So you have decided to go with an evergreen industry – Livestock Farming. In fact, you couldn’t have picked better, since the dairy, poultry, and meat industry has never seen an era more profitable than now. So what does it take to do livestock farming the right way? Is it the animals you breed? Or the investment in terms of money, time and effort you put in Let’s find out the top 7 ways to do livestock farming the right way!
1. Choose a Specialty
Decide first and then dive in. You have multiple options when it comes to the livestock industry. Pick a specialty in terms of the animals you wish to breed and maintain. It could be cows, goats sheep, etc. If you plan to go into the dairy or meat industry, this is your time to decide how to do it.
It is a defining moment based on which all your future plans will be made. Keep in mind not to add any more breeds or specialties until you have the existing finances and logistics handled well. It is important to become an expert before venturing into unknown territories.
2. Build Your Team
Understanding the technical and non-technical aspects of business is highly important. As a founder, and co-founder of a livestock business you will obviously be required to know and handle almost every aspect of livestock farming. BUT, do remember there is only so much you can also do. Assigning expert tasks to workers with expertise in their field is highly important. Having like-minded people in your team with the same goal becomes highly crucial to run your business.
3. Be Independent
Yes, teamwork is everything but there is a fine line between collaboration and dependence. Unnecessary associations may have a cascading effect on tasks that may put the business at risk. Ensure roles are well defined and there are no friction points between employees.
Most of the time, livestock farmers end up spending a lot of time looking for government aid. So it is important to recognise how much time should be put in and where.
Preferably, start your business on your own, and be independent and creative to cut out all risks. This will make you more accountable to yourself.
4. Slow and Steady
Dream big, but start small. You may even have all the necessary resources to lead the way but it is important to manage losses and invest in things at the right time. Especially since livestock farming is a risky and tedious business, with animal diseases, forced culling and maintenance, ensure you go in small steps to materialise the bigger picture.
Be prudent to start with a few animals. The experiment even if you are a veteran in the field. Note down the output, feeding habits and other consumption factors before diving deep.
5. Efficiency is Key
Business is business. The basics of an MNC or a startup would be the same. Likewise, do not separate livestock farming from the business. Sure you love what you do, but be mindful of how the money is coming to keep running your business.
Automated financials for vendor payment solutions is also highly recommended to do livestock farming the right way. It is important to keep your suppliers happy with prompt accurate payments. This is especially true with those vendors that report to credit bureaus.
At a later stage when you seek credit for expanding livestock farming, this track record becomes your saviour.
Like any other business, livestock farming is not immune to business profit numbers.
6. Stay True to Core Principles
Even as your livestock farming business grows, cutting down on expenses becomes inevitable. However, maintaining the quality of products and services is just as important. Even if you cannot maintain high-profit numbers, remember, it is okay. Do not become a victim of capitalistic goals without feeling it. There should be no compromising for big bucks. Else it will be the beginning of the end.
7. Appreciate Your Team
Team loyalty and team motivation is everything while running a livestock farm business. Providing handsome perks or bonus commissions will help you earn their trust and loyalty. Then your team will not be working for money but will be working for you.
Sustainable Livestock Farming – Way Forward
1. Lower the Greenhouse Emissions
Animal health is everything when it comes to lowering greenhouse gas emissions. This will not only make them more profitable and efficient but also makes them environmentally sustainable. Let us break down the numbers to show what we mean.
In 2013 emissions from livestock farming drastically dropped by 30%, due to the adoption of good practices in health and husbandry, as outlined by FAO. Lack of welfare measures or maintenance practices will lead to the death of animals even before they reach lactation. This also makes them more susceptible to animal diseases forcing livestock farmers to cull them.
Statistics: A recent survey in Scotland showed that ruminants are responsible for 50% of GHG emissions. To reduce this, better treatment of diseases in sheep and cows created good buffer savings.
For example, Neosporosis affects the animal birth rate, consequently increasing GHG emissions. However, better disease management created emission savings of up to 4.5%.
2. Change the Nutrition Mix
A good nutritional mix boosts the natural immunity of farm animals. This helps animals produce higher output that naturally lowers greenhouse gas emissions.
3. Use Green Products to Lower Emissions
Tech innovation is everything when it comes to livestock farming. Not only does prompt vaccinations help cut emissions, but they also in a way helps reduce methane production. For example, 3 NOP supplement reduces 30% of methane production in cows.
Livestock farmers need to look out for the following challenges:
- Large expenses in maintenance
- Lowered animal productivity
- Animal diseases inducing mass culling
- Politico-religious disruptions in the country relating to diet
- Greenhouse gas emissions
All in all, tailoring practices to local culture in the most sustainable way should be the goal. Traditional livestock farming at the end of the day comes down to food and business. You cannot separate the two from each other. Add sustainable livestock farming to your list, and you are good to go.