Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11
  1. #1
    Bronze Member feedjake's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    54
    Location
    Central Ohio
    Tractor
    John Deere LA120

    Default farming miles from home?

    Not having much land myself on my own property (just over once acre) I have been propositioned with raising some livestock on 3 acres (eventually 13-20 acres if it works out). Which I believe I'm going to grab by the horns and go for it. The only cost inefficiency is that it's 15 miles north of my place. Have any of you had a similar situation... Raising livestock that you needed to drive to see everyday? I might not need to go EVERY day... due to the fact they have a "Farm Manager" that is there on the property and running the Vegetable crops along with other things. So there will be eyes on the place daily. Anyhoo. I've got a lot to consider.

    Thanks guys!

    P.S. Some initial thoughts, are raising sheep, maybe a very small beef cattle herd eventually.
    __________________
    "...I'm just a country boy, money have I none. But I've got silver, in the stars, and gold in the mornin sun."

  2. #2
    Gold Member SLHawkins's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    422
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Tractor
    John Deere 5403, International Harvester 584

    Default Re: farming miles from home?

    15 miles aint bad. Try 45 with the DC metro traffic. What used to be a 30-45 minute drive can now take upwards to 2-3 hours. Given that, I have had to cut my ambitions way back. In any event, with access to food, water, and some shelter, AND A GOOD FENCE the animals are more than capable that taking care of themselves. Your biggest concern is predators and ne'er do wells. If there is a trustworthy 'farm manager' on site to there is that much less to worry about. One advantage of being on-site is you becoming familiar with the animals and them becoming familiar with you. When I had my small 'herd', I was able to get down to them at least once a week (sometimes it was 2 weeks). Now, I did have my parents watching over the place daily, but I did all the feeding, watering, and bug spraying, cleaning, and the like. It worked out ok and my cows did fine. And, they were relatively easy to handle eventhough I did not deal with them on a daily basis. I do think newborns will take up a lot more of your time. Especially when there are complications at birth, or the mother does not take to the calf. I have heard many stories of farmers having to bottle feed and care for newborns. And, though smaller, goats tended to give me more 'problems' that the cows. Once I retire from the military, I plan to get back into livestock. I don't think living on the farm is mandatory, but it is definitely preferred. You will find that you will make whatever fits your operation work whether you live on or off the farm.
    Hawk
    A lil bit country, and a whole lotta soul, wid a taste of hip hop flava on the side.

    JD 5403, , IH 584, NH 846 Baler, NH 492 Haybine, Woods E320 Batwing Rotary Cutter, Landpride RCR1572 Rotary Cutter, WR Long 72" OBRG, LandPride RB3596 Landscape Blade, '74 Diamond Reo Dump Truck; '70 F880, '94 Freightliner Classic, KNC 10 tooth Chisel Plow, New Holland Manure Spreader, 35' Texas Bragg Flatbed Gooseneck, Case 450 Track Loader, H-90CM Wheel Loader, '69 Kaiser Jeep M52A2 6x6

  3. #3
    Platinum Member JD 4520's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    834
    Location
    Brinnon, WA
    Tractor
    John Deere 4520

    Default

    Our family lived 10 miles from the orchard / farm and it worked well or okay you have to be organized and prepared so you don't end up doing multiple trips a day to get this and that to fix or repair stuff. Also dealing with crops vs live animals is or could be quite different. You have the dimension of control and access and health. If you have some storage on site that should be very helpful if not you will find yourself making a lot of unnecessary trips.
    Gary

    JD 4520, 400X FEL, Frontier Front Blade, Box Blade, Rotary Cutter, Landscape Rake, 48" Wildkat Grapple and PHD

  4. #4
    Veteran Member Bigfoot62's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    1,930
    Location
    W. Central Louisiana
    Tractor
    JD 5085M; NH TN70A; Ford 2600

    Default Re: farming miles from home?

    Not trying to "rain on your parade," but you're not going to raise many cows on 3 acres. Unless you use it as a feed lot, and provide all they need to eat, 3 acres would probably only sustain 1 or 2 cows. Same goes for sheep. Even a handfull of sheep will graze 3 acres down to the dirt in just a few weeks. What will they eat then? Farm animals have a terrible Feed Conversion Ratio. If they don't have sufficient grazing area, and you have to buy all of the feed and hay they consume, you will go in the hole in a hurry.
    I think that the 15 mile drive would be the least of your "inefficiency" concerns.
    I know people that make a living raising cattle, but they have thousands of acres and hundreds of cows. It's hard to break even on a small scale.

    Now, all of that goes out the window if you just want to raise a "freezer" beef and a few sheep "for the fun" of it, and cost doesn't matter.
    '10 JD 5085M Cab MFWD FEL
    '07 NH TN70A MFWD FEL
    '81 Ford 2600

    JD 457 round baler; JD 265 & Kuhn GMD 600 disc mowers; Sitrex V-10 rake; Hardee 10', Rhino 7', & Modern 5' rotary mowers; JD 13' & Ford 6' tandem discs; HayKing 10' rennovator plow (sub-soiler); etc, etc.
    My other tractor is a '95 Kenworth.

    Donít ever wrestle with a pig. Youíll both get dirty, but the pig will enjoy it.

  5. #5
    Platinum Member 3v0's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    520
    Location
    Oklahoma Pan Handle, United States
    Tractor
    Kubota BX2200

    Default Re: farming miles from home?

    I grew up on a diversified farm/ranch operation. Forget about making money but you could maybe raise a beef to eat knowing what went into it. Might work if you have a high mpg transportation like an old toy 2WD pickup. Need to mention that there is a lot of variability in grazing land.

    Our summer pastures were about 10 miles from home. The cows were old pros at making the truck trip in the spring and early winter. We tried to check the fences 2 or 3 time a week. Neighbors were good about calling if they got out. Dad was a bit of a stickler about good fences so that was not much of a problem.

    Do you have to build fences or is the 3 acres already fenced. You might get buy with an electric fence if it is not.

  6. #6
    Bronze Member feedjake's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    54
    Location
    Central Ohio
    Tractor
    John Deere LA120

    Default Re: farming miles from home?

    I hear ya. I agree that with traditional grazing methods, three acres is basically nothing. However if the actual pasture grass(which is already fenced, electric, six high tinsel wires, 3 live) is good pasture, I might be able to follow the Managed Intensive Grazing method. By using maybe single wire electric making smaller paddocks inside the three acres. And move the cattle once a day. Now it might not be cattle either. I'm still doing my homework. I was considering (if cattle someday) that on three acres... I could graze maybe two or three head on a half, or even a quarter acre a day. Half acre paddock would be able to rest and regrow for five days, might not be enough... A quarter acre paddock would be able to rest and regrow for eleven days, until it was grazed again. We could supplement with some hay also. Anyhoo, I'm going to pick up some books, also talk with some cattlemen that I know personally. Also some sheep herders that I also know. And if it doesn't make sense, then I'll go back to the drawing board. This is good stuff, and thank you for telling me what you think. I'd rather someone "rain on my parade" as opposed to the alternative. "Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses." - Proverbs 27:6

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigfoot62 View Post
    Not trying to "rain on your parade," but you're not going to raise many cows on 3 acres. Unless you use it as a feed lot, and provide all they need to eat, 3 acres would probably only sustain 1 or 2 cows. Same goes for sheep. Even a handfull of sheep will graze 3 acres down to the dirt in just a few weeks. What will they eat then? Farm animals have a terrible Feed Conversion Ratio. If they don't have sufficient grazing area, and you have to buy all of the feed and hay they consume, you will go in the hole in a hurry.
    I think that the 15 mile drive would be the least of your "inefficiency" concerns.
    I know people that make a living raising cattle, but they have thousands of acres and hundreds of cows. It's hard to break even on a small scale.

    Now, all of that goes out the window if you just want to raise a "freezer" beef and a few sheep "for the fun" of it, and cost doesn't matter.
    __________________
    "...I'm just a country boy, money have I none. But I've got silver, in the stars, and gold in the mornin sun."

  7. #7
    Bronze Member feedjake's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    54
    Location
    Central Ohio
    Tractor
    John Deere LA120

    Default Re: farming miles from home?

    Also I forgot to mention that the acreage is expandable t0 13, or even 20 acres... so that might be a part of the equation that is important to know. The cattle might not come into the picture until that avenue is pursued. ALSO the other thing Is that the guy who offered me the three acres (potentially 13-20) said that as a "co-owner" he would provide any fee/hay, or any capital required. And I would be doing the labour. So it would not be money out of my pocket, but it would eventually trickle down to my bottom dollar. Because the more money he has to put out, the more he'll need to get back for himself. Which is understood. So if there is a whole at first. It wouldn't necessarily be my own personal whole.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigfoot62 View Post
    Not trying to "rain on your parade," but you're not going to raise many cows on 3 acres. Unless you use it as a feed lot, and provide all they need to eat, 3 acres would probably only sustain 1 or 2 cows. Same goes for sheep. Even a handfull of sheep will graze 3 acres down to the dirt in just a few weeks. What will they eat then? Farm animals have a terrible Feed Conversion Ratio. If they don't have sufficient grazing area, and you have to buy all of the feed and hay they consume, you will go in the hole in a hurry.
    I think that the 15 mile drive would be the least of your "inefficiency" concerns.
    I know people that make a living raising cattle, but they have thousands of acres and hundreds of cows. It's hard to break even on a small scale.

