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Raising Rabbits for Income

Rabbits are one of my favorite animals.  Peaceful, kind and entertaining, I love to sit out in the rabbit colony and just watch them.  It’s a great way to unwind and de-stress, but raising rabbits has an even more tangible benefit: good income potential.

Purebred breeding age rabbits of common breeds sell for $30-$60 each in my area.  Considering the fact that rabbits breed like, well, rabbits, you can see some pretty tidy income numbers with a relatively short turnaround time.

One major benefit to raising rabbits over other livestock is their adaptability to small spaces.  I don’t personally cage raise, but know many people who do and it ties everything up into a neat income producing package: rabbits as breeding stock and for meat, plus rabbit droppings as a surprisingly lucrative add-on income. Continue reading “Raising Rabbits for Income”

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Sell Bagged Chicken Manure on eBay

In another of those, “Do they really do that?” episodes, we have bagged chicken manure. And yes, they do. Take a look at these search results on eBay to see that not only are people listing chicken manure for sale, they’re also selling it at pretty high numbers. One seller is selling what fits in a flat rate box, 1.5-2 pounds according to their listing, for $5, plus $7.20 for shipping and they’ve sold 45 of them! Not bad for something you’d ordinarily not consider valuable.  Another seller has gallon bags (4#) for $18.99, collected fresh.

If you have facilities to compost, there is a market for composted and bagged chicken manure as well, adding more value to a product you probably already have an abundance of if you raise chickens. Continue reading “Sell Bagged Chicken Manure on eBay”

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Breeding Goats as a Business

Dairy goats are in high demand across the country, making now a great time to get into breeding goats.  In addition to producing high quality milk and meat, goats are also one of the most personable small animals you can raise.

I’ve been breeding goats for over ten years now and have seen the market increase consistently year by year, with larger breeders seeing potential profits in the livable income range.

While some breeds are seeing higher market movement than others, the demand for goats is hand in hand with the increased interest in homesteading, sustainability and back to the land movements.

With careful management, emphasis on quality and a solid plan, there is definitely potential to see a good income from breeding goats.
Continue reading “Breeding Goats as a Business”

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Start Your Own Mealworm Farm

Modified with permission from Pengo

A mealworm farm can be a nice little side business, but it can also play an important role in your food production.  If you raise chickens, ducks or reptiles, you can breed mealworms to provide them with a steady, low cost supply of high protein feed.  That’s how we got started in mealworms years ago, both as a way to save on feed costs and also as a a means of being self sufficient so we could provide food for our chickens even in a disaster scenario.

As it turns out, a mealworm farm is a pretty fun project, especially if you have children.  They can do the regular maintenance and enjoy watching and learning about the life cycles of mealworms as they transform into beetles. Continue reading “Start Your Own Mealworm Farm”

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Small Farm Chicken Hatchery

If you don’t have a lot of space to raise out chicks but have a plentiful fertile egg supply, consider starting a chicken hatchery.  The time and space involved are minimal if you can turn chicks around within a couple of days of hatching.  This works particularly well if you breed harder to find and rare chicken breeds.  Chickens that produce colored eggs have been and will continue to be popular as a niche market.

Chicken Hatchery Initial Investment

Your startup cost will vary depending on the scale.  Do you want to start by selling eggs your own hens hatch or do you plan to hatch large quantities?  There’s a space somewhere in between too.  One of the pros to this income idea is how scalable it is.  You can choose to start small, growing naturally as your flock increases, or you can put extra cash into buying an incubator and brooding setup to get a bigger start as a full-fledged (get it?) chicken hatchery.  A starter incubator will cost about $150-$250 with accessories; expect to pay in the thousands for a commercial setup. Continue reading “Small Farm Chicken Hatchery”

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Turn Waste into Gold by Selling Compost

Selling compost is one of those unexpected benefits of raising livestock. It helps to imagine I’m walking through liquid gold when the muck of winter starts to melt. If you happen to have any to spare–we never do–it’s a great way to add an extra cash flow from something you might otherwise spend a lot of time trying to manage and move out of the way.

There’s a high demand for all kinds of compost: leaves, grass clippings, animal manure, etc. If you can combine these into a finished compost, you can command a higher price. Continue reading “Turn Waste into Gold by Selling Compost”

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Raising Bottle Calves for Profit

There is something unforgettable about the feel of a rough calf tongue licking you on the hand in its quest for food. Raising bottle calves for profit is as rewarding as it is hard on the heart – bottle babies are impossible not to love.

Beef is second only to chicken in terms of demand in the United States. According to The North American Meat Institute, over 25 billion pounds of beef were produced by American companies in 2013.

With the increasing demand for grass fed beef, it’s getting easier than ever to turn calves into cash, especially if you have pasture land available.

These are the considerations and a cost/profit analysis for the viability of raising bottle calves for profit. Continue reading “Raising Bottle Calves for Profit”