39+ Hobby Farm Income Ideas

So you have a small backyard farm but you want to figure out how to make your money-sucking hobby at the very least pay for itself. It would be even better if you could get a supplemental income from it right? Before I give you some hobby farm income ideas I want to help you understand a few things about business and choosing the right source of income. 

It’s one thing to start selling something and getting a few dollars in return for your efforts. But it’s another to run a farm for profit.

You get the basic idea of breeding and selling the offspring from the livestock you raise or selling your garden produce at a farmer’s market.

But how do you maximize your efforts and improve your chances that someone wants to buy YOUR product? That’s what I’m going to help you with in addition to giving you income ideas to help generate income from your backyard farm.

hobby farm income ideas intro image

Tips To Help You Choose The Right Income Stream

Before we get into the farm business ideas for your hobby farm let me give you some key points to help you choose the right product to sell so you can have a profitable hobby farm.

What Fits Your Farm Goals

You should never have 5+ different income streams or homestead projects where some make an income, some are to supply your family with food, and some really don’t have a purpose at all.

You want to have a streamlined system to be able to make money that doesn’t drive you crazy and isn’t hard to manage.

Here’s what I mean.

If you want to have a bees to provide your family with honey, you need to figure out:

  • What your expenses are.
  • How much do you want to eat yourself?
  • How many hives you would need to have so you could at minimum have your expenses covered.

Anything above that is what you can sell. So then you need to know how many hives you can or want to handle.

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Choose A Product And Market That Will Pay A Premium Price

I want to make this as easy to understand as possible so let me see if I can simplify this. If you want to have a profitable business but you don’t have acres of land you have to be EXTREMELY strategic about the income streams you choose.

Selling live meat rabbits is not going to bring a ton of money. Most meat rabbit breeds are only going to sell for $15-$30 unless you can get your foot in the door with show people. Then they can sell for more. BUT that is a very competitive market.

Livestock that is harder to get, have what I call the cute factor, and are appealing to pet people as well as people who show tend to bring a higher price.

In this case, you can consider having one breed to supply your meat and another breed to provide the income. Make sense?

This is the only time I would suggest something like this. In my business course for homesteaders and backyard farmers, I encourage you to get really good at one breed and become known for that breed.

french lop rabbit sitting posed

Choose A Market Willing To Pay More

Not the people always on the hunt for a deal

Ask yourself “What are people willing to pay more for that can also be a farm side hustle with the space you have?”

An example would be the mindset of a person who is willing to pay $15 for a rabbit vs $75-$200 for a rabbit. It’s all in how you market yourself which brings in the right kind of audience.

To have a profitable business you need to figure out what someone is willing to pay more for. And to do that you need to take the time to think about WHY someone buys something, especially at a higher price. 

  • For something like farm-fresh honey from bees, they want pure honey.
  • For someone who is buying rabbits they either want a good show quality rabbit for showing. OR they want a pet that is unique and friendly for their family.
  • The older lady who used to raise chickens isn’t as likely to pay the $5-8 a dozen for organic heritage eggs as the lady living in a gated community. Make sense?

Your Access To The Market Matters

If you are like me and live in a super rural area where every other house has chickens. You are going ot have a harder time selling eggs. BUT if you have access to a town close by or are on a busy road where people can’t raise chickens you are going to have an easier time selling farm fresh eggs.

chicken eggs

Increase Perceaved Value

Packaging is everything

It doesn’t matter if you are selling farm animals, product from your animals, or you have a large-scale market garden. You need to make it look pretty. People are drawn to what they see.

Depending on the avenue that you plan to go for your income you will also need to think about how you present yourself to the best of your ability.

Whether that is your packaging, website, your in-person store, roadside stand, or online social platforms. If you want to make more money with less product or livestock sales then you are going to have to take your presentation to the next level.

That does not mean you have to spend more money. It can be as simple as putting in a little elbow grease.

