Category Archives: Hydroponics and farming

Solar-powered home in Kannur

Solar energy has provided the perfect solution to rising power costs, says K. Rajesh. a Life Insurance Corporation of India employee who switched to solar energy to run his “concept house” at Thalap, near here, almost five years ago.

“The idea was not well received initially, but the results proved otherwise, he says. Mr. Rajesh, with assistance from his supporters, bought four solar panels of 100 watts each from a private firm in Thiruvananthapuram, four batteries of 150 AH (two are sufficient, he says), a dual inverter and a solar charge controller unit from Pune. The equipment cost Rs.1 lakh, one-time investment that brought down electricity consumption to 204 units from the previous 450 units. The batteries have to be charged for eight hours in the daytime, providing for a back-up of more than two hour power.

As proof of his claim, Mr. Rajesh shows the meter reading from the day the unit started functioning in his house in July. Minor alterations such as LED bulbs and a single-door refrigerator brought down power consumption.

It is the message which needs promotion, not a singular achievement, he says.

Mr. Rajesh now plans to install four additional panels in his house that would facilitate charging for longer duration and perhaps the functioning of ACs and cooking oven for short periods. He says such practices can allay worries about spiralling power bills.


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Goat Farming

Goat farming is not a new enterprise. Rearing goats is a profitable business. Goat has been rearing since the time immemorial. Generally goat farming means rearing goats for the purpose of harvesting milk, meat and fiber. At present, goat farming has become a profitable business and it requires a very low investment because of its multi-functional utility. Commercial goat farming business is contributing greatly to the economy and nutrition of a country. Goats are multi-functional animal. You can produce a wide variety of products from goats, such as milk, meat, fiber, manure etc. Goat’s milk is used for producing full cream goat powder, skimmed goat milk powder, goat butter, goat milk cream, fresh goat milk etc. Goat meat is a great source of consumable meat which is very testy, nutritious and healthy. And goat’s wool is being used in many purposes and skin of goat plays a vital role in leather industry. However, here we are describing more about the advantages of goat farming business and the required steps for starting a lucrative business.
Advantages of Goat Farming
There are many advantages of goat farming business. You can also raise goats along with your other livestock animals. Goats have been considered as poor man’s cow (mini cow) for the poor people because of it’s immense contribution in rural economy and national income. Goat products like milk and meat is not only nutritious and easily digestible food but also a great source of regular income for the poor, landless and marginal farmers. As goats are small sized animal , so they are easily maintained. Even they are easily maintained and cared by women and children. For successful goat farming business, you need to do some common tasks such as feeding, milking and caring. These simple tasks do not require much equipment, capital, labor or hard work. The main advantages of starting goat farming business are described below.
• Starting a goat farming business requires low initial investment or capital.
• Goats don’t require huge area for housing because their body size is comparatively smaller than other livestock animals.
• Usually goats are very friendly in nature and very lovable.
• Goats are good breeders and they reach sexual maturity within their 7-12 months of age and give birth of kids within a short time. And some goat breed produce numerous kids per kidding.
• Risks are less for goat farming (even in drought prone areas) than any other livestock farming business.
• Both male and female goats have almost equal value/price in the market.
• No religious taboo against goat farming and meat consumption.
• Goat meat and milk are cholesterol free and easily digestible.
• Goat milk is used for making various types of foods and it’s very easy to digest than milk of cows.
• Commercial goat farming business has created a potential way of employment for unemployed people.
• Goats are multi purpose animal. They can produce milk, meat, skin, fiber and manure at the same time.
• There is no need of a high end housing system for goats. Even they can easily share their living place with their owners or his/her other livestock animals.
• Goats are very suitable for mixed farming with other domestic animals.
• Diseases are less in goats than other domestic animals.
• Goats are easily available, comparatively cheaper in price, easy to maintain and always have a friendly disposition.
• They are capable of adopting themselves with almost all types of agro climatic environments or conditions. They can tolerate high and low temperature throughout the world and live happily. They also can tolerate hot climate more than other animals.
• According to the investment per unit they produce more than other domestic animals. And the ROI (return of investment) ratio is very good.
• Goats are generally smaller in size but reach slaughter age faster.
• Goats are called the “foster mother of human”. Because their milk is considered as the best milk for human consumption than any other species of livestock animal’s milk. And their milk is low cost, nutritious, wholesome and easily digestible. All aged people from child to old one can easily digest goat’s milk. Goat milk also has lesser allergic problems. And used as an Ayurvedic medicine for the people who are ailing with diabetes, asthma, cough etc.
• Goat milk is suitable for preparing various types of milk products. And goat meat has a huge demand and high price in the local and international markets. Even you can consider exporting your products to the foreign countries for more profits.
• Goats can be milked as often as required. This also prevent refrigeration costs and milk storage problems.
• You can use the goat’s manure as a high quality natural fertilizer in crop field. This will directly help to maximize crop production.
• As goat farming business is very profitable, so many govt. and non govt. banks are providing loans for starting this business.
• This business require less labor and you can easily use your family labor for raising goats.
• Commercial goat farming business is a great source of employment and income. So unemployed educated people can easily create a great employment and income source through raising goats commercially.
• Along with the above advantages, there are also many advantages of raising goats commercially.
Steps For Starting Goat Farming Business
For starting and maintaining a profitable and successful business, you must have to make a proper and effective goat farming business plan and go according to the plan. Here we are shortly describing the necessary steps for starting goat farming business.
Selecting Farm Area
Always try to select a suitable farm land/area for your business that has all required facilities for successful goat farming business. The necessary facilities for goat farming business includes the followings.
1. Great source of fresh and clean water supply.
