Most Profitable Farm Animal - Homesteading Today
Homesteading Today

Go Back   Homesteading Today > General Homesteading Forums > Homesteading Questions


Like Tree211Likes

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Rate Thread
  #1  
Old 06/22/12, 10:37 AM
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: mo
Posts: 617
Most Profitable Farm Animal

In your opinion, what is the most profitable farm animal you can have on a farm? How do you market it? How does it make you a profit?

Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 06/22/12, 10:51 AM
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Iowa
Posts: 1,701

From our experience it would be meat goats. We use a boer buck and dairy cross does. We sell at 2-3 months old. No grain (except for lactating mommas). We don't have a regime of worming and vaccinations. We single animal treat for worms, etc. We switched bucks to get better feet on future does.

We give them browze, hay, loose minerals and water. The 2-3 month old kids are only on momma and browze/hay. They pay us $2.00 a pound.

Cattle-Too much hay. Too many tests and stuff to accommodate associations. Takes a couple of years to sell as meat. Drought makes it tougher to keep cost down.

Chickens/Eggs-Feed is too expensive. We do keep chickens for our own use, but quit raising for others.

This is just our experience mind you.

Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 06/22/12, 11:32 AM
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: ozark foothills, Mo
Posts: 1,051
Milk cow

Just one...furnish family with milk, butter, fertilizer for garden and a calf to pay for feed and upkeep..

65284 and matt_man like this.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06/22/12, 11:38 AM
pancho's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 11,948

Used to be the hog. They were know as the mortgage lifter.
Don't know about now.

ET1 SS and GammyAnnie like this.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 06/22/12, 11:44 AM
PaulNKS's Avatar
Full-time Homesteader
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Northeast Kansas
Posts: 872
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherry in Iowa View Post
Cattle-Too much hay. Too many tests and stuff to accommodate associations. Takes a couple of years to sell as meat. Drought makes it tougher to keep cost down.
With cattle, there are no more tests and "stuff" than there are with goats. Actually, there are less tests and requirements.

Cattle are still the biggest money maker on farms. Like with any animal, you have to be able to produce your own hay to make a good profit. As far as cattle eating too much hay, to produce the same revenue per acre with goats, you'll have just as much input costs, but a lot more labor.

Cattle have treated us well over the years. They've paid for 4 of the 5 farms we own.

I will also add that we have 40 goats and will be expanding that this year. They are meat goats.

We produce all of our own hay and we don't grain. The only animals I grain are the does that I milk for home use. When I wean kids, I give them Purina Goat Grower. Otherwise, no grain for the animals. They have to be able to hold their own with the pastures and then with hay in the winter.
JLMissouri likes this.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 06/22/12, 11:56 AM
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Washington State
Posts: 2,301

I say Polypay sheep. They are year round breeders, have multiples regularly and can easily be breed twice year with no ill effects. They are a heavy breed and are used for meat, milk and wool. They are also docile. If I could find more I would definitely have some again. Mine could easily live off my lawn alone.

gabbyraja likes this.
__________________
http://silvercreek-farm.blogspot.com
Livin' the good life
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 06/22/12, 12:02 PM
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: mo
Posts: 617

I like all the input, and ideas. It is great to hear the arguments for and against each animal. Its nice to hear some of the details on how you remain profitable. I like the ideas about how a milk cow is profitable in that it saves purchasing from stores. Keep up the ideas.

__________________
WWW.Facebook.com/vanishingcreekranch
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 06/22/12, 12:54 PM
Dusky Beauty's Avatar
I got it on farm status.
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: SouthWest of Phoenix
Posts: 1,888

Different breeds of cows have different needs and perform differently. I have heard people say a dairy cow was a big stupid beast that ate them out of house and home (this person had a holstein dairy farm reject), and also seen it said that their dairy cow was the best creature they had for thrift and that person owned a dexter.

I own a pregnant belmont (thats a dexter/jersey cross meant to be a more dairy type dexter) so I can't say what the milk or meat is like from experience, but I DO know she stays fat and sassy (overweight even) on very little feed. She probably costs me less to feed than my ducks and geese.

