You have some land and want to learn about raising livestock. Is it for you? There’s much to learn, including the best animals for larger acreage or more compact farms and backyards.
Learn about the benefits of raising animals and choosing the right animals. We have extensive information on why miniature cattle may be perfect for you. Whether you consider goats, cattle, pigs, or other livestock, you must consider:
Shelter – You will need to consider protection from cold or hot weather, rain, and more.
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Overall health and wellness
Many homesteaders choose to raise animals for milk and meat. They may want them for a more off-the-grid lifestyle or to earn money. Others keep animals as part of a larger survival or prepping plan. Whatever your reasons for considering them, learn what you need so you can make an informed decision.
Over the past years, there has been an increasing demand for goat meat in the United States.
The demand for goat meat and milk over the past 2 decades has risen quite drastically.
This rise in the demand can be attributed to the increase in the population of various ethnic groups residing in the US.
These ethnic populations are demanding healthier and leaner red meat, which is exactly what goat meat is, especially when compared to other sources of red meat, such as beef and pork.
Raising goats is absolutely profitable, which is one of the main reasons why the raising of goats for both meat and dairy in the US has been on the rise over the past 2 decades.
It is shown that the major consumers of goat meat in the US, the 3 major groups of consumers, include Hispanics, Muslims, and people from the Caribbean.
It has been shown that Hispanic and Caribbean people prefer Cabrito younger milk-fed goats which weigh between 15 and 25 pounds live, or chevon, which are goats slightly older than Cabrito, weighing up to 60 pounds live.
On the other hand, Muslims seem to prefer leaner and heavier goats, weighing up to 70 pounds live.
Let’s take a look at some goat market statistics for US for the past 3 decades.
From 1999 to 2011, the consumption of goats in the US increased by 320%, with a 150% increased between 2002 and 2011
In 2002 there were an estimated 2,530,466 goats being raised in the US, with 1,938,924 of those being meat goats, 290,789 being milk goats, and the rest being used for fiber
The years between 2002 and 2006 saw a sharp increase, with the total number of goats in the US totaling 2,934,000, with a full 2,400,000 being meat goats, and 296,000 being dairy goats
In 1999, there were roughly 463,000 goats slaughtered for meat in the US, whereas nearly 780,000 goats were slaughtered for meat in the US in 2010
According to the NASS in 2018, the total number of meat goats being raised in the US came in at roughly 2.1 million heads in 2018, which was actually a slight decrease from 2017, and quite a sharp decrease from 2007, which saw over 3 million goats being raised in the US
According to official statistics, there was a drastic increase in the imports of goat carcasses in the US between 1990 and 2014. In 1990, the US imported 2,994 million pounds of goat meat worth $1.9 million. In 2014, there were 43,188 million pounds of goat meat imported with a value of $94.7 million
In 2006 it was shown that the US produces roughly 750,000 less goats for meat than the demand, which therefore leads to massive import. Currently, Australia accounts for well over 95% of the goats being imported to the US
In the US, the average market price for a pound of goat meat is $1.30 per pound.
For a 70 pound meat goat, at this price, the total value would be roughly $91.
However, some higher quality sources may charge up to $2 per pound, which for a 70 pound goat would be roughly $140.
Although the numbers of goats in the US has risen and fallen several times over the past years, there is an ever-increasing demand for goat meat.
The simple fact of the matter is that the US does not produce enough goats to meet its current demand, which is increasing the quantity of goat meat being imported.
One of the reasons for this appears to be that meat goats are relatively hard to raise.
The increasing demand for goat meat should spur increased goat production numbers in the US.
However, the difficulties associated with raising goats are to blame for the decrease in the number of goats being raised in the US between 2005 and the current day.
With everything said and done, raising goats can still be very profitable, if done the right way.
Best Goats to Raise for Profit
Something which you as a potential goat farmer may be wondering is whether it is more profitable to raise goats for meat or for dairy.
The fact of the matter is that both meat and dairy goats can be very profitable to raise, but is one more profitable than the other?
Let’s take a closer look at the difference between raising meat goats and dairy goats.
In terms of body shape and size, dairy goats tend to be quite tall with long legs, they are long, and they have barely any body fat.
Perhaps the most profitable type of dairy goat out there is the Saanen goat.
These goats can produce up to 3 gallons of goat milk per day, thus making them the most popular dairy goat in the world.
On average, American farmers will price their goat milk between $18 and $25 per gallon, which with a maximum yielding Saanen, would translate to up to $75 worth of milk per day.
Dairy goats, in terms of their personalities, tend to be quite easy to raise due to their upbringing.
For the most part, dairy goats will be bottle fed by their owners, which results in a more tolerant and sociable goat, particularly towards children.
The reason why dairy goats are often bottle fed is to provide them with the maximum amount of the right nutrients, fats, minerals, and vitamins necessary to produce large quantities of high-quality milk.
There is an increased amount of care required to raise dairy goats, as the production of milk, high quality and large quantities of it, requires some pretty specific parameters.
Goats for dairy have a high maintenance level, require lots of care, and need to be fed the highest quality of foods, as well as lots of it.
It is also worth noting that goat milking equipment is quite costly, and the milking process itself very time-consuming.
There is also the fact that the dairy coming from goats needs to be licensed and regulated.
Simply put, raising goats for dairy can be costly, time consuming, and effort-intensive.
Dairy goats are actually very profitable as they can also breed and produce young goats, therefore increasing the herd size.
Let’s keep in mind that farmers of dairy goats must milk their goats twice a day to prevent the milk from being consumed by the goat’s offspring, another difficulty associated with dairy goats.
There are a few popular meat goats which farmers prefer raising, with one of the most profitable meat goats being the Boer goat, which when fully grown will come in at roughly 40 pounds.
Taking into account that in the US, at the current market value of $1.30 per pound, a 40 pound goat would therefore sell for around $52.
Some may charge up to $2 per pound, in which case a 40 pound meat goat would go for roughly $80.
Australia has relied on the Boer goat to become the No. 1 exporter of goat meat in the world.
Now, one of the reasons why farming meat goats is more popular is because they do not require as much time, effort, or money to raise.
Meat goats are fed normal food, they often drink their mother’s milk, and besides basic care and maintenance, there is nothing special required.
If there is no dairy being produced, there are no licensing and dairy regulation issues to deal with.
Farmers do not have to bottle feed goats expensive foods either.
With meat goats, past basic care and feeding, there is not much time or effort required to raise them.
Meat goat farmers usually never even slaughter their own animals.
Meat vs Dairy Goats: The Verdict
The bottom line is that meat goats are much easier to raise and care for, but generally do not produce quite the same profit as the more time and energy-intensive dairy goats.
You can slaughter a meat goat only once, but a dairy goat will continue producing milk for many years, as well as offspring too, which can then be used for more dairy or meat production.
Raising Meat Goats for Profit
Something you should be aware of is just how profitable it is to raise meat goats, how much it costs to raise them, the profit margin, and everything else related to finances as well.
Let’s take a closer look at everything you need to know about raising meat goats for profit.
Is Meat Goat Farming Profitable?
The fact of the matter is that farming meat goats can be and is very profitable.
In fact, meat goats are far more profitable than either sheep or cattle.
Goats can be worth up to $2 per pound, whereas cattle goes for up to $1.40 per pound.
Although the following figure is from Australia, it still provides a good estimate of what an average meat goat farmer can expect to earn in a single fiscal year.
“For the 2015-2016 financial year, 18 female goat farmers reported earning an average of $66,127 — significantly more than their 22 male counterparts, who reported an average earning of $44,495.”
What is the Best Breed of Goat for Meat?
This really depends on who you ask.
Generally speaking, the Boer goat is often considered to be the best type of meat goat out there in terms of quantity and ease of raising.
A Boer buck can weigh up to 340 pounds, therefore producing a lot of meat in pounds.
On the other hand, if you are going for the best taste and the highest quality of meat, the best goat is considered to be the Black Bengal goat.
Below is a list of the 10 best meat goats to raise on a farm based on general consensus and various studies related to ease of raising, the quality of the meat, and the amount of meat produced.
Black Bengal goat
Kalahari red goat
How Much Does it Cost to Raise a Meat Goat?
Raising a meat goat is not overly expensive, and it can definitely lead to some pretty decent profits.
Let’s go through a breakdown of how much money you can expect to spend on raising and maintaining a single meat goat.
Expect to spend roughly $10 per month on indoor bedding
A goat can eat up to 4 pounds of hay per day. A 40 pound bale of hay can cost up to $15. This comes to roughly $0.375 per pound of hay. For 4 pounds of hay per day, this comes to $1.50 per day in food costs. For a full month, this equals roughly $45 for food per month
Meat goats should also be provided with supplements. These supplements can cost around $20 and last for 2 to 3 months per purchase. Let’s say this equals roughly $10 per month in supplements
Expect to spend up to $250 per year, and as little as $50, on medical and veterinarian expenses for meat goats. This is not an exact science, so let’s say this on average is $175 per year or around $14.50 per month
Therefore, for a single meat goat, expect spend between $75 and $100 raising it.
Now, these are the pure costs, but what you must also then factor in is how much labor is required to raise those goats.
On average, for 10 goats, expect to spend 7 hours per day milking, over 2 hours to set up and clean up for milking, changing bedding and manure is another hour, feeding is another hour, and other miscellaneous tasks can account for another 6 hours per week.
How Long Does it Take to Raise a Goat For Meat?
This depends on the type of goat meat you are planning to produce the market with.
If you are raising goats for the purpose of selling Chevon meat, these goats will generally be slaughtered between 3 and 6 months of age.
Most goats, even the older ones, are slaughtered within the first 12 months of life, sometimes up to 14 or 16 months.
Therefore, you first need to figure out exactly what your goals are and what kind of goat meat you plan to supply the market with.
Paying attention to the demand for specific types and ages of meat is therefore crucial to success.
How Much Do Meat Goats Sell For?
Once again, this depends on the exact market, the demand, the location, and the type of goat.
On average, goat meat will sell for between $1.30 per pound and $2 per pound.
For example, if we are talking about Chevon, which is meat from young goats up to 60 pounds, a 60 pound goat may fetch up to $120.
That being said, if you are going for the popular Boer goat, the most popular goat for farming, a mature Boer buck can weigh up to 340 pounds, which would translate to a market cost of $680 (at $2 per pound).
Tips for Raising Meat Goats Profitably
Let’s go over some tips that you need to follow if you plan on successfully raising meat goats for profit.
Carefully evaluate your financial resources before beginning to raise meat goats. Calculate what you can expect to spend on them compared to the expected returns
Remember that certain breeds of goats are better for meat farming purposes than others.
Do anything you can to save money, which could include using the wasted hay which goats have not eaten for bedding
Goats are strong, good jumpers, and escape artists, so one of the most important tips here is to make sure to use a tall and strong fence, or else you will be constantly dealing with escaped goats
The quality of the feed and supplements will make a difference in terms of the growth rate, the final weight, and the quality of the meat. Simply put, you get what you pay for
Meat Goat Profit Calculator
There are a wide array of factors and costs associated with meat goat farming.
Below is a breakdown of the costs which you can expect to deal with when raising meat goats.
How much does a Goat cost
First you must calculate the total number of goats you have, both male and females.
You must then calculate the total weight of all goats.
You then must do research to figure out the price of a live goat per pound and then multiply this per pound cost by the total poundage of goats.
Cost of Goat Feed
You must now figure out how much the feed for goats is going to cost.
This means figuring out how many baby goats are going to be born and how much feed must be consumed by each baby goat to achieve a target weight within a certain period of time.
Figure out the cost of the feed per pound, and multiply this be the amount of feed you will require.
At the same time, if raising adult goats, you must also calculate the total amount of adult goats you have and how much feed they require.
Add together the feed for raising the baby goats and adult goats, and then factor in the transportation cost for the feed.
This will be your total feed cost.
You must then calculate other costs, which would be shelter + vaccination + labor + green fodder growing costs.
Now you need to figure out exactly how much your goats weigh in total poundage, and multiply this by the average cost of goat meat per pound.
You will then subtract the total running costs (feed cost/other costs) from the total poundage value.
Simply put, you need to subtract your total investments and costs from the final sale price, which will provide you with your overall returns.
Here we have a link detailing the exact breakdown of all costs and how to calculate your returns with all necessary factors.
Click on this link to be redirected to a comprehensive meat goat profit calculator, which will tell you exactly how much profit you can expect to make from your meat goats.
List of Meat Goat Breeds
Let’s quickly go over some of the most popular and widely farmed breeds of meat goats which you may be interested in.
Raising Spanish Goats
The Spanish goat, also known as the scrub goat, originally came to the US from Spain via Mexico.
This is a goat widely used for meat farming and brush clearing purposes in the US.
However, since the 1980s, Boer goats have become more popular for meat.
Spanish goats have a straight profile with long horns that flare up laterally.
Spanish goat bucks can be up to 25 inches in height and weigh up to 250 pounds, and does can be up to 17 to 20 inches in height, weighing up to 150 pounds.
Raising Pygmy Goats
Pygmy goats originally come from the Cameroon Valley in West Africa.
These small goats are commonly kept as pets or meat goats.
Male pygmy goats can be up to 20 inches in height and weigh up to 60 pounds, with females often topping out at 15 inches in height and 60 pounds in heavy.
Pygmy goats are quite small and slender, they can come in a variety of colors, and they are a very hardy breed of goat.
