For gaushalas, animal fodder is the largest part of the expenses. Lately, the rising cost of fodder has become a major cause of concern.
A year ago we bought Corn Silage for Rs. 4.5 per Kg, and now its cost has risen to Rs. 8 per Kg (without including transportation costs). Turi used to cost around Rs. 7, and now we end up paying around Rs. 13 with transportation. And with the rising fuel prices, and supply chain issues after COVID-19, these prices might go even higher.
The Handbook of Good Dairy Husbandry Practices, published by National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) recommends the following feed for dry (non milk producing) cows:
The current cost estimate for feeding one cow, based on these values is:
This figure is unaffordable for any gaushala that is just housing dry, stray cattle.
As of now, the Himachal Government is providing gaushalas and cow sanctuaries with Rs. 500 per cattle every month. And since that only makes for about 10% of the fodder costs, gaushalas look for other alternatives like donations and crowd funding to meet their needs.
At Dr. YS Parmar Gausadan, in summers, we take our animals to graze in nearby lands, which does decrease our fodder costs, but increases our labour costs. In winters, since the pastures dry up, we are forced to entirely rely on purchased fodder to meet our needs.
Despite all these challenges, we are constantly exploring new ways to raise funds to care for the animals at our establishment, to the best of our abilities. We are looking at ways to improve our utilisation of nearby pastures to make them last longer.
If you want to help out, you can head over to our donation page.
Our fundraising campaign is also live on Donatekart, a crowdfunding platform, and you can contribute there, as well.