Before we proceed let's talk about the cattle breed that you might want to raise, choosing the right breed is crucial because they all have their advantage and disadvantage, better plan ahead and make some further research before buying your breeder or fattening stock.
Breeds of Cattle
- Brahman - This breed is probably the best if you want to raise cattle for meat type production because it can withstand heat and disease better than other breeds. Brahman color is silver gray and some are reddish.
- Santa Gertrudis - It has distinct short hairs and the color is red to cherry red. The male weighs 750 up to 1000 kilograms and the female weighs 550 up to 700 kilograms. This breed is good for meat type.
- Holstein Friesian - The normal white cows with black spots you usually see in milk commercials in televisions. It is the best milk producing cow ranging from 22 kilograms a day and more depending on the quality forage. This breed is intended for dairy purposes.
- Sahiwal - This breed is known for its dual purpose, it can be a meat or milking type. It has a distinguishable hump on back on males and the color is reddish brown with white markings. The average weight of males is 550 kilograms and females weighs 350 kilograms.
Backyard cattle fattening is a profitable business opportunity, you will have to buy healthy stock, always go for cheaper but good performing stocks. When you already bought them, you will have to feed them for about 120 - 180 days and then sell them anytime of the year for bigger profit. The recommended time to buy fattening stocks are January to April because they are cheaper and the roads are more accessible during this months making the transportation of animals easy.
Tips in Selecting Feeder Stocks
- Choose steers (castrated males) because they are easier to manage and they grow faster then heifers (unbred females). Steers gain weight faster so it is a good choice because you can sell them faster and the operating cost (feeds, roughage) will be lower.
- Two to three year old cattle are preferable because they can eat a wide variety of farm by products and they can eat and digest more so it means their weight will increase faster. Take note that aged animals cost more.
Now let's go to housing. Proper housing is important as feeds. If you don't create a good housing your cattle will be uncomfortable and stressed. Make sure that your housing can protect your animals from elements. If you are serious about this business, consider creating a permanent housing for your cattle, a GI roofing, timber frames, concrete floor, feeding trough and water trough must be present. The recommended place to start constructing your cattle house is near your backyard or under the shade of the tree. Take note that the room space for each cattle must be 1.5 to 4 square meters.
Consider growing some nutritious forage in your farm, sometimes rice straws and other farm by products are not enough for cattle nutrition so its a good idea if you can add it with some nutritious forage plants. Alfalfa and Napier grass are easy to grow and you can easily get them. If you have a good supply of forage you can even breed cattle in the future or you can go for milk producing cows that can give you more profit.
The most important in any business comes now, the marketing of your produce. After six months of fattening your stocks and they gain a significant change in weight and you know that you already have profit then its time to sell them in the market, go to your local market and ask the vendors if they can buy from you, if they are willing then take your animal to the butcher or slaughterhouse and bring the orders of the market vendor. This way you will have more income, compared to selling your stocks in live weight, you can also eliminate the "byahero" system so you can sell for lower price and there is a chance that you can attract more buyers and higher demand because of cheaper price. The only problem here is you will have to exert effort in finding buyers in the market which is hard when you are still new.
Well that's it folks. I plan to add more guide later when I already have some several post in this blog about small business opportunities in the Philippines, thanks for reading my cattle raising in the Philippines post and I hope it help you out.