Breeding any kind of animal should have some kind of thought put into it. Whether you are breeding animals for show, meat, or just as pets breeding haphazardly will have you in over your head in no time flat. You must have an idea of when the highest selling season is and when you will have a hard time selling any animal no matter what time of year it is.
Most animal sales are the highest in the beginning of a new year and into spring. Then it drops off for the summer and picks up again in the fall. However, do some research to see when the time would be highest for your niche.
If you have more than one or two animals that you will be breeding each year then you should plan your breedings ahead of time. Get yourself a large calendar that you can get messy with. First, put all of your busy times on the calendar. AKA fairs, vacations, show seasons, holidays times kids are out of school. Anything that could affect your normal routine. You don’t what new babies being due while you are out of town or have to try and relax while thinking about the brand new babies that were just born while you are on vacation.
Below is a list of the gestation times for the common animals you might find on a farm.
Gestation Times For…
•Pigeons: 18 Days (till hatched)
•Chickens: 21 Days (till hatched)
•Turkeys: 28 Days (till hatched)
•Ducks: 28 Days (till hatched)
•Rabbits: 28-31 Days (Some can go up to 33 days)
•Goats: 150 Days (5 months)
•Sheep: 152 Days (Roughly 5 months)
•Cattle: 274 Days (Roughly 9 months)
•Horse: 320 -370 Days (11 months)
•Donkey: 335 – 426 Days (11-14 months)
•Mules: 11-14 months (Since mules are a cross between horses and donkeys they can vary on each end of the spectrum.)
With the animals that are not right on a specific due date, planning will be a little harder. However, do your best to have your babies ready to be weaned and ready to go at the peak of sale season.
For the small animals leave a few weeks wiggle room to incase the breeding does not work out and the female has to be bred again.
If you need a little bit of help planning your homestead, schedule your free 20 min call with me to see what actions we can take to make your life just a little bit easier.
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