  • Make sure your pens are neat and clean.
  • Pull weeds that are showing up where they are not supposed to. Or use our favorite thing…Roundup!
  • Make a few small pots of flowers and put them where your buyers will see them as they pull up.
  • Keep things painted.
  • If you have a website or social platform make sure it looks clean and neat. Not tacky or unprofessional. (if you struggle with choosing things like colors and fonts look up branding kits on Pinterest for inspiration.
  • Take nice images for social and edit them in the same way. (Lightroom Mobile app and presets are a great way to do this. Here are some of my favorite presets for supper cheap on Etsy)
  • and lastly, just find ways to be different and go out of your way to make people smile and answer their questions even if they don’t plan to buy from you you are building a reputation that will cause your business to grow like wildfire OR crash before you even get off the tarmac.
chick walking in the yard

Think About The Space You Have And The Income You Need

If you don’t have a lot of land I don’t want you to feel bad about it or think that making a farm profitable is out of the question. It’s really not. What people forget is the larger scale farms like a dairy farm or beef rancher is that they get paid WAY LESS for the product than if you went direct to the consumer. 

You can also make way more if you find your specialty even if it seems small but you can charge a lot more per product.

Maybe you are an urban farmer and you don’t have much land at all. So raising several goats, sheep, cows, or other types of animals is out of the question.

So what can you do?

Well, have no fear. This post covers unique, out of the box ideas to generate income with just a few smaller animals, a small garden, or none of that at all if you are not physically capable.

Here is what you need to do when you read through these income ideas.

  • Have the total annual income you would like to make.
  • The total expenses you would need to cover.
  • The space you have available.
  • An open mind to finding another solution for the situation you have.

Here is an example. I had a student in my Profitable Backyard Farm Course want to supply her family with meat and their solution was to raise quail because they are a small bird and they had a really small property.

I presented her with the idea that what if she raised broilers instead. Because one broiler would give as much meat as 30 quial. And these birds dont need that much space either. So it just depends on how you look at it.

farm boots next to a fence

If You Are Crafty

You don’t need any land or have to raise animals for these. If you are into urban farming and you just don’t have a lot of land think about these items. If you like to work with your hands and make things is fun for you then why not make a little extra on the side doing something you love?

These are the items that you can make to sell during the holiday season as gifts. Giving you a boost of income right when you need it most.

caned jam
  • Make and sell cheese and soaps. (Even if you can not raise a dairy goat, you could ask around and see who would be willing to sell you excess milk).
  • Hand paintings.
  • Home decor items.
  • Canned goods like jam seem hard for others to make and they are often willing to pay nicely for it. You can even make them out of store bought produce. You don’t have to grow it yourself.
  • Baskets.
  • Knit/Crocheted items.
  • Jewelry –Find Supplies Here on Amazon
  • Beauty Products.
  • Furniture.
  • Candles –Find all the supplies you need on Amazon.
  • Handmade decor for weddings.
  • Themed gift baskets.

Income Ideas For The Gardener

These income ideas are for those who have a garden. You don’t need to have a big one. Even if you have a few pots on your patio you could do a lot with them.

tomatoes on the vine
  • Plant extra in your garden and sell fresh produce. (especially if you are near the city and can have a small garden. City people eat that stuff up no offense)
  • Start extra seedlings in the spring and sell them as mature plants. – Here are100 Pcs 4″ Plastic Plants Nursery Pot from Amazon
  • Split your over grown plants and sell them. These same posts will also work well for that.100 Pcs 4″ Plastic Plants Nursery Pot from Amazon
  • Heirloom seeds at the end of the season.
  • Sell your own dried herb blends, tea/tincture blends, dip mixes, teas or salves. –Food Dehydrator Machine– This one has temperature control and a timer.
  • Flower farm – Sell your home-grown flowers or arrangements.
  • Put together hanging baskets and sell them in the springtime. 
  • Grow pumpkins, gourds, and corn to sell as fall decorations. 
  • Grow Fruit trees and sell the fruit.
  • Specialize in organic produce.

If your town allows, you can set up a small produce stand on your property.

Selling at a Farmer’s Market {check fees and requirements including insurance and licensing}.

Start your own website or Etsy shop and mail plant starts and seeds. You will be surprised where your orders will start to come from.

