Dairy farming is a labor of love. Whereas some animal farms require less attention, a successful dairy farm is one that needs a high attention paid to it on a daily basis. There are many aspects to running a dairy farm, maintaining cleanliness to avoid sickness and provide a quality product to the occasional birth of a calf in order to trigger milk production.
In addition to the personal requirements of a dairy farm, the equipment requirements of a modern dairy farm can also be extensive, along with the location and feeding requirements. In order to run a proper dairy, you will need:
Storage Facility (Forage)
As you can imagine, what the cattle ingests will directly affect the end product: milk. (In the same way that some beef cattle are fed grain in order to produce a better flavored beef.) That said, it is best to have a pasture for the cattle to feed on to produce a sweet milk. It is best if the pasture contains high protein grasses, and one must pay close attention to the other plants as well. Toxic weeds must be avoided and eliminated at all costs for the reason being that poisons can be transmitted into the milk.
Of course, in Virginia the climates do change and vary, and there is not a year-round growing season. For this reason, you must have a forage storage facility for late fall to spring when the cold climate kicks in. During this time you will likely be feeding the cattle hay. It is possible to store round hay bales outdoors, but in all likelihood mold and waste are likely to come of it. A more appropriate way to preserve the hay bale (preferably high protein) is in a barn. A tractor is also necessary in order to transport the hay bales from fields to the barn. (The hay bales can reach 1000+ pounds!)
As the initial interaction with the milk in this process, this area should obviously be kept clean, with only the occasional hay treat. Although pasteurization will likely kill any harmful microbes, cleanliness in this area is an absolute must. Milking will occur here two times a day. Be sure that this area can be: clean, well lit, and access to electricity.
Equipment for Milking
The main word here: stainless. Stainless steel is very easy to clean, and if you find seamless buckets and bottles there are no places for which the bacteria can hide. Another reason to choose stainless is it’s longevity, aka it will last you forever! Although not necessary, milking machines save money in the long run, because it saves on labor costs & time. Milking machines do need to be kept extremely clean due to their interaction with the product. Refrigeration equipment is then used for cooling the milk instantaneously. And then there are large containers necessary for transport.
The Milk Processor is used to then process, pasteurize and bottle the collected milk. Now this does not need to happen at the dairy farm. You may find a local milk processor who will be able to get your milk through the last few steps of the process.
Whether you are looking for an established Dairy Farm for sale, or perhaps Virginia farms for sale that may be prime locations for a dairy farm. Virginia Estates has skilled and knowledgeable realtors across the state of Virginia but is licensed to sell farms & property in Maryland, North Carolina, and Georgia as well. So if you are searching for farms for sale be sure to keep that in mind.