Raising Kiko Goats
The Kiko goat was first developed in the 1980s in New Zealand.
Kiko goats are relatively large goats.
They are not very long, and they have very compact and thick bodies, kind of like a barrel.
Some would call their appearance “fat”. Kiko goats are popular to use for meat farming.
Male Kiko goats can weigh up to 165 pounds, with females or does weighing up to 115 pounds.
Kiko goats are used for both meat and dairy production.
Raising Fainting (Myotonic) Goats
The origins of fainting goats can be traced back to the early 1800s, when a farmer named John Tinsley brought a few of them to Tennessee.
It is thought that he came from Nova Scotia, Canada, although this has not been confirmed.
Fainting goats are of course known for fainting and going stiff when they feel threatened.
These goats are often used as meat goats, pets, and to protect larger goat herds.
Males can grow up to 25 inches tall and weigh up to 200 pounds, with females being decidedly smaller, coming in at around 17 inches in height and at an average of 60 to 80 pounds.
Raising Dairy Goats for Profit
Of course, besides raising meat goats, raising goats for dairy production purposes is another profitable option to consider.
Is Dairy Goat Farming Profitable?
Dairy goat farming is often regarded as being extremely profitable due to the high demand for goat milk across the world.
Worldwide, although North America has a penchant for cow’s milk, across the whole world, goat’s milk is actually more popular.
As an example, Pam Lunn from the US makes nearly $10,000 per year from her extremely small dairy goat operation.
In the US farmers can sell goat’s milk for up to $1.25 per quart, or about $1.25 per 0.95 liters.
This comes close to $5 per gallon.
Considering that your highest producing dairy goats can make up to 3 gallons of milk per day, a single dairy goat could produce potentially $15 per day in profits.
What is the Best Breed of Goat for Milk?
There are a few different breeds of goat which are considered to be the best and most profitable milk producers.
Here is a list of the top 5 breeds of goat for milk production.
Nigerian dwarf goat
Before you choose any one goat for milk production, there are a number of factors you should consider.
These include the following factors:
The amount of milk the specific breed can produce
The difficulty of raising the breed in question
The taste and quality of the milk
The milk’s viability to make cheese, soaps, and other related products
The cost of raising vs overall profits
How Many Liters Can a Goat Produce in a Day?
Your average dairy goat is going to produce between 1 and 3 gallons of milk per day, or up to around 12 liters.
During a 305 day lactation period, your best dairy goats will produce up to 1,800 liters of milk.
Goat Milk Prices
As stated before, goat milk is sold for between $1.00 and $1.25 per quart (0.95 liters), or close to $5 per gallon.
On average, a pound of goat’s milk cheese is sold for $14.95 per pound in the US.
How to Raise Dairy Goats
Choose a breed based on all important factors (costs/production length/ease of maintenance etc.)
Dairy goats need a clean and dry environment, which during winter months means needing an enclosed barn
Always ensure that you have large and tough fences, as goats in general are notorious escape artists
For feeding a variety of hay, shrubs, grasses, woods, and supplements should be provided.
In order to prevent young goats from consuming all of their mother’s milk, dairy goats should be milked twice per day
Breeds of Dairy Goats
Let’s quickly take a look at the most popular dairy goat breeds from around the world.
Raising Nigerian Dwarf Goats
As the name implies, these goats originate from Nigeria, and they have very thick and stocky bodies with short legs.
These goats are not overly large and can grow to about 21 inches tall and 75 pound.
Raising Nubian Goats
This type of goat has its origins in the Middle East, but was first developed in Britain during the 19th Century.
These goats tend to be larger than other breeds of dairy goats with a good deal of meat on them.
Bucks can grow to 35 inches in height and 310 pounds, with does growing to 31 inches in height and 240 pounds.
Raising LaMancha Goats
This type of goat has its origins in Spain.
One of the defining characteristics of these goats is their distinctly small ears or lack of years.
Bucks will grow to roughly 30 inches tall and at least 155 pounds heavy, with does growing to at least 28 inches tall and 130 pounds heavy.
Raising Saanen Goats
The Saanen goat comes from the Saanen Valley in Switzerland.
This is a fairly average looking goat with a white coat, usually short and glossy hair.
Males can grow to 90 cm and over 200 pounds, with females growing to around 80 cm and 140 pounds.
Raising Alpine Goats
The Alpine goat has its origins in the French Alps.
These are fairly long and skinny goats with thin builds, and they can come in a variety of colors.
Males usually grow to 32 inches tall and 130 pounds heavy, with females growing to 30 inches tall and around 110 pounds.
Raising Oberhasli Goats
The Oberhasli goat was imported to the US in the 1900s and has its origins in Oberhasli, Switzerland.
These goats are known for having the facial shape of a dog.
Buck usually grow to around 34 inches and 150 pounds, with females growing to 30 inches and 100 to 120 pounds.
Raising Goats for Profit
The bottom line is that goats can quite easily be raised for profit.
It’s a continuously growing market with a massive and ever-growing demand.
Whether you want to raise goats for dairy or meat production, if you do it right, you can make a decent yearly profit.
There are a lot of things to consider when raising rabbits for meat, though.
In this guide, we are going to take a walk through the different steps you will need to take for raising rabbits for meat.
Let’s start with where and move on from there.
Where to Raise Rabbits?
You don’t want to get in trouble with the local officials, so first and foremost you need to make sure that you can raise those rabbits on your property for meat.
You may be able to have that little fluff ball as a pet, but when you are raising it as livestock, there are a whole different set of rules.
So, take the time to investigate where you can raise your rabbits and the rules you must follow to do so.
Here are a few options for where:
Am I allowed to Raising Rabbits for Meat at My Home
As we said above, many places allow you to have a rabbit a pet, but there may be rules about raising animals for food sources.
Make sure you check with your county or city what the rules are for this aspect of rabbit rearing.
Another thing to consider is that though it may be legal for you to raise rabbits on your property for food purposes, the county or city may not permit the butchering and processing.
If you can raise rabbits for meat on your property, then the next thing to take into consideration is which breed you will want to raise and the set-up you will need to do to prep for this new venture.
Community Gardens and Farms For Raising Rabbits
If, however, if you are not able to raise the rabbits legally on your property, but still want to try your hand at rabbit raising, you may want to investigate community gardens or communal farms.
These are an area of land that has been set aside by the city to allow the people of a given neighborhood the ability to grow an urban farm and help build a sustainable communal area.
These areas will not allow for the processing and butchering of the animals which you will have to do at a third-party processor, but you will be able to raise the rabbits to that point.
Now that you have an idea where you can begin your rabbit farm, you will be ready to figure out the set-up.
If you are using a communal garden, there may already be places build so this next section is really for those that can manage a backyard set-up.
What You Need To Raising Rabbits for Meat
There is a bit of prep that you must do before you rush out to get your rabbits.
Setting up their shelter and having the things you need to make them comfortable is the first step in starting your new business.
Here are the things you will need to have for a proper rabbit raising farm.
Rabbit Hutch (male and female)
The first part of the hutch proposition of this set-up is to craft a hutch plan.
Many counties or city ordinances will require you to file a copy for approval.
This is to ensure it meets all the standards set by the city itself regarding small livestock enclosures.
The rabbit hutch is the small wooden house where your rabbits will end up spending a lot of time.
Like a chicken coop but smaller and easily moved from place to place.
There are pre-made hutches available, or you can DIY one.
To determine the right hutch set up for your rabbit farm, you will want to consider how many rabbits you are looking to raise.
The bigger the herd, the bigger the hutches.
That’s right each sex will need their own hutch (after all you don’t want them breeding when you aren’t ready).
Here are some things to consider when deciding on your hutch design:
What to do with Rabbit Waste
You will want to make sure that there are a place and a way for the poop and other waste to be removed easily from the hutch.
If you get a pre-made one, you will find a floor constructed of wire with holes and such to allow for it to escape into a tray below.
If you are building your hutch, make sure to include this in your plan.
Nursing a Rabbit
Once you have bred, you will want a place they can go after giving birth.
The nursing compartment allows for them to take care of their young away from the rest of the herd.
Just like with the waste removal system, both pre-made, and DIY versions should have this as a feature.
If you are in an area that experiences extreme temperature fluctuations, you will want to consider adding extra pieces for better climate control.
Rabbits are tough animals, but extremities of temp can cause health problems.
So, if you are in a hot climate, you may want to consider installing fans to help with the heat.
On the flip side, if you are in a climate that experiences low temps, a heater may be needed.
Rabbit Run (male and female)
You will want to build a place for your rabbits to stretch their legs and have a little hopping time.
That means attaching an enclosed pen to the hitches.
One for each sex as well, so there is no fraternizing unless you want them to.
The size of the run depends on the number of rabbits and the space you have available.
How to Protect Rabbits
Even in the city, other creatures may look at your rabbits as food and try to get to them.
So, make sure you have protection around your open enclosure – this is key.
The last thing you want is to have some other creature enjoying your rabbit before you do.
So, making sure your rabbits are protected from all sides, both ground and sky will help make your farm just a bit safer.
You will want to lay down bedding of some sort in your run so that you can maintain a level of sanitation.
The type of bedding is up to you, but you will defiantly want one that is easy to remove and is good at absorbing the waste from these bunnies.
Inside the hutch itself, bedding is optional. That is if you have a waste removal tray. If you do not, then you will need the same qualities as the bedding for the run in the hutch. Using the same for both areas is fine.
Food/Water & Containers
If you want good quality meat, you will want to take care of your rabbits by making sure they have plenty of clean water and the right food.
Water is important, and your rabbits will need a lot of it.
The bigger the herd, the more water and so making sure that the pens are fitted with a large bottle of good clean water is a must.
You are what you eat, and that means that you are what your food source eats as well.
There are a few options when it comes to feeding for your rabbits.
When you are looking for the containers, you want ones that have a tight latticework frame or even a feeder that has a sifting capability.
This is so the rabbits can’t get into the container itself and contaminate their food with waste.
By getting the right container, you will be able to decrease the risk of illness amongst the herd.
As for the food itself, you will want to utilize a nice balance of hay, fresh veggies, and pellets.
The best hay for your rabbits according to many rabbit farmers is Timothy Hay.
This should be about 80% – 90% of their overall diet.
The rest of that percentage should go to the protein-fiber pellets and fresh veggies like carrots and lettuce.
You will want to stay consistent with your feed as rabbits have very delicate tummies and you do not want to upset them.
Slaughter & Processing Rabbits For Food
If you are planning to do the whole thing, then you will need a place where you can break down the rabbits once slaughtered.
You will want this area to be stocked with the knives and implements required for the process, as well as and tools you may want to use to take the processing further (i.e., sausages).
They should have a nice flat surface, be completely sanitary, and have some sort of refrigeration close at hand.
Now you have your rabbit farm set up it is time to meet your herd.
Choosing the right breed is the next crucial part of the puzzle.
You cannot just pick up any old rabbit for your rabbit farm if you are looking for a good meat source.
Rabbits good for eating tend to be longer, plumper, and have more fur.
Here is a list of the best rabbit choices for your rabbit farm:
These rabbits can top off the scales at close to 12 pounds and are usually pale orange in color.
Palomino’ may well be the best choice for inner-city rabbit farming as they are quiet and quite docile.
The chinchilla rabbit is a super fluffy and plump breed that can be kept as a pet or as livestock.
They can weigh in at up to 12 lbs. when fully grown.
Champagne D’Argent Rabbits
This is one of those breeds that is less common to find amongst rabbit farms.
This breed goes all the way back to the 1600s and is great for its meat and has a stunning black coat as well.
Flemish Giant Rabbits
These are the largest breed that many farmers raise for meat.
These behemoths can top the scales at 20 lbs.
The fur is prized but not more than the meat.
This breed is super docile and can be great for urban areas.
New Zealand Rabbits
These rabbits come in a variety of colors and can get up to 12 lbs. in weight.
When prepared, it does have a pinkish color, and some may think it isn’t cooked, but it is fine.
There are many other rabbit breeds that are out there in the world, but these six are by far the most popular when it comes to raising rabbits for meat.
Any of these will work, but the ultimate decision comes down to how much space you have and how much meat you are looking to produce.
Once you have chosen the breed you want, you may want to do further research to ensure you are raising these animals with just the right care.
Once you have everything set-up and the rabbits chosen, now it is time to think about the next few steps.
The actual business of rabbit farming which has to do with dating, birth, and aftercare of the rabbits.
Each step of this process is important to get a good idea, and so we are going to look at each.
The first step of successful mating is already done.
Making sure to keep the ladies and men separate until you feel the time is right.
There are, of course, other things you can do or need to know about the mating process.
You should always take the doe to the buck’s pad. This will decrease the chance of a flare-up over territory and make her a little more open to the bucks move.
Keep track of each does birthing dates for optimal fertility.
You will know that the deed is done when the male rabbit stiffens and falls of the female. You may think the poor guy has passed on to bunny heaven (what a way to go, right!) but he is fine and will return to normal in a few minutes.
Raising rabbits for meat is a time-consuming feat with many levels of things you need to know.
But one of the most important things to understand is what happens after the breeding.
Birthing cycle of rabbits are:
Rabbits take 30 days to gestate. The new mother will have a few pregnancies before learning how to care for her kits properly. This means that you may lose the first few litters before being successful with breading.
The big day is getting closer when you notice the momma pulling out her underbelly hair and adding it to her hole. This is done by them to ensure there is enough warmth for the kits.
