money in ranching?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by beginnerfarmer, Dec 13, 2005.

  1. beginnerfarmer

    beginnerfarmer Well-Known Member

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    I am wondering is there any money raiseing sheep and cattle?
     
  2. Beststash

    Beststash Well-Known Member

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    If you are a hard worker, and you realize that you have to diversify you activities to be able to make a living in the livestock business - YES.

    In Texas there are many people that lease land, buy land and raise cattle as part of their income. However, that means that they check on their cows as part of their other activities. They also bale hay, do dozer work, dig post-holes, clear land, chop firewood, and just about anything they can to utilize their time productively. It means long days and hard work but many make a good living and view their "mamma cows" as their ace in the hole - their retirement. Framing, ranching is a lifetime endeavor - not for those that want to be debt free or those can cannot weather a storm - it is a volatile market.
     

  3. beginnerfarmer

    beginnerfarmer Well-Known Member

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    Ok! I would like to do it as a second income! to support me in my later years.
     
  4. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Do you already have the acreage? That will make a BIG impact on the success.
     
  5. Alice In TX/MO

    Alice In TX/MO More dharma, less drama. Supporter

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    How to make a little money in ranching.



    Start with big money.
     
  6. beginnerfarmer

    beginnerfarmer Well-Known Member

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    I dont have any land yet I am looking to buy some.
     
  7. Beststash

    Beststash Well-Known Member

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    Do you have any experience?? If not, it would be very worthwhile to hook up with someone in the business and get some experience before you make any serious moves - you will learn a lot in a couple of years and be better able to judge exactly which direction you would like to pursue. If you are talking about just diversifying into weekend ranching - that is a different story.
     
  8. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

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    You will not make money every year ranching (or any other kind of farming, for that matter). Even if you diversify your acreage, there will be years when rains mess up the polination, coyotes take the lambs, the cattle market crashes, and hail storms wipe out the cherries. There will be other years when everybody twins, the market does great, it rains only when you need it to, and you actually break even.

    I learned as a little girl watching neighboring farms go under in the early 80s ----- the only way to make sure the farm can sort of float from year to year is to own the land free and clear. If you have to mortgage, pay that sucker off ASAP. If you can buy land outright, do it and do NOT borrow against it.

    I'd also advise you to have some outside income coming in. That way, if everything does go to pot you can buy groceries and pay the phone bill. I know this sounds pessimistic, but I just want to paint a realistic picture. Too many people go into this with a Hallmark vision of happy cows dancing in the pasture and enough money coming in to be comfortable. That does happen sometimes. Other years you just lose money.
     
  9. beginnerfarmer

    beginnerfarmer Well-Known Member

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    Nope I have never raise any livestock. but I am williing to learn. I would like to own 6 to 10 acres.
     
  10. texican

    texican Well-Known Member

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    The best way to make money in ranching, is to marry a rancher, preferably an older one.

    How many ranchers do you see driving shiny new trucks?

    From my observations *from a family of ranchers and farmers*...it's boom or bust... A good year followed by a bad year... And don't even think about figuring out how much your time is worth... sometimes it gets down into the pocket change range... or worse, a negative- you work yourself to death, and have to pay for the privelege...

    Some of the absolute best ranchers around, have nice jobs that support their ranches operating expenses.

    Not wanting to sound too negative,... like others have said, find a rancher, volunteer to help out (room and board), to find out if you really want to jump in the deep end first.
     
  11. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    How much money do you expect to net per year with the livestock enterprise? Ask around and determine the cow/acre ratio. What is the average selling price of the acreage suitable for cattle? Can you find land you could rent and if so at what price/year?
     
  12. beginnerfarmer

    beginnerfarmer Well-Known Member

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    I though about raiseing sheep and goats instead of cattle?
     
  13. wy_white_wolf

    wy_white_wolf Just howling at the moon

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    6 to 10 acres will never support enough cattle to make any kind of money. You'd be lucky if that'll raise enough to feed your own family.
     
  14. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    There is money in ranching but one has to define "money." I think a modest income can be made reflecting the inital investment. You do need to own the land outright however. Buy inexpensive but decent grazing land to start. Some of these "hunting" lands for sale might have a small buildable spot and then plenty of hilly land for the sheep/ goats. Read up or lend yourself out to someone in the business. Learn about the market. Start with good stock - good stock isn't necessarily expensive stock. Be prepared to spend more on them than you do on yourslef the first couple of years . The demand for goat meat far outweighs the supply and willcontinue to do so for the foreseeable future. Lots more to say but that would be a book.
     
  15. Alice In TX/MO

    Alice In TX/MO More dharma, less drama. Supporter

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    Six to ten acres? With your homestead on it, too, I imagine.

    One cow/calf pair, maybe two, so you don't get into over grazing problems. Have to find a bull for the cows to visit with somewhere else because it doesn't make economic sense to have a bull for two cows. Figure in what you will spend on hay in the winter and fertilizer for the grass in the summer. Figure in vet bills.

    You'd be better off with chickens and selling eggs.
     
  16. Beststash

    Beststash Well-Known Member

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    Beginner - Go for it.....when I first moved to the country, I think most of my neighbors thought I was "Old McDonald" - I had chickens, cattle, guienas, hogs, dogs, cats, etc. after a few years of learning some lessons - I have settled into just cattle. I used to use square bales - spend a lot of time feeding - no just put out a round bale and forget about it. Had bull - fixed a lot of fences, but it is "all good".
    Having said all of that - I wouldn't trade the experience for anything. I also made "homemade sausage" and even had a smokehouse - I gained about 30 lb's eating all of the bacon, sausage, etc. , oh - I forgot I also butchered a calf every year for the freezer.
    Anyway - you will love the experience and in a rural area there are always good neighbors that are willing to help - I think they kind of get a kick seeing someone learn the "rural lessons" that most learned themselves (usually growing up).
     
  17. beginnerfarmer

    beginnerfarmer Well-Known Member

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    here in Alabama u can have 8 sheeps and goats to 1 acre, so if I have 3 acres of pasture, I can have 24 head of sheeps and goats. but I might need more land.
     
  18. SteveD(TX)

    SteveD(TX) Well-Known Member

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    Unless you're flush with cash, the best way to make money ranching is by leasing land and working VERY hard.

    I know 2 ranchers. Both own lots of land, and run cattle for the tax write off.
     
  19. Country Doc

    Country Doc Well-Known Member

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    Don't see it as a very good business. I have done commercial cattle for 20 yrs. If you want to live in the country and buy some land anyway, the cattle can help you by sometimes making money and are a way to write off for taxes the land, equipment, etc. I live in East Texas and would have come out way ahead by planting pine trees 20 years ago. Don't know much about sheep and goats for business. I think goats may be more trouble than cattle. Mine are pretty well trained and don't get out. When your are buying cattle you are competing with people who have spent a lifetime learning them and are likely to overpay or buy poor quality culls. Sort of like buying a used car when your know nothing about cars. You trust the seller. May work, often doesn't.
     
  20. beginnerfarmer

    beginnerfarmer Well-Known Member

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    what do u guys take on raiseing highland cattle? they say there beef is more leaner?