2. Availability of all types of equipment.
3. Easily available food source.
4. Fertile field for crop, grasses and other green plant production. Feeding green food keeps the animal healthy, productive and reduces feeding costs.
5. Availability of full time labor.
6. Good transportation and veterinary service.
7. A market near the farm land so that you can sell your products easily and buy necessary commodities.
Goat Breeds
There are different types of goat breeds available around the world for rearing in the goat farm like Pygmy goats, Dwarf goats of Nigeria, Cashmere goats, Black Bengal goat, Mountain goats, Boer goats etc. Some of the available goat breeds are famous for tasty and nutritious meat and some breeds are famous for milk production. Some Indian goats are also highly meat and milk productive. Pygmy goats originated in Africa. They are good as pets and mainly used in the program and goat show. A lot of people rear them as pet instead of meat and milk production. Nigerian dwarf goats and pygmy goats are of the same origin. Dwarf goats are of different colors like black, chocolate, gold, color, etc. Wide variety of colors is a major factor that makes them so popular. Dairy goats are raised mainly for commercial milk production or for family milk consumption. They can also be displayed at trade shows. According to the association of dairy goats Nubians, Lamanchas, Alper, Oberhasli, Saanen and Togenburgs are the world famous dairy goat breed. Cashmere goats are popular for wool production. Mountain goats are blunt, square looking covered with soft white, woolly, dense undercoat. Boer goats originated in South Africa and suitable for highly meat production. Some studies say that Boer goats are very expensive and demand exceeds supply which attracts investors. However, choosing the right breeds for commercial goat farming will ensure high profit. Choose proper breed according to your desired production and geographical location. You can also visit some of your nearest goat farm or livestock training center to learn more about the suitable goat breeds in your area.
Housing is an important factor for profitable goat farming business. Small scale farmer generally keep their goats with their other livestock animals. But for commercial production, a good quality goat housing system is highly recommended for better production. A good house not only give shelter and protects the goats from predators but also prevent them from various types of goat diseases. Always keep the house neat, clean and dry. Make proper ventilation and drainage system inside the house. Also ensure the availability of sufficient fresh air and light inside the house. Housing and goat farm design are of various types according to the production type and breed.
Well goat feed management is also very essential for commercial goat farming business. Goats are not carnivorous animal. They don’t eat other animals. Usually goats prefer to eat grasses, plants, shrubs, weeds and herbs. Besides those feeds, goat also need energy, portion, vitamins, fiber and water for proper growth and for making better profits from this business. It will be better if you have sufficient knowledge about what to feed goats.
Care & Management
Always try to take good care of your goats. Never feed them contaminated food or polluted water. Keep their house as much neat and clean as possible. And clean their house on a regular basis. For commercial production, keep kids, bucks and does separated for each other. Take extra care to the breeding bucks, kids and pregnant does. Keep the kids with their mother for several weeks after their birth. Avoid using same buck for mating with numerous does at same day. Artificial insemination is also a great way for breeding your does. Vaccinate them timely, for keeping them free from all types of diseases and health problems. If possible, stock some necessary vaccines and medicines and keep good relation with a veterinary doctor.
Various types of viral diseases like PPR, goat pox, foot and mouth diseases and bacterial diseases like anthrax, brucelosis etc. are very harmful for goats. So, proper vaccination is a must to prevent this types of diseases. The does which was not vaccinated PPR, goat pox, brucellosis vaccines previously, vaccinate them at the fifth month of gestation period. Vaccinate the kids PPR vaccine when they reach 5 months of age. Always take good care of your animals and vaccinate them timely to prevent unwanted health hazard and diseases. See the chart below.
Goat Vaccination
Vaccine Name Applying Rate Applying Method
PPR 1 ml Injection Under Skin
Foot & Mouth Disease 2 ml Injection Under Skin
Anthrax 1 ml Injection Under Skin
Marketing is the most important but easiest step of goat farming business. Goat products like meat and milk has a huge local and global demand and popularity. Almost all types of people like goat milk and meat. So, a good market is already available in almost every place of the world. You can easily sell your products in your nearest market. Commercial producers can target the international market and export the products in foreign countries.
Total Expenditure & Profit
Total expenditure and profit from goat farming business depends on the farming system, location, breeds, feeding cost and some other factors. By good planing and proper management you can easily make goat farming business profitable. Small scale farming require less investment and profit can contribute your regular income. Large scale or commercial production require high investment and some other additional costs. See goat farming project report for some idea about the total expenditure and profit from goat farming business.
Some Essential Tips For Raising Goats
For getting desired production and profit from goat farming business, you have to know properly how to raise goats. Here are some tips for raising goats and making maximum profit.
• Always try to keep your goat healthy and strong.
• Always choose the right and high productive goat breeds for your business.
• Try to learn more about goat farming business from the nearest livestock training center or expert producers in your area.
• Ensure a big area so that your goats can roam freely, because they like to live in groups.
• Make sure the availability of all equipment which are essential for goat farms.
• To produce better milk, meat and to keep the goat free from diseases, make sure a well bred conduct.
• Provide them sufficient clean water, food and fresh grasses according to their daily demand.
• Be more careful about goat feeding. Never feed them contaminated food or polluted water.
• Take some extra care to the pregnant doe, breeding buck and kids.
• Feed the buck some extra nutritious food during the period of mating.
• To improve your goat’s health contact with a veterinarian regularly (if possible).
• Give salt and mineral with a lot of water during the summer season.
• Keep your goats away from cold and rain to avoid mass death.
In short, goat farming is a traditional, profitable, risk-less and very easy business because of its multi utility and fast growing rate. Goats also can be used as a tool for poverty reduction and play an important role in the economic growth of a country. Although some risks go with every business. Proper care and good management can ensure better production and high profit. Wish your success!


