Posted by The Survival Center on March 08, 2017
Raising your own Beef Cows, Sheep or Goats?
Here are some tips to get the property
1. Install good fence posts and fence if
you are just starting out. If you already have fencing make sure you walk
all along it and check for weak spots.
When animals think the grass is greener on the other side, they will find the weak spot and try to get out.
Have some extra fencing material on
hand, so you can divide the pasture into different paddocks and
rotate the herd from one to the next, to give the others a chance to
grow and recover.
2. It is a good idea to have an animal
pen ready to go in case an animal gets injured and may need to be
separated from the herd or needs special care.
3. Depending on how many animals you have
and their size, you will need a bigger water trough to provide enough
water for at least 2-3 days, but still be low enough for the smaller
animals to reach. 6-gallon buckets work fine too, but
you will need to check the water level everyday.
4. If you let the animals graze near your house or buildings as the “Live Lawn mower”, you must make sure there are no items in reach of the animals that they shouldn't eat.This includes plastic, frayed tarps or bungee cords or any small piece of something they might try to nibble on.
One of our cows tried to eat a work glove that was soaking in a bucket of water and a bit of bleach.Thank god we saw it and pulled the glove out of its mouth just in time.
They are curious creatures and are
like toddlers, feeling and tasting and testing with their mouth.
5. During the winter be prepared for snow days or heavy frost, which makes it hard or even impossible for the animals to find forage. Have Hay and grains stored ahead.
It is a wonderful experience to raise your own animals, especially for children.
You will know what they ate and how they were treated, because you were the one providing for them.
You give them your love, they will
love you back. Picture courtesy of
PS: You may find an inexpensive bull
calf at a local dairy, since they don't keep many of the males. Ask them if they would band/ castrate the bull for you. Steers are a lot friendlier.
If you go that route you will need: A
pen to keep the calf until it gets bigger and is able to eat grass/grains, a bottle with nipple and calf milk replacer. Be prepared to
bottle feed twice a day. They are herd animals, so get at least two and they will have a buddy to play with.
For more in depth info check out our book on Raising Beef Cattle
If you raise the animals for meat, the Book "Basic Butchering of Livestock and Game" is the one to have on hand.
Have fun with the animals.
The Survival Center Farm and Prepper Team