NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: DEFRA + other licence costs  (Read 278 times)

jaffab

  • Joined Sep 2019
DEFRA + other licence costs
« on: September 03, 2019, 02:25:39 pm »
Hello All,

We are giving major (almost ready to push the button) thought to buying a smallholding.   We have quite a few of our plans in place - but whilst putting together the costs spreadsheet to make sure it all hangs together, I hit a bump in the road in that the GOV.UK web sites hide any associated costs of licenses or registrations.

So for instance, amongst the other animals we plan to keep (eventually - building up a little at a time over a few years) will be pigs.   And I am aware of the need for a CPH number (from the RPA) and a license from the APHA, and a walking licence - but nowhere on the web site does it show the actual costs involved.

So is anybody able to fill in the blanks?

The animals we are eventually looking to have (and associated numbers and questions):

Hens - 39 birds in rotation.   So if we have 30 adults out and 10-12 chicks.. does this break the limit?  Do we have to register?  Costs?

Pigs - 10 pigs, 2 adults and 8(ish) young taking their place.   Costs for initial registration and per animal tagged?

Sheep - 2 or 3

Goats - 2 or 3

Bees - 2 hives.  We have a meet with the National Beekeepers Association on Saturday so will cover anything then.

Ducks - 3 to 5

Cows (Dexters) - eventually - 2 adults and 2 young to replace them.

Anybody have the costs for license/registrations for the above mix (assuming none of them already registered - we are working on worst-case figures even though some (pigs, sheep, cows) will no doubt already be registered).

Many thanks in advance.
Voss Electric Fence

PK

  • Joined Mar 2015
  • West Suffolk
    • Notes from a Suffolk Smallholding
Re: DEFRA + other licence costs
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2019, 05:36:10 pm »
I suspect no one has responded yet as the query is not posted in the most appropriate section so folk might have missed it. There are no costs to register for a CPH number. Similarly, with APHA, you have a legal duty to register with them for each livestock category you are keeping and thereafter maintain appropriate records but there are no costs involved. If you keep more than 50 poultry this should also be registered with them, again at no cost.

If you keep pedigree stock you might CHOOSE to register these with the relevant breed society which you would need to join. This usually involves a joining fee and a cost for registering the animal concerned. This will vary from society to society.


landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: DEFRA + other licence costs
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2019, 05:45:49 pm »
Not wishing to burst your bubble, but is the point of the spreadsheet to estimate your potential profit, or your likely loss on your smallholding venture? :thinking:


It is said that the easiest way to get rid of an enemy is to give him a smallholding.


I would be interested to know how you have factored the potentially vast unknowns onto your spreadsheet :innocent:
The price of a vet's visit for a difficult birth, or even a caesarian section can wipe out the year's profit for that class of livestock. Because you are planning to have so few of each class of livestock, you will pay top price for everything. I have 40 cattle and last winter I was paying £20/round bale of hay, collecting 22 at a time. People were paying £40/bale to have a single one delivered. To get 2 or 3 sheep shorn could cost £10/sheep.
In your first year the equipment you will need will probably cost more than the livestock - a crush for the cattle, hurdles for the sheep, not to mention buildings and machinery.

That is not to say you won't enjoy the experience, nor that you won't make a profit (eventually - one year.)
And I would certainly keep the spread sheet so you can have a good laugh at it some time in the future. :roflanim:
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: DEFRA + other licence costs
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2019, 06:00:39 pm »
Easiest way to lose money is with livestock   :roflanim:  last year I had minimal vet visits for my sheep at lambing. This year I had 4 out of hours visits inc 1 c section  :yuck:


Just enjoy what you’ve got and don’t get too hung up on the numbers unless it’s your sole income. If it’s a hobby treat it as one. If it’s your livelihood then you’ll probably struggle to make it so with a small holding sized patch of land.

