There are many reason for people to start a cattle farm, it can be for the prospect business or maybe just for a personal pleasure. If you live in the countryside with huge land as your backyard, starting a cattle farm might fill up your personal use. Starting a cattle farm will require a lot of your attention especially if you take care of them personally without any help, and also huge amount of money. What kind of plan you have for your cattle, is the first thing you should have in mind.
To become a successful cattle farmer will takes plenty of knowledge about cattle and practical experience. If you planning to start your own farm, here are 5 things you should know before starting a cattle farm. And if you plan to own beef cattle farm, this article about 4 Guides to Take Care of Beef Cattle are perfect for you.
1. Suitable Land
First thing you should know before starting a cattle farm is how big of land you need. The perfect land size if you planning to raise your cattle grazing on the pasture, should be about 2 acres per cattle. Animals and in this case cow, are happy if they could go roaming around and have a lot of space. Even though they could be raise in closed barn with all the farming facilities inside. Having a tree on the land is great idea, therefore your cattle can have some natural shade when the sun is too hot in the summer.
Fencing the area of your land is necessary, because you need to keep your cattle stay on your property and not wondering around and get lost. Basic barbwire or wood fencing is good enough to keep your cattle in your area. The fence that you put must be strong enough to hold your cattle and prevent them from escaping. Have a strong fence also help to guarantee your farm safety. The fence would prevent any dangerous animals like coyotes and wolf to come into your farm area and kill your cattle.
2. Great Cost
It wasn’t a secret that you need to spend a pretty big sum of money to open a cattle farm. There are no exact number of cost for starting a cattle farm. The amount could be different in every region or country. At least you need to prepare the fund to buy a few cattle, land, feeding, and other necessary equipment.
You need to know that you will not get any income for the first few months until the first calving season at least. Having a cattle farm, it is common knowledge that the income is coming at least once a year. But by having the knowledge and experience of calving method you could turn the calving season from once every 9 months into once every 6 months. Then, you can have twice income a year.
3. Calving Season
You need to know cattle calving season before starting a cattle farm. Having to know the calving pattern is important to you. In cattle farming, accurate prediction of calving time is a key factor for profitability and animal welfare. Having to predict calving time will help you decide when to move a cow to the maternity pen and when to have human supervision.
There are three calving system, a year round, split calving and seasonal calving. The year round calving means at least one of your cows is calving each months for the calving. Split calving is when cattle calve in two or three distinct time period each year, usually it’s on spring and autumn. Seasonal calving means that all cows calve at the same time each year. This method is perfect if you raising dairy cattle, because you will get milk all year long.
- Cattle Breed Sometimes Does Not Match Expectation
There are certain expectation about how long they will start calving and weaning when you starting a cattle farm. But at some point, there are times where cattle breeding will not match your expectation. That pretty much how business go, especially if you dealing with livestock animals. There are times when they could not adapt well with the weather, or they are suddenly infected with certain disease. Many things could go wrong when cattle calving, even though you already the best thing you can to prevent things to happen.
4. Water is The Most Critical Nutrients
Before starting a cattle farm, you need to know that water is the most critical nutrient for your cattle. You need to provide clean water at least ten gallons each day for full grown cattle. The amount of water they consume will be much more than the amount of grass or hay they consume. If the cattle are on calving season, they could consume up to 30 gallons of water a day. That is the reason why you should look up for land that have their own water source or at least near water pond.
- Near Water Source Is Needed
When you plan to rely on water pond, make sure it doesn’t dry up on the summer and doesn’t get frozen in the winter. The reason why you need to have water source that is near is to prevent using a long hose. Watering using a long hose could cause some trouble in winter. A few suggestion is to get an old bath tub with iron material for your cattle, instead buying a conventional trough. It will save a lot of fortune for your business.
- Water Quality
Having a good water quality could affect your cattle consumption. Dissolved solids, hardness, sulfates, nitrates, and sodium are the consumption that affected by the water quality that the cattle consume. Salinity often can be a problem, as water is a good solvent and may contain solved inorganic salts.
5. Build Your Equity Over Time
Since starting a cattle farm requires a large capital investment. Land, cattle, buildings and building as shelter or pens are pretty costly. And when starting a cattle farm is necessary thing to do if you buy all of that. A lot of first time farmer start to buy cattle and rent their land and other big equipment. These cattle are your equity first, and you could build your equity over time. This is another great article about 10 facts to love about cows, to help you enjoy taking care of your cattle farm more.