Simplifying Small-Farm Business

When I hear folks talking about selling farm products, I usually cringe.  There’s just no reason in thinking that the land was given to man to pimp for cash.  The products, if they are the right products, are worth more than any cash that could be obtained for them.  Let’s face it, cash is much more efficiently gained by other means than farm work.

So, I’d like to share my thoughts about what to sell and why.  The goal of my farm sales is simply to allow my family to obtain its needs at no cost.  Here are some examples.

Laying hens require 1/4 lb. of feed with water to efficiently produce eggs.  Let’s say we have 60 hens laying and can expect 4 dozen eggs per day in exchange for 15 lbs. of feed.  If a 50 lb. bag of layer feed costs $12.50, then 15 lbs. daily would cost $3.75 per day.  So, we’d get 4 dozen eggs for $3.75.–a pretty good deal.  However, we can do better.  If we sell one of those dozen eggs for $4.00, we will have 3 dozen eggs per day for free, which is better.

Pigs will give an average of 8 piglets twice per year if managed gently.  The mother pigs (sows) will eat an average of 4 lbs. of good swine feed per day, which costs $10.00 per 50 lb. bag.  So, that means feeding a sow will cost us about $0.80 per day, or $292 per year.  So, if 2 week old piglets sell easily for $50, then if we sell 6 of them each year, mama pig eats for free.  The rest we can raise for the butcher.  However, if we sell 12 of mama’s piglets, that additional $300 will cover the cost of one pig’s butchering meaning that 300 lbs. of pork is free for the year.

Anyway, you get the idea.  If we keep the produce and let sales simply pay for our costs, we eat for free on the farm.

God bless,
William Michael
Michael Family Farm

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