Backinwellies

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Sep 2012
  • Llandeilo Carmarthenshire
    • Nantygroes
    • Facebook
Re: DEFRA + other licence costs
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2019, 06:13:58 pm »
Sorry to be another kill joy ......... but smallholding is a life choice  not a profit making business on its own... unless you avoid any animals  (successful plant based smallholdings can bring in a good income sometimes) .

We dived in 6 years ago and love what we are doing ...  and love what we are eating (a totally home grown/reared dinner this eve ......... but are  both working extra jobs to keep the smallholding going. 

Forget the spreadsheet and decide if you want to work harder than you ever have, work 7 days Every week,  and have alternative income sources ... if that is 3 yes's then dive in too    :sunshine:
Linda

Don't wrestle with pigs, they will love it and you will just get all muddy.

Let go of who you are and become who you are meant to be.

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Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: DEFRA + other licence costs
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2019, 09:54:34 pm »
Jaffab, well done for doing the planning and for asking about the bits that aren't clear - there's nothing whatsoever wrong with that.


As PK says, the government registrations are free. You'll pay a little for ear tags etc, but nothing significant. If pigs are going to be your main commercial crop, a good place to start is this pig cost calculator. We used it this year and it was pretty much spot on.

Landroverroy, you've made me dig out my own 6 year old cashflow forecast and yes it did give me a good laugh since it said we should have started making a profit three years ago...... oh well. Maybe this year?  :fc: .


The big differences between planned and actual have been in medicine costs (it's difficult to be economical with small numbers of animals, so you end up wasting lots), extra costs associated with MV accreditation (not cheap unfortunately), plus extra capital items we hadn't anticipated such as extra fencing to sub-divide fields, a dagging crate and a couple of large chest freezers. I also do far more farm mileage than I had expected - all those trips to buy feed and medicines, plus to collect and deliver livestock really add up! There is also a big difference between prices of bulk bought feed and buying by the sack from the feed merchant, so sometimes there are signficant break points in numbers of animals kept which can suddenly make them economical or uneconomical, depending on what you're doing.


HTH!
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

jaffab

  • Joined Sep 2019
Re: DEFRA + other licence costs
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2019, 09:03:10 am »
Thanks all,

The spreadsheet is not about profitability - we are not looking to do this as a business (I already have my own business in IT and looking to change lifestyle) - its more about the 'setup' costs to get going - so we know once we have things like machinery, fencing,, livestock purchases, the greenhouses etc all in place, that we can afford the property wthout running out of cash.

I like to plan worse case (for instance, I have budgeted for us having to feed all the animals via bags/hay all year (rather than out on the field).  So on that basis, with the animal mix above, what do you think I should budget for a badish animal year in terms of vet bills?

harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: DEFRA + other licence costs
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2019, 11:08:18 am »

Most people start with one type of animal and then progress. Yes, you can have a bad year for vets bills. A bad year might be the loss of an animal so needing a replacement.


Cross referencing to your other posts re ai costs. You mention Suffolk sheep - being a member and registering off spring with a couple of sheep is quite expensive. These are commercial animals. Same with the British Pig Association.


Great you are looking at costs but are you also thinking about what you will do with "offspring" and what is your experience of animal husbandry? A health plan for your animals is a really good tool. Medicines such as wormers that you can buy off the shelf are sold in packs for farms not small holders with a couple of this and that. Keeping small numbers can actually mean a high cost per head.


Great you are looking at the sums but also think about what you might start with first rather than getting everything at the same time.


If you are looking to fill your freezer do you need pedigree stock or could you look at the pedigrees that need help if the profit margin isn't that important to you?


Good to look at time commitments too.


Lots of support on here and plenty of realistic people too.

jaffab

  • Joined Sep 2019
Re: DEFRA + other licence costs
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2019, 11:51:04 am »
@harmony  - yes - we have a staged plan (I assume its the same as everybody else who gets going with this).

Chickens first - then a few months later, introduce pigs and onwards - in a couple of years the cows.