Income Ideas For Poultry Raisers

Poultry farming is a great option to have the same species but also be able to have one for producing the food for your family and the other type before getting your income.

  • Raise chickens for eggs and sell the extras. (In this scenario be willing to pivot and make a change if prices of eggs go down, markets change and they will not always hold their value).
  • Raise broiler chickens for meat.
  • Sell the old chickens as stewing hens.
  • If you have a rooster, fertilized eggs for hatching. (This will work best and you will make more if you can have one rooster to the same breed of hens so you know what breed then chicks will be).
  • Raise chickens to laying age and sell them as layers. (Personally, I would start selling them at 6-12 weeks old. If you hold on to them any longer then that you will start eating into your profit very quickly).

Check out my blog post: 4 figure profit potential for chicken farming.

chicks in a brooder tub

Other Out Of The Box Income Ideas For Your Hobby Farm

Most income is made by simply being creative. If you look around you will see income ideas all around you. The one word of caution I would give you is to start with one idea. Validate it and get it working well before you add another one.

It is so easy to want the money now and put the weight of the world on your shoulders. But building a business just does not work like that. It is a slow burn and you need to be willing to do the work or it won’t last.

  • Flip items you find at yard sales or second-hand.
  • Worm farm – Raise worms, sell their “poo” or castings. It is the dirt that they have processed as fertilizer. You can also sell extras for composting or worms as bait.
  • Raise fish, such as tilapia or catfish.
  • Grow mushroom logs and sell homegrown mushrooms.
  • Allow photographers to use parts of your property for photoshoots.
  • Have a few different livestock options for people to rent the animals for photoshoots. (chicks and bunnies at Easter time and so on)
  • Rent out farm space for weddings, receptions, etc
  • Teach classes. (In-person or online)
  • Take pre-orders for Holiday pies, cakes, and candies, people can pick them up at your home.
  • Make and sell preserves.
  • Beekeeping and sell the honey and beeswax.
  • If you have a lot of trees, cut and sell firewood.
  • Make and sell compost using your animal’s manure.
  • Sell wool/fiber from animals such as sheep, alpacas, angora goats, angora rabbits…
  • Cut down trees for people or offer to take away the wood for payment.
  • House sit for someone. If you have experience with animals other then dogs this is gold.
  • Animal training.

Affiliate Income For Your Hobby Farm

Don’t forget to share the products you love with your followers on social or with people who come to your site. It’s a great way to add extra income that can be set up once and let alone.

That is one of the easiest ways to “sell” something and make a little extra cash. While it may not be as much as if you would have sold a product of your own, selling someone else’s product is far less stressful and easier to do early on while your audience is small.

There are many different programs out there. Rather than signing up for 30 different programs before you even get started, think about the top 5 things you will talk about the most and see if there are affiliate programs for those.

How To Make Money With Affiliate Products Without Feeling Salesy

Create Your Own Products

Don’t be so quick to dismiss the online world because you make products or are in the country and want to teach about the animals you raise or skills you have.

There is so much you can do to make money from home and off your farm. You just have to get creative with it. Don’t be afraid to try things out and give it time to work. Start a website and make money selling online. Start an email list and create a relationship with those people who will eventually buy your products.

  • Teach people how to care for the animals you raise. Even if you have 1 horse you can teach people how to ride.
  • Have a dog you have trained? Teach people how to train their dogs.
  • Create printables and worksheets – If you created a tool that helps you organize your homestead put it on Etsy and sell it.

Everyone has a skill they can teach others. You might have to think for a minute to figure it out. But I am sure you have something.

Build a business you enjoy. The money is nice but if you don’t like what you are doing then you will burn out and get sick of the work and people can tell when you don’t at least “like” what you are doing.

computer on a desk with a candle and note book next to it.

It is possible to have a profitable farming business that gives you the life you want. I earn multiple four figures a year from my small rabbitry and now working to scale to my first five figures. Having your small farm pay for itself is the best way to create peace and sustainability in your homesteading journey.

Check out my Productive and Profitable Backyard Farm Course and learn the exact strategies I use in my business every day.

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