Do you want to make money by starting a livestock farming business? If YES, here are 50 best livestock farming & animal related small business ideas for 2020.

Livestock farming is known to be the rearing of animals for food and for other human uses. The word Livestock was formally applied to only animals like cattle or dairy cows, chickens, goats, pigs, horses, sheep, in fact, all four-legged animals in general, but today, even animals like exotic birds, snails, fishes and insects such as bees are being raised as part of livestock farming.

Why Start a Livestock Farming Business?

Livestock is beneficial to the world because they provide food, meat, milk, eggs, honey, omega 3 oil, etc for the use of humanity. The skins or hides and even hair of these animals have been used to make blankets, clothing, shoes and the like.

The livestock industry is known to be very profitable right from time because the business can be started with little or no training and as well as very small capital. You do not need a special degree to start this business though you may need to spend some time learning about the intricacies of the particular niche you want to go into.

If you do not mind getting your hands dirty, or if you prefer to make a living through animals, here are 50 livestock related business ideas you can start and make quite a tidy income from.

50 Best Animal / Livestock Farming Business ideas for 2020

1. Snail Farming

Snail is an animal in the mollusk family, and snail farming is the process of raising land snails specifically for human consumption. The nutrients in this animal is what informed its production and high consumption. Snails are quite rich in protein, iron and almost all the amino acids that are needed for in the human body, and additionally, it has little or no fat content.

The demand for snails is increasing day by day globally not only by consumers, but also the cosmetics industry as snail slime has been discovered to be great for the skin in reducing aging and repairing damaged skin. The profit margin is also extremely high in commercial snail farming.

Snail farming business opportunity demands discipline and specific knowledge in modern technology. The demand for snails both in domestic and export market is higher than supply because not a lot of people are into this business.

2. Bee keeping

This foul tempered insect has been serving the needs of humans since the beginning of time. A lot has been said about the healing properties of honey, which is a bee by-product. With the increasing awareness of the health benefits of honey, the demand has increased exponentially.

Bees are reared for their honey and other by-products like beeswax, and this is a profitable venture that can be started with very minimal startup capital. You don’t need to have land or any establishment to start the beekeeping business, but the business demands day-to-day monitoring with close supervision of the bees.

3. Commercial fish farming: fish is one commodity that would constantly be in demand because of its high nutrient content. With the various modes of preservation, the farmer is assured of not incurring any loss to his or her investments.

Commercial fish farming business is a lucrative investment that can spin money at any time of the year on a regular basis. With the implementation of modern techniques and owing the proper land mass, an entrepreneur can start this business with moderate capital investment.

4. Livestock feed production business: it is a fact that livestock needs to eat, and a lot of them are known to consume a lot of food especially during their growth phase. If you are familiar with the technicalities surrounding the mixing of formula, then you can comfortably start this business and make good profits out of it.

It is a fact that livestock farmers are always searching for the right food and food supplementary products that would help them increase yield and reduce diseases. If you can help in this regard then you would have no problems marketing you livestock feed.

5. Quail farming: quails are very little birds that produce very nutritious eggs. Commercial quail farming is all about raising quails commercially for the purpose of profitable egg and meat production. Recently, a lot of people have come to discover the amazing health benefits of quail egg and a lot of people are now going into quail egg farming. Depending on how you decide to go about it, the quail egg farming business can be started with very minimal capital, even less than $200.

6. Livestock research institute: Livestock research institute works to improve food security through research for better and more sustainable use of livestock. The outcomes of these research help people to keep their farm animal’s alive and productive, increase and sustain their livestock and farm productivity, find profitable markets for their animal products, and reduce the risk of livestock-related diseases. This business can be quite capital intensive, but it is very rewarding especially as you can seek research grants from the government.

7. Shrimp farming: Shrimps, though small in nature, but it a very profitable business in the aquaculture industry. In fact, it is estimated to be a multi-million dollar industry today, and any individual can make a six figure income from his or her small-scale shrimp farm.

One other fact about this business is that you do not need a lot of education to start this business, but you must have some technical skill about the farm management practice. In addition, the business demands dedication, routine checkup and monitoring.

You must have the right knowledge about equipment, larvae, supplies, medicine, feed, feeders etc for you to succeed in the business. The business has immense export potentials because not all countries produce shrimps in commercial quantities.

