Do you make money?
Ya but what did it cost you to raise that chicken?
But if you had to buy it, what would it be worth?
What do you spend to have what you have?
But it does not cost that much to keep those critters?
Why does it cost you so much to raise that lamb?
Why do you spend so much on seeds?
Its got to be cheaper to just buy it in the stores.
Ok folks.. I am going to break a unspoken homesteading rule.. I am going to talk numbers! AHHHHHH.. run for the hills.. stats, data.. hard costs.. Hauling costs, Butcher costs and more.
LOL, no really, now that I am done poking fun at things, lets get to the meat of things.
Those are honestly real questions I have been asked over and over again.
So the first thing we have to do is get a full grasp on what I have on the farm at this time.
We started the new year here on the farm with..
- 3 dogs (two farm/house dogs and one adorable house dog)
- 6 cats (mix of outside farm cats only and indoor/outdoor farm cats)
- 2 Geese (bonded)
- 1 turkey hen
- 25 Adult chickens (breeding pen of four purebred) the rest mixed breed
- 12 adult ducks
- 2 adult breeding rabbits
- 10 Grow out rabbit kits
- 3 goats – Two Does and One Buck
- 1 pig
- 13 sheep
- 2 horse’s
- Hard Fruit Tree’s
- Cane Fruit Garden’s
- Soft Fruit Bushes
Now everything listed up there has their own roles on the farm, some of them are ready for butcher and will be done over the next while.. There will be changes to the breeding programs, the meat growing programs and so forth over the year.
This is my first year that I am totally pulling back on raising extra farm gate meat for sale.. the meat raised on the farm is for our own farm use only. If this changes, I will make notes on that. Eggs however are open for farm gate sales.
All milk/milk products are for on farm use only!
Seeds/plants and plant productions are open to a point for use in farm gate sales
Photo sales directly related to the farm or farm critters will count towards farm income, however photography sessions and or sales not related to the farm or the farm critters does not count towards it.
The first thing to go will be the yearling sheep now that they are getting nice and big, they are ready to be done.. as I was growing them for my own use I prefer them to be larger/older then the “average” lamb. I very much like hoggart (over one year in age, but not older then two years of age)
The pig is ready for butcher as well.. its on the list but the weather must get better.
The intend is to grow less meat overall, but a wider kind of types and increase the amount of fruit/veggies/herbs we are growing. I can raise livestock at a rate on the farm out pace’s our own needs very easily. This is something that I need to pull back on!
So the out costs this month are in (I am early but I will not need to be buying anything more so I can round this one up ahead of time and get it out)
There are some things that were gotten before the start of the new year but I am not going backwards on this only forward, I will include it in the costs only if I buy it after 2019. Example, we are using straw as bedding, but its not being included in the costs until it comes in new bale for the new year.
I will do a different on the single critter cost out.. here is a beef example from years past.
Ok so here is our numbers for Jan
- Hay Costs – $300
- Feed Costs – $243
- Vet Costs- $122
- Ferrier Costs- $100
- 21 dozen Eggs (at 5 dollars a dozen, which is the average cost for farm gate eggs Mix of chicken/duck eggs) – $105
So we finish the month of Jan in the hole LOL
In the Red by $660
What a great start to the year!
Honestly I am not worried, I know that the farm “saves” us money and that we get a yield back on our investment in a big way, plus we know how the animals are raised, the food grown and the processed.
I have tried to do a hard track year but things keep getting in the way.. the last time I did a full hard track year and was successful at doing so ALL year long was a while go.. I need to do so this year and get a firm grasp on where we were, and where we are.
However having said that, in many ways we are starting a lot of the yard/gardens over again because of what happened last year. This will means many things will be up in the air in regards to what can and will get done.
Throw in the fact that we are in for a wild weather ride and we will see..
Thanks Val for opening your “books” for us. This is a question I asked you a year or two ago when we didn’t “know” each other at all. Although our relationship is “virtual”, you share so much I feel like I know you! It took my husband a while to figure out all my “Valerie says… or Val does…” stories weren’t about my suburban sister-in-law😉.
This part of homesteading is similar to your recent post on health care needs and costs of homesteaders, farmers and rural folk. Although the actual cost benefit is not always “better”, there is the quality of food, quality of care of your livestock and your own quality of life. I will likely always be a homesteader want-to-be, but for the food we do grow, hunt, purchase from local farmers direct and process ourselves, it is part quality and a large part “hobby”. There is a personal satisfaction to putting up our own grown food or purchasing locally and curing and smoking our own meat.