I paid twice the price of a dairy jersey for her just because of her smaller size and lesser food consumption and thus far I'm pleased. There seems to be quite a high demand niche market for dexter heifers and the steers are supposedly premium "mini cuts" of beef. My girl is also darn smart and dog gentle.

karenp likes this.
__________________

There is a time and a place for decaf coffee.
Never, and in the trash.

Are you an AZ farmer too? Arizona Backyard Farmers on facebook

Last edited by Dusky Beauty; 06/22/12 at 12:57 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 06/22/12, 01:10 PM
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: NJ
Posts: 48

I have some worms. The eat vegetable scraps, aerate my garden, provide soil enrichment, and provide a fine incentive when luring fish onto my line.

Can't say they'll make me rich, but they certainly don't cost me anything to maintain

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 06/22/12, 01:14 PM
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Iowa
Posts: 1,701
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulNKS View Post
With cattle, there are no more tests and "stuff" than there are with goats. Actually, there are less tests and requirements.

Cattle are still the biggest money maker on farms. Like with any animal, you have to be able to produce your own hay to make a good profit. As far as cattle eating too much hay, to produce the same revenue per acre with goats, you'll have just as much input costs, but a lot more labor.

Cattle have treated us well over the years. They've paid for 4 of the 5 farms we own.

I will also add that we have 40 goats and will be expanding that this year. They are meat goats.

We produce all of our own hay and we don't grain. The only animals I grain are the does that I milk for home use. When I wean kids, I give them Purina Goat Grower. Otherwise, no grain for the animals. They have to be able to hold their own with the pastures and then with hay in the winter.
The ability to make one's own hay is huge! For our small homestead..it's not feasible to make hay and still have pasture left. My reply was basically that of someone who does not have acres to hay and pasture with. Like I said..what I say is OUR example..if we had 80 acres..we would do things differently and maybe cattle would hold their own. And OUR experience is that we have to run tests on cattle (registered) that we do not run on goats (unregistered). It's an extra expense that is a deal breaker for US.

I don't know how big a farm the startupman is talking about. It makes a big difference in what and how many animals you have on it.
__________________
http://homesteadingexperienceswithbobby.blogspot.com/

http://contributor.yahoo.com/user/10...y_tomfeld.html
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 06/22/12, 01:19 PM
PaulNKS's Avatar
Full-time Homesteader
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Northeast Kansas
Posts: 872
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherry in Iowa View Post
The ability to make one's own hay is huge! For our small homestead..it's not feasible to make hay and still have pasture left. My reply was basically that of someone who does not have acres to hay and pasture with. Like I said..what I say is OUR example..if we had 80 acres..we would do things differently and maybe cattle would hold their own. And OUR experience is that we have to run tests on cattle (registered) that we do not run on goats (unregistered). It's an extra expense that is a deal breaker for US.

I don't know how big a farm the startupman is talking about. It makes a big difference in what and how many animals you have on it.
I agree. It does depend on the size of the farm. However, when speaking of unregistered goats versus registered cattle, that's apples and oranges. With neither being registered there are no tests, here. However, even with registered cattle, there are not always "tests" that are needed.

I guess the main question for the OP is how many acres are we discussing, where is it located, or what is available for grazing and browsing.

I will say that all things equal.. yes, you may buy more hay with cattle, but they also sell for a lot more and do carry a higher profit margin than goats.

When most people refer to raising cattle, they are usually referring to beef, not dairy... just fyi for the OP.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 06/22/12, 01:29 PM
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 529
Quote:
Originally Posted by pancho View Post
Used to be the hog. They were know as the mortgage lifter.
Don't know about now.
What did they used to sell for in your area. They just about give them away over here.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 06/22/12, 01:33 PM
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 529
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeC View Post
I have some worms. The eat vegetable scraps, aerate my garden, provide soil enrichment, and provide a fine incentive when luring fish onto my line.

