Why do we say that Livestock has to be a fundamental and inseparable component in organic farming and what are the challenges that livestock pose to farmers?

Soil, animal waste and crop residue beautifully mesh together to produce the microorganisms that enhance the soil health organically and considerably. This not only helps preserve our ecosystem but also help increase the agricultural and horticultural output of an organic and integrated farm. A cow’s main purpose may be to yield milk to the farmer but the farmer runs the risk of failure if he/she ignore the by-products that a cow offers, namely, cow dung and urine. By properly composting the cow dung, goat pellets and poultry waste generated on a farm, a farmer can completely eliminate the deployment of chemical based fertilizers on his/her farm. However it is easier said than done to have a varied livestock on a farm.
Livestock goats paalaar urban farms

Different types of livestock and poultry on the farm require different kind of care-taking. Every livestock types like cows, buffaloes, calves, goats, sheep, hens, ducks, turkeys, guinea fowls, honeybees etc need to be fed and cared for. Housing, grazing, feeding, milking, husbandry and veterinary care is absolutely essential for the maintenance of a productive farm. As Paalaar Urban Farms gives immense importance to our natural ecosystem. we have created some defined protocols to ensure that the animals that live on our integrated organic farms are properly taken care of and the waste that is generated by the animals on the farm becomes an immense source of wealth for the farm and for our environment.

Each and every morning, we clear the sheds of overnight accumulated cow dung and goat pellets and wash the floor. Nothing goes waste in organic farming. We collect the waste from the cow and goat sheds and use it as manure and fertilizers for the crops. This is followed by feeding the calves, milking the cows and taking them out for grazing twice daily. Apart from grazing, Cows have to be fed dry hay, husk, oil cakes and other cereal based dry fodder. Goats and sheep require a slightly different kind of caretaking. They just need to be taken out for grazing. Sometimes climatic conditions like heavy rains don’t allow us to take out the animals for grazing. Sometimes, during summer there just isn’t sufficient grass, weeds, leaves and fodder for the animals to graze on. We at Paalaar Urban Farms make adequate land and space provisions to grow fodder inhouse to meet such exigencies.

Chikoos hen - paalaar urban farms

Animal husbandry and veterinary care is another area that needs focus for an organic farm to sustain itself. Deworming at regular intervals and vaccination of the livestock as and when required is absolutely essential for the well-being of the animal. Constant health monitoring of the livestock, especially during pregnancy is part of a good livestock management system. A dedicated team is earmarked to remain focused on each category of animals. Animal husbandry is a cumbersome task when you opt for artificial insemination. Therefore, we keep one bull in the farm to provide mating services to the cows in heat the natural way. By having a bull in the farm, we don’t have to resort to artificial insemination for reproduction. Paalaar Urban Farms prefer low tech and natural flow when it comes to farming.

The best farming practice when it comes to livestock is to have dedicated personnel to handle each category of animal on a farm which Paalaar Urban Farms follows religiously.