8. Fish Hatchery: the success of the fish farming business is dependent on the hatching process as if the process does not go well, it might affect the quality of fish or shell fish produced. A fish hatchery is a place for artificial breeding, hatching and rearing of fin fish and shellfish in particular. Hatcheries produce larval and juvenile fish primarily to support the aquaculture. You can start a hatchery and sell your juveniles to fish farms if you are familiar with the technicalities.

9. Piggery: pork is one meat that most people can’t do without, and this makes pig rearing a very lucrative business. If you have sufficient land mass at your disposal, you can start a piggery business. Among the various livestock species, piggery is the most potential source of meat and pigs are very efficient feed converters. Pig farming can be started with little experience and small investment as long as the entrepreneur already has land at his or her disposal.

10. Chicks Hatchery: birds are another animal that you can start a hatchery business for. Chicks hatchery business involves incubating eggs until they hatch. You can then sell the hatched chicks to poultry farmers. It is a fact that a lot of poultry farmers do not have the capacity to hatch their own chicks, so you could provide this service to them for a fee, or you could buy the eggs from the poultry farmers, hatch the chicks and sell them back to the farmers. This is a highly profitable business to start with a small capital and no specialized knowledge is required.

11. Dairy Farming: milk is a society staple and as at today, the world cannot do without milk. Commercial dairy farming is all about raising dairy cows for their milk, and it is a very profitable agricultural business idea. Apart from milk, the cows produce a good quantity of manure that you can sell and make profit from. You can help increase your state’s milk production through profitable dairy farming.

12. Goat Farming: Goats are one very resilient animal that are raised mainly for their meat and sometimes milk because their milk is said to be very high in protein and other vitamins more than cow’s milk. Due to its good economic prospects, goat rearing under an intensive and semi-intensive system for commercial production has been gaining momentum for the past couple of years.

13. Fodder Farming for Goats and Cows: Fodder is any agricultural foodstuff used specifically to feed domesticated livestock, especially ruminants such as horses, pigs, cattle and goats. The term fodder typically means food given to animals, rather than the food they forage for themselves. Types of plants typically grown for fodder include alfalfa, barley, oats, clover, grass and wheat.

If you have a good landed are, you could decide to plant fodder crops and sell them to livestock farmers to use for their animals. If you don’t own land of your own and want to get into baling, meet with local farmers who grow their own oats, barley and wheat, and offer to bale the crops for them.

14. Livestock Consulting: if you are quite knowledgeable in livestock farming, you could set up a business offering targeted advice to livestock farmers about their business. As with other consulting services, livestock consulting requirement is surely expected to grow with coming days. People with experience and knowledge in a specified field of farming activity can consider offering consulting services to organizations and farmers.

15. Ostrich farming: ostrich is a very huge bird that produces more meat than any other bird. Ostrich meat is by far the healthiest alternative to our traditional meat. It has lower fat, calories and cholesterol than beef, chicken, turkey pork and fish.

While chicken, turkey and other birds are referred to as white meat, ostrich meat in contrast is referred to as red meat because it is similar in colour and taste to beef. If properly managed, a single female ostrich can produce up to 72,000 kilograms of meat, 2,000 square meters of leather and 2,000 kilograms of feathers during her economic (productive) lifetime.

Compared to other traditional farm animals (cattle, goats, pigs, fish, chicken and turkey), ostriches are quite easy to raise and most ostrich farm projects turn out to be very successful. Apart from a few farms in South Africa, North America, Europe and Asia, ostriches are probably the least farmed birds in the world.

16. Turkey farming: Turkeys found in cold rooms and food marts are as a result of commercial turkey production, and it is indeed a profitable business idea. Turkey grows faster like broiler chickens and become suitable for slaughter within a very short time, thus making it suitable for business.

Raising turkey for meat is more popular than raising turkey for their eggs. Turkey farming is similar to other poultry birds farming like chickens, ducks, quails etc. For profitable meat production, you have to use some modern turkey breeds that are raised for commercial production. These types of turkey breeds have a maximum feed to meat conversion rate. They consume less feed and convert this feed to meat within a very short time.

17. Turtle farming: Turtle farming is the process of breeding, hatching, and raising turtles for sale to the pet and food industries. The turtle farming industry is believed to have originated in the United States in the 1940s as people started breeding turtles harvested from wild populations.

Today, turtle farmers in the United States supply turtles to the pet and food industries in North America and Asia. Turtles are routinely eaten in Asia and in some rural parts of North America. Farms that raise healthy, disease-free baby turtles are relatively common in the United States, and most of these turtles are sold as pets in the market.