    Now, all of that goes out the window if you just want to raise a "freezer" beef and a few sheep "for the fun" of it, and cost doesn't matter.
    Last edited by feedjake; 01-07-2013 at 01:58 PM.
    __________________
    "...I'm just a country boy, money have I none. But I've got silver, in the stars, and gold in the mornin sun."

  8. #8
    Veteran Member Bigfoot62's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    1,930
    Location
    W. Central Louisiana
    Tractor
    JD 5085M; NH TN70A; Ford 2600

    Default Re: farming miles from home?

    Quote Originally Posted by feedjake View Post
    I hear ya. I agree that with traditional grazing methods, three acres is basically nothing. . .


    Also I forgot to mention that the acreage is expandable t0 13, or even 20 acres. . .
    As long as you go into it with a "hobby" mindset, understanding that this isn't going to make you rich, (probably, not even make a profit) you'll be fine. Most years, my 110 acres won't produce a profit. I ENJOY raising animals and harvesting hay. That's why I do it. It's not for the money or I would have quit years ago.

    If it's what you really want to do, I hope it works out for you.
    '10 JD 5085M Cab MFWD FEL
    '07 NH TN70A MFWD FEL
    '81 Ford 2600

    JD 457 round baler; JD 265 & Kuhn GMD 600 disc mowers; Sitrex V-10 rake; Hardee 10', Rhino 7', & Modern 5' rotary mowers; JD 13' & Ford 6' tandem discs; HayKing 10' rennovator plow (sub-soiler); etc, etc.
    My other tractor is a '95 Kenworth.

    Donít ever wrestle with a pig. Youíll both get dirty, but the pig will enjoy it.

  9. #9
    Veteran Member Lou66's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    1,251
    Location
    Brazoria county where Texas began
    Tractor
    Deere 990/Montana 5740

    Default Re: farming miles from home?

    I drive about 10 miles one way to check on my land and animals.. maybe twice a week,, I feed round bales and have a good water source,, been doing this for many years.. At one time I had 4 properties,, with this being the smallest of them.. one of them I didn't check on maybe once a month,, good grass, water and fencing.. what it comes down to is when you feel comfortable missing a day or two.. which take time and experience.. now haying season is every day.. Lou
    "Life is good if beer is cold"

  10. #10
    Silver Member MWRR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    146
    Location
    East Central Illinois
    Tractor
    John Deere 5105M & IH Farmall 544

    Default Re: farming miles from home?

    I am a cow/calf person. During the winter or calving time I check the cattle daily without fail. During summer time I might go 2-3 days without checking the cows. I usually check fences a couple of times a week and especially right after a storm (check for tree limbs on the fence).

    With that said if you consider that it will take you 2 gallons of gas (my F 250 only gets 11.7 mpg) to make a round trip and if you average 4 trips per week and if gas is costing $ 3.50 gal the fuel cost alone will be $1456 per year (2 Gal X $ 3.50 X 4 Trips X 52). If you figure your time is worth mimimum wage of $ 8.25 (or whatever it is now) your cost would more than double plus you need to figure in some wear and tear on your vehicle.....well I think you get the idea.
    If this is a hobby and you don't mind losing some money messing with the cattle then it is cheap therapy.

    Let us know how things go.
    MWRR
    Illinois, 180 acres, 80 acres hay, cattle, JD 5105M,IH-Farmall 544, Kuhn 700 GMD HDII, Case 580B, JD 535 Baler, MF 124.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. how many miles is too many?
    By tornadowatchranch in forum ATVs & Utility Vehicles
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 12-07-2011, 01:04 PM
  2. 14 miles drive
    By intel in forum Kioti Owning/Operating
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 07-30-2009, 09:47 AM
  3. Miles of smiles
    By RAW in forum Projects
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 02-01-2009, 02:27 PM
  4. 80 miles from Buffalo
    By Buck in forum Photos
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 01-06-2002, 03:46 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
© 2014 TractorByNet.com. TractorByNet is a registered trademark of IMC Digital Universe, Inc. Other trademarks on this page are the property of their respective owners.