Have you noticed how many animals, or lack of, are grazing on fields? Maybe your neighbours are increasing their herds or perhaps you’re seeing a lack of livestock near you. With rising populations and hungry mouths to feed, raising livestock can be very lucrative! But which livestock are best?
Below we’re going to cover the 3 most popular livestock raised all over the world – who knows, maybe you’ll be inspired to take your farm in a new direction!
Chickens are leading the way! They are by far the most popular livestock worldwide. Nearly all populations enjoy eating chicken and don’t forget their eggs too. Generally you’ll need to either pick raising chickens as layers or for meat as once a chicken has passed their egg laying years they won’t be young enough to be sold as meat.
Free-range eggs and the treatment of chickens is a big concern in Europe (not so much in the USA) so just like cattle you’ll want to make sure you have some land space for them to roam freely in. That being said, they are still a lot smaller than cattle and pigs so if you’ve got a smaller farm chickens can be ideal.
You also need to remember that unless you have a large indoor space where you can manipulate the lighting and temperature, the chickens will stop laying over the cold winter months.
When it comes to cattle, most farms will either pick milking or meat as their goal. Don’t forget you can also sell the leather which is something unique to cattle and an added bonus compared to chickens and pigs.
Cattle need the most land space out of the 3 for grazing (unless you’re going to invest in grain-feeding pens and troughs), especially if you’re going to be selling your products as organic. Carefully consider your land space before trying to farm with cattle.
You also need to consider the soil type and grasses that grow on your land – can they withstand constant trampling, or will you end up with a muddy mess?
Pigs are the third most common livestock raised on farms in the world. Sure, they smell a bit and you’ll need to invest in special pens and sty’s, but people love pork!
I’ve been a pig farmer before (I’m now retired) and I found that the best way to make the most money from your pig farm is to be efficient. So, if you’re going to invest in pigs you should really work out a detailed plan for the future, including how you’ll use land space, transporting the livestock and feeding them.
One website I found to be particularly useful was www.skiold.com as they have some great info and tips on efficiently feeding pigs. Check out their range of feeders too, you might find something that perfect for your farm or an improvement on your existing equipment.
Pigs, cattle or chickens – the choice is yours. Think carefully and look after your livestock responsibly and you’ll be running a very successful farm.