Raising Farm Animals for Profit

Learn how Phyllis Hobson makes a profit by keeping records of feed and production of her farm animals.

| January/February 1977

We aren't bookkeepers at heart (or we wouldn't have left the city for our little five-acre homestead on the back-roads of Indiana in the first place). And we aren't out here to make a lot of money.

But we are here to stay. And, as we learned three years ago when we came within a hair of going broke and having to move back to town, we can only stay as long as each of our barnyard guests pays for his or her keep.

And that's why we finally sold the rabbits and rabbit hutches. We did it reluctantly, of course, because the bunnies had been our first livestock venture. But we did do it. After all, once we'd begun raising our own chickens and pork and beef, we really had lost our taste for rabbit ... and the next thing you know, we had even started neglecting to breed the does regularly.

So we figured it up. The rabbits were eating expensive "boughten" hay and commercial feed all year long but (thanks to our neglect) producing only one or two litters a year. Which meant that, even counting the Easter sales, the rabbit enterprise wasn't paying its way.

Raising Goats for Profit

The goats have worked out a little better. None of our does gives that rather mythical 2 gallons of milk a day, but they do average 2 or 3 quarts. (If one of the nannies can't produce at least that amount for a year, we sell her.)

The goat milk is strictly for our own use, but we do sell the kids. (We have good, crossbred, unregistered bloodlines, double kiddings are not uncommon, and we sell two-month-old bucks for from $10 to $15 and does for $15 to $20 each.)

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