After Birth Care For Rabbits
Once you have successfully mated and kept a litter, you will want to understand the aftercare system and what to expect from the other.
Here are a few key things to keep in mind:
You will not want to be loving all over the kits. This could interrupt the bonding process of the mother and babies and increase the chance of the mother not caring for the kits.
You can lightly check if they are still alive but no heavy petting or removal from the rabbit hole.
You may never see the mother feeding the babies, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t. In nature, it is natural or them to hide their babies and only fed them when no one is looking. In the wild, this is meant to save them from predators.
The mom will relax once the babies have fur and begin to hop on their own.
You may want to build a new hutch so that when the babies are big enough, you can move them to their own space.
Now that you have some idea of the entire process, we want to make sure you are not doing anything that will detract from all your hard work.
So, check out what not to do when raising rabbits for food.
Things to Not Do When Raising Rabbits
There are some distinctive things that you should stay away from doing regarding your rabbit farm.
Here a list of no-nos:
Do not use straw in the rabbit’s hole section in the hutch. Straw can carry mites, and your herd is very susceptible to these little parasites.
Use wood shavings as bedding only in places where newborn kits will not be present. The scent from the shavings is bad for the little one’s breathing system and can be the cause of death if not careful.
You want to make sure to keep the pens and hutches free of flies. So, install fly strips or rub everything down with vinegar. This is so that you can keep the flies from laying eggs in the babies and eating them.
Rabbits, in general, are very sturdy and easy to take care of animal.
There are a few things regarding health that you need to be knowledgeable about to keep your herd as healthy as possible.
You want to raise healthy rabbits, and one of the things they are most liable to get is ear mites.
This can be combated by making sure that you keep their hutch and pen clean and with just a few preventative measures.
You can use a tincture of olive oil and tea tree oil to fend off the small fiends.
A couple of drops in each ear of each rabbit will help decrease the risk of mites being an issue for your herd.
The other big thing you must do is to clean their pens and hutches weekly.
This is done by removing the rabbits (setting them up in a temp pen) and removing all bedding.
Then you need to scrap any waste off and wash the hutch down with a diluted bleach mixture.
You will want to let the hutch completely dry and air out before replacing the bedding and letting your rabbits back into the structure.
While you do this, making sure that the food and water containers are also waste-free and clean is also a task that should be done.
Pros/Cons of Raising Rabbits For Food
Raising rabbits for meat is not something that is suited for everyone.
So, understanding the pros and cons that are associated with this venture.
Let us start with the pros:
Pros of Raising Rabbits For Food
It is an Ethical Choice
Commercially processed meat can have things pumped into the meat via the feed they feed their animals.
Then there is the treatment of the animals themselves.
If you are someone who actively opposes overcrowding in pens and unsanitary conditions, then raising your own meat is a better ethical choice for you.
You will also be able to manage what they eat and end up with a cleaner, healthier product.
Everything happens so fast with rabbits.
The doe is always fertile, and the gestation period brief.
They wean quickly and are mature enough to slaughter quickly as well.
With this cycle, you can have plenty of meat year-round for your family plus some.
This means that though you may be intending to keep the meat, you could also have enough to make a little money as well.
Less Food Needed
Rabbits do not take as much food as other livestock you may consider for your backyard farm.
This means you can save money on free and on your groceries.
It is a win-win situation.
They do not require much too feed, nor do they require a special diet either.
They are not picky.
Mostly they eat hay and some pellets with a few fresh veggies.
All of which in the end is cheap.
You can even use fresh vegetables from your garden if you have one, and that saves even more money (and just like the meat itself, allows you to control what chemicals if any, you use on it).
Rabbits are Sturdy
Rabbits can be bred and farmed anywhere, and except for a few extra considerations when it comes to extreme heat or cold, they can pretty much survive anything.
Rabbits are Quiet
Unlike chickens or even pigs, rabbits are quiet.
This makes them great for settings where your neighbors are close to your back yard.
If you make sure to keep up on the cleaning and build a pen and hutch that is safe from their escape and the entrance of predators, there should be no noise and even less fuss.
Cons of Raising Rabbits For Food
Now that you know all the good stuff, it’s time to lay some of the disadvantages on you.
Here are the main drawbacks of foraying into the world of rabbit breeding:
Some animals that you may consider raising for meat in your back yard have extras that come with them.
We are primarily talking about any fowl that you chose.
Each of these will come with the extra gifts of egg production.
Unfortunately, with rabbits, the only by-product that you will be able to take advantage of is one you get only after the animal has met their maker and that is the fur.
Start-up Costs of Raising Rabbits
The initial start-up cost of this venture is quite an investment.
From the rabbits themselves to the feed, you will be set back a pretty penny.
You will have to shell out cash for a hutch and run too.
All in all, the money saved on groceries may not be worth it unless you are in it for the long haul.
It will take a month or two to negate the cost of starting this new business or hobby.
You will need to spend time making sure that the enclosures you built for the rabbits are cleaned regularly as well as make sure that they stay in tip-top shape.
This will take time away from other areas of your life, and though it is not an all-consuming project, you will need a lot of time, up to several hours a week to maintain the set-up and take care of your herd.
Susceptible to Predators
They are small and easily picked off by anything from birds of prey to snakes.
Knowing the predators that live in your area is essential, and by acting when building your pens, you should be able to negate this problem with little to no issues.
If you are unable to butcher the rabbits yourself due to regulations, then you may have to deal with a third party, and this can mean an extra added cost.
This tacked-on cost could make this venture a little too costly for some, but if you are not raising a big herd, it should be easily managed.
Now that you have a few ideas of what the advantages and disadvantages of are raising rabbits for meat you may be able to more easily decide if this is a good fit for you and your family’s meat needs.
Rabbit Raising FAQs
To help you, we have also taken the time to check out some of the most commonly asked questions when it comes to raising rabbits for meat.
Here are just a few:
How Many Rabbit Does & Bucks Do I Need?
A small set-up only needs one buck, and two does to get their farm started.
This is good because a lot of city ordinances only allow for this in their regulations.
What Age Can You Slaughter Rabbits?
There are two ages that work, and this depended on the method of which you plan to cook them.
At about three months old, the rabbit should weigh between one and a half to three and a half pounds and is labeled as a fryer.
This means that this rabbit is great for frying.
If you wait until the rabbit is eight months old or 4-pound, then this is a roaster.
Either age is acceptable or will hear a different texture of meat.
How Much Does a Rabbit Cost?
When you are looking at the cost of breeds, it all depends on the type and age.
Typical good meat rabbits can range from $10 to $50 apiece.
How Much Can You sell Rabbit Meat For?
If you are looking to sell your extra meat and have processed it on-site, you can easily charge $5 – $7 per pound.
If you are dealing with a third-party processor, you may only be able to get $3 – $6 per pound.
Now that some of the biggest questions have been answered we thought we would sum up the steps that you need to take to create your rabbitry.
Steps to Create Your Rabbit Farm
With all that information put together, you should have a pretty solid plan for executing your rabbit farm.
Here is a breakdown of the steps to follow using the information above to help you along:
Determine how big you want your rabbit herd to be
This will play a key role in deciding how big your set-up needs to be.
It will also help you estimate the overall costs of this venture.
Plan out the rabbit facilities
This is when you either choose your pre-made set-up or build your own hutch and run.
Apply for any legal permits you need
You want to make sure that you do everything on the up and up, so getting the proper permission and following the guidelines set by your city or county will help you do just that.
Build your rabbit farm
Now that you have the right permission, you can start the process of building out your farm.
Prep the space
The buildings and runs set up you will want to make sure you have the food and water system set up as well as any bedding laid that you want.
Buy Your Bunnies
Now that your rabbit farm space is set up, you can head down to the local breeders of whatever breed you chose and pick up your herd.
Set up a schedule
Once your herd is settling in, you will want to begin crafting the correct feed schedule for you and your little furry livestock.
Female rabbits are always fertile, so that is why you need to separate pen structures.
Once you are ready for your chores to change, you can begin to let them mingle.
If you decided on having more than one, make you may want to keep track of who your buck is breeding with so that you can keep a close eye on who the male has the best results with.
Once the does are pregnant, you will know exactly when they are getting ready to have the babies as they will start pulling out hair and making a nest with it.
The kits will be born naked and blind and will not be seen really until they are completely weaned from their mother.
You can still check them to make sure they have survived just be cautious.
The babies are easily susceptible to bacteria, so make sure you do everything you can to minimize contact.
Also, do not be worried if you lose a few of the kits.
It is common for does to lose most or their entire first few litters.
Decide on the endgame
You will want to decide who you will be sent to slaughter and what you intend to do with them.
The perfect time to do this is between 3-4 months.
Then all you must do is keep repeating step seven through nine to your heart’s content.
Guide to Raising Rabbits
This is a big venture to undertake in the beginning and may not be well suited for everyone.
Those that do take on the chore of raising rabbits for meat will have to pay close attention to the cost, requirements, and all the other stuff that comes with building a small backyard rabbit farm.
Before diving in, ask yourself if you are ready for the commitment and if all the hoops you must jump through before you can get started are worth it.
These are all questions and considerations that you must answer for yourself.
We just hope that with this comprehensive guide about raising rabbits for meat, you now feel better equipped to make the right decision.
We humans, love pets and adore them a lot irrespective of their type. If you are thinking of having a unique pet such as chicken that is small and friendly, pygmy goats are one of the most viable options.
These goats can turn out to be a perfect pet for anyone who can take care and put an effort to raise them.
Pygmy goats are a hardy but docile breed, very much capable of adapting to varying climates.
They need reasonable shelter and care.
In addition, they provide you with the milk rich in high-fat content.
These little bundles of joy offer never-ending fun as they are adorable and love to play.
In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss everything you need to know about the pygmy goats, including how to raise and train them.
Best Personal Protection Dog – Anything can happen at any time in today’s world, which is why people must be vigilant about their personal safety and the safety of their family.
Whether you’re relaxing at home or out for a walk, a personal protection dog is a great way to keep you out of harm’s way and to give you peace knowing you’re safe.
Don’t mistake these dogs for ones that only guard the front door or the gate.
They are smart, and with proper training, can defend their owners from virtually any threat.
What are the Best Personal Protection Dog Breeds
If you’ve thought about a personal protection dog before, or are intrigued by this article, let’s look at the top 5 dog breeds from which to choose should you decide to take the next step for your safety.
The German Shepherd was originally bred to be a herding dog.
The German Shepherd is easily trained and views protection as its purpose.
While these dogs look fierce, they’re extremely loving and loyal, which makes them the perfect companion animal for people and agencies who need protection.
German Shepherds get along well with children and aren’t afraid to fight to defend their ‘family’ without giving up.
If you’re in the market for a loyal, hard-working protection dog that follows commands and bonds with you and your family, you can’t do much better than a German Shepherd.
The Rottweiler is a stout, muscular dog that has incredible strength for its size.
Like the German Shepherd, this animal is bred for protection, which makes it highly sought after for people and agencies that need its service.
The Rottweiler is both loyal and affectionate but won’t hesitate to defend and protect with everything it has when faced with a threat.
Because of its intelligence and defensive capabilities, agencies like the FBI and police forces often choose the Rottweiler.
Rottweilers, like the German Shepherd, have the advantage of scaring off potential threats because of its intimidating looks.
The Dutch Shepherd is a lean, muscular animal that wards off threats simply due to its intimidating appearance.
This animal, like the others on our list, is highly intelligent and easily trainable to follow commands.
This dog is very loyal to its adoptive family and loving but also won’t hesitate to jump into action to protect them when needed.
The Dutch Shepherd likes to be active and loves to play, which makes it a good dog for a family with kids.
This animal is distinctive because of its long mane, and it’s been bred to offer protection mainly in cold climate areas.
If you live in a warmer climate, however, you can shave them down to keep them cool.
Like the German Shepherd, the Tervuren is also bred to be a herding animal, so protection comes naturally.
The Belgian Tervuren has a high IQ, follows commands, and loves to please their masters.
The last dog on our list, the Belgian Malinois, is a popular breed often chosen by military police, FBI, and police forces.
The Belgian Malinois needs a lot of activity due to its high energy, so make sure you give it plenty of playtime if you choose this breed.
The Belgian Malinois is very affectionate and will fight to the end to protect its family.
Horse Grooming and DIY Farrier – Proper horse grooming is essential. Without regular grooming, your horse can be vulnerable to numerous health problems, especially hoof-related.
There are certain things to keep in mind before grooming your horse.
Horses are large animals.
You have to have full control over him, even when he is superbly trained.
Remember that a sudden and unfamiliar noise can startle him and make him dash out.
Therefore, it’s critical to keep yourself calm and your actions predictable.
Before you start Horse Grooming ensure
Halter is in position.
Two cross ties are in place.
Without cross ties, grooming the horse in his stable can be dangerous.
His movements can crush you against walls and other objects.
Installing cross ties is a requirement before you start grooming.
How to groom a horse
Check the horse’s eyes, ears, and mouth for any irregularities.
Check for bumps or scratches over his body.
Slide your hand over his hooves, one at a time, to confirm they are well.
Clean the hooves to remove any foreign matter.
The hoof area is an integral part of the horse’s body since the accumulation of debris here can lead to hoof infection, which can maim a horse.
Brush and clean the main and tail to eliminate dried mud, burrs, and other debris.
