How To Start A Cattle Farm For Highest Profits (2022)

If you are thinking cattle farming is right for you and if you are passionate about raising cattle, then you must have to know how to start a cattle farm business and all other things related to it.

You must have to have or arrange sufficient funds or resources for starting and operating this business successfully.

There are actually many reasons for starting a cattle farming business. Some people want to raise cattle in large scale for selling animals, some people want to raise dairy cattle for the purpose of selling milk.

Some people also start raising cattle to show in fairs and other local events. Some people also raise a few cattle for their family use.

Many people are deciding to raise some cattle for their personal use in today’s economy.

However, whether you want to start a commercial operation or want to have a few animal for your family’s need, there are a few basics about how to start a cattle farm; from selecting farm location to purchasing cattle and selling your products.

Cattle farming is probably one of the most common and profitable animal farming business. Although this business comes with it’s own fair share of challenges.

So you can start with a minimum number of animals and expand gradually. You need to do deep market research, economic and cost analysis and definitely feasibility studies.

Table of Contents

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How to Start a Cattle Farm

As a beginner, starting your own cattle farming business can be a little confusing.

Although it actually is not that difficult. It actually takes plenty of knowledge about animals, deep research and practical experience for becoming a successful cattle farmer.

If you start out in a small scale, work and do everything accordingly, then you will definitely see good results from your business.

Remember, you need to get ready to work hard and make some sacrifices (especially in the early stages).

For starting a cattle farm and operating it successfully, you will need to make a good business plan, select your farm location, arrange some startup funds, purchase cattle farm equipment and supplies.

You will also need to build fences around the farm area, build barns, shelters and sheds for your animals.

By the way, if you can’t do all these alone, then it’s a good idea to find someone experienced in this field.

However, here we are describing more about the process about how to start a cattle farm business.

Make a Business Plan

First of all, you have to make a good business plan for starting and operating your own cattle farming business (it’s just like starting any other business).

You have to include all the expenses, overheads and costs that you may incur in your operation.

For making better business plan, you will need to research your area and note down anything that you think might cost money.

A good business plan should include money for equipment, cost for purchasing animals, establishment cost, cost of salary for staff, cost of feed and also cost for animal care and pasture management also.

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It is also a good idea to plan for an emergency funds and reserves for any unforeseen occurrences. You can consider purchasing insurance and health care for animals.

You can either source the fund of your own or obtain loans from any source.

The good thing is, a good business plan is also very useful and helpful if you want to attract investors or partners and also if you want to obtain loans.

Select Farm Location

Selecting a good location for your farm is very important. While selecting location, try to learn whether raising animals is permitted in your selected area or not.

It will be good if there are good transportation and other required facilities available in the selected area.

You can either use your existing land or purchase from a vendor. In case of purchasing land, it will cost you more.

How To Start A Cattle Farm For Highest Profits (1)

Land prices generally tend to increase in areas where there is a higher population, or land is in higher demand than in other areas. It is also a good idea to purchase an existing or abandoned farm or ranch.

You should contact the local agriculture extension office for having more information on soil type, vegetation, stocking rates and carrying capacity for pastures, market demands etc.

Purchase Equipment & Machinery

Depending on the size of your farm, you will need to purchase some equipment and machinery.

Determine your farm size, operation type and financial situation to see what you need for current facilities, equipment and machinery.

Fencing, watering facilities, feed bunks/troughs or bale feeders is priority above all other assets needed.

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Build Shelter

Shelter is a must for keeping your animals safe. You will need to build multiple buildings and milking parlor with stanchions if you want to raise dairy cattle.

A calf bard and a barn for holding cows is also necessary. On the other hand, beef cattle require less housing facilities. They will be good if you can just keep them safe inside.

Determine the Purpose of Your Cattle Farm

Decide the type of cattle you want to raise in your farm. You should select the type according to your budget and production goals.

Generally most of the people start cattle farming business either for milk production or for beef. Raising beef cattle is relatively easy as compared to raising dairy cattle.

Because raising dairy cattle is much more time consuming and costly, and dairy cows require more equipment and facilities.

Choose Breed

Choose your desired breed after determining the purpose of your cattle farm. There are hundreds of cattle breeds available throughout the world to choose from.

But you should consider about the availability of your desired breed in your area. You should not choose such a breed which is not available easily in your area.

If you are willing to start dairy cattle farming business, then you can consider some popular dairy cattle breeds.

Ayrshire, Brown Swiss, Holstein and Jersey are some popular and common dairy cattle breeds.

In case of beef production, you should consider such breeds which are known for their good temperament and also which are not labor intensive.

Some good beef cattle breeds are British White, Galloway, Hereford, Red Poll and Shorthorn. Angus cattle breed is also a good option for beef production, but they can be aggressive and not actually good for beginners.

