Many small scale family operations struggle with the decision to add an additional type of animal enterprise and if it has economic returns. This article addresses the returns of four possible animal scenarios for a 50 acre farm; 1) cow/calf taking calves to finish, 2) Yearlings purchased and grass fed to finish, 3) Yearlings to finish with an added ewe-lamb to finish operation, 4) strictly a ewe-lamb to finish operation. The four scenarios are explained complete with animal numbers, forage consumption needs, yearly labor expended, and the financial returns. The advantages/disadvantages for each situation explain the reasons for the enterprise specific financial returns.

Grassroots of Grazing: Why Mixed Species Grass Farming Pays
Jim Gerrish
American GrazingLands Services LLC, Patterson ID USA
August 2014
Download Publication PDF 26 KB