How to improve the value of your livestock
Other than keeping your livestock healthy and productive, another way to increase the value of livestock is merely by registering them with the Kenya Livestock Breeders Association (KLBO). Livestock farmers fear that their animals may not be acceptable but this fear is unfounded.
KLBO accepts all animals whether indigenous, exotic or cross breeds as long as important records are kept according to breed association rules, policies and by-laws, the Animal Pedigree Act and any other relevant laws. These records are maintained in a livestock database and are useful for the National Livestock and Dairy Cattle Breeding Programs; and as resource materials for research by Research Institutions, universities and for national planning purposes. The efficiency of these recording are essential for increased production and hence improvement in national food security.
However there are conditions and charges to be met before registration. Among other services offered, the records kept for individual animal milk production and the printing of lactation certificates are very valuable to the livestock keeper because:
- Milk record reports guide the farmers on monitoring the performance of the farm workers and animals alike.
- Records form the basis for making management decisions like selecting the best animals and culling the non performers, the feeding and breeding programs.
- Add Value to the animals because registered and recorded stock fetch better price compared to unregistered ones. (Registered Kshs 65,000 to 200,000 while unregistered Ksh 10,000-25,000).
- Consistency in breeding and milk recording guarantees ownership of pedigree without necessarily spending a fortune.
- Chance to benefit from the contract mating and progeny testing schemes. In the scheme the farmer is provided with three doses of quality semen from world top ranking bulls for his best cow. If heifers are born from the semen left for the farmer but incase of a bull calf, the farmer is paid Kshs. 50,000 and the bull is taken to the Kenya Aanimal Genetics Resource Centre on registration under the farmers herd prefix.
- Marketing opportunities- through entry to the Kenya Stud Book Volume, exhibitions during the ASK Shows, and Bulls at the Central Artificial Insemination Station.
Request for stock registration
KLBO has its head office in Nakuru at Kenya Stud Book Building. Agents are available to help in the registration process. You start by requesting for registration and an agent will be sent to assess the farm. If the agent is satisfied the farmer is allowed to register the stock having met the following charges.
Charges for registration for dairy cattle breeds
Type of animal
|Bulls: Pedigree only||1000|
These charges are met once in the lifetime of an animal.
Charges for milk recording
|Cow entry||100 once in a lifetime|
|Lactation Report / Certificate||150 at the end of a lactation|
|Herd average report / certificate||350 on farmers request|
Important stock records
Usually what is required is that you maintain good and up to date stock records which include the following:
This can be by ear tattoo, notching, tagging, branding, photos or sketches. Unlike other identification method, is ear tagging is the most preferred of the amount of information it can hold and the ease of use. Information should include the reference number or name of the animal in the farm record, date of birth, sire and dam.
The cow card should have the following information
- Cow details – on the front showing farms name, cow name, ID number, date of birth, KSB registration number, the breed, the cows parent’s pedigree
- Up to date service record summary – showing the date of service, the bull used, date when confirmed in-calf, expected date to calf down, actual date of calving down, sex of the calf, ID Number of calf, AI certificates issued and any necessary remarks.
- Production summary report – at the back of the cow card showing lactation summary lactation number, age of cow at the start of lactation in months, total production at the end of Lactation, BF%, BF Kg, Protein %, Protein Kg and total days in milk.
- Health records – showing date the animal was ill, diagnosis, symptoms, treatment and remarks.
A simple herd’s register showing a list of all animals in the farm, their dates of birth, the Kenya Stud Book Number, sire, dam, date when animals leave the herd and reason for disposal.
Insemination certificates and semen straws after inseminations carried out in the farm. The inseminator’s certificate should contain the following:-
- Name of the service provider,
- Date of service,
- Owner of the cow being served,
- Name of the cow, its date of birth, breed and the cows sire.
- The bull used for the service
- Expected calving date.
- Repeats services if any
A weekly or monthly summary on one sheet for the whole milking herd showing daily milk production per cow per milking and the following details:-
- the calving date,
- Production on the 5th day from calving,
- Production on 14th pm and 15th am of every subsequent month from calving to dry date.
- Dry date and milk produced on the dry date.
Also a copy of milk analysis test from approved milk analysis laboratories.
These requirements may seem overwhelming but they are value for money. You will thank yourself later for taking these steps. We have witnessed many farmers willing but unable to export their livestock at lucrative prices because they lacked these records.