NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Typical Costs & Things we have forgotten  (Read 275 times)

jaffab

  • Joined Sep 2019
Typical Costs & Things we have forgotten
« on: February 26, 2020, 12:05:07 pm »
Hi All,

Can I pick your collective brains on our yearly costs - anything we have may have forgotten.   And what some typical costs may be.  I am trying to nail down a spreadsheet of our yearly costs when we push the GO button and purchase a small holding in the next 12-24 months.

The small holding will be a mix of animals (couple of dogs, about 40 chickens, 2-4 pigs, 2-4 sheep, 4 bee hives, 2-4 dexters plus a couple of polly tunnels and veg patches).  We will have a mini tractor, a pickup (for want of a better term).  Looking at a property somewhere in wales or shropshire etc.  Animal numbers will vary depending on the slaughter cycle.

So far, I have household normal stuff; Gas+Elec (assuming its connected, else some form of other fuel), Food, entertainment, clothes, tv licence, mobile/land phones, clothes, CAR insurance, House insurance, etc.   Then we move into the more small holdery type things:

Council Tax - assuming band H - £3.6k (in 2022/23)
Water Bills - assumes double what we pay now, so £769 pa???
Smallholder insurance?!? - Worth it?  Typical cost?  Will it cover the mini tractor?
Car + Tractor fuel  - I have no idea how to budget this, no idea how much we will actually need to travel
Equipment Insurance?!?
Animal Feed - I have calculated about £461 a month, so around £6k a year
Vet bills - How do I budget for this?

On the council tax - how is this worked out (in terms of banding).  If I buy a small holding worth say £650k with 10 acres of land, does band H sound about right.  Is it on the value of the buildings, or is land included?

All costs are based on a WORSE CASE scenario.

What else am I missing?
« Last Edit: February 26, 2020, 12:11:38 pm by jaffab »
Voss Electric Fence

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Typical Costs & Things we have forgotten
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2020, 12:59:59 pm »
On feed, your herbivores shouldn't need more than grass for 7 or 8 months of the year, possibly 9 months  in Shropshire.  Hay only for the rest, unless you are really pushing them.  2 Dexters plus this year's calves plus last year's calves (Dexter calves need two summers to be worth the butchering costs) will need around 1.5 bales hay a day in winter between them on average.  2 ewes will eat approx a bale of hay every week in winter, assuming your chosen breed will fatten in one year so the lambs are away before winter.  So budget for around 200 small bales of hay.  Buying in approx £5/bale (worst case), or £2/bale to make your own if you have the ground (3-4 acres hay meadow you can shut up April-July is plenty for 200 bales.)  Some years you won't get hay and will have to wrap it, add £2.50 per bale to wrap plus £25 to dispose of the plastic after winter.

Pigs will eat 4lb/head/day from 4 months, ave 3lb/head/day to get from 2 to 4 months.  Should be away at 6-7 months.  Don't breed your own if you only want to eat 2-4 per annum, so add buying weaners at £40/head.

Meds are expensive per animal when your numbers are small.  Wormers, flukicide, vaccinations, lambing supplies, calving supplies.

Vet will need to visit every year so they can prescribe antibiotics.

Slaughter and butchery costs.

Hire cattle crush once a year for TB testing.  Hire bull each year plus transport.  Hire ram plus transport (or buy tup lamb, use and eat ;) )

As a guide, we calculate that our total cost of production (excluding things like fencing and major equipment, and excluding land cost, and no labour charges except for contractors for haymaking etc) results in our meat costing £4-£5/kilo to produce.  Four lambs from 2 ewes should give you around 80kgs meat; 4 weaners around 250kgs pork/ham; 2 Dexter stirks around 220kgs meat.  So 550kgs meat shouldn't cost you more than £3,000 to produce once you are at steady state.
 
We calc production costs 20p per egg, but with 40 hens I assume you will be selling eggs?  So you need to sell at more than £2.40 per dozen.

10 acres isn't generous for that many cattle (because Dexters need two summers to reach any size) and all the other things you want to do, unless its fab ground - so Shropshire maybe, Wales I think you may need more than 10 acres.

As a comparison, we have approx 18 acres available for livestock here, and it is just about adequate for 2 cattle, 2 ponies, 7-10 ewes, 5 weaners (spring-autumn only) each year.  Our calves go off at 12 months old (which Dexters wouldn't), the cows being housed over winter (which you may not wish to do with Dexters - but outwintering costs a lot of grass as the ground recovers in spring.)  North Cornwall is wet but mild - very like a lot of Wales, and warmer than some of Wales.  Shropshire ground will be significantly better.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2020, 01:04:26 pm by SallyintNorth »
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Typical Costs & Things we have forgotten
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2020, 01:14:30 pm »
Things that caught us out (hadn't budgeted for) were extra equipment we had to buy initially, their maintenance and spares costs, the difference in cost between town gas and oil (3x the price) and the price of fencing. Fortunately we had chicken coops and associated stuff.


There are a lot of costs associated with cars in the UK, insurance is just one.


