We knew how much it cost to buy the farm animals. Approximately two or three dollars per chick. $200 per alpaca (that was a smoking deal). $200 for the pair of adorable goats to be bartered for herbal medicine. (Another great deal. We should be able to sell Katrina’s babies for $200-$300 each!)
What we didn’t know and couldn’t seem to get answers to was how much is it to raise these guys? How much to feed them? Twenty dollars a month? Two hundred dollars a month? I needed to know if I would have to return the farm animals after three weeks if we couldn’t afford it. I keep a good budget (it could certainly be better) and I save up money for months in advance because our main income is earned during the summer. So, if some farm kid is going to eat us out of house and farm, Lord, I need to know about it!
I have gathered the numbers for all of you out there wanting to get a few cute farm animals yourself.
Alpacas are surprisingly affordable. The upfront cost can make you choke (count on $300 for a fiber boy up to $20,000 for a prized breeding girl) but once you get the little guys they don’t cost much. We’re talking one bale of hay between the both of them. Around $13 a month. With pine shavings and the pellets that have their minerals in it takes us to twenty. So, each fiber boy costs $10 a month. It’s a good thing they don’t cost much to feed because any animal that is that fluffy and cute should allow me to go snuggle with it. No can do. They don’t come near me. Sad.
Goats eat a tad more, but not much. They love to eat. We got a pregnant mama here. They don’t need the grain. (I was told at church yesterday by Jill. We spoil them a tad too much perhaps.) So with pine shavings, this makes the girls about the same. $10 a piece per month. We’ll give some sweet feed in a few months when we are milking Katrina, so that will raise it up slightly. Jill gave us a good start on minerals. So, when we do have to purchase minerals and the sweet feed, we may be looking at $15 a piece per month. I have Nigerian Dwarves, so a larger breed would probably eat more.
The chickens….wouldn’t you expect them to be the cheapest? They are giving us eggs to pay for their room and board. We feed organic feed. It’s not that much more than the GMO stuff. They have been going through much more lately because of the cold and lack of forage (and lack of things to do, in my opinion). $36 dollar a month plus pine shavings which will take us to roughly $40 a month. At the two to three eggs a day from fifteen hens and their useless (but good looking) husband, that makes each dozen of eggs cost $6 a piece. No profit. But, we do have to consider that we don’t buy eggs either. So, I am okay with that cost.
The greyhound costs $20 a month and eight cats cost $60 a month. So, in the end, the cats are the ones eating us out of house and farm. They better get back to mousing!
Of course these costs don’t take into consideration veterinarian costs. But, we rarely to never use a vet. We are herbalists and teach people how to treat their own animals. Not much we can’t help take care of. So, that saves us a tremendous amount of money having that knowledge. We did pay $75 for the people we got Natale from to geld him. Looks like the bratty Ferdinand may have to go that route too, we’ll see. But, just having a cat can place you at risk for having a huge vet bill in an emergency, so I don’t count vet costs because that would come out of an emergency fund.
It is nice though, to see a general cost of feed and housing. A house is much more of a home with a rooster and a goat, don’t you think? Now, how much does it cost to have a sheep….