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Money Making Livestock for a Hobby Farm

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by blueoval1, Apr 18, 2009.

  1. blueoval1

    blueoval1 Songster

    Oct 21, 2008
    Raleigh N.C.
    We have been raising horses for a long time and we keep investing more and more and dont get anything in return we love horses but its nice to get something in return for what you put in. I was wondering what is the main livestock that makes the most money we do this because we enjoy it but like I said its nice to get something in return. I would appreciate any comments. Thankyou. [​IMG]

  2. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

    Mar 29, 2008
    Riverside/Norco, CA
    To find out if you will make money, start with the end selling price and work your way backward from that. If something sells for $400, you have to put less than that into it in feed, materials and labor. Your best bet is specialty and rare varieties, but well known enough that there is a demand for it/them. Sometimes you have to get in at a higher price than you think is worth it, and hope you chose well and are good at raising and especially marketing those animals. There is no such thing as free money with animals. The more they sell for, the more you have to spend and work to make them sellable. Hope that helps, even though it is not what you wanted to hear. Also, raise what you like. It makes the work part of it so much more enjoyable.
  3. blueoval1

    blueoval1 Songster

    Oct 21, 2008
    Raleigh N.C.
    Thank you that does help alot. Yes I know that what you put in is what you put out. We have some of the best bloodline in horses you will find anywhere but its politics in the Walking Horse industry I guess. We are wanting to raise a smaller breed of livestock like goats or sheep something like that, thanks again.
  4. shay20

    shay20 Shay's Flock of Fun

    Jul 31, 2008
    in the wild, Mass
    I think chickens is the best, it may a little time in the begging but its worth it, you can start with incubateing eggs and then selling them but you study the breeds that are more asked for and popular and start with those.
  5. Picklestix7866

    Picklestix7866 Songster

    Feb 20, 2009
    Thawing Minnesota
    Alpacas are cheap to feed but expensive to buy. Maybe you could look into them? Breeding and showing?
  6. farrier!

    farrier! Songster

    Feb 28, 2009
    Southern Illinois
    Goats are easy and really fun, if you have a good close market for them. Before we moved we had lots of Hispanics and they would pay a good price for goats.
  7. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    Pigs and sheep. Smaller and take up less space...have big litters and multiple births. Mature quickly to market weight and both can be raised on pasture if you have plenty. If you get the right breed of sheep, you can breed twice each year or at least 3 times in 2 years.

    If you get hair sheep, you won't have to shear, they are parasite and disease resistant and do well on browse AND pasture. Most of the hair breeds have little difficulty birthing and make excellent mothers, as well as being prone to multiple births. Hair sheep also bring more money on the pound than wool breeds at market, which will make up for any finished wt. discrepancy compared to woolies.

    Sheep also bring more money per pound at market than do the meat goats.

  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Livestock are really not easy to make money out of, unless you mean "raising them for meat". Obviously it can be done, but it is not something that naturally happens out of having them on a hobby farm, and can often be pretty difficult to do without cutting some corners you may not like. (For instance you may have to house them in reasonably safe but very ramshackle-looking fences/barns; and be totally unsentimental about what to keep/sell/buy/breed and who to sell to).

    Pretty much any kind of livestock showing has its politics and "things", though. And in the current economy, I don't know as there's much money to be made by someone new to a type of livestock meant for show or pets unless they are an earthshatteringly good entrepreneur.

    Horses probably offer the greatest scope to make money (not necessarily the greatest *chance*, b/c of upkeep costs, but the greatest *room* because their prices can go higher than most things). You might carefully choose a different breed of horse to try, if you are really into the concept of trying to make money.

    After being involved in the horse industry for most of my forty-some years, though, I have known only a *tiny handful* of hobby farm type people who ever made a regular repeatable profit off their horses.

    If raising animals for meat does appeal to you, I would suggest very very carefully researching what would grow best on your land and with your existing facilities, and the market for it. Some people do make at least a mild profit off sheep, goats, pigs, etc especially if there is a good market locally for organic or pastured meat. OTOH this market does not exist in all areas, and you don't want something with high startup costs either.

    Good luck,

    Last edited: Apr 19, 2009
  9. dbjay417

    dbjay417 Songster

    Dec 14, 2007
    I have chickens for eggs. I don't turn a profit, not in terms of capital, but i sell eggs to my neighbors, that pays for the feed, and then my family of three eats about 2 dozen eggs a week for free. But i'd say only one dozen per week is truly profit, and the other goes into paying for food when production slows. $2 a week only amounts to $104 a year profit. LoL

    But its one less thing to buy at the supermarket.

    I have a silkie hen that is a laying machine. she spits out 9 eggs in 2 weeks, and sits. 21 days later there are chicks, that I sell to the local farm store for $1 a piece. Thats $9 just for letting a pet chicken do her thing.

    According to my math i can make $400 a year with my lil 25 egg bater at a dollar a chick.

    Needless to say I've begun converting an old refrigerator into a cabinet incubator. Relatively little more electricity costs will enable me to hatch a couple hundred eggs at once.

    But i dont think my business plan translates well because here in Puerto Rico the government is poor and can't afford to enforce regulations, so its pretty Laissez-faire here. Also its easy and affordable to start a business here, so there are a LOT of small family owned businesses that will buy and sell all manner of products without all of the bureaucratic hullabaloo. Out there in the states you might have to be licensed and bonded have permits and insurance and all kinds of craziness, not to mention if you had a hatchery the scope of what i'm planning, you'd probably be forced to rent a location due to zoning laws. Here nobody cares what i do on my property as long as I have some basic respect for my neighbors. here that consists of keeping the noise and smell to a minimum, or giving them garden produce to compensate for the inconvenience.
  10. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    Your best bet is to go to your library and check out Joel Salatin's You Can Farm book, where he describes how to stack livestock on small acreage and cut costs by rotating pasture to get more mileage from your existing acreage. His methods are not costly if you use his inventive ways to get materials for coops and things.

    I have one measly income and I'm starting my little money-on-the-side project this spring. I'm already selling eggs and can't keep up with the demand. After initial investments, you can replenish your own stock with judicious breeding and culling for desired traits. I have two broodies hatching me some chicks for free as I am typing. Pure profit on those chicks. Free ranging makes operating costs less for feed, containment, etc.

    All the proceeds are tax free. This saves money, which actually makes you money. Any sales after recovering your initial livestock purchases are clear profit. I'm buying 4 hair sheep ewes this spring at $125 each. If everything goes right, I should have anywhere from 4-8( and probably more) lambs by next year. At a market price of $125 for weaned lambs, using intensive grazing for finishing, I can make up to $1000 each year, invest $100 or more into hay for the winter, figure some money for incidentals...vet care(if needed), mineral supplements, etc. Some people lamb twice a year, sometimes only 3 times in two years. I will do it once for the first year and then go into production breeding. If I want more ewes, I just keep replacement lambs.

    I know that oversimplifies it a good deal, but you get the picture. If you use methods that trim the expenditures and keep your animals in optimum health, you should be able to make a small profit off any endeavor. If you strive to make the operation as smooth and less labor intensive as possible, it makes it even more profitable in time costs.

    Read Joel...you won't regret it! [​IMG]

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