Right from the birth of the nation, Americans have had a tradition of raising livestock. The livestock industry is a very profitable venture, as the landscape of the US is full of wide, fertile pasture lands.
If you’re not into the norm and you don’t want to raise just normal livestock like pork and beef, like most profitable dairy farms choose to be doing, you can hop on the emerging profitable opportunity represented by a buffalo farm. Raising buffalo is very profitable, according to an FAO paper, due to the high-demand, protein-rich products coming from buffalos.
The farming industry is still in its infancy stages, although it seems like people have been growing livestock forever and have nothing new to gain from it or add to it. According to experts, there has never been a better time to get into farming, as there are more and more mouths to feed in the world.
If you’re set on starting a Buffalo farm, keep in mind that this type of farming starts with a lot of issues, but it slowly becomes easier and easier to manage. You will have to consider pasture land management, the actual cost of buying the animals, feeds, and proper shelter.
How Much Does a Buffalo Cost?
Live buffaloes cost, on average, between $1,400 and $5,500 per animal, although these prices will depend on several factors like the animal’s weight, age, breeding, and milk it gives. Expect a water buffalo to have an average cost of anywhere between $1,000 and $2,500, while a bull calf is only priced at around $700. For a heifer calf, you will probably spend between $1,000 and $2,500 per head.
American Bison cows are priced at around $1,500 to $4,500.
Of course, as with anything else, there are exceptions both on the lower end and on the higher end. For example, according to a Bloomberg article, The most expensive buffalo in the world is an African Buffalo called Horizon, worth $11.1 million.
The size, breed, and conformation of these exotic animals will also influence their market price.
Factors Impacting the Cost of Buffalo
Let’s go into further detail about why these factors will affect the cost of a buffalo.
Size of the animal
The size of the animal isn’t a standalone factor. It will show both the production level and the age of the animal, which means it will impact its cost to quite an extent. Considering that the farmer will invest a lot into an adult to take it to its full-grown adult form, they will charge more for adult specimens.
The most important factor to affect the cost of a buffalo will be the breed it is part of. Different types of buffaloes have different qualities, making them produce more or less meat and milk. These factors will have a big impact on the final price of the animal.
As an example, Water Buffaloes are considerably cheaper than Murrah Buffaloes. This cost will also vary when it comes to veterinary care expenses and maintenance-related costs.
Another important factor when it comes to pricing a buffalo is the conformation of the animal. It is vital that you learn the hidden tricks of finding the perfect buffalo before looking to buy one, to ensure you get an animal with premium specs.
Land/Farm Expenses of Buffalo
Before even considering getting an animal of this size, it is very important to consider the costs associated with finding a piece of land for a farm and then fencing the entire land. You will have to buy animals that you know are going to fit the size of your farm or your fenced area. Most of the time, you can keep one to two buffaloes easily on a 5-acre land.
The costs related to fencing your lawn should be included in the buffalo farm budget you set. The fence will have to be installed all around the farm so that the animal not only feels safe from straying dogs but also stays in place and doesn’t roam around.
Costs of Feed for a Buffalo Farm
Expect your average meat buffalo to eat around 30 to 40 pounds of hay daily. Dairy buffaloes, on the other hand, will need around 100 pounds of hay in their diet daily. Simple math shows us that the average owner will spend around $1,200 on feed yearly to cover the needs of a single buffalo.
These costs are reduced to only around $200 to $300 per year if you have enough land to grass-feed the animals.
Maintenance Cost of Buffalo like the Water Buffalo
The maintenance of one buffalo or a herd will come at a cost, as you will always have to make investments, although these investments should come back to you in the form of animal selling returns or cash from meat selling. Although the costs won’t be consistent, you should put aside around $20 per day for the maintenance of your buffaloes.
A fully grown adult buffalo or bison, on the other hand, should cost about $800 per year in total when it comes to maintenance. This should include everything from veterinary care to animal care, feed, and other spending.
Veterinary Expenses of Buffalo
Another crucial expense to consider is that related to veterinary care, regardless of whether you’re keeping buffaloes, other animals, or even birds. These costs shouldn’t be taken lightly because ignoring veterinary help might lead to losing some or even all of the animals.
Your average buffalo will cost somewhere between $1,400 and $5,500, although this will depend on factors like the age of the animal, its size, and its breed, among others. Although you might be inclined to cut down costs as much as possible, especially while you are just starting out, never compromise on things like premium-grade feed if you want to keep your animals healthy.