Owning your own animal business


7 Years
Mar 16, 2012
Hello, it's time for me to start looking into careers!
I DESPERATELY want to own land and make money off of it. One of my biggest nightmares is ending up with a desk job.
The only thing I can imagine myself being happy doing is something involving animals.
I know it's hard to make enough money off of animals to support yourself, but anyone's suggestions are appreciated.
I am trying to think of smart, "simple" ways to make all the money off of land that I can. Obviously I will need a job that will help me save up enough money to buy land, build on land, buy necessary equipment, etc...,but in the long run I want to start my own business.

So far I like the idea of:
Growing Christmas trees
Having a pumpkin farm
Owning a small petting zoo
Running a pond for fishing, selling bait and renting out polls, offering to clean and prepare fish for eating
Sheep herding for urban dogs
Raising sheep for meat and wool
Raise and sell other types of lower maintenance animals
Allow people to stay in a cabin and live off the land for a week type of thing
Animal boarding
Dog training

Grow vegetables and sell them at farmer's markets
Doggy boot camp, for your plump, furry friend!
As soon as I found out these places existed, I wanted to one day run one.

Anyone who has a business like this,
knows of a good business like this,
or has any suggestions,
please post!
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Good for you. You have a great list of ideas started there. My DD works long hours and would eventually like to operate a no-kill shelter. As with any business, a lot depends on the market and the current economy. I have owned a profitable animal related businesses (commercial pet boarding facility with 24 hour mobile vet service), and family has ranched and hay farmed profitably for over 100 years. From as young as I had memories I knew I wanted to work with animals. Hold onto your dream, and make it happen. It can be done.

PS...unfortunately, much of any job requires a lot of desk work! LOL
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You will need to earn the most you can, and learn book keeping and some accounting. Business classes would be good too. Save, save, save! Learn to write a business plan for meetings with lenders, to use less of your own money. Learn about setting up an LLC. Get really good at the desk job, because you'll be doing your own desk work.

Market research is crucial. Where that land is that you set up on will determine how busy you are, and how much you can charge. A petting zoo, for example, can run anywhere from $150-$500 for going to a kids birthday party. Look into insurance and liability forms as well, for stuff like that.

Right now feed is high, will be every time a drought happens. Focus on animals that don't require a lot of grain.

Break the year into quarters. What can generate income in Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter.

You cannot compete with pumpkins and Christmas trees. The big farms sell them too cheap. You'll sell some on your farm direct to visitors, but you won't be able to make anything selling them all at once at wholesale. They'll trickle out, and some will be left over. Christmas trees take years to develop, plant them first thing, then work on other things.

You'll need to choose a focus. Dog training and boarding, you'll need to be close to populated areas with cash to spend. That land will cost a lot more. No one is driving an hour to spend $25 a day when they can do that closer to home. You'll need mobility, a pick-up service. House calls. If you move farther out to available land, enough land to do something with, you'll sacrifice being near where the money is. Do you want 20 dogs in at any given time, or 5? Location, advertising, rates, logistics... it all plays a role in how many dogs will be in your care. I worked at a doggy daycare, and let me tell you, 25 dogs at once is chaotic. But at $25+ per day, depending on what they were in for, it provided a good sized building right in the middle of downtown.

Know your limitations and don't over extend yourself by trying to do everything at once. The business will need to develop, and snowball itself through your hard work. You'll need to work another job until you're earning enough that you don't have to anymore. You'll know when the time is right for that transition.

Break your time down into 5 year periods. This stuff doesn't happen over night. Use the next 5 years for learning, research, saving money, earning money, making the next 5 year plan, and figuring out which desk to get chained to for the most income and the best learning opportunities.

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