Some farmers always ask me “How many ruminant animals do you recommend that I start my farm with? Well, the number of ruminant animals you can start with largely depends on your capacity in terms of space and finances.
Mostly, money spent on ruminant farm is spent on their housing and purchase of foundation stock. Their feeds are relatively cheap because they do well on grasses mainly and then concentrates.
So, count the cost of housing and then purchasing the animals also budget some funds for feeding and with that, you can decide on which number to start with.
However, starting on a large scale will definitely necessitate the involvement of an expert. So I also recommend that you carry an expert along if you intend starting on a large scale.
There are few already established ruminant farms where the ruminant animals you need to start your farm with can be purchased as of now.
However, sources of getting these animals vary from villages (especially Sheep and Goat), normadic Fulani, Research Institutes for example: I.A.R &T, I.I.T.A etc and also already established farms. These animals can also be imported.
Any of these sources could give you a very good stock provided the animals are properly selected. So, from whatever sources, it is good that adequate information is gathered about them before going ahead to purchase them.
Read Also: Popular Breeds of Ruminant Animals
Livestock farming can simply be defined as the raising of animals for use or for pleasure. Livestocks includes both beef and dairy cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, horses, mules, asses, buffalo, and camels; the raising of birds commercially for meat or eggs (i.e., chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, guinea fowl, and squabs) is treated separately and us generally known as poultry farming.
Meanwhile, the livestock species play very important economic, social and cultural roles or functions for rural households once they contribute to improve income and wellbeing of the farm family.
Livestock helps on food supply, family nutrition, family income, asset savings, soil productivity, livelihoods, transport, agricultural traction, agricultural diversification and sustainable agricultural production, family and community employment, ritual purposes and social status.
Livestock has an important contribution for food supply of rural and urban areas and contributes to the family nutrition, supplying animal protein. As household income increases, the consumption of protein increases, principally from animal origin, allowing the substitution of vegetal by animal protein.
Besides milk, eggs and meat used as a source of food, other livestock products are used for domestic consumption and local sale such as skins, hides and horns.
Livestock production is closely interrelated with crop production. The use of livestock and its sub product manure are important in crop production. Livestock is a source of energy providing draught animal power while manure improves soil structure and fertility as well as water retention.
Both uses are environmentally friendly improving energy and nutrient cycling. Livestock is also used to transport agricultural inputs and outputs and people.
Livestock production is an important mean of exchange between rural households and, when sold, contributes to boost and strengthen rural markets.
Rural markets are an important piece in the operation mode of rural communities and a significant contribution for rural families’ wellbeing and wealth.
Advantages of Livestock Farming (Ruminant Animals)
Livestock farming is such a profitable farming for the farmers as they gain huge amount of profits from this.
It helps them to generate revenue from various sources including leather export, Meat and other Livestock products. It also provides jobs and works in the rural areas.
Disadvantage of Livestock Farming (Ruminant Animals)
One of the major disadvantage is inhumane behavior. Animals are locked in the cages in small spaces and finally, they are killed.
Apart from that to manage all the animals it requires a huge amount of labor which can be costly for the farmers.
Livestock farming business is not an easy task to start as it required huge amount of money to start this business.
Here are some interesting books to guide you: