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Farming and rural life discussion forum. Cooking, hunting, gardening, fishing, critters, etc.
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raising animals on small scale

Sat Dec 27, 2008 6:49 pm

stealing Rudi's statement and starting a new thread vs hijacking a thread.

I am not sure what the best feed would be, but I am curious. Em and I are thinkiing that we just may start raising animals again. Small scale, a meat kings, some RIR's, a turkey or two and maybe a couple piglets to start. It was enjoyable when we did and have been thinking with the price of meat these days, it might be an option for us to mitigate expenses. Cost is not really the main concern, but raising our own fowl etc., we knew what we were getting and none of the stuff the commercial producers feed and there was less fat on them.

After trying to raise animals and not having everything to feed them. I realized I could not make money. However I really enjoyed it and Knew the quality of the meat I was eating. If money is not an option, you can produce food with far better quality then you can buy in any store.

The problem is feeding the animals. Feed has a cost which is expensive. It is cheaper for large farms doing mass production to feed and raise an animal then a person trying to raise a handfull. I tried pigs, if I cut out commercial feed and used day old baked goods, corn and vegetables. I could not acheive the weight gain to make it worth while. It sure tasted better, but cost twice as much as store bought. I raised steers for a few years. I grow my own hay, so that was cheaper then buying it. But you have to have the equipment and all the costs incurred. Since I did not raise corn or have a means to pick or process it. I had to buy feed. When you start talking a 5 gallon bucket of feed a day per steer it gets expensive. I in turn cut back on the amount of feed that I fed. This in turn meant that I lost weight gain on the steer. I raised chickens for eggs, you either have free range or pen birds. Free range are cheaper to feed, however your egg production is down. You also still need some sort of scratch for them to eat, to keep egg production up. If they are free range they will also stop or slow down egg production in the winter. Right now I have 20 chickens been feeding them for 5 months. I should start getting eggs soon. I will sell the eggs at $2.50 a dozen. I will not make a profit, but will cover costs, so this will make me happy.

I would like to see others input

Re: raising animals on small scale

Sat Dec 27, 2008 8:14 pm

smigelski, i have the same issues being a small operation. as i said in the other post when i'm feeding any number,i perfer to shop around with the locals for ear corn buy the ton and custom blend my own feed. if i get my hammer mill together i can even cut out the guy with the mobile grind/mixer. it takes a lot of searching and looking around. i put bale hay up for the real bad weather,and while i can, i buy the 6-700 lb round bales. the other thing i do is have my close friends go in on sides of beef. from purchase to the butcher everything is split equally as far as finances. i have to do most of the work but hey this is what i choose just so that i know what is on my dinner plate. i guess i'm basically in a break even mode on every thing. let's say three people on two beef,a side apiece with one to keep it even and to sell what remains to offset the butchering. i sometimes will butcher lamb and goats for friends but there again i don't see much profit. as for when i have chickens as long as the sale of the eggs pays for the feed,and i get to keep a few then i can justify their existence .i have a billy and nanny goat and if they don't produce in the spring one or the other will see the freezer. probably him because he hasn't handled his business. i pretty much think along the lines of being at the top of the food chain. another thing i have going is that around here we have a lot of horse people and in the spring at first cutting last years hay isn't good enough for their horses so i get lucky now and then and clean out barns at a dollar a bale. sorry but this type of horse people are strange and drive up the cost of hay.i juice a lot of carrots,beets celery, and cucumbers, and what my worms don't get ,the animals love the fiber.i guess its just trying to live almost like in a different time when everything had a purpose and ya utilize everything you have to keep air in your ball. :)):

Re: raising animals on small scale

Sun Dec 28, 2008 2:35 am

Horse people are the hay market here. I loose alot of money not selling to them. But it is not worth the headache dealing with them. I know you know what I mean, we are less then 45 minutes apart. I tried goats, until you speak mexican, you won't make money. I had a mexican buddy, he made millions(no kidding) I lost my rear side. They just cost to much to raise and get $45 for a 6mth old goat. I don't mind rasieing a steer or 2 for myself. I will never make any money at it though. All I do are round bales, 4ft models. They fit in the bed of a pick up truck. I get $40 a peice for them and have them sold before they are even baled, except for the bales I keep for myself. I think this year I will end up with about 60 extra.

Re: raising animals on small scale

Sun Dec 28, 2008 8:31 pm

EXTRA'S!!! 45 MINUTES hahaha 8) :lol: 8)
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