Where we were looking to purchase, they have a small holding co-op set up for the general treatments which are bought in bulk and the SH purchase on an agreed purchase basis - so hoping this will make getting hold of some treatments easier.

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: DEFRA + other licence costs
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2019, 12:09:35 pm »
Vet and med costs vary hugely but don’t forget they are plus VAT so unless you’re vat registered you’ll have to pay that too. Quite often the price you are quoted is plus vat. I don’t think you can really budget vet bills but you can prevent losses and large bills by vaccinating, culling when the time is right and generally being proactive with your animals. Here mastitis with the sheep is pretty much a definite cull. All the sheep are vaccinated with Heptavac and the cows all get a pre calving vaccine to protect their calves from certain viruses. Certainly cheaper than treating a scour outbreak or losing lambs to pasturella.


Sheep generally hide illness very well so you need to pick up on things early. Cattle are quite robust and most vet bills come with young stock and calving. Cattle handling is needed though you will probably need a basic crush- some vets won’t TB test cattle without one.


The co-op sounds a good idea but this may limit you on when you can lamb (some vaccines need using up on the day they are opened and are needed 4-6 weeks before lambing). If everybody else lambs inside in February but you don’t want to lamb until April outside this would be problematic.


Sheep should not need to be fed hay all year round- if you find this is the case you will probably be very overstocked especially during winter. Sheep, cows are all grazing animals, you should only need to feed hay when grass is sparse in winter and cake when lambing. Lambs won’t really fatten on a hay based diet, they need grass. Better to be under stocked than over, and this will take a few years to know what animals your land can cope with. Likewise cattle may need housing if the land is wet, or if living out over winter will need to rest the ground to let it recover; they can make a real mess in winter.


Agree about pedigree stock, my first ewes were a cross of 2 breeds, then from there I decided to go down the purebred route (not necessarily pedigree- the majority of my ewes are pure bred but only 4 are registered with the breed society). If you’re just breeding fat lambs and replacement ewes for your own use then not much point buying pedigree registered stock.


Hope that helps a little

harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: DEFRA + other licence costs
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2019, 12:47:38 pm »
@harmony  - yes - we have a staged plan (I assume its the same as everybody else who gets going with this).

Chickens first - then a few months later, introduce pigs and onwards - in a couple of years the cows.

Where we were looking to purchase, they have a small holding co-op set up for the general treatments which are bought in bulk and the SH purchase on an agreed purchase basis - so hoping this will make getting hold of some treatments easier.



Pigs are the easiest animal to keep in terms of time and are pretty robust but need to be fed out of a bad all year and you can go from 2 to 22 really quickly with litters. I suggest you buy weaners to finish as a start.

Scarlet.Dragon

  • Joined May 2015
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: DEFRA + other licence costs
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2019, 09:55:11 pm »
You mention both  :goat:  :goat: and  :sheep:  :sheep:.  It's a bad idea to keep both species and makes management really really complex to do it properly!  They share parasites (e.g. worms, fluke, cocci) but have entirely different treatment regimes!  Goats need to be vaccinated with Lambivac 3 times a year, whilst most people have sheep on Heptavac once a year.  The wormer used for sheep would under-dose the goats meaning you'd likely develop resistant strains of worms that then go back onto the pasture to reinfect the sheep...  Should I go on?  Decide why you want to keep them and then pick one or the other to make life easier for yourself.  If you're looking for milk and meat, maybe get a dairy goat, cover it with a boer male and put the offspring in the freezer. 
Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical and expecting more than others think is possible.

jaffab

  • Joined Sep 2019
Re: DEFRA + other licence costs
« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2019, 09:29:06 am »
You mention both  :goat:  :goat: and  :sheep:  :sheep:.  It's a bad idea to keep both species and makes management really really complex to do it properly! 

The goats would be for personality, goat milk and goat curries.   Out of the two, I would pick sheep.
But its great to get the advice - would prefer both - but at the same time dont want to make anything more complex than it needs to be - so will take it on board and maybe drop the goats.

As wife says... "Well that’s just annoying, because although I like Goat meat, Im not hugely fond of the milk, but I would use the milk for cheese.  We LOVE Lamb, and the wool will be useful for the veg garden, and at a push I can use the milk for cheese

Maybe we keep both but keep them apart and the goats live with the cow and the sheep and the pigs are friends (or something)"

Is that an option - keep them well apart?  Whats a safe distance?
« Last Edit: September 10, 2019, 09:32:37 am by jaffab »

Scarlet.Dragon

  • Joined May 2015
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: DEFRA + other licence costs
« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2019, 04:59:03 pm »
The goats would be for personality, goat milk and goat curries.   Out of the two, I would pick sheep.
But its great to get the advice - would prefer both - but at the same time dont want to make anything more complex than it needs to be - so will take it on board and maybe drop the goats.

As wife says... "Well that’s just annoying, because although I like Goat meat, Im not hugely fond of the milk, but I would use the milk for cheese.  We LOVE Lamb, and the wool will be useful for the veg garden, and at a push I can use the milk for cheese

Maybe we keep both but keep them apart and the goats live with the cow and the sheep and the pigs are friends (or something)"

Is that an option - keep them well apart?  Whats a safe distance?

Personality... they have bucketloads of that!  Milk and curries... depends on the breed choice but both are viable options.

Plenty of people do keep both, but if you're just looking at small numbers of animals do you really want the additional cost and hassle?  Even just on the clostridial diseases, Lambivac's about £20 for a bottle for 25 but has a shelf life of about 10 hours from opening... you're going to use 2-3 doses and throw the rest away, three times a year?!  Some keepers use Heptavac for the goats (because they have it for the sheep anyway).  It's more expensive and you still need to do it 3 times a year for the goats... plus, if you overload their immune system, you won't know that they haven't taken up any immunity until there's a crisis where one of them comes down with tetanus or pulpy kidney etc.... by which point you can't do anything about it.  So, even if you're not planning to "make money" from the livestock, it quickly becomes an expensive hobby...

In terms of not liking milk; fresh milk is fantastic and if it's properly handled you can't tell the difference between  :cow: and  :goat:.  Only badly handled  :goat: milk "tastes" like  :goat: ... so actually not only is it better for you, but you find out more about how well it's been processed just from the taste...

If your meat preference is lamb over goat then the decision is an easy one.  I was going to suggest you looked at "easy care" or "rare breed" sheep such as Shetland, Heb, Manx Boreray or Soays which pretty well take care of themselves in terms of lambing and, for some, rooing to save you the hassle but if you're looking to milk them you'll need to look at more commercial breeds.

How much land do you plan to have and where ...which will feed into viability on how much stock you can keep and whether or not it's feasible to keep them separate?  I think the rule of thumb is 1 cow per acre, 5 sheep or goats to a cow etc but that's on decent grade of land... stocking density goes down as the growing season shortens, the height above sea level increases etc.  You also need to think about how much you plan to spend on fencing.  Boer goats are less likely to jump fences than pygmies (they'll go over, under and through most fencing) so "keeping them separate" may not be as easy as it theoretically sounds.  If a goat sees something it wants to have a look at or eat then you can have a devil of a job to stop them.

These animals are also flock or herd animals and need company of their own kind to meet good welfare standards.  We may think it's ok for them just to have cross species friendships (and many will form them in the absence of their own kind), but natural behaviour is to socialise with others like them and denying them that doesn't bode well for their welfare.  Another thought here, if you are grazing animals together then you either need everything to be horned, or everything to be polled/disbudded.  Serious injuries and death can occur if one has horns and another doesn't.
Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical and expecting more than others think is possible.

 
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AI costs - what to expect

Started by jaffab

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Last post September 11, 2019, 09:48:20 am
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