How Much Do Farm Animals Cost?

Written by: Staff

Raising farm animals needs thorough planning.  You will want to know what kind of animals you’re going to raise, the budget you would like to spend, as well as the availability of the space you will be utilizing.

Usually, the decision lies on what kind of farm animals you prefer to have.  These animals can be grouped into dairy animals, such as the cow and goat, or poultry animals, such as chicken, turkey or duck.  There are also animals that are used for transportation such as horses and donkeys.

Sheep by dew drop157, on Flickr
Sheep” (CC BY 2.0) by dew drop157

How much do farm animals cost?

The cost of a farm animal will come down to the type of animal you’re looking to purchase.  For each animal, its age, the breed, quality and who you purchase from can all greatly affect the cost.  Refer to the table below for average prices.

Type of Farm AnimalCostPurpose
Alpaca$2,500 to $10,000, depending on age, fleece color and condition.milk, meat and transportation
Buffalo$1,200 to $2,500meat and milk
Chicken$2-$12 per bird, depending on type/breed.meat and eggs
Cow$750 up to $2,000meat
Dairy Cow$750 up to $2,000. A Jersey, for example, (bred back to a Jersey bull) can cost around $850 to $1,500.milk
Donkey$500 to $2,000meat and transportation
Ducklings$3 to $9eggs and meat
Emu$150 to $300 per chick, depending on age.meat
Goats$50-$250 depending on the age, breed and the inclusion and non-inclusion of registration.milk and meat
Goslings$10 to $50meat and eggs
Honey Bee$100 per three poundshoney, wax and pollination
Horses$1,000 to $25,000, depending on age, thoroughbred and seller.transportation
Laying hens$15 to $20 eacheggs
Pig$300 to $600meat
Rabbit$5 to $60meat
Sheep$100 to $700meat, milk and wool
Turkeys$6 to $13meat

What should be included in the purchase?

The prices for farm animals are usually for pick up.  Sellers will only ship orders when buyers meet the minimum order requirement.

Some of the prices may or may not include the registration.

Some sellers may include the up-to-date vaccinations and/or checkups from a local vet depending on the age.  Be sure to get all paperwork if these things are going to be included.  This is good for your records.

Each farm animal will have its own purpose and are often segregated into the following groups:  dairy, poultry, meat producing and transportation.

What are the extra costs?

Transporting the animal from one place to another need to be factored in.  Depending on the animal size, you may need a trailer.

The maintenance and development of the area where the farm animals are to be raised is a large extra cost.  Most of these animals are going to need a larger plot of land that is fenced in.  Housing will also be necessary, and the costs can be as little as a few hundred dollars for a chicken coop to as much as a few hundred thousand for an extravagant barn.  Permits will more than likely have to be pulled as well.

The daily maintenance for the animals such as the food, water, and other accessories.  Each animal is going to greatly vary depending on which one is purchased.

A livestock sitter will be needed for most animals if you plan on being away for more than 12-24 hours.

As with any animals, health conditions may occur, and the same can be said with routine visits.  Vet visits, depending on the type of animal, can greatly vary.  If you’re able to take the animal directly to the vet, the costs can start at $50, but if the vet has to travel to your farm, the costs could be three to four times this amount.  Talk with your vet ahead of time to make sure they will able to handle your animals.

Tips to know

Before committing to any livestock, make sure they are suitable to your climate.  A sheep won’t be happy in a desert-like field.  Also, choose livestock that’s compatible with your physical capabilities.  Don’t adopt an animal if you can’t handle it.

Check your local city/state laws before purchasing an animal.  Some authorities may require you need a special license to handle livestock.  They may also ask your property is zoned for the livestock you plan on keeping.

Pekin ducks, rabbits, chickens, goats, pigs and cows are said to be the best animals to raise when you’re starting out.

How can I save money?

Buying in larger quantities will qualify you for discounted prices.  For instance, a duckling that costs $6 can only cost $4.50 when you purchase 25+.

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