Vet bills will involve a lot of luck, good and bad probably. Perhaps vets have an insurance scheme?

jaffab

  • Joined Sep 2019
Re: Typical Costs & Things we have forgotten
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2020, 01:28:50 pm »
On feed, your herbivores shouldn't need more than grass for 7 or 8 months of the year, possibly 9 months  in Shropshire.  Hay only for the rest, unless you are really pushing them.  2 Dexters plus this year's calves plus last year's calves (Dexter calves need two summers to be worth the butchering costs) will need around 1.5 bales hay a day in winter between them on average.  2 ewes will eat approx a bale of hay every week in winter, assuming your chosen breed will fatten in one year so the lambs are away before winter.  So budget for around 200 small bales of hay.  Buying in approx £5/bale (worst case), or £2/bale to make your own if you have the ground (3-4 acres hay meadow you can shut up April-July is plenty for 200 bales.)  Some years you won't get hay and will have to wrap it, add £2.50 per bale to wrap plus £25 to dispose of the plastic after winter.

Excellent stuff - chucked some of these numbers into my spreadsheet and brought my feed costs down from my original estimates.

And I understand on the land.   We are actually shopping for between 12 and 21 acres - with the excess being either woodland or fallow/rotation/orchard mix

Assuming I cant go co-op/insurance on the vet bills, what sort of cost per year (I get the luck bit) I would be looking at - a sort of typical range for my mix.  Any ideas?
« Last Edit: February 26, 2020, 01:30:37 pm by jaffab »

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Typical Costs & Things we have forgotten
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2020, 02:36:54 pm »
You are assuming that you can start a full steam immediately - that is highly unlikely. You will (like most of us) buy a dilapidated house, with either non-existent or just about to fall down farm buildings, fencing will need to be redone... tbh, I don't think you can do a budget before you actually buy the place...
We bought a building plot with land, so it took two years before we even got to the smallholding, and even then we had no buildings, no polytunnel, no garden at all, everything needed fencing (ours was arable)... so we took the animals at one species per year (poultry, then pigs, then sheep and then goats a few years later)...

jaffab

  • Joined Sep 2019
Re: Typical Costs & Things we have forgotten
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2020, 02:39:34 pm »
You are assuming that you can start a full steam immediately - that is highly unlikely. You will (like most of us) buy a dilapidated house, with either non-existent or just about to fall down farm buildings, fencing will need to be redone... tbh, I don't think you can do a budget before you actually buy the place...
We bought a building plot with land, so it took two years before we even got to the smallholding, and even then we had no buildings, no polytunnel, no garden at all, everything needed fencing (ours was arable)... so we took the animals at one species per year (poultry, then pigs, then sheep and then goats a few years later)...

Actually, no - I am doing worse case scenario.  So, I have put money in the capital cost (get going costs) for repair and building works, buying equipment, purchase of fencing, animals, etc.   Anything beyond this is a bonus.  I.e., if it has a polly tunnel, one less thing I have to buy and £3.5k I dont have to spend.

So for instance, in my annual costs, I have the food for all the animals.  But on day 1 there will be no animals, and day 365 maybe only half the animals as we build up.

Always, worst case.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2020, 02:42:00 pm by jaffab »

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Typical Costs & Things we have forgotten
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2020, 02:46:25 pm »
Livestock trailer

jaffab

  • Joined Sep 2019
Re: Typical Costs & Things we have forgotten
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2020, 02:59:10 pm »
Livestock trailer

Thanks.  Already in the list as a setup capital cost.   Which includes:
Property purchase and associated costs (legals, stamp, moving, building repairs and make good, docoration)
Chicken copp, feeders, laying house, breeder, chickens, fencing, incubator, initial food
Pig arks, feeds, fencing, pigs, initial food
Sheep housing, sheep, fencing, initial food
Same with dexters
Animal Trailer, mini tracctor, post driver, polly tunnels, green house, orchard trees,
Pick-up/suv/similiar
Kitchen items (mincers, slicers, shelving, plastic sealers, 5000 mason jars (not really, but wife is picking up mason jars left right and centre so it seems like 5000), sausage stuffer, scales, canners, etc etc etc

mab

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • carmarthenshire
Re: Typical Costs & Things we have forgotten
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2020, 06:19:27 pm »
council tax is based on the value of the residential property alone - so the value of the land/agri buildings shouldn't have any bearing. so if you buy a very big smallholding with a dilapidated 'chalet' (with residential status) you still get rock-bottom council tax.

pgkevet

  • Joined Jul 2011
Re: Typical Costs & Things we have forgotten
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2020, 05:40:54 am »
So much depends on the property and location. You will need public liability insurance so small-holder/farm insurance. If you border roads then obligations re trees/hedges DIY or Tree-guy costs (chainsaws/PPE). Farm machinery does break down - DIY or agri engineer costs, taxed/road legal so you can drive there or costs of collection. Contingencies for water damage/ rodent infestatons, leaks: every farm needs buckets, tarpaulins and rope. Also torches, battery inspection lamps for power cuts, back up cooking/heating methods depending whats there (we have oil fired CH but woodburner and portable camping gas rings for when everything goes out).
Tools - I'm a tool freak, you can never have enough tools from extra spanner sets to welding gear and then you have to build a new dry shed to keep it all in....

 

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