Pros And Cons

There are plenty of reasons why some people would want to become farmers. However, this line of work is not for everyone. It is important to analyse the pros and cons before making a decision. The majority of new farmers are likely to start small. Therefore the main focus will be on independent agricultural businesses.

In recent years more people have become concerned about the environment. Websites such as the Guardian contain a plethora articles about the push for sustainability. Small scale farming utilises less chemicals than large corporate ones. As a result there is a smaller amount of soil erosion and damaging side effects to the environment.

On the other hand it can be very labour intensive. The farmer might not be able to afford large scale equipment for planting and harvesting. As a result much of the work will need to be done by hand.

A lot of people cite the effects of the local economy as a reason for starting a new farm. Residents of isolated rural areas often prefer to shop from local sources. Doing so means they do not have to travel long distances to get to a supermarket. Money tends to circulate around the community.

The nature of growing organic products means that yields can be lower compared with traditional large scale methods. Furthermore, the crops can be damaged as pesticides are not utilised. In the first years of the new farm there will be a lot of trial and error to create a working system. However, eventually the results will be well worth the toil. Overall farmers have to consider if they can tolerate the stress and hard work.

Animal Welfare

In recent years there has been a big push to protect the animals that are kept on farms. In the past it was often up to the farmer to decide on the level of care for their livestock. This has changed and the government now has a bigger say on what is and is not acceptable. Ensuring animal welfare is now more than just an ethical issue. It is a legal requirement of farmers.

Those responsible for animals need to employ staff who have the necessary knowledge and training to look after the creatures properly. Neglect and cruelty to farm animals is against the law. Every farmer needs to provide their livestock with an appropriate diet and plenty of fresh water. The shelter where they are kept has to be suitable. Depending on the needs of the individual species they may have to be kept away from other types of animals.

Those familiar with BBC News may have read stories that reflect the changing landscape of the farming industry. For example, in 2007 the media covered new legislation designed to improve the wellbeing of animals. There are even government codes of recommendations for each individual type. Reading up on them will ensure that the farmer knows what they are doing.

From time to time inspectors may visit the property to check on the livestock. It is also possible for members of the public to report any issues to their local authority. The main aim is to prevent any unnecessary suffering. Those found breaking the rules can be fined or even imprisoned. Furthermore, those convicted tend to be banned from owning farm animals in the future.

The farmer is also responsible for the welfare of their animals when off the farm. This could include transporting them and displaying them at shows or markets. They need to be inspected by the owner regularly. If they show signs of sickness this needs to be treated. The frequency of checks will depend on the species. For example, poultry should be inspected once a day and calves at least twice daily. Recently legislation has come into force which requires the owner to keep up to date records of the animals and their health history. These should detail the last 3 years of the animal.

Easiest Animals

Sometimes an up and coming farmer will want to start a new project but may not have the time to be too committed. If this is the case they might consider utilising some of the more easy animal types available. There is a great variety to choose from.

Chickens are a very popular option. If a farmer has enough of them they can make a high profit. Chickens are farmed for both their meat and eggs. They do not ned much roaming space and raising them is fairly simple. Readers can use the site Wikipedia to learn about the numerous predators of chickens. That way they can better protect them with high quality fencing systems.

Goats are revered within the farming community thanks to their hard nature. They serve a number of purposes including clearing patches of land. Whilst not everyone is a fan of goat meat their milk is highly sought after. It can be used to make popular cheeses.

In recent years beekeeping has become more mainstream. Honey farms have managed to find a lucrative niche. Even if the beekeeper does not sell it they could consume the honey themselves. These insects are independent for the most part. The farmer will need to sporadically visit the hive and split it for crowding purposes.

Rabbits are often considered wild creatures. However, if the farmer wants to raise something small they may consider these animals. They require very little attention compared to other popular species. Rabbits are also well known for their breeding abilities. Consequently, the farm can expand fairly quickly.

Some people may be put off by pigs because they consider them to be dirty creatures. However, the reality is quite different. Whilst pigs roll around in mud to cool down they are exceptionally clean. Farmers can feed them a variety of foods such as corn, fodder and compost. This is in contrast to alternative species which are much more picky about what they eat. The farmer can decide whether they want to raise pigs on an organic sustainable diet. If so they will likely be worth more at markets.