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As homesteaders and small-scale farmers, many of us start out with a few chickens to provide our family with fresh eggs. Eventually, you might get some rabbits or a couple of goats, or maybe even raise a couple of pigs for the freezer. For most of us, these critters are a significant part of the joys of homestead life and a way to become more self-sufficient.

But, have you ever thought about putting your livestock to work for you? What if you could actually make money with the animals on your farm? The truth is, there are countless ways to make money with livestock. If you have the drive and commitment, there’s no end to the opportunities out there.

How to Decide if Raising Livestock for Profit is Right for You

Raising animals on your farm requires a considerable commitment. There will be lots of ups and downs along the way. Before you jump into a livestock raising venture, spend some time considering these questions.

  • Are you willing to commit all of your time to your farm? Raising animals requires a 24 hour a day, 365 days a year commitment. There might be times when you have to get up at 2 AM to care for a sick animal. You might have to practically camp out in your barn when your goats are kidding. It seems like animals only get ill or injured at the most inconvenient times, so be prepared to miss out on those football games and dinners out.
  • Do you know someone that would be a good farm sitter? If you can’t find a trustworthy and reliable farm sitter, you will have to miss out on weekend getaways and family vacations. The more animals you have, the more tied down you will be.
  • Can you handle selling your animals when the time comes? Once you have those cute little bunnies or those baby goats ready to sell, will you be able to handle selling them? Don’t forget, many of the people who come to buy your animals will be planning to put them in the freezer at some point. It’s easy to fall in love with your critters, but it’s pretty hard to make money if you never sell any of them.
  • Is there a market for live animals in your area? Do some research to make sure that there’s a market for the animals that you want to raise. Be prepared to advertise and market your farm just like you would any other business.
  • Can you weather the low times? Unfortunately, animals die unexpectedly from things like illness, injury, and predator attacks. Make sure you are mentally prepared for when the inevitable happens.
  • Can you afford to care for these animals properly? Things don’t always go as planned. There may be times when that steer or those baby lambs don’t sell. Are you financially capable of taking care of them all until they are sold?
Decide What Your Goals Are

The next step is to decide what your goals are. Would you like to make enough money to help offset the cost of raising your own animals, or are you looking to turn this into a full-time income? It may take years (if ever) before you make a substantial profit from your livestock, so you need to do some careful financial planning before you get started.

Other Important Considerations

Next, you’ll need to make an honest assessment of your farm. Do you have enough space to raise the type of livestock you’re considering? How about infrastructure? Will you need to add shelter and fencing or are those already in place? Is there a vet in your area that is qualified to work with your animals? And, don’t forget to make sure that you are legally allowed to have livestock at your location. Be sure to spend a lot of time educating yourself about the breed and type of livestock you want before you buy anything.

How to Make Livestock Profitable

Most homesteaders will tell you that there is little if any, money to be made with livestock. Traditional ways of making money with livestock are becoming less and less profitable. However, there are some creative ways that you can make a profit with livestock. You just have to learn to think outside the box!

  • Choose the right niche. The species and breed of livestock that you choose to raise will make all the difference. Don’t pick an animal that everyone in your area already has. The key is to find something that everyone wants but can’t find without traveling a great distance.
  • Consider value-added products. Rather than raising animals to sell, consider selling value-added products instead. There’s a big market for pastured chicken eggs. You could even raise animals like alpaca or angora rabbits to sell the fiber.
Which Animals Could You Raise?

Here are some ideas to help you get started.

  • You could raise beef cattle for grass-fed and organic meat.
  • Rare breeds or miniature breeds of cattle are in high demand.
  • Raise a large flock of chickens and sell free range eggs and laying-age pullets.
  • Raise rare breed chickens and sell day old chicks.
  • Raise and sell meat or dairy goats. You could even rent out your goats for clearing brush.
  • Pasture raised pork is huge right now, especially if you choose a rare, heritage breed. Sell piglets in the spring and market pigs in the fall.
  • Raising sheep for their fleece isn’t as profitable as it used to be, but there is a demand for market lambs, and, believe it or not, dairy sheep are becoming increasingly popular.
  • Female alpacas can sell for as much as $10,000 or more, and even a gelding costs at least $1,000. That’s a pretty significant investment starting out, but if you have the right market, that’s a lot of profit too.
  • Although there isn’t a whole lot of money to be made with meat rabbits, if you choose a hard to find breed such as angoras for fiber, you could turn a profit in a much smaller space than most other livestock requires.

No matter what type of livestock you choose, start small. You’ll want to take your time and feel out the market before you go all out. You need to make some changes depending on the market in your area.

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What’s The Deal With All The Skin Care Products? Try This Before You Buy

Wrinkles happen. As you progress along the timeline of life, your skin begins to lose the baby-like plumpness it once had when you were young as a result of natural collagen loss. At some point in adulthood, the laugh lines and creases around your eyes from many smiles and good times begin to emerge, and you are left wondering how to make them fade away into the sunset.

The skincare industry makes billions of dollars every year on anti-aging creams, serums, and cleansers that promise to reduce wrinkles and give your skin a healthy glow, but often fall short on the results you desire. Instead of paying $20-$100 on a single jar of your favorite anti-aging aid, try these natural remedies for great-looking skin:

Eat More Fish

Fish is considered to be a low-fat protein source that does wonderful things for the entire body, including keeping skin looking young. Incorporate fish that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon, into your diet so that your skin heals itself and takes back the plump and fresh look it once did. Omega-3 fatty acids offer antioxidants that get rid of toxins and thus gives your skin a silky and smooth appearance.

Banana and Honey Mask

Mash up a banana and mix it up with honey to create a completely chemical free face mask that will do wonders for dry skin. Bananas contain vitamins A, D, and E that protect your skin from harmful UV rays and provide it with a clean and radiant glow. Honey contains antibacterial properties and humectant, which will lock in moisture and keep your face from becoming dry in the elements. Apply the mixture to your face and let it soak into your skin for approximately 15 minutes before rinsing.

Good Old-Fashioned Water

If your skin is more dry than normal and there are bags forming under your eyes, consider incorporating more water into your diet. One of the biggest causes of dry skin, other than the weather, is simply that you are dehydrated and need more liquids in your body. Drink the recommended amount of water for your body type each day and soon you will notice healthier looking skin. To enhance the skin healing properties of your water, infuse it with citrus fruits or cucumber slices to get more vitamins into your system.

Olive Oil

Olive oil is rich and bold, and can be used for more than just cooking. It has been used to moisturize skin for thousands of years and does not leave a greasy residue behind. Olive oil contains good fats and hydroxytyrosol, which fight off the free radicals that damage your skin. Olive oil also contains a healthy dose of vitamin E which provides your skin with beneficial antioxidants. Rub a small amount of olive oil on your face before you go to sleep at night and wake up to a fresh look, radiant glow, and a noticeable reduction in wrinkle definition.

Pineapple and Lemon Juice Rub

To combat wrinkles and the signs of aging quickly, give your face a nice citrus rinse with a mixture of pineapple juice and lemon juice. Not only will your skin smell clean and fresh, but the acids found in the citrus juice will go to work smoothing out your skin and making it soft. Citrus juices are rich in vitamin C, which is great for good skin health.

Instead of spending money on expensive creams and wrinkle treatments, first try these ingredients you most likely already have at home. You will be rewarded with healthy looking skin and can take years off the clock in no time.

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