Learn the Rules for Raising Livestock

George DeVault gives a primer on the basic rules for raising livestock, including feed for livestock, living space, livestock as food and the production of an abundance of manure.

  • Rules for feeding livestock
    Be prepared to feed new livestock you bring to the homestead.

  • Rules for feeding livestock

This primer shares the basic rules for raising livestock. 

When daydreaming about adding livestock to your little piece of heaven in the country, it pays to be careful what you wish for. Someone just might show up at your doorstep with a real-life version of your livestock fantasy when you least expect it. You might go to a poultry swap, on a whim, and end up with a truck full of fowl, or think, like I did, that three little pigs would be easy.

Then what are you going to do? Know the basic rules for raising livestock. Think fast.

All of a sudden, you’ll need fencing, feed troughs and food, waterers and water, hay, straw or other bedding, pasture, electricity, a reliable fence charger (if you go electric, see page 72 in this issue for more on electric fencing), and an empty barn or shelter.

And that’s just for starters. Do you know where you can get your hands on a loading chute? How about a stock trailer? Do you know a good veterinarian for all creatures great and small? How about a butcher? Or are you properly equipped and skilled enough to pluck a flock of chickens, butcher a hog or a steer? Do you have the right equipment — and the stomach for it?

Is this cow right for you? Consider well before you bring ‘em home.

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