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Raising Livestock on Limited Acreage. Christine Kelly-Begazo Agriculture Agent. Your Dream Farm. Weed-free pastures Well-stocked barn Cute, cuddly animals Happy children doing chores Lemonade on the veranda. Jonde Lane Farm B&B, Manheim, PA. Only in……. Your dreams! Farmville

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raising livestock on limited acreage

Raising Livestock on Limited Acreage

Christine Kelly-Begazo

Agriculture Agent

your dream farm
Your Dream Farm
  • Weed-free pastures
  • Well-stocked barn
  • Cute, cuddly animals
  • Happy children doing

chores

  • Lemonade on the

veranda

Jonde Lane Farm B&B, Manheim, PA.

only in
Only in……
  • Your dreams!
  • Farmville
  • Facebook
reality is
Reality is….
  • Dirty, hard work
  • Little free time
  • Stressful, little control
  • Narrow profit margin
  • Animals die, or have to die
  • Significant other is not enthusiastic
  • Your children hate it!

Photos taken from Flickr.com

still interested
Stillinterested?
  • Beforeyoubuyyourfirst animal…
    • Set realisticgoals
    • Why do youwantthis?

- is thisfor $, self-sufficiency or pleasure

    • What are yourprioritiesforquality of life?

- Enjoyfarmingduring free time?

- Can you “harvest” animals?

    • What is yourlifephilosophy (“Big Picture”)

- Environmentalism

- Foodsecurity

do your research
Do Your Research
  • Learn everything possible about your product
    • Growing and feeding
    • Processing and dressing
    • Packaging and labeling
    • Marketing and preparing
other issues to consider
Other Issues to Consider
  • Are you zoned for livestock activity?
  • Will your neighbors mind?
  • Distance to nearest feedstore or farm supply store?
  • Are there consumers/buyers?
  • Are there any other producers?
  • Where is the nearest processor?
  • Is your target market close?
  • Can you sell legally?
what are the laws
What are the Laws?
  • Zoning & ordinances
  • Processing
    • USDA
    • State Health
    • Market system requirements
  • Labeling
  • Legal to sell
    • EGGS
niche marketing
Niche Marketing
  • Free range
  • Guaranteed tender
  • Locally produced
  • Ethnic foods
  • Custom slaughter
  • Organic
  • Sustainable
  • Pasture fed
  • Corn fed
  • Hormone free

Cartoonstock.com

livestock choices
Livestock Choices

Traditional

Non-traditional

Llamas

Alpacas

Ostrich

Emus

Buffalo

Guinea pig

Gator

  • Hogs
  • Chickens
  • Goats
  • Horses
  • Cattle
  • Sheep
  • Rabbits
space requirements stocking rates
Space Requirements(Stocking Rates)
  • 3 acres per cow
  • 3 acres per horse
  • 1 acre per 6 ewes /goats
  • Ewes and lambs / 20 sq’
  • 30” x 36”x18” rabbit cage for medium breed

Note: Space requirements differ and careful evaluation needs to be made prior to developing a business plan

for example
For Example
  • 100 cows = 300 acres
  • 3 cows = 10 acres
  • 100 calves = 50 acres
  • 100 goats = 16 acres
  • 3 horses = 9 acres
  • 100 sheep = 16 acres
  • 100 rabbits = 900 sq’
mini s vs regular size
Mini’s vs. Regular Size
  • Generally not considered “real” livestock
  • Cute, but actual production?
    • Is there a market/consumer for product?
  • Goals for having them on site
  • Same production requirements, just less
    • Less space, less feed, same vet bill, same set of management skills
recordkeeping
Recordkeeping
  • Inicial Outlay
    • Land, stock, fencing, bldgs, equipment
  • Labor
    • YOUR time, volunteers, family & friends
  • Production
    • Reproduction, weight gains
  • Sales/Income
  • Inventory
poultry
Poultry
    • Easiest animal to start out with
    • From chick to production is quick
    • Relatively quiet for neighbors (no roosters)
  • Meat and egg production
    • Many different breeds
      • conventional, heritage, fancies
    • Traditional farms used

dual-purpose

limiting factors affecting
Limiting Factors Affecting $$
  • Predators
  • # of laying boxes
  • Area per bird
  • Parasites
  • Inadequate nutrition
  • Lack of water
  • Genetics
  • Age of animal
rabbits
Rabbits
  • Easy animal to start out with
  • Small, medium and large breeds
    • Meat, fur, hair, show
  • Positive nutritional factors for meat
  • Age to market weight is quick
  • Reproduction is rapid
  • Easiest to feed
limiting factors affecting1
Limiting Factors Affecting $$
  • Poor breeding stock
    • Lack of mothering skills
  • Time to breeding age
  • Illness in the herd
    • Poor hygiene
  • Old or contaminated feed
  • Lack of water or food
  • Overheating
limiting factors con t
Limiting Factors (con’t)
  • Predators
  • Lack of market base
  • Lack of harvest facilities
    • Location and transportation
  • Inability to harvest
  • USDA regulations
  • Packaging & marketing
goats sheep
Goats/Sheep
  • Meat, dairy, hair, and wool breeds
  • Smaller animal = more animals/acre
  • More efficient use of pasture/browse
  • Reproduction is adequate
  • Increasing demand with ethnic markets
  • Niche market for wool with weavers
limiting factors affecting2
Limiting Factors Affecting $$
  • Fencing, fencing & more fencing
  • Milk production is labor intensive
  • Limited legal market for milk
  • Lack of harvesting facilities
  • Lack of shearing capabilities
  • Parasites!
swine
Swine
  • Not very popular in Florida
    • Except with 4-H & FFA
    • Wild hogs
  • Limited market
    • Strong midwestern industry
  • Lack of harvesting facilities
    • For more than just a few
  • Fun to pasture
cattle
Cattle
  • Meat and dairy breeds
  • Homesteading self-sufficiency
    • Integrated farming system
  • Relatively easy to feed
  • Cow/calf operations
  • Can produce milk & meat

with minatures but…

limiting factors affecting3
Limiting Factors Affecting $$
  • Need larger tract of land
  • Transportation and fuel costs
  • Larger animal harder to control
  • Longer time to harvest or sell
  • Increased costs of hay and feed
  • Dairy industry is heavily regulated
    • “Pet consumption only”
horses
Horses
  • Great sink of money
  • Need good quality pasture
  • Not necessarily considered agriculture production
  • Important for ag exemption
    • “Greenbelt”
    • Check with property appraiser’s office
exotics
Exotics
  • Have to get in on the beginning of the industry
  • Money made via a pyramid factor
  • Selling the breeding animals is how you make the big money
  • Little $ is made on the actual herd or product
  • NOT recommended!
in conclusion
In Conclusion
  • Livestock can be raised for fun and for profit
  • Should develop a thought out business plan
  • Profit margins are generally lower with livestock
  • Consider your location to feedstores, processors and consumers
  • Niche markets can be profitable for specialized products
  • Gain experience by raising small numbers before investing heavily
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