for farm produce.
If you’re looking to start your cattle rearing business, there are specific steps you’ll need to take.
The first step is to develop a business plan. Your plan should include your reason for rearing cow, the location of your ranch, the necessary facilities for your cow business as well as your revenue projections.
When implementing your business plan, you need to get a good cattle breed and you’d need to work with an experienced farmer.
Also, you have to be realistic with your business. First, you need to make a list of what you should do, the number of cows you want to have, the type of farm you want to have, how long you want to be in this business.
Your reason for rearing the cows is also quite important. Are you rearing them for meat, milk, hooves, horns, for their hides & skins? Or do you want to sell to those who are producing these products? Once, you know why you’re in business, then you can proceed to the next step.
Location is also an important part of your business. You should find a location close the nearest market or it should not be far from the town which will make it easy for you to transport the cows.
It is also recommended that you acquire a land that large particularly for wandering and farmstead. The land can be purchased or leased. When leasing or buy the land, you should have in mind that the land should have good green pasture because grasses are the essential for cows.
You should construct a fence around the land to prevent thieves and burglaries. You should construct a sheds for the cows, so that they can rest under during hot weathers.
It is also considerate to build a house for your employee (that is if you are planning to have any). There’s also the need to have a good supply of water for your cows. You can either dig a well or construct an artificial stream. You can also get feeding equipment if possible if you are not using pasture method of feeding.
After setting up your land, then the next step is to purchase your cows. You can buy a male cow and a female cow for reproduction. There are different types of breeds that serve different purpose, either for meat production or milk production. If you’re looking to enter dairy production, here are the lists of breeds you can purchase;
- Sokoto Gudali
- Adamawa Gudali
- White Fulani
On the other hand, if you’re interested in meat production, you can purchase breeds like:
- West African Dwarf Shorthorn (Muturu)
- Kuri… etc
After setting up your land and buying your cows, there are some necessary steps you need to take to ensure the smooth running of your cattle business
Employ the service of a veterinarian
The service of a good veterinarian is required for the effective running of your cattle farming business. Being an expert, they will assist you in managing your cows to reduce or prevent diseases, and reproduction. Unlike the veterinarian, there are some things which you might not understand, watch and learn from them and ask them question if things don’t seem right.
You should employ assistants, if you’re looking to run your cattle production business effectively. You can employ a herdsman to you.
Generally, for a calf to mature into a grown cow, it takes up to 2-3 years. And a full and a healthy grown cow weights about 450 kg – 550 kg. By then, you are free to sell them if you want to. When you are ready to sell your cow(s), you should carry out a survey to know how much you should sell your cow; so you won’t lose while others making a profit.