Whether you’re in the planning phase or have recently bought livestock, it’s important to know that you aren’t alone. With this in mind, here’s some advice for you…and it’s even broken it down into two sections depending on the stage you’re currently at.
Making Your Mind Up
If you haven’t yet spent money and need help with planning, the first thing to consider is the commitment required. Unfortunately, animals don’t live their lives based on a clock, and this means livestock comes with more than a 9 to 5 requirement. Your relaxing weekend might be ruined by a pregnant goat. You might need to spend some time on Christmas Day getting your animals comfortable. You might have tiny chicks making noise downstairs while trying to sleep.
As well as being on call constantly, you also need to consider the cash involved in raising livestock. Of course, there’s the initial cost of the livestock. But you also need to remember the following expenses:
- Medical bills
- Vets bills
After this, there could be a manner of unexpected costs that arise as your animals grow – for example, one might encounter health issues or dental problems. If you want to limit veterinary services bills and other unwanted costs, one of the best things you can do is learn. Learn how to keep your animals healthy and safe by cleaning their waterers and feeders, by changing the straw regularly, and other steps.
To avoid problems, you should never bring an animal home without first having their own home ready. At this stage, you need to plan the utilization of land. Where will each animal stay? Where will you quarantine unwell animals? Where will you place the sturdy fencing? There’s an old saying that it’s easier to keep water contained than goats.
Finally, other considerations include castration, predators, reproduction cycles, culling, death, and more. If you still want animals after reading this, allow us to help with some more considerations and tips to get started.
Firstly, now that your mind is made, you’re probably wondering what animals to keep. Think about where you live, your budget, the space you can offer, and your end goal. While some want dairy animals, others want to feed their family with the meat that comes from livestock. With meat chickens, you could have animals ready to butcher within eight weeks.
Secondly, team up with high-quality professionals. Nowadays, there are all sorts of services whether you need advice, medical professionals, or other guidance. For example, Herd Health Management can assist with pigs, sheep, cows, goats, llamas, ostriches, and even alpacas. As well as dedicated vets, the company offers diagnosis, analysis, and resolution services. By partnering with this professional company, you have help whenever a problem arises.
Thirdly, always budget in advance. Rather than suddenly discovering you can’t afford food next week, plan in advance and consider all expenses. If possible, keep an emergency fund in the bank. If something goes wrong and you have heavy medical bills out of the blue, there’s money set aside to deal with it.
Lastly, always control the emotional investment for you and your family with livestock. Especially with younger children, it’s a fine line between appreciating the animals and making pets of them. After a few weeks, you’ll grow accustomed to seeing the animals, but you need to remember why you purchased them in the first place. Take care in offering livestock a clean and safe life but remember the end goal.
Keep these considerations in mind when making your mind up and planning your livestock adventure!