Use combs to untangle them to give them a well-groomed look.
Before riding your horse, you should brush him to be sure there isn’t debris where you will place the saddle.
If someone isn’t riding the horse every day, you can skip some of the care procedures.
How to Groom a Horse – 2 main elements to grooming a horse:
Brushing the coat
Cleaning the hooves
There is no right or wrong order to groom your horse.
However, it is a good idea to get into a routine and always do the process the same way, either feet or grooming first, so the horse can anticipate what you are going to do.
Start with your horse secured in cross ties that are attached to the halter.
This ensures that the horse cannot flick one way or the other, plus it frees up both of your hands to work with the grooming.
If you are trying to both groom and hold the horse, you are likely going to find this much more difficult, and there is a greater chance of injury.
With the horse secured, start either on the grooming or on the hooves, whichever you prefer.
Cleaning the hooves
Many owners prefer to start by cleaning the hooves.
Then your horse can relax and enjoy the rest of the routine.
To correctly position yourself, stand next to the horse’s left front shoulder, just to the front of the body.
Run your hand, the hand you don’t normally hold the pick in, down the front of the leg until you reach the hoof.
Most horses that have had their feet cleaned will pick up their foot, but if they don’t, gently press your shoulder and upper body against the outside of the shoulder, which will slightly move the horse off balance.
He or she will shift weight to the other front foot.
When this happens, pick the left foot up, bending the leg as it would naturally bend back toward the center of the horse’s body.
Hold the hoof firmly in your hand.
Use the pick to remove all the debris.
Be very careful not to dig into the frog, which is the soft, triangular-shaped center part of the hoof.
This area can be very sensitive.
Repeat this process with the other hoof until completed.
Be sure to give a treat to the horse after the first hoof and then after you finished the second.
This helps him know he’s doing a great job.
Having a farrier tool kit would be essential as well.
Grooming a horse
When grooming equine, you can either start with the mane or the tail.
If the horse is dirty, muddy or has a winter coat, start with the curry comb and groom the entire body using gentle, circular shaped motions that follow the direction of hair growth.
Work from the neck to the chest, over the shoulders, down the back of the sides and the legs.
Remember, the curry comb is not flexible.
Be sure to be very gentle on the sides and down the legs.
If your horse is flinching and twitching away, switch to the dandy brush over the sensitive areas.
After the curry comb, follow the same pattern with the dandy brush.
This will flick away all the dust and dead hair.
Follow-up with the body brush for a shiny, sleek look.
Then gently use the body brush on the face, but not near the eyes.
You can use a wet soft cloth or sponge to clean around the eyes and inside the nostrils.
Be sure to rinse it out after each use.
Again, being predictable and gentle with your horses will calm them.
Having the proper grooming supplies will help you to groom them faster and more thoroughly.
Horse Grooming Supplies
When you have the right horse grooming supplies, it makes maintaining your horses much easier and more effective.
These are our favorite grooming products.
Oster Equine Care Series 7-Piece Grooming Kit This is a particularly great set.
It’s very inexpensive for all the brushes and the quality and long life you will get from them.
Something misleading about this set is the 7th piece is the bag, not an additional brush.
Still, for the price, you can’t beat it.
This horse grooming kit has everything you need for grooming, detangling and cleaning the hooves.
It comes with:
Grooming brush (stiff)
Finishing brush (soft)
Brush for the mane and tail
Comb for the mane and tail
Curry comb (coarse)
Pick for hooves
These are really all the brushes you will need to brush and groom your horse.
The bag is nice but we don’t use it.
Maybe if we traveled for horse shows we would.
We keep everything in a small bucket.
This way we can easily access whatever we need.
It also makes it easy to rinse out and store for air drying.
We don’t rinse them after every use, but it helps to have clean supplies when grooming a horse.
Our horses love when we brush them.
Great value for the price.
Wahl Professional Animal Equine Sweat Scraper
Depending on the season, your horse might benefit from a sweat scraper.
For a horse to cool down, his sweat has to evaporate. In some climates, especially when it’s hot and humid, it takes a lot longer to evaporate.
You can use the sweat scrapper to help remove excess moisture.
It will help your horse to cool down faster.
Oster A5 Turbo 2-Speed Professional Animal Clipper
These pet grooming clippers work well for horses, dogs, and most any other animals you have.
The heavy-duty motor makes it fast and easy to groom your horse.
There are two speeds, and it’s easy to switch from one to the other.
This set comes with everything you need, including a 12′ cord, #10 blade, lubricating blade oil, clipper grease, a cleaning brush, and carbon brush replacements.
The only negative is it weighs just under two pounds, so it’s a bit heavy if you are working on your animals for a long time.
If you have a lot of animals to clip, the Andis ProClip AGC2 2-Speed Detachable Blade Clipper does a quality job as well and is a little bit quieter and lighter at 17.5 ounces.
Chlorhexidine solution (2%)
It’s important to have this on hand for horse wound care.
Something we do is premix it and keep it handy in small bottle.
Vestil BTL-RC-8 Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE) Round Squeeze Dispensing Bottle with Removable Red Cap, 8 oz Capacity so we have it when we need it.
Absorbine Veterinary Liniment Gel
We’ve also keep on hand this horse liniment for sore muscles.
We use it regularly for our older horse.
Just be sure to wear gloves when applying it to your horses.
Take the time to clean your brushes and combs so when you groom your horse the items will be clean.
You need to ensure that your horse’s nose and eyes are clean and healthy and wiping these down with a damp sponge is very important.
By you grooming your horse every day you are not only bonding with them but also helping to check them over.
You can tell if there are any lumps and bumps and maybe if they are showing signs of un-comfort.
If you are concerned, then you should speak to your vet who can check the horse out more thoroughly.
If you spend the time to get to know your horse by horse grooming, then they will respond with kindness and love.
Horses should be groomed daily if at all possible.
If you are riding, it is important to groom both before and after every ride, paying careful attention to the feet.
A well-groomed horse is a healthy horse.
Both you and he will feel better for a good grooming.
Farrier Tools to Care for Your Horse’s Hoofs
If you are a horse owner or enjoy working with horses and grooming your horse, then you may have entertained the idea of learning how to maintain a horse’s hoofs.
It can seem like quite an intimidating task, especially since the health of the hoof is imperative to the overall soundness of the animal.
With the right farrier tools, any task can be accomplished with relative ease.
The first step is collecting a number of suitable supplies that will help you perform basic maintenance tasks.
Experienced farriers have a veritable arsenal of expensive tools and accessories at their disposal.
There is no need for you to develop a similar collection unless you are planning to take on all shoeing and hoof maintenance tasks yourself.
You also might need to expand your collection if you plan to become a professional farrier.
The list we have compiled here is meant to guide you through the process of acquiring the basic tools of the trade.
Each item has been carefully reviewed for its durability, functionality and effectiveness.
Most items on the list are economically priced.
We went this direction with the understanding that these tools would be used by the horse owner who will only be responsible for incidental maintenance or for those who are simply wanting to learn more about being a farrier.
Accordingly, you can pick up all five of these tools without breaking the bank.
What you’ll have in the end is a basic farrier tool kit that will let you take care of routine hoof maintenance.
This hoof knife manufactured by Premium Instruments features quality craftsmanship that will help this tool survive for a long life.
AISI 420 German stainless steel is used to fashion the blade, and the tool has been built to comply with the CE-Quality mark, ISO 9001 and other recognized standards of quality.
The finish is highly polished so that the blade more easily resists corrosion for even better durability and performance.
With a carefully shaped wooden handle, this knife is comfortable and ergonomic.
The oval-shaped cutting surface guarantees a precision trim of sole tissue every time.
Those who are confident and comfortable with the use of the hoof knife will be able to use it to sculpt the bars, trim frog that is shedding and for exfoliating the sole.
The quality and durability of the Swiss Hoof Knife will serve you well, and become an indispensable part of your collection of tools.
Tough-1 Deluxe Farrier Apron
Priced at about $50, this entry-level farrier apron is the perfect addition to your tool kit.
It’s tough enough to protect your legs from a recalcitrant horse, but still lightweight enough to be comfortable to wear.
The waist and both legs on the Tough-1 apron are adjustable, so it is possible for men and women of virtually all sizes to wear them.
A sturdy knife pocket on the right leg keeps important tools always within easy reach.
On the left leg is a magnet for holding horseshoe nails and other small, metal accessories.
The material is mainly thick suede leather, and the knees are reinforced with fleece.
Leg adjusters are heavy-duty, chrome-plated clasps.
This apron is of adequate quality and durability for anyone who plans occasional maintenance of their horse’s hoofs.
It also works for people who have an interest in becoming a farrier and aren’t ready to invest in a more costly or even customized apron yet.
Doing anything with your horse’s hoofs without protecting at least your lower body is not recommended.
This Tough-1 apron is definitely up to the task of ensuring that your foray into horse hoof care does not result in an injury.
Farrier Tools Kits – Tools For the Professional Farrier
If you own a horse, then you know how critical it is to ensure hoof health.
One of the best ways you can do this is by getting a farrier tool kit and learning how to use it.
These tools enables you to maintain your horse’s hoofs without having to call the farrier.
And make it apart of your horse grooming routine.
You will likely still need to rely on the farrier for shoeing, since none of the kits that we review here includes all of the tools of the trade.
Nonetheless, you’ll appreciate having the ability to better care for your horse.
Farriers also may want to consider adding one of these kits to their everyday supplies.
Each one contains several useful tools and a convenient case to make transportation straightforward.
These kits are compact enough to travel with you if you’re spending several days on the trail.
They fit easily into saddlebags and knapsacks for on-the-go requirements.
With these tools within reach, you’ll be able to handle problems as they arise.
Horse Farrier Tool Kit
This five-piece set covers all of the basics for those who want to maintain their horse’s hoofs between visits from the farrier.
Each tool is constructed from vanadium steel.
The addition of vanadium to steel is essential for added strength, which means that this is a durable set of farrier tools.
This particular kit is ideal and would make a great deal for someone who wants all of the basic tools of the trade.
This kit includes nippers, which are essential for trimming the hoof wall so that it is the correct length.
The nail pullers are specifically design to grip nail heads to make them easier to remove from the shoe crease.
Also included in the kit are two hoof knives, one that is oval and another that is curved.
The clinch block can be used for nail setting while the clinch cutter, which looks like an undersized hatchet, is used to get rid of excess nail points.
Rasp and Rasp Handle
Roll-up Farrier kit bag with pockets and Velcro(R) closures Handles can come in assorted colors
Each item in this kit conforms to CE, ISO 9001 and FDA standards.
They are collected into a nice bag, which can easily be folded and includes a sturdy nylon handle and tie for convenient transport.
You’ll have just about everything you need for basic shoeing and grooming with this kit.
11 Piece Farrier’s Tool Kit Set
Horse Hoof Nippers
Clincher Tester Knife
Fold Up Case
This deluxe set has just about everything you can imagine needing to provide basic care to your horse.
It includes a hoof tester, which is essential equipment for probing the horse’s hoof for painful areas.
You’ll also find a farrier’s rasp in the kit.
This tool can be used by farriers or riders who discover a rough edge on a hoof in the midst of a ride.
Back at the stable, the rasp can be used for a multitude of chores.
Keeping the horse’s hoofs level and even is the most important one.
The included chisel is perhaps more useful to the farrier than it is to the horse owner, as this tool typically is used to widen nail holes or remove embedded nails.
Another tool in this kit that is best wielded by a professional is the float.
Horse teeth grow without stopping.
Usually, their teeth wear down naturally through eating, but sometimes a sharp edge will develop.
That sharp edge may make it difficult for your horse to eat.
She also may have a difficult time taking a bit.
The troublesome tooth or teeth can be filed down with a chisel-like tool called a float.
Precision and knowledge are required to do this job.
In other words, it’s not something you want to attempt without having undergone the necessary training.
Another important tool, the bot knife, is included in the kit.
This useful implement makes it easier to remove bot fly eggs from the legs, knees and chest of the horse.
This deluxe set from comes in a handsome, roll-up kit that can be taken anywhere.
The quality of the tools makes the price worthwhile.
Pro Rider Complete Farrier Tool Kit with Carrying Case Kit
A convenient bag holds eleven tools that are essential to the farrier’s trade.
This set from Pro Rider includes essentials like a hoof tester, nippers, rasp and a farrier’s knife…and much more.
Unlike the other kits listed here, this one includes a farrier’s nailing hammer.
This implement typically is used to punch holes through the hoof.
Claws on the opposite side of the hammer’s head allow the farrier to wring off any nail tips that come through the horse’s hoof.
These farrier tools kits provide you with all of the basics that you need in a quality case.
Secure loops in the carrying case keep everything from shifting around.
You’ll always know where everything is, and be able to access each tool quickly.
Solid construction and a good reputation are yet more reasons why you might want to choose this kit to add to your personal collection.
With easy grip handles and ergonomic shaping, you’ll find that these tools are among the easiest you have ever used.
Taking care of a horse can seem like a daunting responsibility, but it certainly helps to have the right tools.
Any of these kits could provide you with the basics that you need to provide your horse with ongoing hoof care.
If you are a farrier, then you will appreciate the durable nature of these tools as well as the quality of the carrying cases.
You will want to have one of these farrier tools kits always at hand whether you are a farrier or just want to take care of your horse between shoeing.