Can't say they'll make me rich, but they certainly don't cost me anything to maintain
I can't disagree with you there. I have all of about $10 into mine over the last two years and that expense is just for the plastic tubs, lol...Their castings are probably the best fertilizer as well.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 06/22/12, 01:51 PM
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: mo
Posts: 617

The question is put out there for the best animals on your property for the situation you are in. Yes it would be good to know how many acres each person is talking about, and how many of each gype of animal is working for you. It would be great to know what part of the country each person is talking about also.

__________________
WWW.Facebook.com/vanishingcreekranch
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 06/22/12, 01:54 PM
MO_cows's Avatar  
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: W Mo
Posts: 7,523

Since cattle for beef are the most in demand, they should make the best income stream. Within that category are a lot of sub-categories. Cow/calf producer and sell at the nearest sale barn after weaning or market them yourself, cow/calf producer - keep calves til harvest age and market your beef yourself, raise dairy bottle calves and sell them or market the beef, run stockers, etc.

One way to get your feet wet with cattle is to get some weaned calves, graze some weight onto them, then re-sell them. That way you don't have to mess with breeding, calving, etc.

__________________
It is still best to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with the simple pleasures and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
Laura Ingalls Wilder
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 06/22/12, 01:59 PM
The cream separator guy
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Southern MO
Posts: 3,915
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulNKS View Post
When most people refer to raising cattle, they are usually referring to beef, not dairy... just fyi for the OP.
Dairy animals are a good way to go deep in debt in my opinion. You don't make any money on it unless you run a large operation, in which case you need to get even larger since now you've just had to hire help because you can't milk 200 cows all by yourself.
I'm with you, though. Cows are fairly low-maintenance and require very little attention, especially when compared to goats. They carry a much higher production unit price, i.e. 1000 pounds of meat versus 100 - 150 pounds on a goat. This makes it easier to expand.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 06/22/12, 02:41 PM
texican's Avatar  
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Carthage, Texas
Posts: 12,159

Imho, most farmer/ranchers who actually make real money on livestock, makes their money on volume. It's just as easy to raise a lot of animals as it is one or two.

If you have to buy feed, your not going to make any money, if your 'honest'... as in figuring in all your infrastructure, food, and vet costs. Most old timers will tell you your not raising beef (or goats) but grass (or forage). Buying hay negates any thought of profits.

I think most of 'us' aren't raising animals for profits, but so we can know what's in our animals... you cannot grow anything cheaper than storebought... but with storebought, you don't know if there's steroids, antibiotics, gmos (for folks that get spooky about 'it'), humane living conditions, etc....

__________________

Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. Seneca
Learning is not compulsory... neither is survival. W. Edwards Deming

Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 06/22/12, 02:45 PM
pancho's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 11,948
Quote:
Originally Posted by wildcat6 View Post
What did they used to sell for in your area. They just about give them away over here.
Back years ago there wasn't any of the giant feed lots. A hog could be put out on the range, let them fatten up or have a litter, then gather and sell. Feed cost were zero, just a little labor catching them.
Things are different now. A farmer cannot compete with the big boys.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 06/22/12, 03:13 PM
stockdogtta's Avatar  
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: West Central Illinois
Posts: 173

For me it is sheep. I dont buy grain at all .... in fall when corn is out I use my dogs and let sheep scrounge for corn an hr or two 4 or 5 days a week for a month or so, depending on how I'm feelin, in the neighbors fields. I buy around 100 bales of hay just in case snow stays on ground for long times...usually have hay left in the spring...other wise they are on pasture and I do take them out grazing for a few hrs.. waterways, creek bottoms and such during real nice days in winter. I have 20/25 ewes and about 6 acres of actual pasture divided in 3 sections that I rotate. I dont wean the lambs and ship around 3 months..get around $1.75/2.00 per lb. Roughly $350 for hay/wormer/salt block. Would like to build up to 40/50 hair ewes.

PNP Katahdins and AlienChick like this.
__________________

------------------
Dennis--TTA Aussies
I plan on living to be 100....so far...so good

Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 06/22/12, 04:52 PM
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Central Oregon
Posts: 6,115

Honestly, it is very difficult to make any profit with any sort of live animal at all. Not if you really keep track of what your true production costs are.

__________________
Reply With Quote
Reply



Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:55 AM.