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Raising Livestock on Limited Acreage Christine Kelly-Begazo Agriculture Agent.

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Presentation on theme: "Raising Livestock on Limited Acreage Christine Kelly-Begazo Agriculture Agent."— Presentation transcript:

1 Raising Livestock on Limited Acreage Christine Kelly-Begazo Agriculture Agent

2 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.

3 Only in…… Your dreams! Farmville Facebook

4 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

5 Still interested? Before you buy your first animal… 1.Set realistic goals 2.Why do you want this? - is this for $, self-sufficiency or pleasure 3.What are your priorities for quality of life? - Enjoy farming during free time? - Can you “harvest” animals? 4.What is your life philosophy (“Big Picture”) - Environmentalism - Food security

6 Do Your Research Learn everything possible about your product  Growing and feeding  Processing and dressing  Packaging and labeling  Marketing and preparing

7 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?

8 What are the Laws? Zoning & ordinances Processing –USDA –State Health –Market system requirements Labeling Legal to sell –EGGS

9 Niche Marketing Free range Guaranteed tender Locally produced Ethnic foods Custom slaughter Organic Sustainable Pasture fed Corn fed Hormone free

10 Livestock Choices Traditional Non-traditional Llamas Alpacas Ostrich Emus Buffalo Guinea pig Gator Hogs Chickens Goats Horses Cattle Sheep Rabbits

11 Major Considerations for Animal Production Biggest issues

12 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

13 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’

14 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

15 Recordkeeping Inicial Outlay –Land, stock, fencing, bldgs, equipment Labor –YOUR time, volunteers, family & friends Production –Reproduction, weight gains Sales/Income Inventory

16 Factors That Hinder Production & Success

17 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

18 Limiting Factors Affecting $$ Predators # of laying boxes Area per bird Parasites Inadequate nutrition Lack of water Genetics Age of animal

19 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

20 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 Affecting $$

21 Predators Lack of market base Lack of harvest facilities –Location and transportation Inability to harvest USDA regulations Packaging & marketing Limiting Factors (con’t)

22 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

23 Fencing, fencing & more fencing Milk production is labor intensive Limited legal market for milk Lack of harvesting facilities Lack of shearing capabilities Parasites! Limiting Factors Affecting $$

24 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

25 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…

26 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” Limiting Factors Affecting $$

27 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

28 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!

29 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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