Cost of Raising Cattle
Raising Cattle - Tips Before You Start
What is the
cost of raising cattle for
beef or dairy? It shouldn’t be too expensive,
right? All you have to do is buy the cow, put it in a field, and watch
it graze. Right? Wrong! Many people have thought of trying to raise
their own cows for meat or milk, but not many have considered the actual
cost of raising cattle. Below is a rundown of all the costs involved
when you are learning
how to raise cattle.
The first cost to be considered is the actual cost of the cow. The price
depends on the breed of the cow, as well as secondary factors such as
its age and size. You also have to consider the current cost of feeding
it and how long you have to wait until it can be bred.
The cost of raising cattle also depends on the cost of providing shelter
for them. Money can be spent on building expensive sheds or barns.
Alternatively, a simple windbreak can suffice. Consider that thousands
of cattle are raised successfully with little or no housing. Many cows
spend their whole lives out in the open but, to be on the safe side and
to protect the health of your cows, it would be wise to build or rent
for them a place that will shelter them from rain and wind. The
structure has to provide shade, be draft-free, and be spacious enough
for all its occupants. The cost of raising cattle also includes the cost
of putting up sturdy fences to keep the cows from straying and to
protect them from thieves and other animals.
A normal cow will consume about 12 gallons of water every day. This fact
should be taken into account when tallying up the total cost of raising
cattle. Tank heaters will be necessary during the colder months – this,
too, should be accounted for.
The life of the cattle and the quality of meat they produce will rely on
the pasture they graze on. According to some farmers, cows thrive on
pasture that is a mixture of alfalfa, brome, and timothy. This provides
more grazing than straight bluegrass. Remember that it takes around 20
acres of grass to pasture one head of cattle.
5. Hay and ground feed
The cost of
feeding a cow will make up a significant portion of the
total cost of raising cattle. For a cow to produce good beef, it needs
to consume about half to ¾ of a ton of hay. Remember that alfalfa is the
best kind of hay for cattle and is the standard by which all other kinds
of hay are judged. It is also the most expensive. As for ground feed,
corn is the best feed there is and you will need about a thousand pounds
of it for every cow you have.
6. Veterinary and other costs
Apart from the cost of buying a cow, sheltering it, watering it, and
feeding it, you also have to take into consideration a number of other
expenses. There’s the cost of labor, the cost of transporting cattle,
the cost of breeding a cow,
service and so on. These are only some of the costs
that you have to keep in mind if you are curious about the total cost of
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