Farrier Links and Resources
Search for the Perfect Horse
Reining, cutting, roping, barrel racing, western pleasure, team penning and more.
Free photo ads for all judged and timed event western performance horses for sale at Search for the Perfect Horse.
Don’t limit your market when selling your horse – reach All competitors from the show pen to the rodeo arena.
Horse trails and campgrounds throughout North America (and some outside NA). Use riders’ ratings of trails and camps and get local weather forecasts to help plan your trip.
A human-edited links directory for horse and horse related websites.
Horse & Barn – Classifieds:
Sale Horses, Stallions at Stud, Horse Farm and Farrier Items
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There is a rich glossary of terminology used throughout the farrier world.
Having a firm grasp of these terms can allow the enthusiast to better understand the trade.
Listed below are some of the more common terms found in articles, at professional events, and within the conversations of trainers, farriers, vets, and horse owners.
This list provides just an overview of the vocabulary used to describe the hoof of a horse, and is by no means comprehensive.
Action: The way in which a horse moves during various gaits.
Bar: The section found on the bottom of the hoof and on the sides of the frog where the hoof turns inward.
Boxy Hooves: Slender, vertical hooves with a narrow frog and a heel that is closed. Also known as a clubbed foot.
Brushing Boots: An instrument used to guard a horse’s leg from injuries related to brushing.
Brushing: A situation where the horse’s hoof or shoe collides with the inner part of its opposite leg, typically near the fetlock joint. This is often caused by poor conformation or action.
Bulbs: The two circular bulges at the rear of the hoof.
Cast: A term referring to a horse loosing a shoe, usually by accident; for example, “the horse cast a shoe last week.”
Cannon Bone: A bone found above a horse’s fetlock, in both the fore and hind legs. Also known as the shank bone.
Club Foot: An alternative term for Boxy Hooves.
Coffin Bone: The bone of the horse closest to the ground. It is surrounded by the hoof capsule.
Conformation: The correctness of a horse’s physical structure, including bone and muscular structure, as well as body proportions.
Coronet: The section of the hoof immediately above the hornlike growth; the part where hoof growth takes place.
Cracked Heel: A condition where the hoof is inflamed, with cracked skin and pus discharge.
Deep Going: Ground that is soft and wet, causing the hooves to sink in.
Dropped Sole: The downward movement of the front of the coffin bone within the hoof as a result of laminitis.
Farrier: A craftsman specializing in the care of horse hooves, including trimming an shoeing.
Fetlock: A joint on the leg of a horse found between the canon bone and pastern.
Flat-Footed: A characteristic of a hoof where the angle is significantly less than 45 degrees.
Founder: A condition where the laminae is inflamed; also known as laminitis.
Frog: The fleshy area in the center of the bottom of the hoof.
Heel: The rear portion of the bottom of the hoof.
Hoof Capsule: The outer portion of the hoof.
Hoof Pick: A tool used to remove dirt and other debris from the hoof.
Hoof: The foot of a horse.
Horn: The outer covering of the hoof, which is tough and insensitive.
Hoof Wall: The visible outer portion of the hoof, which is composed of horny material, and grows continuously.
Laminae: The interior lining of the hoof.
Laminitis: A condition where the laminae is inflamed; also known as founder.
Lateral Cartilages: The strips of cartilage attached to the coffin bone inside of the foot.
Navicular Bone: A bone inside of the hoof, small in size, which is found between the short pastern and coffin bone.
Navicular Disease: A disease affecting the navicular bone, where the bone degenerates, causing the animal pain and potentially causing lameness.
Nerve Block: A veterinarian tool used to diagnose the location of a horse’s lameness. The tool accomplishes this task by blocking the nerves of the foot and leg in a progressive manner until the problem are is located.
Neurectomy: A medical procedure where nerves are severed which provided sensation to the foot. This procedure is used to treat navicular disease, and is also known as de-nerving.
Pastern: The section of a horse’s leg above the top of the hoof and below the fetlock.
Pathological: A condition that is disease-based.
Rasp: An instrument used for shaping wood or other materials.
A farrier’s rasp is used to remove excess portions of the hoof wall from the bottom of a hoof.
Seedy Toe: A condition where the laminae is separated from the hoof wall, often as a result of neglecting foot care.
Shoe, To: The process of attaching metal shoes to the hooves of a horse. This work is typically done by a farrier.
Sidebone: Hardening of the cartilage on the sides of the coffin bone.
Sole: The area of the bottom of the hoof from the front portion of the white line to the frog.
Thrush: A condition where the frog degenerates; this is usually accompanied by infection and blackening of the afflicted area; this condition often stems from horses being kept in unsanitary housing.
White Line: A structure on the bottom of the hoof that separates the sensitive areas of the hoof from the insensitive areas.
American Farriers Association
The American Farrier Assocation is a national association devoted to the development of farriers and the industry through leadership, resources and education.
Each and every effort made by the organization is based on the five tenets of Education, Certification, Communication, Research and Innovation. http://www.americanfarriers.org/
Brotherhood of Working Farriers Association
The Brotherhood of Working Farriers Association is a non-profit organization aimed at providing horse owners with accurate information on shoeing by professional farriers.
This organization is the largest farrier association in the world by membership count including farriers, horse owners and members of the public interested in the farrier profession.
The Brotherhood of Working Farrier Association also promotes farrier certification and encourages horse owners to seek certified farriers when shoeing. http://www.bwfa.net/
American Association of Professional Farriers
The American Association of Professional Farriers was launched in January 2012 with the intent to promote the integrity of the farrier industry by strengthening the knowledge and skills of its members through continuing education and support at the state, national and international levels while improving overall equine health through collaboration with other industry professionals.
The Farrier Assocation of Washington State is a Washington-based organization devoted to enhancing communication and learning between farriers and to increase overall horse industry communication.
The FAWS also organizes clinics and conventions for all professionals in the horse industry in order to exchange views and thoughts as well as exchange information about their profession.
San Diego County Farriers Association
The San Diego County Farriers Association is a non-profit organization promoting sound and safe practices of the farrier science within the Sand Diego County.
The SDCFA also seeks to provide education and hands-on experience in the field of farriery and horse care. http://www.sdcfa.org/
Rocky Mountain Farrier Association
The Rocky Mountain Farrier Association is a non-profit organization based out of the Rocky Mountain region dedicated to organizing professional farriers and others within horse related professions in sharing and promoting interest in the science of farriery.
This association is strictly for educational purposes and also educates the public on the subject of the farrier.
Pennsylvania Professional Farriers’ Association
The Pennsylvania Professiona Farrier Association is a Pennsylvania based organization devoted to organizing farriers and horse-related professionals and to facilitate education regarding the farrier industry and profession.
The PPFA also seeks to promote the farrier industry within the community and encourage learning about the profession for those interested. http://www.pafarriers.com/
Georgia Professional Farrier’s Association
The Georgia Professional Farrier’s Association is a Georgia-based organization dedicated to educating members and the public alike in shoeing methods and business management.
The Indiana Farrier’s Association is an Indiana-based organization whose purpose it is to promote and encourage quality in the farrier industry as well as sponsoring and promoting educational farriery meetings and activities. http://www.indianafarriers.org/
South Carolina Farrier’s Association
The South Carolina Farrier’s Association is a South Carolina association dedicated to educating all farriers.
The SCFA hosts clinics each month in an effort to continually improve its members.
The SCFA is an official state chapter of the American Farriers Association.
Texas Professional Farriers Association
The Texas Professional Farriers Assocation is a Texas based group whose purpose it is to increase skill level and better business practices for all farriers within the greater Texas area.
The TPFA has also developed a multi-level certification program and host regular clinics and family gatherings. http://www.tpfa.org/
Missouri Farriers’ Association
The Missouri Farriers’ Association is a group of farriers dedicated to continuing the education of practicing farriers within the greater Missouri area.
The MFA is also a registered chapter of the Brotherhood of Working Farriers.
Minnesota Farriers Association
An association devoted to education Minnesota farriers and promoting clinics, meetings and seminars for the purpose of bringing professional farriers together.
The MFA also promotes the sharing of information and skills for the benefit or horses and the industry.
Maryland Farriers Association
The Maryland Farriers Association is a local chapter of the American Farriers Assocation for the greater Maryland Area.
The Guild of Professional Farriers’ sole mission is to improve the farrier profession through continued education, documentation of the science, independent testing and ensuring members continue to improve their trade and art through practice and education.
Farriers of Idaho Guild
The Farriers of Idaho Guild is an Idaho-based group dedicated to the professional development of farriers through leadership and resources for the benefit of the industry and its members.
The FIG is a registered state chapter of the American Farriers Association.
Southern New England Farriers Association
The Southern New England Farriers Association is a chapter of the American Farriers Association.
The goal of SNEFA is to establish high ethical standards, continuously improve farrier skills through education and professional development, and to promote safe and applicable hoof care standards. http://www.snefa.org
Western New York Farrier’s Association
A member chapter of the American Farrier’s Association, the WNYFA is comprised of independent professional farriers working in the areas stretching from Buffalo to Syracuse.
The WNYFA was established in 1981 for the education and training of farriers and to help improve the service to horses and owners
Western Canadian Farrier’s Association
The Western Canadian Farrier’s Association is a non-profit whose main purpose it is to promote excellence in the science of farriery.
The WCFA seeks to inform the public and horse owners of the quality and standard of horse farriers and to better those standards of quality. http://www.wcfa.ca/
Ontario Farrier’s Association
The Ontario Farriers Association is an Ontario-based non-profit organization that speaks for the interests of its members regarding hoof care.
The OFA also seeks to improve the skills of its members and provide standards for quality within the industry.
Brotherhood of Working Farriers Certification
There is no licensing requirements for farriers within the United States and Canada; however, several trade organizations offer voluntary farrier certifications that can give you peace of mind that you are working with a reputable professional.
All certifications include written testing on topics including hoof trimming, horseshoe application and everyday hoof care as well as mastery of hands on forging skills.
The Brotherhood of Working Farriers Association (BWFA) is the oldest non-profit farrier organization in the country.
Certification is offered through their Master Educator Schools and private BWFA Testers across the United States.
BWFA has four certification levels.
BWFA Apprentice II Certification:
Any farrier who completes a six-week class with a reputable school is eligible.
Testing includes a written exam, hands on shoeing test and a forging test during which applicants must create a simple machine-made shoe.
BWFA Journeyman I Certification:
In addition to more difficult written and shoeing exams; applicants must forge several types of hand-made shoes and perform several shoe modifications as instructed.
This certification in open to farriers with at least one year of experience.
BWFA Journeyman II Certification:
Farriers must have at least three years of experience and currently work at least part-time at the trade.
The written test is more technically challenging.
Applicants at this level must also produce a specified corrective shoe and several others.
BWFA Master Farrier Certification:
This highest level of BWFA certification and is reserved for professionals with no less than seven years of experience who are currently working full-time at the trade.
This certification requires both a written and forging test.
In addition, live hand-made shoeing is required for types and breeds of horses chosen by the tester.
American Farrier Association Certification
The American Farriers Association (AFA) is one of the primary certifying organizations in the United States.
For 30 years, the AFA has provided a certification program that entails a blend of standardized testing and hands-on application.
4 main categories of certification provided by AFA
AFA Farrier Classification
An entry level certification that includes both written and practical exams on the basics of the skill.
Certified Farrier (AFA CF)
Certification is open to any farrier with at least one year of experience.
He or she must pass both the written and practical exams as well as prepare and explain a display of horseshoes.
Certified Tradesman Farrier (AFA CTF)
In addition to the above tests, applicants must demonstrate skills at properly fitting a hand-made shoe during a timed test.
This certification is available to professionals with at least two years of experience and have completed AFA CF.
Certified Journeyman Farrier (AFA CJF)
This most technical certification is open to professionals with two years of experience who complete the CF certification and demonstrate ability to forge and fit a corrective shoe within a time limit.
Guild of Professional Farriers Registration
The Guild of Professional Farriers is the third organization to offer a certification process for farriers.
Less developed than the groups mentioned above, the Guild provides “registration” at three levels.
This registration is offered to professional farriers with at least three years of experience.
It requires a written test and shoeing exam, including presentation of a shoe display.
Farriers must have at least four years of experience, currently be working full-time at the trade and have previously passed farrier registration.
In addition to a written and forging exam, the applicant must perform live shoeing.
Full Time Farrier
This registration does not require examination, but is only open to farriers who can verify that at least 70% of their annual income comes from the trade.
Farrier & Horseshoeing Schools
Meredith Manor Farrier School
Meredith Manor Farrier School will give you both the theoretical knowledge and the practical hands-on experience needed for a successful farrier career.
Our farrier students gain invaluable experience working with and studying our 150 school horses of varying breeds, disciplines, and training levels including upper level dressage horses, reining horses, eventers, and more.
Pacific Coast Horseshoeing School was founded by Bob Smith in 1991.
PCHS makes an effort to educate every student properly and to prepare them for a career in farriers.
The 8-week program includes daily classroom instruction in anatomy, physiology, conformation, and business practices. Students are also given hands-on experience in forging and shoeing on a daily basis. http://www.farrierschool.com/
Five Star Horseshoeing School
The Five Star Horseshoeing School is dedicated to providing a strong education foundation for students who want a career in farriery. FSHS offers three program options.