18. Meal worm farming: Protein is one of the most expensive supplements to buy for animals, and yet it is an essential component of any omnivore’s diet, whether they are pig, poultry, canine, or others. Mealworms are said to be one of the easiest, cheapest, and most space efficient ways to raise protein for your animals. You can raise these worms easily in commercial quantities in a small space and sell them to farmers.

19. Ladybug farming: One of the most friendly bugs today which paved the way for larger crop production is none other than the ladybug. Instead of using chemicals and fertilizers which damage the soil, plants and the health of human beings, a ladybug is one of the best alternatives.

Ladybugs are one of the best forms of integrated pest management that handles common garden pests. Ladybugs feed on aphids and they are said to be able to eat up to 50 aphids in just one day. You can farm these bugs and sell them to farmers.

20. Knacker’s yard business: Slaughterhouses that process meat not intended for human consumption are sometimes referred to as knacker’s yards or knackeries. Knackers usually slaughter animals that are not fit for consumption or can no longer work on a farm such as work horses that can no longer work.

21. Rainbow Trout fish farming: Trout is the common name for a number of species of freshwater fish, and a majority of the rainbow trout available in the market today is raised in a commercial farm. Trout is a cold water fish, and it grows fast if you take good care of it. They are also highly resilient. The taste and texture of the farmed fish is similar to wild-caught fish so people would not know the difference.

Raising rainbow trout commercially is a profitable alternative to conventional agriculture and it can be practiced with very little land, provided that water conditions in the facility and the care and feeding of the trout are properly maintained.

22. Maggot farming: Maggot farming is the act of growing maggots for the industry. Maggots are used to feed fish and poultry and they are easier to raise than worms. They are a nutritious, natural food that is rich in protein. A variety of species of fly can be used to raise the maggots, including the black soldier fly as well as various other fly species. Due to convenience, fly species are often used which are indigenous to the area of cultivation. These maggots are fed on organic waste materials before being harvested and dried into a natural and sustainable animal feed.

23. Slaughterhouse or abattoir business: A slaughterhouse or abattoir is a facility where animals are slaughtered for consumption as food. Slaughterhouses first slaughter the animals or birds sent to them before they are shipped off for packaging. Slaughter houses are strictly regulated to prevent contamination of meat, and to prevent them from killing sick animals.

24. Farmers market: A farmers market is a physical retail marketplace intended to sell foods directly by farmers to consumers. One can start a farmers market that caters exclusively to livestock and poultry, or you could start a business akin to a livestock exchange.

25. Abalone farming: Abalone is a common name for any of a group of small to very large sea snails, marine gastropod mollusks. It is known to be a delicacy in China, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Canada and in some countries in Latin America.

In the past years, this mollusk is often served as a luxury meal. Most of the time, it is served in big weddings, birthdays and other big events. These days though, it is served even in the most common restaurants in these countries. The abalone has proven to be a relatively easily cultured shellfish and you can make a lot of profits from farming this shell fish.

26. Oyster farming: As consumers throughout North America have discovered the culinary appeal of this humble mollusk, and aquaculturists who can grow high-quality oysters efficiently are reaping the rewards. The average oyster contains close to 2 grams of protein. A serving of 12 oysters contains 21.96 grams of protein, with only about 4 grams of fat.

Oysters are low in cholesterol and rich in zinc, iron, calcium, and vitamin A. Oysters start out as larvae, so small that they are invisible to the naked eye. In about a year, they can grow to 1 – 1-1/2 inches. They usually reach market size within 18 months to 2 years’ time.

27. Broiler: Generally, highly meat productive birds or poultry breeds are called broiler poultry, but broiler chicken is a special species of poultry. The broiler chicken has been modified in a scientific way to enable it produce more meat in a short time, so basically, broiler is a type of poultry reared only for meat production. Broilers today have emerged as one of the fastest growing poultry segments, and it is very profitable because of the less maturation time.

28. Freshwater Prawn farming: A freshwater prawn farm is an aquaculture business designed to raise and produce freshwater prawn or shrimp for human consumption. Prawns are typically harvested from fresh water, so they can be easily farmed. It takes approximately 6 months for prawns to grow to harvesting size, so they would not tie down your capital much. The good thing about this business is that it is not capital intensive.

29. Veterinary business: Veterinary medicine is the branch of medicine that deals with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease, disorder and injury in non-human animals. The scope of veterinary medicine is wide, covering all animal species, both domesticated and wild, and it takes care of a wide range of conditions which can affect different species.

