Cattle rearing business is the act of raising young cattle for commercial purpose. It is a very lucrative business which anyone can embark on to make money.
Though it is a profitable business, it may require a large capital to start.
Please, note that ‘Bovine’ is used to refer to all types of cattle like: cow, bull, buffalo, oxen, etc.
It is also important to note that cow is the female cattle while bull is the male cattle.
Cattle rearing is now seen as one of the most lucrative business in Nigeria. This is to say then that even though it may be costly to maintain, it is a profitable business that anyone can engage in and make a huge profit.
A full grown cattle can be sold for over N200,000 (about $500) or more in some situations.
There are some benefits attached to cattle rearing business, let’s find out.
The underlying benefits/profits in cattle rearing business
The good thing about this business is that most Nigerians are meatarians who consume beef alot.
Beef (cattle meat) is well known in Nigeria and Africa at large. Cattle meat (beef) are used almost on daily basis for ceremonies like wedding, birthday, burial etc. It is always on request thus, the more profit you make.
Cattle rearing business is very profitable beyond the meat (beef.) There are many other ways to make money in this business.
Cattle dairy (milk). Cattle also produce milk. It is another good source from cattle to make money. You can even make more money from the milk than the meat.
The hide (skin). This is a very important part of fashion to produce leather and clothing.
Cattle faeces can be used to manure crops, with cattle’s blood also which is a component of fertilizer to grow crops.
There are different cattle breeds such as Azawal, Sokoto gudali, Wadata, White Fulani and other kinds of breeds.
Cattle have horns, they are also ungulate animals, this means that they are animals that chew their cud with a hoof that covers their two toes.
They are most taken for the purpose of meat supply. This is because when we look at the rate at which meat is being consumed on daily basis, we will discover that it is a good business to venture into.
They are also rated for the milk, hide and skin, manure gotten from them as well as draught animals to work on the farm.
This means if you go into this business, you have millions of potential customers waiting for you who are very much in need of these cattle produce.
In cattle rearing business, you don’t have to bother yourself so much about diseases that kill animals because this specie of animal is not susceptible to some diseases.
Cattles love moving about because it is in their nature, so do not worry about them having a disease.
Their method of feeding is through grazing. You need take them to a land with green pasture to graze.
However, you need to be on guard for predators like snakes and other dangerous animals. You must also be careful with fields that have been sprayed with poisonous substances.
Types of Cattle Rearing.
There are three main categories of cattle rearing. These can be classified based on their breeds. They are:
Dairy cattle: These are reared mainly for milk production.
Beef cattle: These are reared for the purpose of meat.
Dual purpose cattle: They are reared both for the purpose of producing meat and milk.
Economic advantages of rearing cattle in Nigeria
- Cattle can be used to plough the soil in a farm.
- Can be used for milk and meat production.
- The cattle skin & hides can be used to make leather and clothes.
- Cattle bones are used as food and feeds for other animals and birds.
- It can serve as a source of revenue to some territories.
- As a source of employment and income.
- Manure for plants.
- Their blood, bones can be used to make fertilizers.
- The offal of cattle can be used as food for consumption or for other purposes.
How to start cattle rearing business
The steps below will help you to start a good cattle rearing business;
1. Have a good business plan
Your number one step is to have a good business strategy and develop your plan. This has to do with deciding the number of Cattle you want to start with which depends on the capital you have at hand.
Calculate the cost of their feeding, medications and other expenditure. Remember that every business is run with patient, and more patient is expected in this business.
2. Find a good grazing location
Your location should be a highly safe and secured environment within a good community. It should not be far from the city or town because there may be buyers around to purchase. Location is important because your profit making depends on a good location.
Think of a large space of land that will be conducive for your cattles to graze and which will accommodate them enough too.
3. Keep the essential tools ready
Some equipments are necessary for rearing cattle. Get the tools and make them available. A fence should be built around your location, a shed should also be constructed to secure the cows from sun or rain.
4. Get your cattle
The next thing to do is to get the number of the cattle that you want to start with. There are cattle markets in the country where cattle are sold, you can get them from these local markets.
You should go to this cattle market with someone who has a good knowledge of the business.
5. Consult a veterinary doctor
You will need a vete doctor around to check up on your cattle in case of any ailment and for medical advise to keep them healthy and strong.
6. Get workers
The service of herdsmen will be very important as your business grow. Unless you want to be jack of all trade, you need these workers to help take care of your cattle and pay them for their service so that you can have the chance to engage in other business of your choice.
7. Putting out your cattle for sale (selling your cattle)
There are different ways to market your cattle. You can sell directly to butchers, big restaurants or cut and package the meat well and supply to supermarkets. You can also make profit through the diary product when you milk the cow and sell to buyers.
The demand for cattle is high because everyday people buy cow meat to prepare different recipe. Many cattle markets can be found in every state in Nigeria, you can sell your cattle to them.
Managing Your Cattle
Cattle rearing is a good and profitable business and how to take care of your cattle is a vital thing to do so, you must look out for the different method of caring for your cattle.
There are three major ways you can manage your cattle from young age until they reach market size.
1. Breeding to calving (mating – birth)
Breeders are kept in a pen specially made for new-born to produce young ones. The pen must be conducive for cattles. It must have galvanised roof sheets and the floor be made with concrete. Bulls and heifers should be at least 24 months before breeding.
2. Birth of calf to wealning
This is when a calf is born to when the calf stops being suckled by its mother. After a cow gives birth to a calf, the mucous covering the body of the infant should be removed, (some animals lick this off using their tongue) especially the one around the nostrils to help them breathe well without difficulty.
You should also help the calf while it suckles it’s mother so that it can take adequate milk. You can castrate your cow to make it grow fat and get fresh for good meat. Castrating your cow also helps you to control indiscriminate mating.
In other words, depending on the number of your cattle, you can set aside some numbers for breeding purpose and other numbers castrated for meat purpose.
3. Weaning to finishing
You should place the calf on a good diet that can help them with high concentration and low dietary fibre. It is necessary also to restrict their movement within the building where they kept until when they increase in height and size.