Livestock Farming Business: How to Run a Sustainable and Profitable Livestock Farming Business


Livestock farming is dynamic and is done either large scale or small scale. The business has home based applications or huge industrial level.
Livestock is very essential because it provides our basic protein requirement. Livestock farming has so many downstream derivatives such as manure for crop propagation, animal feed, and manufacturing.
Livestock has to do with animals and involves bleeding them for commercial purposes. They are breed for consumption, sports, leather and even eggs.
Animal husbandry is a highly profitable business venture that provides an essential service to mankind. Livestock farming is grouped under agriculture and farming and the scope of your operation depends on its size and purpose.
Small animal farms require small to moderate investment while large farms are capital and labor intensive. To succeed you need to know how to run a sustainable and profitable livestock farming business. There are a few things to consider before starting your livestock farming business.
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Choose the Animal
What animal do you want to breed and for what purpose. There is a large choice depending on your area of interest and expertise. Once you have decided to go into a particular sector such as goat, cow, sheep, pig or poultry your next step is identifying the species.
Select the Species
Selecting the right species that thrive in your locality is important because of certain conditions. Animals are influenced by the geographical location, climate, soil and weather. For example you can’t successfully breed bison in the tropics or reindeer in West Africa
Select the Right Breed
Even if you get the species right do you have the right breed. Let’s assume you want to go into diary production. Some breeds of cows are not ideal for certain production.
If you are into milk select a cow that produces large quantity of milk daily with minimum feeding and high productivity. Some principle applies to beef production. 
Proper Financial Planning
You need proper financial planning before starting the venture. Livestock farm requires lots of labor and financial involvement.
The major areas that need lots of funding is feeding, buying the stock, maintenance and regular medication. Other things to consider is proper financial planning, management cost, and return on investment.
Funding
We have said you need funding to start a animal farming business.  Breeding animals don’t come cheap especially feeding and pen upkeep.
It is labor intensive and staffs need adequate compensation for their manpower. There are other major financial involvement such as landed property and building structure. Other things that require money are staff wages, registration fees, licenses and tax.
Bank Loans
You need to secure a bank loan to operate a moderate sized farm. A bank will ask for collateral, business plan and financial involvement of the applicant. The collateral is probably a fixed asset like a building you own or landed property.
You can approach agriculture banks or other commercial financial institutions for loans.
Government Subventions
Agriculture and farming enjoy lots of support from host government. This is because of the very important role agriculture and livestock farming plays in the economy.
The ability to be self sustaining in food supply is the desire of all countries. They even encourage both domestic consumption and exportation.
To encourage farmer’s government gives farmers lots of subsidies and grants. The grants are usually soft loans with long payback periods. They also provide expert support through professional advice and agricultural institutions.
Acquire relevant skills and knowledge.
You need to acquire relevant skills, knowledge and expertise to run a successful farm. Livestock farming requires specialized knowledge of the animal.
Learn from workshops, seminars, practical courses, on a real farm and books. You can go for professional training from an agricultural institute.
Livestock farmers have lots of support from associations and other professionals in your chosen field. Don’t be afraid to seek help from these sources.
Hire the Right Staff
Lazy or dishonest staff can kill your business so hire the right people. Study their professional background, work ethics and knowledge of the business. And get recommendations from their past employers.
Equipment
You need proper equipment to run your livestock farm. Try to use the best technology available to fast track your business.
The type of livestock farming you choose dictates the equipment you need. Find out all the important equipment that can get the job done.
Try and limit your expenditure by focusing only on essential equipment. Other important considerations are risk and office management.
Sourcing your Livestock
Whatever kind of livestock you decide to farm you need the initial brood. You buy livestock from breeders and fellow farmers in your area.
If you want to start a poultry farm you either grow the birds for meat or eggs. The types of chickens used in both industries are different. To produce egg you need layers either old or young layers while meat producers are different.
