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  #41  
Old 06/22/12, 09:50 PM
 
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No tink. Id hope most would make it. BUT I know that out of any givin litter, with most people who havnt been around hogs all their life or near it are going to have some losses with nearly each litter. At least for awhile, and loseing pigs can break u on a litter.

Id say 90% of a givin herd of cows will save their calves. Id hate to, but ill say it, that 90% of all pigs born from a sow might make it. Theres a difference there somehow.

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  #42  
Old 06/22/12, 10:13 PM
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Scrapie tags required where I live. It may vary by state.

I cross state lines with goats, too, and they must be tattooed or tagged.

http://www.aphis.usda.gov/import_exp...s_states.shtml

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  #43  
Old 06/22/12, 10:17 PM
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Missouri requires scrapies tags:
All goats (including exotic goats), regardless of age or gender, must be individually identified by official scrapie identification as defined in Title 9, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 79, published annually in January, herein incorporated by reference and made a part of this rule, as published by the United States Superintendent of Documents, 732 N Capital Street NW, Washington, DC 20402-0001, phone: toll free (866) 512-1800, DC area (202) 512-1800, website: GPO U.S. Government Bookstore: Main Page, or any other means approved by the state veterinarian identifying them to the herd-of-origin. This rule does not incorporate any subsequent amendments or additions.
No tests or Certificate of Veterinary Inspections is required.

Mandatory in Maine (the OP's state):
http://www.maine.gov/agriculture/ahi...-Letter-ME.pdf

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  #44  
Old 06/22/12, 10:18 PM
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The most profitable critter - with the least of inputs and handling - are leeches.

Jumbo leeches go for about $12/pound around here. Can anyone beat that?

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  #45  
Old 06/22/12, 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by FarmBoyBill View Post
If one hog payed off the bank for a year, They were smart enough not to owe the bank much. The folks bought the home place in 42 or so. The yearly payment was $500. $300 of that was interest. It woulda took a buncha hogs to met that. Dad paid that until 76 or so. The purchase price of the 120 was $6000 I think.

He must have renewed that note several times, your figures dont compute. But yes even back in those days one pig wouldnt make the mortgage.
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  #46  
Old 06/22/12, 11:09 PM
 
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Growing most of our own feed, and always having spilled grain, screenings, or bin sweepings, or mixed grains, etc., for us the most profitable on a per acre basis, would be any kid of poultry. Ducks, broilers, turkeys, laying hens. When it only cost you 80 cents a dozen to grow eggs worth 3 bucks, a dollar a pound to raise ducks or broilers, where the ducks sell for 5 and the chickens sell for 3 as free rangers, it is clear. But, pigs would be right in there, and if your land is cheap like it is here, sheep have been VERY good to the farmers. Cattle are about half as profitable as sheep "here". depends how you raise them. If you raise sheep like wooly pigs, treat them like wooly pigs, IE housed indoors and not out on grass, the profits decline.

Having hayland, machinery, feed grains, grainland, and good pasture, at an economical purchase price, and you can make almost any critter profitable.

But to some, a farm is anything over say 5 acres, but you are very limited on those acres. When you get talking 320 acres minimum, then there is hope of raising all the feed for a reasonable number of animals, that can be hoped for to turn a profit. I guess it depends on what is meant by profit? Profit as in thirty six cents, or profit as in 36 000 bucks???

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  #47  
Old 06/22/12, 11:52 PM
 
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I've lost money on nearly every living investment I've ever had, but sheep seemed to come out on top for me when I consider fencing, feed, my time, pain-in-the-butt factor, etc. Horses have made me money, but that's not something most people should expect to do.

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  #48  
Old 06/23/12, 10:08 AM
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Honey bees!

Not only are they profitable, but they harvest your neighbors nectar. You don't need acreage to have bees. You can locate hives on other peoples property and sometimes they will even pay you to do so. You can take a vacation without needing to hire someone to come feed and water them. They are so adaptable that you can raise them anywhere from the desert to a rain forest. Everything they produce(honey, pollen, wax, more bees) is a high profit product.

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  #49  
Old 06/23/12, 03:38 PM
 
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For us and our life-style goats have proved the most profitable. We have less than ten acres for the house, barn, pastures , hay fields and gardens. Right now the pasture is feeding two horses , three doe goats and five kids. We will winter three goats . We put up enough hay for three goats and one horse. The other horse is here for the summer. The rest of the goats will be sold for meat for which we get $3 a lb. by the side.

The only grain we feed is a handful while the goats are being mlked. We also have a dozen hens and only buy a little laying mash. The horse and goats eat pasture Spring to Fall,hay and mangels and turnips in the winter. Any sales of meat or eggs is mostly profit.

