For a homestead to be successful, or any business for that matter, there has to be more than just one income stream. The old saying “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket” still holds true for homesteaders and hobby farmers.
You might be thinking “ok Leah that’s all good a fine, but I don’t sell my products. We just use what we grow for ourselves”.
Ok cool, everything you produce and can eat or use in your home is money in the bank, because you don’t have to buy it.
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The best combo is when you can find income streams that offset each other high and low seasons but that is pretty difficult. Most things run on seasons then run through to the end of the year.
Regardless, when considering what animals or crops you choose to raise you should always try to find more than one avenue of income with that one animal or product.
I will give you a few ideas to help you get the ball rolling. The sky is the limit when it comes to making an income. If you see a need and create a product that will fill that need you have hit a gold mine.
Appeal Many Circles
Believe it or not, almost every animal has a show circuit somewhere. So if you are willing to pay a little more for your breeding stock you could appeal to both the show world and sell to people looking for pets or animals for their farm.
For a deeper look at what I mean. Read this post.
With my rabbits which you can check out here. I raise the best typed I can possibly get my hands on and sell the better-typed animals for a bit more. In addition to appealing to people who want rabbits as pets or 4h animals.
Multiple Income Stream Examples
There are lots of different income streams for physical products but don’t forget about digital income. The world is changing and so should you. Even if you can’t physicly do the work that raising animals requiers you can teach online.
Here are some digital income options.
- Ads on your website.
- Affiliate income for other products or courses.
- Create your own eBooks and courses.
This is just a few ideas. If you want to see more examples go check out this post. Out of the box income ideas.
Income Streams From a Dairy Cow
When looking into which breed to buy, consider looking for a breed that is not as common in your area (within 100 miles of you) and has a good feed to milk conversion. Size will also be a factor when people are looking for a family milk cow. Most families don’t need a cow that produces several gallons a day.
Try to find a breed that could be used in small farms and would have a good temperament is something to keep in mind. People who will only have one or two cows that will live to be 10+ years old do not want to deal with an ill-mannered heifer.
- Selling her offspring.
- Sell her milk by the gallon.
- Have a cow share.
Income Streams From Beef Cattle
This is less common on a small scale then dairy cows but here are some ideas to make income with beef cattle even if you don’t want to go large scale.
- Raising beef for people to purchase the cow live then pay to have it processed.
- Raise heifers to breeding age.
- Producing Calve for others to buy and raise to produce their own meat.
- If you live in an area where 4h or FFA is common you could raise show cattle for kids to take as projects.
Income Streams From Dairy Goat
This is one of my favorite animals because there are a ton of options here.
- Sell the offspring that she produces. Again if 4H or FFA is popular then consider producing for projects.
- Sell her milk (for human consumption or as a milk replacer for other livestock)
Products you can make from her milk.
- Body Creams
- Cultures to start yogurt
Income Streams From Meat Goat
- Sell the offspring to producers
- To the local 4h participants (most common breed is boar goats)
Income Streams From Chickens
Chickens are one that you will have to track closely if you decide to start with because they are not an expensive animal to get started with and people can have a lot in a small space.
It can be difficult to make a profit with chickens or the margins are not very wide.
- Raise meat chicks and sell per pound.
- Sell the meat birds live and ready to take to the butcher.
- Keep one specific breed (so you don’t have to keep the different breeds separated) and let the broody hens hatch out chicks and sell purebred chicks.
- Buy Chicks and raise till they can be on their own without a heat lamp.
- Sell fertilized eggs for people to hatch out in an incubator.
- Eggs for consumption.
Income Streams From Rabbits
You can raise rabbits for many different things. If you are careful which breed you choose and are willing to pay more for a better quality rabbit it is possible to find one breed to raise that would cover three or even all for of these categories below…
- Meat (human consumption, sell as feeders for K-9’s)
Rabbits are something that people can end up with more than they planned. Start with one MAYBE two breeds don’t spread yourself too thin and not be able to become good with one breed.
Products you can make with rabbits
- Spin wool into yarn.
- Crochet or knit items with rabbits wool.
- Sell rabbits waste as garden fertilizer.
Non- livestock income stream ideas.
This is where the magic comes in. The internet leaves us so many opportunities and we did not have before. Products can be created and shipped across the world. Also, remember that you don’t want to get yourself in over your head with too much going on. Slowly add income streams as you create systems and get into a workflow that makes it easy to handle.
- Vegetables from your garden.
- Perennials that have gotten too big. (split them and put them in pots)
- Sewing Projects
- Building Projects
- Chicken coops
- rabbit hutches
- nesting boxes (chicken and rabbit)
- Dog houses
- Outdoor games
- Lawn furniture
- Body care products
- Salt or sugar scrubs
- lip balms
- body butter
- Crafts and sell them on Etsy
- Blogging – Read more on how to start a blog.
- Online classes (yep this is a thing) It is free to set up classes through thinkific. And guess what….. people will pay you for it! Get Started For Free
Before adding to animals that you already have, consider taking a close look at the livestock you already have and see what could be tweaked to make it better for two reasons.
One: to reduce expenses so you are not spending money on things that are not making you anything.
Two: See what you like doing and get rid of what you don’t. There is never a reason to work at something you don’t enjoy.