The 6-week program is an introductory course, the 8-week program teaches students basic shoeing techniques, and the 12-week course is an advanced program that prepares students for a career in equine hoof-care. http://www.futurefarrier.com/Home_Page.php
Wolverine Farrier School
The Wolverine Farrier School offers a comprehensive, 16-week farrier course.
The program includes daily classroom lectures and discussions to insure students continue to learn proper techniques.
An important part of the course is hands-on forge work and shoeing.
Students also learn how to make and repair their own tools.
Montana State University Farrier School
The Montana State University Farrier School prepares students for careers as professional farriers.
The program lasts for eleven weeks.
Upon completion of the program, students will be prepared for the American Farrier Association certification exam.
If you are unsure of what activities to offer for your fluffy buddy that will help them get interested, then why not read and learn all about it.
You can look through the library for informative book about pets or even visit sites online.
Applying what you have read and learned may not necessarily be that easy for our pet especially if these are new activities.
When this scenario happens, learn to be patient and try out different strategies to see which ones will work for your pet.
Run With your dog
Be Practical and Creative to Keep Your Dog Healthy and Fit
Work with what you already have at home and take the initial set of bringing your dog’s health and fitness back to optimum level.
Say you have very limited space inside your home then why not teach your pet to maneuver through the small spaces every time you are home.
Or in case you live in an apartment or condo that has a lot of staircases, why not get your dog moving with you to take the flight of stairs back home.
Think up of very simple skills but ensure that your dog is able to do it several times each week for optimal advantage.
Make Time for Play with your dog
Set a Good Example
You may not see it but your dog more often than not will be doing just about anything you will so if you manage to spend the entire day on the couch then trust they will be at your feet the entire day too.
So consider bringing your activity level a little bit higher than your usual too.
Take the time to head out for a quick brisk walk in the morning before you head to work and bring along your pet with you. Running will be very effective as well, but there are common runner injuries to be aware of.
However, walking does limit how far we can travel.
If we want to take him further than he can walk, we either need to take the car, or find an alternative means of transport that is dog friendly, as well as environmentally friendly.
Enter the bike dog trailer.
This neat little trailer attaches to the back of a bicycle, and is safe and comfortable for a dog to ride in.
When we stop for the night, it converts to a kennel for him to sleep in.
It’s not cheap, and you do need to train your dog to relax in it, but if you’re going to make a habit of biking trips with your dog, it’s a great investment.
Don’t Give Your Dog a Bath (Unless He Stinks)
Dogs can become quite dirty while they’re hiking.
They love to roll in dust and mud, and they find the aroma of dead animals particularly appealing.
I’ve found that the less I bathe my dog, the better his coat repels dust and dirt.
So, save water, don’t bathe him and the natural oils in his coat will allow you to brush the dirt off him.
Of course, that doesn’t apply to “eau de dead animal,” in which case you really do need to shampoo him.
Try to choose a dog shampoo that contains no parabens or sodium lauryl sulphate.
Think About Bug Bites
Depending on where you live, hiking along forest trails may leave you and your dog susceptible to attack by biting insects, including ticks and mosquitoes.
There are many shampoos and sprays that contain natural insecticides such as tea tree oil or neem oil which will help to repel insects, without the need to apply chemicals to your dog.
Take care with natural oils because natural doesn’t necessarily mean non-toxic.
Packing a first aide kit for your dog is a must.
We found that it really doesn’t take too much effort to enjoy a green vacation with our dog.
A bit of forethought means we can share our trip with our four legged family member, while taking care of our environment.
That’s a win-win situation.
Top Dog Travel Accessories
Are you ready to set out and see the world?
If so, you might be wondering what to do with your furry companion as you follow your travel bug instincts.
The good news is, with the right planning, your pooch can come along for the ride!
Thanks to modern dog travel accessories, it’s easier than ever to ensure that everyone in your family, including those who walk on four paws, arrives safe and sound to your destination.
Today, we’re delving into a few pieces of can’t-miss gear that will get your dog ready faster than he can bark “Bonjour!”
Ready to get started? Let’s dive in!
Small dog maltese sitting in his transporter or bag and waiting for a trip
A State-of-the-Art Carrier
You want to sit in a plush and comfy seat while you travel, so why shouldn’t your dog?
One of the essential dog travel accessories to remember is a carrier that keeps your pet secure and surrounded by comfort for the duration of the trip.
If your dog is small enough to ride in style in your airplane cabin, his carrier will go under your seat, per federal guidelines.
Even through car seat laws do not apply to pets or your dog, it is still a good idea.
If you’re traveling by car, top-quality carriers can actually serve as safety car seats, giving you peace of mind as you cruise the open road.
Looking for an in-cabin pet carrier that’s both stylish and functional?
Try a Sherpa Deluxe Pet Carrier or another customer favorite, the Sleepypod.
Collapsible Feeding Accessories
Chances are, your suitcases are pretty full as you embark on your new adventure.
Imagine trying to squeeze in several hard food and water bowls in there!
To this end, it’s worth it to invest in a few collapsible, portable silicone bowls that can be used for feeding as you travel.
Most of these come with a carabiner, allowing you to easily affix them to your leash or carrier to ensure they’re never too far out of reach.
This makes them extremely convenient for hiking or camping. You can even have an on-the-spot picnic wherever you choose!
Check out this travel bowl set by Buster Pet Co. to get started!
If you’re planning to spend a significant amount of time sightseeing by foot, a doggie stroller is one of the dog travel accessories you can’t afford to miss.
Perfect both for injured and aging pets as well as those who might just need a break from prancing around taking in the sights, these strollers come in a variety of sizes and weight limits.
Most doggie strollers fold up easily and feature mesh sides to ensure your pet stays cool and shaded as he glides around.
Many also include bottom and side storage compartments, so you can keep other gear within arms reach.
Check out VIVO’s three-wheel pet stroller or this OxGord Carrier Carriage for inspiration!
Though your pet may be flying first-class and being wheeled around in a stroller, the reality is that nature will inevitably call.
When this happens, it’s best to be prepared with gear that allows you to take care of the mess quickly and conveniently, so you can get back to enjoying your trip.
It helps to pack a little “Clean Up Kit” to take along on your journey.
This might be one of the less glamorous dog travel accessories, but it’s an important one just the same.
From waste bags and deodorizing wipes to pee pads and household cleaners, arm yourself with the tools to keep your area neat and clean, so you don’t have to worry about a little spill upsetting your trip.
Even after you’ve read your pre-travel guide and fine-tuned your itinerary, you might still face a little uneasiness as you leave the comforts of home for a new place you might not have ever experienced — and that’s totally normal.
Similarly, being away from home and in a new environment might trigger a little anxiety in your dog.
To help him feel at ease, you may consider bringing along a doggie compression shirt.
Akin to swaddling a baby, a compression shirt wraps tightly around your dog to enhance feelings of security and comfort.
One of the most popular types of these dog travel accessories is the Thundershirt.
If you suspect your pet may take a while to warm up to your vacation digs, try one out!
You don’t have to bring the entire medicine cabinet, but don’t forget your dog when packing your first-aid essentials.
In addition to any medications your pet is currently taking, remember to also bring flea prevention, tick removal gear (try these tick keys), wound care supplies, a digital thermometer, and any other supplies you think you’ll need.
Don’t feel like packing everything à la carte?
Pre-packaged pet first-aid kits, like this 46-piece one from First Aid-USA, take care of everything for you, so there’s no guesswork.
Are there any toiletries, such as allergy-relief shampoo, that your dog can’t live without? Don’t forget to throw those in too!
From a pet passport to updated vaccination and medical history information, depending on where you’re traveling to, you could be required to present multiple forms of documentation on your pet.
In addition to ID data, you may also want to bring along the names and phone numbers of local veterinarians.
You never know when you may require their services while you’re away from your trusted care providers.
In addition, it’s helpful to bring along a list of your pet’s prescriptions, and his microchip registration information.
With so many items to track, you can easily misplace important documents.
Keep them handy and organized with a waterproof pouch that’s easy to take with you.
Dog Travel Accessories and More: Your On-the-Go Guide
Whether you’re venturing into a neighboring city or are embarking on a trip around the world, we’d love to help you get there.
We’re experts on everything travel.
We love sharing advice and insights on where to go, what to see, and how to do it all on a budget.
Let’s go on a new adventure together — Fido and all!
First Aid Kit for your Dog or Pet
Traveling with your faithful companion can be a very rewarding experience.
Pets enrich our lives, and they can offer a lot of comfort and joy.
But in today’s times we need to travel as green as possible while still providing for simple necessities.
And one such necessity you should consider when traveling with your pet or camping with your dog ~ hiking with your dog, is a first aid kit just for them.
After all, things do happen that are out of our control.
And we want to keep the safety of our pet in mind.
So, with a little effort, we can easily put together a pet first aid kit that makes traveling safer while being earth friendly in its design.
First Aid Kit for your Pet
When putting together a pet first aid kit, take some time to consider the container itself.
You will want a container that opens easily, since after all you may be occupied with a wounded pet.
Also try to find something that is durable and as close to waterproof as you can.
Finally, make sure that it can hold everything you need without undo force required to close the lid.
And make sure that the kit fits the intended travel – you may have to downsize things if you expect it to fit in your dog’s backpack.
Basic Contents for First Aid Kit for your Pet
Basic Contents for First Aid Kit for your Pet
Creating a pet first aid kit is not that different from one for a person.
You need to be able to apply basic first aid to your pet, so the materials need to be on hand.
An injured pet may need to be covered, and it can offer protection in the case of adverse conditions.
Masking Tape –
In the event of a spinal injury, your pet may need to be secured to a board by a means that will not harm fur.
Typical adhesive tape, such as those used for bandages, may prove to be too much when used to restrain the pet.
Obviously required more for a dog than a cat, muzzles are good to have handy in case of an injury.
An injured or stressed dog is more likely to bite than it would otherwise, and it could help to protect the animal from any required defensive actions.
Activated Charcoal Tablets –
Activated charcoal can help with your pet’s diarrhea and gas while traveling.
In some cases kaeopectates could be used, but you should ask the advice of your vet first.
Also note that the absorption capability of activated charcoal could help in the case of accidental poisoning.
Antibacterial Ointments –
This will help with nicks and cuts your pet may experience in their travels.
Cotton Swabs –
For cleaning wounds and applying medicines as required.
Great for pulling splinters and cleaning wounds.
Gauze and Gauze Pads –
Wound treatment – keeping a wound clean will aid in healing and prevent more serious infections.
Vet Approved Ipecacs –
In the case of serious poisoning this can induce vomiting, removing the toxins from the body.
But improper use can be dangerous, and some pets cannot be induced this way without injury.
So be sure to ask your vet first before inclusion or using.
Medicine Droppers – For drop by drop administration of medicines and flushing with a cleaner.
Scissors are essential to trim fur from affected areas as well helping with wound dressings.
Adhesive Tape –
This strong tape will secure the gauze and pads when dressing a wound, but be careful to not involve too much fur in the process.
This kind of tape can be hard to remove from such surfaces and may need to be cut free.
Saline flush –
Use this in place of Hydrogen Peroxide when cleaning a wound.
It can also be used to clean eyes from contaminants.
Destination Specific Items –
Not all pet first aid kits are equal, nor do they need to be.
For example, you may be traveling into an area that has poisonous plants or extreme heat that you would normally not need to prepare for.
Emergency Numbers –
Be sure to include not only the number of your regular vet but also the number of a close by pet hospital for the area you are visiting.
In the case of an emergency this can save valuable time.
A great place for this is on the inside lid of your pet first aid kit.
Extra Food Another thing to bring is extra food for your pet.
We always prefer the best dog food that’s organic.
What Not To Use in Pet First Aid
What Not To Use in Pet First Aid
While first aid for a pet is not radically different from basic first aid concepts for people, there are nonetheless some things that should be avoided.
Hydrogen Peroxide kills white blood cells that would otherwise be fighting the infection.
Instead use a saline flush.
If you have a cat, then never give it aspirin or Tylenol (acetaminophen).
These drugs are toxic to cats, and should be avoided at all costs.
Ibuprofen should never be given to dogs, since it can cause kidney failure – even a little can make them very sick.
As you can see, it is easy to put together a pet first aid kit for your favorite companion that not only could prove valuable on a trip but also avoids components that are harmful to the planet.
It is one of the best things that you can have for your pet that you hopefully will never use.
Natural Flea Treatment Ideas for Dogs and Cats
It’s one of those things I thought would never happen to my dogs: They got fleas.
And we ran out to buy them those synthetic flea treatment collars just to realize that these are simply pesticides.
We take care not to use pesticides in our yard or home, but ironically, we’d just invited them in!
Because we didn’t like the idea of tying poison around our pets’ necks, we decided on another course.
Here’s what we learned about natural flea treatment ideas for dogs and cats.
Best Natural Flea Treatment
First, you have to get rid of adult fleas and their larvae and eggs on your furniture, pet bedding, and carpets before you should even bother treating your pets themselves.
I know, ew.
But cleaning your home of fleas isn’t as difficult as it sounds.
In fact, you’re probably already taking care of the problem with general cleaning measures.
Clean before treating dogs and cats for fleas:
Vacuum all carpets, couch cushions, or mattresses that your dogs or cats use
Don’t think they sneak up onto the bed while you’re not looking?
If not, your pets are better trained than mine.
Of course, that’s not saying much.
Mine pretty much have the run of the place.
Wash all pet bedding
Strip pet beds and machine wash with hot water, then tumble dry.