You can also choose both type of cattle for a combination of both beef and milk production.

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Purchase Cattle

After selecting a good breed for your production, purchase animals from any of your nearest livestock market, existing farms or from your friends.

You can also search some online classified websites for buying cattle.

While purchasing animals, don’t go whole-hog and buy as many cattle as you can.

Buy only good cattle that have great conformation, temperament forage convertibility and mothering ability. Avoid the animals that look thin and are close to breaking-down.

Heifers can be a good option for you if you have tight budget and if you are willing to wait for 2 years or more.

Buying a bull will not be a good option if you have less than 10 cows in your herd. And in such case you can use artificial insemination for breeding.

Feeding Your Animals

Feeding is the most important part of raising cattle (either for beef or for milk production).

You must have to ensure quality feeding for keeping your animals healthy. Producing the feeds of your own is a very good option.

So, determine the amount of pasture that will be required for the animal.

Producing hay of your own will be good, because purchasing from another source can cost you a lot. However, feeding costs comprise a large percentage. So be ready for all these.

Take Good Care

Always try to take good care of your animals. Vaccinate your animals timely and apply de-worming and de-licing on a regular basis.

Keep Records

You should always keep good records of finances, breeding, calving, vaccinations, purchases, sales and assets in your operation.

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Financial records are the most important records, because these records determine whether your operation is giving you net income or loss. Hope you have learned a lot about how to start a cattle farm business. Best of luck!!

FAQs

What is the most profitable cattle to raise? ›

Beef cattle are generally the most profitable and easiest livestock to raise for profit. Beef cattle simply require good pasture, supplemental hay during the winter, fresh water, vaccinations and plenty of room to roam. You can buy calves from dairy farms inexpensively to start raising beef cattle.

How profitable is a cow farm? ›

Still, on average, large farms show the most profit per cow at about $275 per cow. Farms with less than 200 cows have profits of about $160 per cow. Herds with 200 to 500 cows are seeing profits of just $84 per cow. “The challenging size are the 200- to 500-cow farms,” he says.

What farm animal makes the most money? ›

Raising just a few heads of cattle each year can provide you with a good bonus income since beef and dairy products are always in demand.
  • 1 - Cattle. With a massive market for beef in the U.S. and Canada, raising cattle is at the top of the list for livestock. ...
  • 2 - Chickens. ...
  • 3 – Goats. ...
  • 4 – Bees. ...
  • 5 – Rabbits.

How many cows make a living? ›

Usually 2 or more. A cow usually has some fool to feed her, and they make a very comfortable living. Most of the time they get a job with water, an occasional conjugal visit, and plenty of grass and usually some shelter.

What is the easiest livestock to raise? ›

Pekin Ducks. Pekin Ducks are the easiest farm animals to raise. They are a great source for meat and large eggs.

Is there money in raising cattle? ›

Making money with cattle is hard, but it's possible and it's possible to do it consistently. Here's a review of what you can do to improve the bottom line. Several months ago, in an article about managing for profit, I included a list of major determinants of ranch profitability.

Which is more profitable goats or cows? ›

Goat production is highly profitable, even better than cattle or sheep.

What is the easiest farm to start? ›

20 Most Profitable Small Farm Ideas
  1. Tree Nursery. A tree nursery can be a great investment when done right. ...
  2. Fish Farming. ...
  3. Dual Crop Farming. ...
  4. Dairy Farming. ...
  5. Herb Gardening. ...
  6. Bee Farming. ...
  7. Aquaponics. ...
  8. Microgreens Farming.
Aug 1, 2019

How much land do you need for cattle? ›

Cows require a considerable amount of space when compared to other livestock. “You want at least an acre per cow,” Robbins said. “If they're going to have a baby, you want two acres for a cow-calf pair. That's the minimum amount of land.”

How many acres do you need per cow? ›

A dry cow that weighs 1,200 lbs. would be 1.5 AD. A 1,200-lb. cow with a small calf at her side would be 1.75 AD.

How do I invest in cattle? ›

How to Invest in Cattle?
  1. Step 1 - Buying the Cattle. You sign the cattle program contract with us and fund your investment. ...
  2. Step 2 - Raising the Cattle. When the cattle has been purchased, it is transported to the farm management partner farms. ...
  3. Step 3 - Selling the Cattle.

Are pigs or cows more profitable? ›

Are cows or pigs more profitable? If you are raising dozens of animals, then cows are generally more profitable than pigs. Cattle herds reproduce and there are many ways to make money off of them. But, if you are looking to raise a few animals, then pigs are more profitable than cows.

How many cows can you put on 10 acres? ›

On average, you can have around 0.4 to 0.8 head of cattle per acre if you want to ensure the grazing at the proper rate. Keep in mind that one head of cattle (or one Animal Unit) often refers to the cow and calf pair.

