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Author Topic: how much would i need to make a living?  (Read 4404 times)


  • Joined Feb 2011
how much would i need to make a living?
« on: April 03, 2011, 08:21:02 pm »
i come from a farming background but the family farm has long gone, in the back of my mind i have this scratch to itch which is to rent some farmland and start farming (animals only).

now i may have the chance to rent some farm land with plenty of grazing and a couple of barns.

which leads me to my question , to make a living out of it what kind of animals and how many animals a year would you think give me a wage? im even toying with the idea of farmshop to sell my own produce.

i understand there maybe a few negative comments regarding this and will take all gratefully.

thanks for your time to read this.



  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: how much would i need to make a living?
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2011, 09:01:48 pm »
There are a number of threads about this already. Start by working out how much of a living ie cash you need to make to a) meet your financial commitments and b) keep you sane. Be realistic - no-one can live without cash nowadays and don't assume you'll never want a bottle of wine or a night out.

Once you know howmuch you need, you can start to work out if you can generate it from the land or if you need a part-time job off the farm.

Generally, animals aren't the most profitable enterprises / per acre - things like vegetables are.


  • Joined Aug 2010
  • leslie, fife
  • i have chickens, sheep and opinions!!!
Re: how much would i need to make a living?
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2011, 09:04:57 pm »
i dont have a holding yet

but have read on this a bit it appears either you need to be small 5 acres or less and very specialisede/niche focused to make a living

or huge 100+acres and get subsidys!!!

others may other suggestions but thats what my reading suggests so far!!!


  • Joined Jun 2009
Re: how much would i need to make a living?
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2011, 09:33:30 pm »
depends what oyu mean by 'living' i think.  we are heading towards self sufficiency, and making great inroads, but hubby works full time and i manage the smallholding and all the animals, children, veg, gardens, housework and also have just sent up a new business venture.  certainly no spare cash for thing slike holidays but we dont feel the need anymore to be honest.

think the starting point is to figure out how much you need/want and then work back from there.

animals dont make money, but if you raise the meat to eat yourself and sell some to family and friends, you can certainly reach a point where your own meat is effectively cost free.


  • Joined Feb 2010
  • Anglesey
Re: how much would i need to make a living?
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2011, 09:54:48 pm »
Trouble is a lot of people get some land then have to have a go at absolutely everything. They get sheep, pigs, cattle, poultry, goats, the full monty. They try to grow veg, fruit, fodder for all the animals etc etc. They never succeed at anything. My advice would be to pick one or two ideas and give them a proper chance. Work it out in the form of a business plan with cash flow forecasts, decide what you need in terms of land and capital and go from there. A lot of people will tell you there's no money in this, or no market for that. Do your homework and make your own mind up. There are people making a living from very small pieces of land. You have to treat it as a business because at the end of the day that's what it will be.


  • Joined Oct 2007
Re: how much would i need to make a living?
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2011, 08:27:58 am »
Be very realistic when working out your living wage requirements, then add 20% to allow for inflation, the bits you forgot and the odd emergency.


  • Joined Oct 2010
  • Okehampton
Re: how much would i need to make a living?
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2011, 08:45:50 am »
When submitting an application for an Agricultural dwelling,  they expect you to be able to earn the minimum wage ... approx 16,000 plus basic costs ( utilities etc).  Otherwise no application is likely to be considered.

This might give you a guide.


  • Joined Feb 2011
  • South Wales
Re: how much would i need to make a living?
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2011, 11:43:32 am »
Agree with what has already been said on here.  A lot would also depend on your initial investment - can you afford to purchase decent housing, get good fencing up, store bulk feed, buy pedigree/registered stock etc?  In the long term it will save you money & stress & you should see a return quicker - even if we're just talking self-sufficiency here.

We're "hobby-holders" & keep our animals because we love them, we make NO money from them at all - they are a constant drain on our finances (though we are self-suf in eggs & veggies most year round).  Hoping to be self-suf in meat wiithin next 2 years & maybe covering costs  :D
Tunkey Herd - registered Kune Kune & rare breed poultry -


  • Joined Oct 2009
Re: how much would i need to make a living?
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2011, 12:34:51 pm »
animals and making a living  !!!
Nobody can really answer your question , as nobody knows what money you 'need' to live on .
Do you pay council tax ? do you own a car ? do you work full time? how much is the rent of the land ? ... you get my drift ? far to many variables for anyone to say exactly what would make 'you' a living .
 Some people say they are self sufficient , or trying to be , that's fine , but it is a term that is misused in general , and is almost impossible to attain .
 Animals and profit , is again like the old question , how long is a PoS ?
What is making a profit this month can be wiped out next month, by the increase in animal feed from the supplier .
 You have to decide if you are going big , with small profits , or small with much higher profits , but more intense and direct sales .
 Farmshop ? do you have one ready to use ? are you going to rent ? Health and safety etc etc is a nightmare these days . Not impossible to sort out , but dependent on circumstances , difficult/costly .
 What would make the most money from a given amount of land ?
in a word, opium !!! but I would suggest you give that one a miss , unless you like the idea of free board and lodging for the next few years !!
 Sorry no set answer here , but you need to work out what you want /need , and then work out the best/easiest way to attain it .




  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
    • ABERDON GUNDOGS for work and show
    • Facebook
Re: how much would i need to make a living?
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2011, 02:02:01 pm »
Garden centres seem to do very well around here  ::) ;D ;D ;D
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age


  • Guest
Re: how much would i need to make a living?
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2011, 10:32:41 am »
i went to a farm 3 yeres a go for some eggs the farm was run dawn .the owner told me that he had a month left .i then got thinking iff you stop in the house and il pay 5 yeres up front .i am retired computing it so go for it i have spent 50000 on this farm .we have 55 rare breeds chickins 200 rare breed sheep in 2 yeres we haven't made no think . we have invested in embryo for the sheep the money i made on the lambs was invested back we do brake even but i try and get better stock to sell.the winters have cost us for 2 yeres we have a good tractor qwod etc .we sell att the sales and move to new things the feed bill is 10200 for 6 weeks and money on eggs incubaters chicks etc. we get on very well we live in the summer and survive in the winter .i have my own house paid for so its no threat but my partner is not happey about the money but its a fantastic way to go.i told her last week that everey think could go but not the fowl i love them .new life everey sprig haw satisfiing is that
« Last Edit: April 05, 2011, 10:36:52 am by bamford6 »


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