The Challenge of Selling Livestock
Selling livestock has its challenges. If you raise any kind of livestock, as in reproduce it, sooner or later it’s likely that you will venture into the arena of sales. Face it, unless you eat everything you produce, at some point you will have some extras. You might as well recoup some of your expenses and sell some. There are a number of ways to sell livestock. Here are a few:
- livestock auctions – You can almost always sell at a livestock auction, but understand that auctions involve risk. I simply won’t sell poultry at our regional poultry auction, as I have never gotten a decent price by using them. Auctions can be fun though. Beware of impulse buying!
- Craigslist – can be very handy. Be careful to meet potential buyers in a safe place and have a friend with you. I’ve had good success with this venue and met a lot of great people and… just a few creeps.
- newspaper ads – can be very good. As with any venue, use caution.
- local bulletin boards (often found in feed stores) – can be very effective if you can get a space on their bulletin board, which are usually very crowded.
- word of mouth – Works okay if you maintain your presence in sales over the years.
Raising and selling livestock can make money and serve as a cash reserve.
It’s true, I sometimes make several thousand dollars a year doing this. But other years, I don’t make anything. That’s how it is with livestock. Still, if you have the livestock and can sell it, it often comes in handy. It’s like money in the bank. It’s especially nice when prices go UP at the same time you wish to sell.
If you have land, livestock is often a practical investment.
It can be an ecologically friendly way to utilize land and earn some money. Just remember that there is no such thing as “easy money.” Animal husbandry requires that one constantly learn about the animals being raised and work maintaining them. There is actually an acquired skill in selling livestock. One learns to set the right price, dicker with buyers and even when to “take a loss,” selling low in order to avoid losing more on feed and maintenance.