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  #50  
Old 06/23/12, 06:06 PM
 
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Hey, do you know why no one said Ducks?


Too many Bills! (get it, too many BILLS!)

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  #51  
Old 06/23/12, 06:48 PM
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I think the property size has a lot to do with the answer to your question. For a small property, it will be a smaller animal I am sure. You have to be able to feed the animals from your own land for maximum savings...

I grew up staying on a large acreage of 360 acres every summer...it was my Grandparents that had Sheep, Cattle, Goats, Pigs, Ducks and Chickens.... I would not count the ponies and horses as they were not money makers. They grew wheat, alfalfa and hay...their animals were fed from their own land only.... As they grew older, they kept that which they made the most money from...it was Cattle. That one milk cow is all they kept with hundreds of Cattle..it was for their own use. They sold off Cattle for others to breed and for meat every year. They bought their property with the proceeds from a Cattle farm in California...

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  #52  
Old 06/24/12, 02:40 AM
 
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As an interesting side note, I bought a box of old books at an auction. Inside that box were the accounting books for a new start up farm in the 1930's.

They started with chickens, and stayed with them as their primary income for many years. It was kind of amazing how much wealth that family gained over time. The family later got into hogs and cattle.

I asked an old timer about the chickens, and he said that chickens were so easy to raise, that they had inexpensive start up costs, and that chickens grow so fast. In essence, a fully grown chicken is ready for slaughter in what, 5 weeks, these days?

Simply said, a good chicken operation, in yesteryear, could be started for just chicken scratch (pun intended), and a profit turned in 5 weeks, and continued throughout the year. Those folks were turning their money every 5 weeks during the year, whereas, cattle, just one time a year, right? The investment in cattle is much higher as well.

I'm certainly no expert...but it is fascinating to read those accounting books and see how well they did, growing year after year.

Too bad that the chicken market has changed so much. Aside from homesteading set, does anyone in mainstream America buy live chickens and slaughter them, or buy fresh whole chickens? Seems that the big players dominate the market, and consumers are used to buying pre-cooked chicken nuggets, in a plastic bag, found in the freezer aisle.

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  #53  
Old 06/24/12, 03:36 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cabin Fever View Post
The most profitable critter - with the least of inputs and handling - are leeches.

Jumbo leeches go for about $12/pound around here. Can anyone beat that?
Not sure what we get for leeches. We keep sending them to Washington DC and then they send us a bill!
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  #54  
Old 06/24/12, 08:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clovis View Post
As an interesting side note, I bought a box of old books at an auction. Inside that box were the accounting books for a new start up farm in the 1930's.

They started with chickens, and stayed with them as their primary income for many years. It was kind of amazing how much wealth that family gained over time. The family later got into hogs and cattle.

I asked an old timer about the chickens, and he said that chickens were so easy to raise, that they had inexpensive start up costs, and that chickens grow so fast. In essence, a fully grown chicken is ready for slaughter in what, 5 weeks, these days?

Simply said, a good chicken operation, in yesteryear, could be started for just chicken scratch (pun intended), and a profit turned in 5 weeks, and continued throughout the year. Those folks were turning their money every 5 weeks during the year, whereas, cattle, just one time a year, right? The investment in cattle is much higher as well.

I'm certainly no expert...but it is fascinating to read those accounting books and see how well they did, growing year after year.

Too bad that the chicken market has changed so much. Aside from homesteading set, does anyone in mainstream America buy live chickens and slaughter them, or buy fresh whole chickens? Seems that the big players dominate the market, and consumers are used to buying pre-cooked chicken nuggets, in a plastic bag, found in the freezer aisle.
Your numbers are a bit skewed. You can't get a chicken to full size in 5 weeks. Even the fastest growing Cornish Cross take 8 weeks. Most other breeds take longer.

The problem with chickens is that at that time in history, everyone bought fresh chicken and fresh eggs, or the local market bought local eggs to resell. So, there was a demand for meat and eggs.

Today, people buy high dollar feeds and laying mashes thinking chickens will starve and they can't make a profit that way.

My chickens never get feed, except a bit in the winter. They follow the goats and cows and clean through the manure piles. They also scrounge the used and piled up goat bedding and scratch through it for grubs and other bugs. If chickens are free ranged, you won't have a feed bill.

Today, there just isn't much of a market for fresh chicken and eggs for most people to profit.