Similar provisions apply to other livestock animals. Buy the right livestock for the purpose you need.
Other places to buy are research institutes, online and the open market. To find breeders look at your countries yellow pages or do an online search.
Marketing your Product
You need proper and effective marketing to reach your customers. Sell your livestock in your neighborhood, restaurants, meat shops and hotels.
Sell directly to market women, supermarkets or create your own outlet. Other marketing tools are electronic and print media.
Top Livestock Farming Business Ideas
Livestock farming is highly competitive and profitable. However the farmer faces lots of challenges such as funding, stocking, waste management and effective marketing.
Others are disease control, writing a marketable business and insurance. To start your livestock farming business scale down the operations and let it grow naturally. This affords the small farmer time to learn the trade and understand the business.
Livestock farmers contribute immensely on the economy by providing organic fertilizer, and lots of protein. Products associated to livestock farming are leather, meat, and milk. Here is a list of profitable livestock business ideas.
Goat Farming
Goat farming is very simple and needs low capital.  Goats are strong, hardy and resistant to diseases. They are not expensive to buy and feed on various things like grass, hay, fruits. The have very strong stomach but are slightly aggressive and have bad temperaments.
You can rear you goats by cordoning off a space for them to move around freely. Provide water, grass and occasional vet services and they will thrive. Goat meat is in high demand and profitable but you need lots of patience.
Fish Farming
There are many types of fish you can farm such as tilapia and catfish. The venture works as a small scale home based business or large commercial farms.
Fish farming is profitable and the aquatic life needs regular change of clean water. Other things they need to grow are proper feeding and maintenance.
The major financial involvement in this business is building the pond and feeding your stock. You can start a small home based fish farm with low capital investment.
 Buy or build your pond, procure ready-made feed and stock your pond.
Learn how to start a homestead catfish farm
Cattle Farming
Rearing cattle is capital intensive because cows are expensive. You can choose to breed cattle for meat or milk production. You need lots of space including barn houses with secure parameter.
Other expenses are vet services, staff wages, equipment and marketing costs. To succeed select the right specie for the job, provide land, water, healthcare and feed.
Poultry Farming
There is vey high demand for poultry products worldwide. They are breed for meat and egg production. The major challenge in poultry farming is feeding, healthcare and housing. They eat very ravenously and 45% of the entire expenditure goes to feeding.
There are different kinds of poultry such as chickens, quail birds, ostrich, turkey and Guinea fowl. Each sector has its own challenges and recommendations.
Ostrich Farming
Ostrich farming is capital intensive because of the cost of the birds. The birds offer higher returns on investment and require specialized knowledge. To farm ostriches you need lots of landed space and equipment.
Related Reading: How to Start an Ostrich Farm
Snail Farming
Snail farming is done both home based and large commercial enterprise. The kinds of snails best for this business are large snails because they attract premium price.
Build a secure snail pen around food and shelter plants for your snails. Source your snails from breeders or the open market. Sell your products at restaurants, hotels and to market women.
Pig Farming
Opening a piggery is a very profitable business venture. Pigs reproducing rate is very high and they grow fast. With moderate initial investment your farm will grow steadily within two years.
Start your small scale pig farm with one male and three female or buy lots of piglets. Are you interested in pig farming read more on how to start a pig farm?
Rabbit Farming
The reproduction rate of rabbits is very high. You need adequate facility to contain the fast growth rate. Although the amount of meat you get from rabbits is small they make up in shear numbers.
Worms
Do you know that worm farming is highly lucrative? Some people risk their lives hunting large worms in swampy desolate areas. This shows how important and profit they attract.
Earth worms are needed in the bait fishing industry and composite companies. You grow worms in special worm beds that require proper maintenance and handling.
Conclusion
To start your livestock farm select a sector to operate. Create a business plan to cover funding, future projections, equipment and product. Factor labor cost, management structure including fixed assists.
How to Start a Dairy Farm

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