The exact amount deer farmers in the United States make yearly depends on a wide range of factors. Nevertheless, it is still important to reiterate that deer farming has witnessed massive growth in recent years as demand for grass-fed, natural meats has increased.
According to reports, this may be attributed to venison being a lean meat with high protein content and minimal fat, and this makes it ideal for anyone working with a paleo or ketogenic diet.
According to the North American Deer Farmer Association, farming deer has become one of the fastest-rising alternative agriculture sectors in rural America and has contributed more than $7.9 billion to the US economy. In addition, reports have it that venison has found its way into fast-food restaurants, and well-known establishments such as Arby’s making available a seasonal sandwich.
Native American tribes started breeding cervids (deer farms) in the early 1900s to reconnect with their roots and feed their people.
Howbeit, a good number of modern farmers are now seeing the wonderful opportunities that come with raising these hardy animals. Elk, reindeer, axis (chital), sika (spotted deer), red, whitetail, and fallow deer are all members of the cervid family.
Factors That Determine How Much Deer Farmers Make Yearly
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This is one of the critical factors that will dictate how much these farmers make in a given year. While the popularity of venison has been helpful in boosting the demand in the market, have it in mind that your location and the demand for deer products such as venison, antlers, and hides will determine the prices and revenues farmers can make.
This is another valid factor to take into consideration as it has a say in the eventual income of a deer farmer. One thing to realize in this agricultural business is that a farmer’s herd more or less correlates with their production capacity and potential sales.
For instance, small herds of red deer are known to possess a better reproductive performance than large herds. When in small paddocks, dominant stags can hold more hinds in harems than they can mate. To be able to deal with this problem, herd size will need to be limited to 50–100 hinds when mating paddocks are of less than 10.
Quality of Stock
As a farmer in this line of business, this is a very vital factor to take into consideration because it will impact your eventual take home. Keep in mind that breeding and maintaining high-quality genetics will give rise to bigger, healthier deer, and this means that the farm will benefit from better prices in the market.
Nevertheless, don’t also forget that guaranteeing better quality of stock comes at its own cost but when achieved will mean better business for the farm and the farmer.
A bedrock of success in this line of business is to ‘provide everything deer need and nothing that they don’t’. Good deer health is important in both the welfare and profitability of the farm. For this reason, most farmers invest a substantial amount in animal health products.
Effective disease prevention and healthcare will in many ways reduce losses due to illnesses, and this means a more stable income stream.
Cost of Feed
Deer is renowned as a plant-eating animal and they tend to eat small plants, leaves of trees, and numerous types of grasses.
However, you have to understand that the eating habits of deer differ and will most often depend on their living condition. In wild nature, they are known to consume a wide range of plants and grasses. And in domestic nature, they eat the feed served by the farmer.
Keep in mind that changes in feed prices will most definitely impact the operational costs of deer farming, and this will affect profitability.
Deer farms are considered legal in eighteen states with no permit considered necessary. These states are Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, and Vermont.
In California, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, West Virginia, and Wisconsin, a license is mandatory to start and manage a deer farm. Adhering to local, state, and federal regulations will in many ways affect operational expenses and have a say in what products can be sold.
Climate and Geography
Weather conditions and regional suitability have ways of impacting breeding success, herd health, and overall profitability. Good nutrition is vital to boost conception rates and heighten weaning percentages. Weather permitting, deer will get more of their nutrients from good pasture, and all through the colder months, you have to inculcate matter.
Profit Margin Deer Farmers Make Yearly
As with the income of deer farmers, the profit margin for deer farmers will also vary and will most often depend on some of the factors noted above.
To ensure you have the right profit margin to attain sustained success in this line of business, consider factors such as operational efficiency, market demand, input costs, and management practices. Nevertheless, deer farmers are advised to aim for profit margins within 10% to 30%.
Deer farmers who remain successful will have to pay valid attention to optimizing their operations, managing costs, and staying current when it comes to market trends.
Deer farming has witnessed massive growth in recent years as demand for grass-fed, natural meats has increased. The exact amount deer farmers in the United States make yearly depends on a wide range of factors. Nevertheless, it is still important to pay valid attention to optimizing your operations, managing costs, and staying current when it comes to market trends.