Meet Sam, our herdman as he goes about taking the calves to graze.

A herdsman is one of the most important staff members on a farm. He must be responsible, detail-oriented, flexible and confident in making decisions.

He is responsible for the multiplication of the herd. This he does by taking lead in the birth of calves, ensuring safe delivery. He also is responsible for breeding and heat detection of the cows, thereafter, taking appropriate measures. Taking all precautions to the cattle’s mortality rate is also on his shoulder, including identifying animals that should be curled, transporting them to and from auctions and points of sale.

The health of the cattle leads to better beef, more milk and longer age span. It is the duty of the herdsman to keep the herd healthy, identify the sick cows before they go down and seek professional advice, thereafter, administer prescribed drugs. Cattle need their hooves trimmed. This is done to renders the herd less susceptible to structural lameness as well as bacterial-caused lameness, also a role of the herdsman.

Cows are milked daily, sometimes twice a day. This is under the docket of the herdsman. He has to make sure that the cattle have access to nutritious feed and clean water. Raising hay and other forage is also under hs obligations. The farm manager sets the milk quotas for the day and the herdsman makes sure that they are adhered to. He records the amount of milk obtained every day. He is also responsible for the hygiene and safety of the diary facility and tools used within.

If the farm uses technology to milk the animals, he must be qualified to operate milking machines and other equipment, troubleshooting any mechanical problems or other issues as they arise. He must keep the milking parlor clean and up to the standards required by the dairy inspector.

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