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Hyderoponics fodder for animals

Article:  Dairy Farms in India Experiment with Sprouts // 3?i.delegate(e,n,t,u):g>2?”string”==typeof e?i.delegate(e,n,t):i.bind(n,e,t):i.bind(n,e)},,e,t){var u=this,i=arguments.length;return”string”==typeof e?i>2?u.undelegate(e,n,t):i>1?u.undelegate(e,n):u.undelegate():i>1?(t=e,u.unbind(n,t)):i>0?u.unbind(n):u.unbind()})}(this.jQuery);
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While we aren’t too keen on dairy farms, we do believe the study below is powerful research about the benefits of sprouts to both humans and dairy cattle. This experiment was conducted by the Govind Dairy in India. The study was made available by the International Sprout Growers Association, of which we are members. The summary of the study follows:

Test Summary
Govind dairy is always looking for ways to lower the cost of milk production by reducing expenses. Our respected Dr. Ganpatrao Dhumal has studied the health benefits of sprouts and the effects of natural foods on humans, and has begun adding sprouted seeds and grains to his regular diet. He experienced excellent results by adding sprouts in his diet and so shared the same with his colleagues, they also started sprouting and they experienced similar health benefits.

As cattle feed cost are a major challenge and an expensive part of the milk business, milk prices necessarily go up along with the increasing cost of feed. Dr. Dhumal considered that if sprouts provided him a benefit, why not cattle? He asked our field staff to conduct a sprouts trial at the farm of Mr. Dhanaji Jadhav Adarki. The farm has six cows of which two were taken for experiment and four were kept as control. For the two cows fed sprouted grains and seeds, we found that the cost of cattle feed is reduced and milk yield and quality improved significantly, as did the health of the animals. After this initial trial we shared our findings with other local producers.