What is the most low maintenance farm animal? ›

The chicken topped the list for the most low maintenance farm animal. Chickens don't need much land, food, or clean-up, and in turn, just a couple of chickens can provide you with a constant supply of meat and eggs. Now, hold on!

What is the cheapest farm animal to own? ›

Chickens are generally a low-cost farm animal; the feed is cheap, and they love to eat all of your scraps.

What is the most efficient livestock? ›

Tracking food animal production from the feed trough to the dinner table, Pimentel found broiler chickens to be the most efficient use of fossil energy, and beef, the least.

Are cows a tax write off? ›

Whether you sell, breed, or use cattle within your farm, you are in the business of farming. You will be able to claim a cattle tax deduction once you establish how you use the cattle — and you may use them in more than one way. You'll need to fill out IRS Publication 225, Form 4797, and Form 4562 come tax season.

How many cows can you have on 20 acres? ›

It looks like our rule-of-thumb held up pretty good, 11 cows on 20 acres, is 1.8 acres per cow. We have enough forage to feed our cows for the whole year. These figures give you a good estimate and are a great place to start. Unfortunately, grass does not grow in equal amounts the entire year.

How much is a 600 pound calf worth? ›

The Value of Selling Steer Calves vs Bull Calves
Value of 550 lb bull, initial price of $155 per cwt
$15 / cwt price slide$853 per head
Value of 600 lb bull
$10 / cwt price slide$900 per head
$15 / cwt price slide$885 per head
11 more rows
Mar 30, 2018

How much does it cost to raise cattle? ›

The average cost to raise a cow for a year is between $500 and $1,000. This number includes prices for feed and care! So there are plenty of ways you can cut costs.

How much can one cow make? ›

With one cow giving at least 15 liters of milk in a day, revenue from the sale of milk of one cow comes around Rs. 900. Deducting the expense of the cattle feed, which is approximately Rs. 130/day for a cow, the approximate profit earned per cattle for a day is Rs.

Can you make a living raising cattle? ›

Making money with cattle is hard, but it's possible and it's possible to do it consistently. Here's a review of what you can do to improve the bottom line. Several months ago, in an article about managing for profit, I included a list of major determinants of ranch profitability.

Which is more profitable goats or cows? ›

Goat production is highly profitable, even better than cattle or sheep.

How many acres do you need per cow? ›

A dry cow that weighs 1,200 lbs. would be 1.5 AD. A 1,200-lb. cow with a small calf at her side would be 1.75 AD.

Are cows a tax write off? ›

Whether you sell, breed, or use cattle within your farm, you are in the business of farming. You will be able to claim a cattle tax deduction once you establish how you use the cattle — and you may use them in more than one way. You'll need to fill out IRS Publication 225, Form 4797, and Form 4562 come tax season.

How much profit can you make on a cow? ›

Based on these assumptions and adjusted for the weaning rate, average calf revenue is $608 per cow.

Is buying and selling cattle profitable? ›

The business of buying and selling cattle can be a considerably lucrative one. A cattle buyer looks only for the healthiest cattle, while a seller wants to make sure that he gets the best prices for the cows he's selling.

What is the easiest livestock to raise? ›

Pekin Ducks. Pekin Ducks are the easiest farm animals to raise. They are a great source for meat and large eggs.

How many heads of cattle do you need for 50 acres? ›

How many heads of cattle per acre can I keep? On average, you can have around 0.4 to 0.8 head of cattle per acre if you want to ensure the grazing at the proper rate. Keep in mind that one head of cattle (or one Animal Unit) often refers to the cow and calf pair.

How much does it cost to raise cattle? ›

The average cost to raise a cow for a year is between $500 and $1,000. This number includes prices for feed and care! So there are plenty of ways you can cut costs.

How many cows can 10 acres support? ›

You may have heard a rule-of-thumb is that it takes 1.5 to 2 acres to feed a cow calf pair for 12 months. That means we should be able to have 10 to 13 cows. Let's see how this rule-of-thumb holds up. It looks like our rule-of-thumb held up pretty good, 11 cows on 20 acres, is 1.8 acres per cow.

What do cows need in winter? ›

With good body condition, a clean, dry coat, shelter, fresh water and good nutrition, dairy cattle can tolerate temperatures well below zero. Both dairy and beef cattle are incredibly hardy. Cattle can live outside in the winter and do quite well even during winter storms if provided with a few key components.

How long does it take to raise a cow for slaughter? ›

Butchering cows, however, is complicated and requires a specific skill set and tools, so it is important to know where you will process your beef. If you are raising a cow for beef, Robbins said that grass-fed cows will be ready to eat at around 28 to 30 months, while grain-fed cows can be ready by 15 to 16 months.

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