You mention turning cattle only once a year. But, one calf, if sold at auction, you will get $800 to $900 per head. If raised right, most of that is profit. Our cattle are pastured year-round. Fed hay only in winter from what we produce. I can sell enough excess hay to pay for baling all our hay. We don't grain. If a cow can't keep weight (isn't an "easy keeper") she goes to town. So, yes, most of that money is profit.
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  #55  
Old 06/24/12, 11:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clovis View Post
As an interesting side note, I bought a box of old books at an auction. Inside that box were the accounting books for a new start up farm in the 1930's.

They started with chickens, and stayed with them as their primary income for many years. It was kind of amazing how much wealth that family gained over time. The family later got into hogs and cattle.

I asked an old timer about the chickens, and he said that chickens were so easy to raise, that they had inexpensive start up costs, and that chickens grow so fast. In essence, a fully grown chicken is ready for slaughter in what, 5 weeks, these days?

Simply said, a good chicken operation, in yesteryear, could be started for just chicken scratch (pun intended), and a profit turned in 5 weeks, and continued throughout the year. Those folks were turning their money every 5 weeks during the year, whereas, cattle, just one time a year, right? The investment in cattle is much higher as well.

I'm certainly no expert...but it is fascinating to read those accounting books and see how well they did, growing year after year.

Too bad that the chicken market has changed so much. Aside from homesteading set, does anyone in mainstream America buy live chickens and slaughter them, or buy fresh whole chickens? Seems that the big players dominate the market, and consumers are used to buying pre-cooked chicken nuggets, in a plastic bag, found in the freezer aisle.
This is a perfect example how 1,000s of people made a decent living doing something, where today a few dozen people (corporate officers) make a fortune by turning it into a mega-industry with a Wal-Mart like retailer. Then and Now.

This is how wealth has become more concentrated, and how things have changed.
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  #56  
Old 06/24/12, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clovis View Post
As an interesting side note, I bought a box of old books at an auction. Inside that box were the accounting books for a new start up farm in the 1930's.

They started with chickens, and stayed with them as their primary income for many years. It was kind of amazing how much wealth that family gained over time. The family later got into hogs and cattle.

I asked an old timer about the chickens, and he said that chickens were so easy to raise, that they had inexpensive start up costs, and that chickens grow so fast. In essence, a fully grown chicken is ready for slaughter in what, 5 weeks, these days?

Simply said, a good chicken operation, in yesteryear, could be started for just chicken scratch (pun intended), and a profit turned in 5 weeks, and continued throughout the year. Those folks were turning their money every 5 weeks during the year, whereas, cattle, just one time a year, right? The investment in cattle is much higher as well.

I'm certainly no expert...but it is fascinating to read those accounting books and see how well they did, growing year after year.

Too bad that the chicken market has changed so much. Aside from homesteading set, does anyone in mainstream America buy live chickens and slaughter them, or buy fresh whole chickens? Seems that the big players dominate the market, and consumers are used to buying pre-cooked chicken nuggets, in a plastic bag, found in the freezer aisle.
Back in the 1930s if you ate your chickens at 5 weeks old it would have been much better and cheaper just to kill a few sparrows. Chickens didn't get much larger than sparrows back then in 5 weeks and sure no one would pay money for one.
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  #57  
Old 06/24/12, 11:49 AM
 
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The most profitable animal. Is the one you were out bid for at the auction.

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  #58  
Old 06/24/12, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by thestartupman View Post
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?
If a two race winner of the triple crown put out to pasture with tendonitis for stud service could be an option on the farm
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  #59  
Old 06/24/12, 12:01 PM
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I found a few receipts of my fathers when he was farming.

Oct 24, 1961 he bought 14 hereford cows, 1 part brahma cow, 1 jersey milk cow, and 1 registered hereford bull. Total price. $2650.00, private sell. He also bought 7 hereford cows through the sale barm, total price of $721.00. One cow banged out and he ran her through again and she brought $10.20 cents more than he bought her for.

In 1962 he sold 17 calves off of these cows for a total of $1311.31. The highest bringing $97.06, the lowest bringing $45.

The same year he sold 32 pigs for a total of $249.23

In 1962 my father made a total of $1560.54 for the entire year of farming.

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  #60  
Old 06/24/12, 12:17 PM
 
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Location: Western NC
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Originally Posted by FarmBoyBill View Post
Well, Im sure glad somebody didnt mention rabbits. Only a fool would try to get enough to make money offa them.

oopps. That ment me I guess
I don't know, I"ve done pretty good on rabbits. People are always trying give the cute little "my kids never pay attention to him" rabbits away. I can save them up for the auction and usually make a 100% profit. Lots of times, they give me cages and feed too....
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