Don’t air dry: you need the heat to kill the fleas and larvae.
Sweep any other pet traffic areas that are not carpeted
You’re probably already doing most of this on a daily or semi-regular basis.
Now you’re ready to address the flea problem on your pets themselves.
Amid all the synthetic solutions for fleas on your grocery store shelves are three natural remedies:
Natural flea treatment remedies:
Derived from the flower heads of Old World chrysanthemums, pyrethrin has been used for centuries to fight fleas.
If it’s hard to find, you can more readily find d-Limonene, which is a by-product of the citrus industry, and smells like grapefruit.
While in the pet aisle, look for ‘natural’ or organic flea treatments containing one of these ingredients.
Much safer than pyrethrin (though even harder to say three times fast), diatomaceousearth is a form of dust-like algae.
According to Mother Earth News, it can be sprinkled on pet bedding and carpet, where it attaches itself to the waxy coating of a flea’s shell, dehydrating it.
Find it at a home and garden store under natural or organic agents.
Natural flea prevention:
Better yet is to not have a flea problem in the first place, right?
The following natural remedies go a long way toward keeping fleas at bay (though every pet’s general health and skin condition also play a role).
add one small tablet to your dog or cat’s food.
The yeast will excrete through the skin, making the animal less attractive to fleas.
Apple cider vinegar:
add a spoonful to your dog’s water to make their skin more acidic.
If they balk at the taste, you can dilute it 50/50 with water and use it in a spray bottle as a repellent.
Rosemary flea dip:
steep a few cups of rosemary in boiling water, strain it, and add a gallon of warm water to the liquid.
Give your dog a bath in it, pouring it over him, then allowing him to dry naturally.
He’ll smell great, too!
Learn a quick way to keep your dog healthy and fit.
Fleas are both an incredible nuisance and incredibly unhealthy for your pets.
Preventative measures go the furthest.
Before trying any flea treatments, organic or otherwise, consult your veterinarian, who can assist with the right dosage for the size of your pet.
There are some excellent natural flea treatment ideas to help your pets.
There are many books which explain miniature cattle.
Owning a reference book or two will help you as you prepare for raising these particular cows as well as help you when issues arise.
Breeds of miniature cattle for small farm or ranch:
Miniature Belted Galloway
The Belties, as the Miniature Belted Galloways are often called, are a very hardy breed.
They originated from the southwestern part of Scotland.
They have a double coat, with the coarse outer coat designed to repel water.
Their under coat is not so much hair as wool, and it’s to insulate the cow against the cold.
Belted Galloways tend to have a solid color but with a white belt around their midriff.
At maturity, their height at the most reaches 42 inches at the hip bone.
Facts about Belties
These Belties are a popular breed for small farms, as they offer several advantages:
They’re considered as the oldest naturally polled beef cattle in the world
This means they are by nature hornless, and that offers several key advantages.
The problem with horned cattle is that you’ll have to expend some effort (or pay for the labor) for de-horning or tipping the horns.
If you don’t, then they’ll pose a danger to you and to their handlers.
Galloways are also a proven commodity in terms of profits
Various tests over a 10-year period show that this breed use up the least amount of feed for every kilogram of weight gain they achieve.
These are the high feed conversion rates that make these Belties profitable every year.
One of the most crucial breed traits of all Galloways is that their beef quality is always excellent.
It’s lean, and yet it’s also well-marbled.
Due to the efficient protection offered by their double coat, their carcasses don’t have that additional layer of fat in the back that’s quite common to other breeds.
You’ll find that they dress out at about 60 to 62 percent of their live weight.
Their excellent hair coat also translates to lower feed costs during the winter
Scientists at Montana State University found that when beef cows have hair coat that is just an inch thicker than average, they will require 20% to 25% less digestible feed intake to maintain their body weight in the cold weather.
With the good double hair coat, they need less feed than usual to maintain their body condition.
Double hair coat is that it is able to shed water
Even in very cold weather, the rain hardly penetrates their coat.
These Belties can thrive all year long, and they only need minimal shelter from the summer heat to the winter cold.
Galloways are very docile which means that they’re easy to handle and care for
Miniature Belted Galloway facts
They also exhibit terrific foraging ability, and they’re not picky at all.
In fact, a Danish study found that compared to all the other breeds in the study the Galloway consumer many more different types of flora.
Since they can digest even less digestible types of flora, they can flourish even though the conditions are less than ideal.
They’re also known for their longevity and hardiness, as they are resistant to disease.
They also have high fertility rates, and calving is easy for them.
They also exhibit great mothering abilities for their calves.
Miniature Belted Galloways are easy to raise
These Galloways don’t really need all that much.
They should have access to clean fresh water, and there should be some pasture grass and good-quality hay. T
hat goes for some available mineral or salt block too.
For extreme weather, it may be nice if they have some shelter or shade to keep themselves more comfortable.
They will also need regular parasite control and vaccinations, for potential problems such as leptospirosis.
Over the last decade or so, the numbers of Miniature Belted Galloways have risen significantly, and so has the demand for them for small farms.
They do really well on small family farms.
Like so many miniature cattle breeds, they are completely adorable too.
Dexter Mini Cow
Modern Dexter miniature cows trace their ancestry to a 1750 herd of sturdy Irish mountain cattle that was assembled by an agent of Lord Hawarden.
His name was Mr. Dexter.
The cows in turn were descended from the small cattle of the Celts of ancient Ireland.
They were already called Dexter mini cows by 1845, and by then they looked pretty much like the Dexter cows of today.
A Dexter registry was established in Ireland in 1887, and in 1911 an American registry was established as well.
But the Dexters in North America were rare.
Today they’re still classified as “rare” in the American Livestock Breed Conservancy’s Conservation Priority List.
By raising Dexter cows, you can help preserve an endangered heritage livestock breed.
Facts about Dexters
Here are a few facts you need to know about Dexters:
Dexters are famed for their longevity and for their generally sweet dispositions
They can live for quite a while, with an average lifespan of about 17 to 18 years.
They have a powerful maternal instinct
Dexters will act as surrogate mothers, and they can look after 4 or more calves at the same time.
They’re well-known for easy calving.
But they often calve until they’re very old, and some have calved at 20 years old.
They can rear about 10 calves during their lifetime.
Mature bull can reach up to about 47 inches in height, and weigh more than 450 kilos
That’s still significantly smaller than your normal-sized cattle.
They are mostly black, although there are times when you may find one with a dun or dark red color.
Dexter cows are horned
The horns of the bulls tend to extend directly to each side.
They then curve forward and upward, and there’s some space between the 2 horns.
Generally, the horns are white in color, but the tips are black.
You should be able to stock more cattle per acre than with normal-sized cows
They’re very good at foraging for their own food.
In fact, they’re well-suited for areas with drought problems.
Dexters live on grass.
When grass is scarce, they can make do with hay.
Some owners tend to give them a bit of grain or a few concentrate pellets during milking time, as a sort of incentive.
Dexter cows also need a lot of water so they can maintain their milk production.
The water should be clean at all times.
If you’re keeping them as milking cows, they’ll just produce less milk when they get less food.
They’re at just ⅔ the size of a standard breed, and their need for food is proportionally less.
Dexters are regarded as dual-purpose cows
You can get them for their milk or for their meat.
This particular breed is justifiably renowned for their milk production.
Though they’re smaller, they can outstrip the milk output of their bigger counterparts.
Their average yield is about 10 liters a day, but they can produce as much as 20 liters of milk daily.
The milk is ideal for making cheese, with an average butterfat level of about 4 to 5 percent, with cream yields of a liter for every 5 liters.
More information about Dexters
These are very hardy animals, and you can keep and milk them outside if you need to.
But they do require shelter from extreme weather such as an open shed or a cowshed.
Dexter facts and tips for raising them
You should reserve your best pasture for your proven milk producers.
You can plant good herbal ley as pasture grass which can be good for worm control.
When you have rich pasture, you’ll have to reduce their grazing time so they don’t get more weight than they ought to.
When they get too big, they can produce less milk, and their size can lead to calving problems.
A standard rule of thumb is to limit their grazing on rich pasture to just 6 hours a day.
After that, you should lead them to their corral and feed them hay.
One minor problem for milking is that their teats can be small, so milking them by hand may pose a challenge.
You may want to invest in an electric milking machine especially when you have several Dexter cows to milk.
You can also raise Dexter cattle for their meat.
A 3-year old steer can reach up to 460 kilos. Because of their excellent foraging ability, their high feed conversion, and excellent meat-to-bone ratio, Dexter steer can reach 180 kilos in 14 months.
When you feed them grass, the meat is delicious: tender, lean, and fine-textured.
With grain feeding, which is not typically recommended because it is unnatural for them, the meat in the prime cuts are finely marbled, and it has a lighter color.
What’s great about Dexters
These really make for good small farm cattle, as they can be converted into good beef or you can continue to enjoy their healthy milk.
And they can also make great pets, although you’ll need to be concerned with the horns, especially around children.
Miniature Zebu Cow
In general, miniature cattle breeds have been bred by man by choosing the smallest cows from a larger breed.
But the Miniature Zebu is a true breed of miniature cattle, which means they’ve developed into a unique species all on their own.
They are among the oldest breed of cattle, and may trace back to as far as 6,000 BC.
Some document records place them in Sri Lanka and southern India by 3,000 BC.
The first zebu was imported into the US during the 1920s.
They were considered novelties in zoological gardens.
They’re becoming a bit more popular as more people learn about them, but they’re still quite rare in North America.
People in the United States call them Brahman cattle as well.
Facts about Zebu Cows also known as Brahman Cows
Zebus are popular because they look so cute that they’re almost like fawns.
People recognize them for their characteristically well-developed humps, which are very prominent on mature bulls.
They may have horns which can be in any shape and size.
Because of their appealing look and friendly disposition, Zebu cows aren’t normally bred for meat production.
They’re mostly for shows, junior rodeo events, and zoological gardens.
Others use them for their breeding farms.
You can raise them as pets, and you can even use them for milk.
A typical zebu cow can produce a gallon of milk a day, and it is very rich in butterfat.
They have sleek coats that are short and dense.
Their colors range from black, spotted, or red, to steel gray or nearly pure white.
In mature bulls, it’s common to see nearly all black in the neck, shoulders, and hump areas.
Zebus are measured at the withers, which is directly behind the hump.
Zebus don’t go past 42 inches in height; most are about 36 to 38 inches tall.
However, some adults may only reach up to 26 inches.
They can range in weight from 200 to 500 pounds.
Miniature Zebu cows carry their babies for 9 months like human mothers.
They calve easily and produce good milk.
They’re very protective of their babies, especially in the first few weeks.
The baby Zebus really look like fawns, and many human owners (and their children) find them adorable.
They’re about 16 to 18 inches tall and weigh about 18 to 22 pounds.
After just a few moments after their birth, they’re able to stand and walk around.
They can be as tame and as friendly as a family dog, especially if they’re bottle-raised.
More facts about Zebu Cows
You can easily halter-train small Zebus, and you can have your children walk them on a leash.
The breed is so docile and small that they’re considered safe for children and for the elderly.
Feeding them isn’t hard, although the food will depend greatly on your geographic location and the season.
They’ll accept hay during the winter months, and for the rest of the year they can live on good quality grass.
For grain, you can use cattle feed or a general purpose sweet feed.
To keep your zebu healthy, you’ll also need fresh water and salt blocks.
They do very well in warm weather, which is why many of the Zebus in the US are in Florida.
But they can also survive farther up north as long as you provide them adequate shelter during the colder months.
With proper care, they can live for as long as 20 to 25 years.
Their origins have made them immune to most tropical diseases.
The price of a registered miniature bull calf in Florida may range from $500 to $2,000.
A heifer calf can cost from $1,500 to 3,000. Full grown bulls and cows that have proven productive will cost more.
They can be very expensive if they have unusual characteristics, such as if they come from high quality bloodlines or if they’re very small.
Jersey is a British island found in the English Channel, just off the French coast.
Because it’s an island, the cattle there were able to develop in relative isolation from other cattle breeds.
It’s one of the oldest dairy breeds, with pure bloodlines tracing back to almost 600 years.
These miniature cattle are famous for their high quality milk production, along with its generally friendly personality and lower maintenance cost due to its miniature status.
While the standard Jerseys today are bigger due to breeding programs, the miniature Jerseys at 3 years of age don’t go over 700 pounds on average and they don’t exceed a height of 42 inches at the hip.
Many are within the 36 to 40-inch range.
These are actually the original traits of the breed, and the standard Jerseys were bred to be larger to boost milk production.
Today, the mini Jersey is a rare breed.
Facts about Jersey Mini Cows
They can be very adorable, and that’s undeniable.
The color of their coat ranges from fawn to dark fawn, with some sporting splashes of white.
The cows tend to weigh about 600 to 650 pounds, while the bulls weigh in at about 800 pounds.
Because of their small stature, they don’t require as much acreage and barn space.
They also require less feed, as they only eat half as much as their bigger counterparts.
Their milk is very delicious and quite nutritious too.
They contain high butterfat and protein amounts.
They can produce about 2 to 4 gallons of milk a day.
If you’re getting a miniature cow, the point is to provide milk and that means you really have to check the udder.
It needs to be attached well, and the teats should be large enough that you can milk them easily.
They should also sport a straight spine, and stand firmly with legs long enough to support their body length and size.
