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 as of Feb 2019 (if you want to see the list for Jan, Here is the link to that post )
- 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
- 21 Adult chickens (breeding pen of four purebred) the rest mixed breed * Had a attack by weasel and lost 3 hens and one rooster.
- 12 adult ducks
- 2 adult breeding rabbits
- 10 Grow out rabbit kits
- 3 goats – Two Does and One Buck
- 1 pig
- 13 sheep
- Six New Lambs (4 Ram Lambs and 2 Ewe Lambs)
- 2 horse’s
Ok, so to make things a little easier to see, anything that changed from month to month or is new is in the slant.
Hard Fruit Tree’s
Cane Fruit Garden’s
Soft Fruit Bushes
590 dollars spent on new Fruit Tree’s, Nut tree’s, Fruiting bushes and Fruiting Canes. That includes Tax and shipping costs. All are bare root and between 2 and 3 foot whips or canes.
Training or Education Cost 2019
130 -Eco Farm Days (early bird cost for savings) for two full days
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
Ok so here is our numbers for Feb
- Hay Costs – $300
- Straw 40
- Feed Costs – $286
- Vet Costs- 0
- Ferrier Costs- 0
19 dozen Eggs (at 5 dollars a dozen, which is the average cost for farm gate eggs Mix of chicken/duck eggs) – $95
- Jan income $105
- Feb income $95
In the Red by $1,191
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..
I’m kind of glad to see I’m not the only one spending a lot on fruit trees. My husband raised an eyebrow at me when I told him how much I planned to spend this year! They are expensive, and you don’t see a return for ages, but as our older fruit trees are starting to bear, I sure am glad I spent that money 5-8 years ago.
We are finally starting to see some steady returns on the first apple, cherry, plum and pear tree’s we planted but we are still at the point that the soft fruit and cane fruit is till out producing the hard fruit and I will look forward to the day that flips.. that is part of the reason I took a all day fruit ochard seminar, and I will be taking a pruning course next weekend. I need to figure out what we are needing to adjust to get better yields. I am very much looking forward (despite the cost) of adding these new tree’s in. I am excited to see how the nut bushes do. I look forward to reading about how yours go!
Yes, you will spend money on the fruit trees now but with love and care, they will give that back to you when they come into fruit. And yes, you have to spend money on hay and feed for the animals but as spring comes they can be let out and can graze outside. It’s all swings and roundabouts, really ^_^ And as you say, you know where the food comes from and how the animals have been raised.
I am excited about the new fruiting tree’s and bushes I have coming, I agree.. while I can get a certain amount of things locally from the wild and move them to the farm, sometimes you just need to pay some money to get certain types of things that will be better suited to the farm or at least I hope they will be.. As for the hay and feed.. its winter.. its expected, its planned for.. I live in a northern climate.. you are so right.. soon enough they will be grazing on lush spring green pastures 🙂 Well, they will have to have some hay this year, because I am going to be re-seeding a number of my pastures and that means I can’t graze them on it the same way and therefor I will have to dry lot them part of the time this year.. but again that part of the plan and will in the end save us a great deal of money.
J & D > Our equivalent enterprise does make a profit, but not enough to justify the labour. But how do you put a value on quality? Or peace of mind? Or doing right by the environment? Or quality of life? If we really must do a balance sheet, then we can add the permanent improvements to the value of the land ; and hopefully that does take account of our labour!
morning, hard data can look so stark when done in point form that’s for sure, your points are so true.. I am not sure how to measure the questions you asked but I know that each thing you said does have value and it is part of living on and with the land and farm itself.
J > My questions were rhetorical! D and I value those things very highly – which is why we do what we do.
lol, sorry, three hours sleep last night.. gotcha
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