Livestock farms are for people who want to raise animals for business or pleasure. Not everyone is cut out to be a livestock farmer, so knowing about livestock farming helps before starting out.
Livestock farming may include everything from beef and dairy cattle to pigs, goats, sheep, horses, and even birds. For farmers, it’s a great way to get back into nature, but it also provides the community, the nation, and the world with the products of agriculture.
Here are six things for farmers to know about livestock farms:
1. Business plan — Like any other endeavor, starting a livestock farm means setting goals and developing a plan. This is necessary for hobby or commercial farming. Planning is a way to know how much it will cost for the farm and how much you can charge at a fair price to make it profitable, according to PennState Extension.
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2. Love the work — Raising livestock may be something you want to do, but you’ll have to love it to succeed. Ask farmers about their experiences to learn more. You may have worked on a farm, but knowing all factors involved in livestock farming is essential before making an initial investment.
3. Know the resources — The land purchased for a livestock farm can differ, depending on whether you’re raising pigs or cattle. Certain breeds are raised better on certain pastures or land. Stock selection and where a farmer buys livestock also play a part in starting a farm.
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4. Full-time responsibilities — No matter the size of the farm, a livestock farmer needs to be on hand 24 hours a day. The reasons include everything from feeding a baby animal to retrieving escaped cattle or repairing damage to fencing, Hobby Farms points out. Injured animals are also sometimes in need of round-the-clock care.
5. Ups and downs — The agriculture business faces market downturns as with any other business. Aside from their own needs, farmers must be able to take care of their livestock even in bad economic times. Financial resources are needed for the unexpected.
6. Family and community support — Some farmers succeed by doing most of the work themselves to curtail costs. Most beginning farmers benefit from family support for labor and advice, explains the University of Wisconsin. Building up credit and community relations also provide much-needed support.
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