When selling livestock, there are many factors to consider. Mistakes in judgment or miscalculations can be costly. However, learning from common mistakes others make can help you avoid them and set you up for success. By educating yourself on best practices for selling livestock, you can get the most value for your animals and avoid costly errors that may harm your business.
You may know the cost of buying an animal, but are you prepared for the costs of keeping it? Before buying or selling small livestock, research how quickly an animal will finish a bag of feed. This information varies across species and other factors.
If you invest in a goat, horse, or cow, you will need to add the cost of hay, for example, which needs to be changed frequently to prevent illness.
Depending on the circumstances, water might also need to be added to the overall costs. You might save on the cost of water if you have a well. Still, the electric bill could be considerable, especially if pumping additional water for the animals throughout the winter.
Medical expenses must also be factored in. Veterinary checkups cost money. Supplements and other natural remedies can come at a significant price. A vet might also need to be consulted if an animal is seriously ill or injured; the prescribed treatments or medical procedures can be expensive.
Buying or selling livestock from an auction or an agricultural store can be risky. An animal might appear to be healthy, but that might not be a reflection of its current state. If you aren’t experienced or knowledgeable enough, you might be swayed to make a purchase that should have been avoided.
Selling livestock from a local breeder may be optimal, as a prospective buyer can generally inspect the parents of the offspring on the premises. Again, if you are not knowledgeable, you will be forced to rely on the seller’s recommendations and risk making a wrong purchase.
Living in a right-to-farm state does not automatically give a person the right to keep any animal, any breed, or any number of animals. Farming regulations can differ significantly and sometimes depend on official authorization from a local governing body or be affected by neighbor grievances.
Also, remember to ensure the bill of sale is correct before signing. As with any contract, you should consult a lawyer to ensure the document has all the required information.
Alternatively, a template may be a good option for drafting a livestock bill of sale. A template can be helpful to ensure that the parties include all the fundamental terms and conditions.