What we can use for sprouts and its importance:
We used sprouted soybeans, lentils, green peas, black eyed peas, cow peas, chick pea (garbanzos), pigeon peas, wheat, oats & corn. Generally the sprouted legumes have 2.5 times weight after sprouting due to the adsorption of water and the single seeded grains about double in weight.

  • Minerals: In sprouts the grains regular mineral get converted into the chelated form which got good absorption in body.
  • Proteins: Sprouts are a great source of proteins due to availability and increased percentage of amino acids. These important factors are easily absorbed in body.
  • Vitamins: Sprouts have many vitamins, mainly vitamins A, B and K are increased to 200 – 600% vs. the non-sprouted seed.
  • Enzymes & antioxidants: Sprouts have many types of enzymes which help the digestion process. Antioxidants react with the toxins produced during the digestion and deactivate them.

Sprouted cereals/legumes with incremental availability of nutrients:

Nutrient % proportion
Proteins 30 % more
Calcium 34 % more
Potassium 80 % more
Sodium 690 % more
Iron 40 % more
Phosphorus 56 % more
Vitamin A 285 % more
Vitamin B 1 208 % more
Vitamin B 2 515 % more
Vitamin B 3 256 % more
Vitamin K much more

Use of sprouts as cattle feed provided the following benefits:

  • Cattle feed expenses: Cattle feed expenses have been reduced by 30 to 50%. Sprouted grains gives 2 to 2.5 times increased weight, thus the animals gets a good return in less quantity.
  • Milk Yield: The animal are getting chelated minerals, required proteins and enzymes from sprouts, which has produced an increased milk yield of 10-15%. The increased yield began on about the 2nd or 3rd day of sprout feeding.
  • Milk Quality: Milk Fat and SNF (solids not fats) increased effectively. Amino acids help to boost the fat % whereas the chelated minerals in sprouts contribute to SNF rise.
  • Animal Health: Cattle exhibited improved glaze to hide and the animals look healthier. Sprouts have had positive effects on fertility with percent conception rate increase. Acidity is one of the major factors which decrease the profitability of milk production. The cow dung show healthy symptoms of digestion. As animals are fed more concentrate & less fibers acidity tends to increase. To control acidity, sprouts act very effectively. Many enzymes , minerals, vitamins, essential amino acids etc. all are useful to maintain the normal digestion environment in animal body. Thus after feeding sprouts the dung which was loose became thick.

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We have received the following feedback from other producers:

  • Dhanaji Jyotiram Jadhav – Adarki: I had started the sprouts feeding as directed; it has reduced my expenses cattle feed. Earlier I was using Rs.66 cattle feed is replaced by sprouts of cost Rs. 34 Thus there is saving of Rs.32 straight. Also the milk yield is increased by 1.5 lit. costs me benefit of Rs. 24. The fat is increased by two points has additional benefit of Rs.7 @ 0.20 per point of fat for total milk. Thus I received gain of Rs.63 net per cow after feeding the sprouts. Initially I done experiment on two cows only but after getting positive results I started for whole and finding good results as well.
  • Vivek Shinde – Thakurki: I had started sprouts to two cows out six cows, earlier the feeding of cattle feed was Rs. 45 per cow whereas the sprouts costs us Rs. 35. It has resulted incremental milk 1.75 lit of Rs.32 additional. Two points fat is increased adds Rs. 5 thus I received Rs. 46 additional per cow and the health has improved. Eight day later my farm is affected with FMD but it’s strange to find that only the cows with sprout feeding are found fit and are not affected with FMD.
  • Anil Keshavrao Nimbalkar – Vinchurni: I received information regarding sprouts feeding to cow from Govind Dairy so I started feeding the same on my farm to the two cows. Earlier I was spending Rs. 52 for them which now come down to Rs.33. And I received incremental 2 lit milk per cow giving additional Rs.36 whereas the fat is increased by 3 point adds my payment Rs.6 per cow. Thus I am earning additional Rs. 61 and feel effective difference in routine.
  • Prakash Dhaygude – Kolaki: Feeding cattle feed cost me Rs. 18 in which I made changes and started sprouts of Rs.10 as feed to animal. It has reduced my feeding cost and also added glazing to the animal skin now looks fresh. My farm heifer was infected with FMD but due sprout feeding the animals come on track and now FMD is under control and animal started eating grass as well.

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