In the meantime, I truly enjoy living vicariously through your blog and personal Facebook posts. Thank you for keeping it real!!
Thank you Penny 🙂 I have enjoyed getting to know you as well
Penny you expressed my thoughts perfectly.
Thanks for all the knowledge Val.
Thank you for letting me know that Gail 🙂 Have a great day!
Thank you for this insight, as you say, yes it’s hard work and there’s costs involved with growing your own food and looking after your animals. But having fresh food and knowing where and how it’s been grown/raised brings great satisfaction.
Good luck with the pig, they always provide a lot of food. My sister and her husband raise two pigs in their old stable when they have time and they are great at eating any leftovers/peels/bits and bobs they have. Really converting leftover food to more food, really! Unless it’s an emergency, you are not allowed to butcher on your own farm back home so they have to be sent to the abbatoir. But they send us back the whole carcass and so a whole day is spent partitioning it up into pork chops and ham and all sorts of lovely things for the freezer ❤
very interesting t hat you can not home kill but you get the whole carcass back so you can do your own processing!
Yes, exactly what I was thinking!
Thanks for sharing, this stuff is really interesting to me. We are in yr 2 on our little half acre, almost nothing done last year, so some of the big costs will be this year and for the next 2. I think. Fencing is a big one this year. I think we will do the top 1/3 to 6ft because of the deer pressure and then decide what we want to do for the rest. It currently has about 3ft high wire in very poor shape, but at least we know where to run the new one! We do slightly raised beds ( more like raised rows with edging) at the moment, so they can be covered, it would be nice to be free’d up from that with better fencing. The bottom 1/3 of the yard has a pond and is pretty much a swamp in the winter. I am hoping we can use it in the drier months as there will always be more moisture down there. If not, we might be able to get 6 months raising something meaty on that patch! I have never raised a food animal, but there are lots of people here who are happy to advise and assist. Especially some older people who don’t do things themselves any more, but are thrilled to help you/tell you, about doing things :-).
Thanks Nicola, It sounds like we will be working on a number of the same things this year, we have fencing to do as well, I also need to redo the grape vines.. that’s going to be a ton of work fixing it, but I need to get them pruned back up and onto a bigger new set up. The only one as study built as we thought it was caved under the weight.
The pond area can be used in a number of ways, I am interested in trying a few new things in regards to working on a older pond and at the same time, working on getting a pond to hold more water.. Its a odd thing but I will be sharing more later on it.
I am working on whole new sections of the yard that right now is just ripped up soil that has been turned badly given that it also had stumps and roots pulled out.
“we are in for a wild weather ride” (and off to a Flying Start, that’s for sure!:/)
While I know that many folks are really unhappy with the cold and snow, I have to admit that I can and do see positives on it to be honest. I am thrilled that we have had this much deep cold in terms of what it will do for some of those “southern” ticks that moved up on our mild winters that they say will be killed off in this bitter cold.. the same with some of the other “pests” that have been getting larger productions in terms of milder winters, same with some of the more invasive plants vs native.. As for the farm itself, well we are giving our repairs a heck of a good work out and seeing our results in real time 🙂
I recall reading that it took two weeks of extended cold to kill off (Spruce Budworm? That’s how long ago it was:/) so who knows about just how bad it needs to be. And sadly, whether those b’tard ticks are just snuggled up nice and cozy under that massive blanket of snow…
My reading says that our Canadian ticks are doing just fine.. but those southern ticks.. we should be seeing a kill off.. Now I know that means that the ones that make it are going to pass on those tougher genes to the next gen. Still to have a population crash due the cold is a good thing.
You betcha!!! So, are the Black-Legged Deer Tick of the “southern”/invasive species type or “native”?
Little bit of both.. clearly if they have been doing that well in Maine, new York and such, then we have had them here as well.. ticks and the birds that fly back and forth, doing care about the border.. plus there has to have been some breeding of tougher ticks etc.. but its a mixed bag of reasons why they are moving and increasing in numbers.. https://scifundchallenge.org/ecotome/2015/01/30/what-is-causing-eastern-blacklegged-tick-range-expansion/
Too many flippin’ deer, for one thing. Need people to get out there and “bring home the ‘bacon’”
Either way, sure hoping it helps, that’s for sure!
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