Investing in livestock will always be a good idea since it churns out several useful products, especially food. There will always be a demand for meat and dairy, which should bode well for business. If you want to start an animal farm, most investors will suggest you begin with cattle.
Cattle are arguably the most popular choice in livestock investment because they bring in the highest revenue. Putting your money in cattle also means you will have a longer time frame to milk them out since they have a significantly more extensive growing phase than other farm animals.
If you are interested in breeding cattle for business, you will need to put in a lot of effort and money to ensure your venture succeeds. Here are a few essential things you need to know to start your investment on the right hoof:
- Picking the Right Breed
There are different breeds of cattle, each better suited for a particular task than the rest. You should already know which kind of cattle business you want so you can select the best breed for its production.
For example, if you are looking to produce mostly meat, the Angus breed can provide considerably more than the other cows. Angus beef is also easier to market and move due to its current popularity. If you wish to go the dairy route instead, theHolstein-Friesiancattle should be the right choice since its milk output is on the higher ranges.
There are other factors to consider in choosing a breed, like the local climate in your farm’s location. Some cattle thrive in warmer temperatures, while other breeds prefer colder weather. Your overall budget will also be relevant since some kinds are pricier, and maintenance costs will vary depending on which cattle you choose to take care of.
- Learning About Cattle Housing
Once you have decided on a breed, you will need to set up a shelter for the cattle before completing your purchase. Some investors fail this early in the business because the structure they build is not enough to protect the animals, especially during colder seasons. Think of your cattle as tenants. Itis is not enough that you give them a zero-cost mortgage; you also need to make sure their living conditions are above average so that they will stay longer with you.
One of the characteristics of a good cattle housing is air quality. The shelter should have good air circulation, either by natural ventilation through building openings or by using air inlets and fans. The structure should have panels or walls situated strategically to block or at least reduce drafts. Installing portable hay feeders is also recommended to lessen food waste, as the cattle can just continue eating while their heads are inside the feeder instead of having to raise their heads and chew after each bite.
- Taking Good Care of Your Herd
If this is your first time taking care of cattle, it is better if you start with a small number first. Some investors start their farms with two to three cows, then slowly expand their count as they start making more money. The goal at this stage is to successfully raise the cattle until you can turn them into profit, so focusing on a few cows or bulls should be more comfortable than raising a full herd at the get-go. If you feel that the task is too challenging, you can hire an expert to help you manage your farm.
Cattle take up a lot of space, so you need to prepare plenty of room for them to roam on. The usual area of land required to start a cattle farm business ranges from one to two hectares, and of course, you need a property that has thick grass so you can build your pastures on it. If left unsupervised, cattle can completely eat up pastures, so practice field rotation to prevent losing all of your grass.
It should go without saying, but make sure their water supply is always clean. Dirty water can quickly make cattle sick, and an unhealthy cow can negatively affect the herd without needing to spread the sickness.
Aside from keeping the cattle well-fed and nourished, you also need to schedule them for regular veterinary visits. They need to be up to date with their vaccinations, and they should bedewormedandde-licedfrom time to time. Maintaining a consistent health program will protect your cattle from contracting illnesses that can easily be acquired across the herd and hamper your business.