More facts about Miniature Jersey Cow
While modern Jersey bulls are notoriously aggressive, that’s not usually the case with mini Jersey bulls.
This is especially true with bulls that have been bottle-fed from birth.
While they can be playful as calves, they can also be very gentle and sweet even when compared to their female calves.
They’re quieter and they don’t spook as easily.
But when they mature, it’s still a good idea to just handle him as you need to, but you can just leave him alone.
You can start handling him less when he reaches puberty, which for mini Jersey bulls is at 6 to 7 months.
The calves also don’t like the cold very much, especially when the temperature drops below 50.
So you should keep them warm with calf coats or even with heat lamps.
Keeping them warm in the winter months is crucial if you want to minimize the risk of stress-related diseases.
Just remember, with mini Jerseys you get the best milk for your family, and a cute and gentle pet besides.
Miniature Panda Cow
Now if you’re into truly rare miniature cows with a beauty that can’t be matched, you really ought to take a look at the Miniature Panda.
The first of its kind is the progeny of a miniature bull that is 75% Irish Dexter and 25% Belted Galloway bred to an exotic cow (“Happy Mountain” Cattle).
The result was a small heifer measuring just 14 inches tall at birth.
She has a white belt around her middle, along with the face of a panda, all white with black circles around the eyes.
Miniature Panda Cow is unique
There are only a few dozen of these miniature Panda cattle in the world, and they’re all celebrities in one way or another.
There is a pair of them featured at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Washington.
Sometimes the celebrity status can even get in the head of the Panda cattle.
According to one Washington owner, his Panda bull calf is never far from his mother, but he “struts” around the farm and other caves follow him around.
If you want a celebrity animal for your zoological garden or farm, you can’t go wrong with a miniature Panda cow.
They’re just that cute, lovable, and popular.
But you will have to spend lots of money to get one, or devise a breeding program yourself.
The cost of buying one may reach up to $30,000, but you’re getting instant fame and status.
The standard Hereford cattle breed began in Herefordshire, England, about 250 years ago.
The breeding program for the miniature Hereford started in the late 1960s, but it was only in 1989 when breeding stock became available for sale.
They’re widely considered beef animals, although there are many other reasons why you may want to buy one.
You can buy them as a pet for your young children, or enter them in shows.
Some buy them because of the agricultural tax breaks they get to enjoy.
You can even just buy them as special tools to mow and fertilize your huge backyard.
Facts about Miniature Herefords
These make for wonderful pets.
They’re generally docile and have sweet-temperaments, especially when they’re already halter-trained.
Even the bulls are comparatively gentle compared to the bulls of other miniature breeds.
And the calves only weigh in at 30 to 60 pounds, so that even 5 or 6-year old kids can show them around.
They’re also very easy to care for, and they won’t cost you as much for upkeep.
They’re very hardy and they adapt well to all environments, so you cut back on veterinary bills.
They don’t need special food treats, they require less pasture space, they’re easier on your pasture and fence, and they produce less manure to haul away.
Mini Herefords are excellent food converters.
This means they don’t have to eat as much to produce weight gain for meat.
And their meat is more tender because of their shorter muscle length.
Standard cows need to develop muscle to carry 2,000 pounds in weight.
But the mini Herefords only weigh from 700 to 1,000 pounds, so they require less muscle.
They also offer a larger ribeye area of about 1.5 square inches for every 100 pounds of body weight.
Miniature Herefords – breeding
The breed is very fertile and can breed back rather quickly.
The heifers can breed at about 2 to 3 years.
The bulls can even start at an earlier age, as they can breed when they’re a year and a half years old.
After giving birth the mother is very nurturing, and she can also provide lots of milk for her calf.
You should find a reputable breeder if you’re considering buying a miniature Hereford.
It’s easy to make mistakes, such as paying show-quality prices for a cow when you just want a pet.
Others may pay top fees for a very small animal only to find out that she’s not small-framed genetically.
Just make sure you get the most suitable animal for your needs.
If you want them for the beef, then they’re able to provide better beef than just about any beef you can get in the supermarket.
If you want a pet, make sure that it’s docile and that you train it with a harness.
And if you want them for your own breeding program, you will need to research the pedigrees.
Now that you are learning so much about miniature cattle, be sure to learn about how a livestock guardian dog can help.
The Lowline Angus descended from the Angus cattle breed that was formed several hundred years ago from the black hornless cattle in the Angus and Aberdeen counties in Scotland.
Some would claim they are derived from Australia and are not considered ‘Mini Cattle’.
These spread worldwide during the 1800s, and soon thereafter, Black Angus started to dominate the US beef industry.
History of Lowline Angus
The Lowline Angus was actually created by accident.
They were the result of an Australian study which tried to determine if large or small animals were more efficient at converting grass into meat.
In this 1974 study, they used 85 Angus cows and divided them into 3 herds.
The High Line herd was defined by high yearling growth rates, and the Low Line herd had low yearling growth rates.
The third herd was the control with randomly selected animals.
Researchers found out at the end that the High and Low Line herds demonstrated about the same level of efficiency in converting grass to protein.
They were supposed to slaughter the Low Line herd, but it soon became evident that these smaller animals had far greater value than what was first thought.
After 15 years of selective breeding the Lowline Angus cattle breed was born.
They stabilized at about 30% smaller than their Highline counterparts, and that makes them one of the smallest beef cattle breeds in the world.
These animals were extremely docile.
They adapted to Australian conditions.
The researchers conducted a disposal sale in 1993, and introduced to the US in 1997.
More facts about Lowline Angus
On average, a purebred Lowline Angus calf weighs 42 pounds. A mature cow is 39 inches tall and weighs 800 pounds.
A mature bull reaches a height of 43 inches and 1200 pounds.
They’re ideal for intensive grazing conditions, and their feed requirements are considerably less than what their bigger counterparts need. They only need about a third of the stand cattle’s nutritional requirements.
You can raise about 54 breeding cows per 100 acres, compared to 33 for Angus and 38 for Wagyu.
Yet you can get an average of 154.3 retail pounds of product from your Lowline Angus.
That’s a lot compared to the 110 pounds per acre for the Angus and 83.1 pounds for the Wagyu.
Lowlines offer superior carcass traits, with 30% larger rib eye area per hundredweight and excellent marbling.
The cows calve with excellent ease, with a short gestation period of 271 days and afterwards they exhibit great mothering ability.
More great reasons to own Lowline Angus
They’re also naturally polled, so that means they’re naturally hornless and that’s a very advantageous trait.
They can live for as long as 12 to 25 years, as they’re easy to keep, and terrific foragers.
Lowline Angus can adapt to a wide variety of climates, from the hot and humid Deep South to the cold of Canada.
They do not test for the Anchondroplasia gene and the dwarfism gene.
Lowlines look great with their nice proportions, and they’re very easy to handle.
What the Lowline Angus represents is a chance for you to get a taste of delicious beef even if you do own a very small farm.
And if you want to make a business of it, it’s a great investment because they’re still rare and the demand for their beef is very high.
Miniature Texas Longhorns
If you’re in the US, you probably heard of the Texas Longhorn football team.
But you won’t ever forget the first time you see a Texas Longhorn in person, as their horns can grow as long as 7 feet from tip to tip.
They’re among the first cattle the Europeans brought to North America.
They’re a mix of breed from India and Iberia.
Yet despite their horns, the Texas longhorn is actually very gentle and even quite intelligent for their species.
And if you want the smaller and cuter version, you can go for the miniature Texas longhorns instead.
They began from a 1990 breeding program that downsized purebred, registered Texas Longhorns.
The process simply bred then smallest Texas Longhorns they had until the resulted in this miniature version.
Like their bigger counterparts, they have the horns, the general build, and the mild, tractable personality without any nervousness or aggressiveness.
Facts about Miniature Texas Longhorns
Technically, their horns must measure from tip to tip at least 50% their hip height, although it would of course be better if they horn measurement can actually reach the length of the height at the hip.
Miniature Texas Longhorn cows should be no more than 45 inches at the hip bone for you to classify them as “miniature,” although some purists insist that they should not exceed 42 inches in height. For bulls, the maximum is 48 inches.
They live for about 10 years and they can weigh from 350 to 800 pounds.
They’re diurnal active during the daytime), and they just need hay and grass.
You don’t buy these animals for their meat, even though people recognize the standard Texas longhorn lean beef for its low fat, cholesterol, and calories.
These minis are companion animals.
They are excellent show animals and pets.
They’re so small you don’t needs as much acreage, and because of their gentle temperament you don’t have to worry about them hurting your children.
Miniature Scottish Highland
If all you know of the Scottish Highlands is what you got from watching Braveheart, then you should at least know that the Scots are tough because they had to be.
That’s especially true in the Highlands, where it’s so rugged that only the tough survive.
And that also true of their cattle.
The Highland breed has thrived ever since the 6th century AD, and they share the same traits with the miniature Scottish Highland breed.
The smaller miniatures don’t go past 42 inches in height, and a few can only reach up to 27 inches even after 3 years.
That makes them one of the cutest farm animals to have around, especially when combined with their characteristic long hair on top of their heads.
People admire the Highland breed for their distinctive looks, and when that look is in a miniature version the cuteness score is off the charts.
They’re just so adorable.
It’s why calves go for about $6,500 even, registered or not.
But they’re not purely just for decoration, and there are advantages to raising them in your small farm.
They exhibit all the major traits of their bigger counterparts.
The difference is they require less food and acreage, making them better suited for smaller farms.
Facts about Scottish Miniature Highland Cattle
Longevity, self, sufficiency, and hardiness are traits to portray them
You can raise them in any state in America and they’ll thrive, although for best results you should get your miniature Highland from a farm with a climate that’s similar to your own.
They have the famous double hair coat with the long, coarse outer layer and the soft wooly inner layer
This coat means that you won’t have any need for special and expensive shelters and barns.
This coat also means that they don’t need a heavy layer of fat to insulate themselves against the cold.
They marble naturally on lower food amounts and produce high quality, lean, and low fat cuts of beef.
The hair sheds out in the spring, and in the warmer climate they just don’t produce as much hair.
The Highland breed has been living with humans for hundreds upon hundreds of years, and they’re no problem at all
The early Scots would even keep them in their homes during the winter, with a woven wattle fence to keep the cattle and human areas separate inside.
They’re docile, calm. They do not spook easily. Despite their long horns, they’re very easy to work with.
More great things about Miniature Scottish Highlands
They calve easily, and calving difficulty like dystocia is very uncommon
They can produce well into their late teens, so you don’t need to replace the herd frequently.
Once they give birth, they protect and devoted themselves to their young.
They are excellent browsers
You can use them to clear brush lots and improve the grazing.
While they are dual purpose cattle which can offer both milk and meat, it is their beef which can really stand out
A study found that their beef is 24% more tender than commercial beef.
It also contains 4% less cholesterol, 17% more iron, and 7% more protein.
So if you’re into hobby farming or if you want a pet cow, the miniature Scottish Highland is a great choice.
They’re good-looking and unique, they’re very docile, and they can thrive beautifully in even harsh conditions.
Miniature Holstein Milk Cow
There’s a reason why Holstein Cows dominate the US milk production industry.
Can provide a lot more income than what their feed costs
Are very hardy and genetically sound
Adapt to a wide range of environmental conditions
Miniature cattle producing milk
Also, they can produce large amounts of milk.
In fact, Holsteins have held the world record for milk production for many years now.
One record holder in 2010 from Wisconsin produced 72,170 pounds of milk in a year.
That’s more than 8,660 gallons for the year.
Typically, they can give you as much as 9 gallons of milk per day.
And perhaps that may be too large an amount for you to handle.
So you may want to get a miniature Holstein instead.
Advantages of the Miniature Holstein
This smaller version offers the same benefits as its bigger counterparts, except that they don’t produce as much milk.
They can give you about 2 to 3 gallons of milk a day.
Standard lactation lasts about 305 days a year.
You can milk some 3 times a day, every day of the year.
The smaller Holstein also offers clear advantages over the standard-sized Holsteins.
They only measure in at 42 inches in height, unlike full-sized Holsteins that come in at 58 inches tall at the shoulder.
They eat less so they produce less manure, and they’re very easy to handle.
Since they’re small and very friendly, you can teach children all about taking care of a cow with your miniature Holstein.
They can learn to milk the cow and help feed it.
And you won’t have to worry about their disposition as they’re very gentle and easy to handle.
Guide to Miniature Cattle Breeds
Regardless of the breed you choose for your small farm, the advantages of the miniature cattle breeds cannot be denied.
Mini Cows for Sale
Interestingly, mini cows are up for grabs in different ranches in your area.
If you’re trying to look for one near your vicinity, you can simply just search in google or type in “cow ranch near me” and it will automatically show you different ranches available in near you.
Advantages of raising miniature cattle
They’re easier to handle than full-size cows.
They are safer for families with children.
Your fencing costs are much more minimal.
They do less damage to your pasture.
You also save money on feed, since they don’t eat as much.
They can provide some supplemental income, as well as meat or milk at more reasonable amounts that you can handle more easily.
Raising miniature cows make excellent 4-H projects for your kids.
Also, miniature cattle are just plain adorable!
Do your research.
A lot depends on where you buy your cows, so you really need to get them from reputable farms and ranches.
Inbreeding is always an issue, since these animals are relatively rare.
Consider getting miniature cattle for your small farm or ranch, no matter what the size. You can discover for yourself just how much joy and pleasure they can bring to your family.