growing a live fence for privacy

3 Vital Things To Do Before Buying Your First Livestock

by Amélie Simon

Have you recently moved to a rural area and you're thinking about buying a horse, a cow, or some other livestock so that you can have a real farm experience? Would this be the first time that you've owned an animal that isn't a dog or a cat? While owning livestock can be a fun and rewarding experience, there is more work to it than you may have realized. Despite what ou can't simply purchase one of these animals and leave them to fend for themselves. Some things that you should do before purchasing any livestock include:

Make a list of desired attributes: It's never a good idea to buy anything on impulse, especially farm animals. If you want a horse that's suitable for riding, this is going to be a different breed than if you hope to have hayrides in the fall and pull a group of people in a wagon. Similarly, while you might be able to get meat from a milk cow or milk from a cow bred for meat, it's best to purchase a cow that has been bred for what you intend to do with it. You should never buy an animal solely for its coloring unless it also fits the other criteria that you've been looking for.

Source food: Before you ever start the purchase process, you're going to want to locate a good source of alfalfa hay for sale. Unlike the food for much smaller dogs and cats, you can't find alfalfa hay for sale just anywhere. They will also need a lot more food than you might realize. A horse that weighs a thousand pounds can eat 15 to 20 pounds of hay per day, plus grains like oats and corn. Cows can need even more food. A dry cow, one that isn't giving any milk, will eat only a little bit more than a horse might. However,  a cow that is actively producing milk can require over 100 pounds of food daily. It's a good idea to keep at least a month's worth of food on hand so that you're not in danger of running out.

Find a suitable vet: if you're in a rural area, most of the local vets probably handle livestock as well. But you shouldn't assume that this is the case. Cows, horses, pigs, and goats can all run into a variety of problems, even with the best of care and with them eating the best alfalfa hay for sale. If your livestock gets spooked and runs into a wire fence or damages their hoof by stepping on it wrong, you don't want to have to spend a lot of time searching for a vet that can tend to these injuries as quickly as possible.