Farming On A Budget - Tips For Keeping Livestock Costs Down

Image from  Pixabay

Image from Pixabay

Farmers have a reputation for being fairly thrifty and frugal. Even though they can get a lot of financial help from the government, they still need to carefully watch their pennies as the everyday costs of farming can be extremely high. And one of the most expensive parts of running a successful farm is taking good care of livestock. If the costs of livestock creep up, it can be very difficult to make a profit on the animals. So, it is always important for farmers to try and keep their costs down to a minimum. Read on for some great tips on how to do exactly that!

Choose Calving Season Carefully

There are two options for calving your cows. You can prepare the cows so that they are ready to calf in either spring or in the summer. Some farmers choose the former option, as it gives them a chance to sell young cows as early as in the fall. However, it is also a very expensive time to calf, as you need to invest significantly to ensure the calves survive the cold spring weather. The cheapest option is to calf your cows in the summer, once the summer is favorable, and the pastures are green providing plenty of food.

Image from Pixabay

Image from Pixabay

Research Winter Food Options

It’s cheap to feed cattle and livestock in the summer, as they can help themselves to as much grass in the fields as they like. However, when your livestock is all inside for the winter, you will need to pay for food. It’s a good idea to research the different animal feed companies in your area to see who can offer the best deal. You can also prepare your own food from any grass that is cut down on your land in the summer can be dried and turned to hay.

Pick The Best Breeds

Each breed of cattle, sheep, and pig has been bred to withstand different climates and conditions. For example, Highland Cattle have thick coats so that they can survive in very low temperatures. Some cows have been bred for warmer climates and have very thin coats. Ideally, you need to pick the breeds that are best suited to your climate and conditions. Picking the wrong breeds could make it difficult for them to survive, and you could end up replacing your animals frequently.

Image from Pixabay

Image from Pixabay

Splitting Livestock Into Small Herds

It is a bad idea to split your livestock into small herds. These are often very difficult to manage and can lead to many mistakes being made. It will increase your labor costs, and you will also be using all of your pastures and grazing areas at all times, making pasture rotation almost impossible. If you combine all your herds, you will be saving a lot of time, money, and pasture space.

There are ways around very high livestock costs. These tips are just a few of the different ways you can prevent spending too much. And the success of your farm will increase as a result!


Nicole Caldwell

Nicole Caldwell is a self-taught environmentalist, green-living savant and sustainability educator with more than a decade of professional writing experience. She is also the co-founder of Better Farm and president of betterArts. Nicole’s work has been featured in Mother Earth News, Reader’s Digest, Time Out New York, and many other publications. Her first book, Better: The Everyday Art of Sustainable Living, is due out this July through New Society Publishers.