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deserthorsewoman 08-15-2012 04:30 PM

business ideas or how to make money with horses ...haha
I consider us very lucky to have found a little house with land for rent. So the idea is to do something with it. I'd opt for horse boarding, hubby wants cattle.

Maybe somebody here has some ideas.
We have our horses right next to the house in a smaller paddock with run in.
Across the driveway we have two drylots with about 4 acres. Those are connected to 10 acres pasture, 8 of it irrigated.
We have a barn who would have space for 6 large stalls, a tack room, a feedroom, with a very wide isle. But barn needs major repairs. The door on the wind side is missing and the almost ever present wind is pushing the overhang away from the barn.
The place is a former dairy and the drylots need major cleanup first, only tumbleweeds at the moment.
The pasture is being grazed down by neighbor's cows right now so we can see where we have to fill in holes and ditches the former user left, to make it safe for horses.

Any ideas would be appreciated!
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Speed Racer 08-15-2012 04:36 PM

Being a horsewoman who's been around a long time, I'm with your hubby; get cattle! :wink:

Boarders are a pain in the keister, and if the cattle turn out that way you can sell them.

Stick with the cattle. Less drama and heartache, and more payout.

PaintHorseMares 08-15-2012 04:37 PM

^^^^^^ exactly
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deserthorsewoman 08-15-2012 04:41 PM

You know what? I actually am leaning towards cattle too. I ran a boarding business and it was a pain in the wazoo......;-)

What would you suggest cattle-wise....get steers, or breed? And how do you market them.....
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Golden Horse 08-15-2012 04:50 PM

Don't breed, fatten to start with, and then just ship them when ready.


Go organic and market through that network.

Speed Racer 08-15-2012 04:50 PM

Depends on what your ultimate plans are for them. Are they just going to be for your personal consumption, or do you want to raise for meat to sell?

If you're raising to sell, you'll probably want cows. You may or may not want a bull, since you won't want to breed any heifers back to their father. I know that AI is available, but a lot of folks buy a bull every couple of years to outcross the bloodlines.

Keep some heifers for breeding, and castrate the males and fatten them up for market.

Of course, that's all dependent on how much you want to get into beef farming. If you just want to fatten up and sell, then buy bull calves, have them castrated, and feed them until they're ready for market.

lilruffian 08-15-2012 05:04 PM

The only way you can make money on horses without forking even more into them is either by boarding or training. You don't buy the horses, you get paid for their feed and you can give them back when you are done lol Owner pays the vet bills as well.
You either have to know how to train well or you have to be willing to put up with boarders, though. You would need detailed contracts to make sure they pay on time and follow any rules you lay down.
You would need to make sure all of your facilities and fencing is up to standard and preferably not barbed wire as many people (the ones who are going to pay decent money) will not want their horses getting all scarred up.
You would also need to arrange feedings, watering, cleaning up after the horses, ferrier services as well as the picking up and storage of hay and grain.
There would be ALOT that went into it if you wanted to do it properly.

deserthorsewoman 08-15-2012 05:07 PM

Watching craigslist, grass-fed seems to be the more lucrative.
Don't know if I want to get into breeding, tho.....small calves are soooo cute.....and once they have names, it's over....:-)

Which breed would you suggest? We're in dairy country here, so lots of Holsteins around, but they seem to be rather scrawny. I do see Angus, but in the foothills on the big ranches. Any docile breed that you know of for the rather faint at heart? Just in case they get out and I have to get them back in while hubby is at work;-)
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deserthorsewoman 08-15-2012 05:12 PM

@lilruffian: I'm well aware of that, I had 9 boarders and 5 horses of my own. Although I had decent people there was still too much drama.
I was more thinking about raising other people's youngsters or take in retirees.
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Speed Racer 08-15-2012 05:13 PM

Herefords are pretty docile, although I bet you could pick up Holstein bull calves for next to nothing.

Since bull calves aren't desirable in the dairy industry, they sell them off. Once you castrate them they should be fairly docile, although Holsteins aren't the calmest breed.

Angus calves are going to be more expensive, since they're a meat breed.

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