30. Tilapia fish: According to the National Fisheries Institute, tilapia fish has climbed to become the fourth most eaten seafood in the U.S., behind only shrimp, salmon and canned tuna. The fish has become the third most important fish in aquaculture after carp and salmon with worldwide production exceeding 1,500,000 metric tons in 2002. Keep in mind that tilapia need five things to grow fast and healthy and they are clean water, oxygen, food, light, and room to swim.

31. Horse breeding: Horse breeding is particularly the human-directed process of selective breeding of horses, particularly purebred horses of a given breed. Planned mating can be used to produce specifically desired characteristics in domesticated horses.

The use of modern breeding management and technologies can increase the rate of conception, a healthy pregnancy, and successful foaling. Horse breeding as a business is quite tasking as you need to meet the exact required specifications before you can get what you need.

32. Camel Farming: camel is one animal that is quite useful all round. Camels provide milk, meat, hair for textiles or goods such as felted pouches, and as such it is a profitable animal to farm. Camel farming is popular in Australia, North America, Africa and Asia Pacific countries. Many countries in Africa and Asia depend on camels to supply most of their needs from transportation to milk and meat.

33. Carp Fish Farming: Common carp farming is a very profitable business. However, you must maintain the right fish management system before you can get the best out of this fish. Some common species of the fish include silver carp, grass carp, bighead carp, black carp, common carp etc.

34. Crab Farming: crabs are very popular crustaceans, and they are very nutritious and delicious foods. Mud crab farming is a lucrative business, and it demands very small investment when compared to others. Mud crab has huge demand and price in the international market. The red claw and green mud crab are the two species of crabs available for commercial farming.

35. Deer Farming: deer has started getting farmed for commercial purposes, but it should be noted that not all countries allow deer farming. However, it is a profitable business that you can start from your backyard. Compared to traditional livestock, the deer industry is booming. Also, raising deer maximizes land potential so that even small tracts of marginal property can be used to raise the animal.

36. Duck Farming: Duck farming or duckery is a profitable business that can thrive in any location, even your backyard. This is because you can keep ducks without having any water body around. Duck rearing gives steady income on daily basis. Duck rearing does not require elaborate housing like poultry, and the ducks eat fallen grains in harvested paddy fields, insects, snails, earthworms, other small fishes etc.

37. Emu Farming: The emu is the second-largest living bird by height. Emus are soft-feathered, brown, flightless birds with long necks and legs, and can reach up to 1.9 metres (6.2 ft) in height. The bird is mostly considered a big chicken, though its meat resembles and tastes like beef. The males grunt like a pig and both genders love to roll around in the mud. Major emu growing countries are USA, Australia, France, China, Japan, European countries, Malaysia and India.

38. Layer Poultry Farming: Layer poultry farming means raising egg-laying poultry birds for the purpose of commercial egg production. There are various types of highly egg productive layer breeds available throughout the world. They start laying eggs commercially from 18-19 weeks of age. They even continue to lay eggs till their 72-78 weeks of age.

39. Ornamental Fish Farming: Ornamental fish are flashy fishes that are kept in aquariums in homes as pets. About 7.2 million houses in the USA and 3.2 million in the European Union have an aquarium and the number is increasing day by day throughout the world.

Ornamental fish farming is also growing to meet this demand. Today, Ornamental fish farming has become one of the most profitable business ventures in the world. This is a kind of small-scale fish farming that can be done in a backyard and one can still make some good bucks out of it.

40. Marketing livestock Products: Maybe you don’t want to get your hands dirty, and would like to put your internet and business marketing skills to work. Livestock farmers can always use a hand in marketing their products. If you are a marketing expert, then one of the livestock related business ideas you could consider should be a marketing consultant to area farms.

In addition to consulting, you can market livestock products by reselling products online or locally, becoming a drop ship distributor, designing websites and offering search engine optimization etc.

41. Rabbit Farming: Rabbits are popular for their wools. Rabbits are highly prolific and a good female can produce 25 to 30 kits (young ones) per year. In addition, rabbits are the best producers of wool on per kg body weight basis. They require 30 percent less digestible energy to produce one kg of wool as compared to sheep.

42. Start a cold room business: The demand for frozen livestock products is increasing globally. An entrepreneur living in a metro or suburban city can start this business with proper planning. Cold storage is essential for extending the shelf life and period of marketing of poultry and other meat products in order to avoid rot and maintenance of quality of the products. Therefore, the cold storage industry has an important role to play in reducing the wastage of perishable products.

43. Pet Birds Farming: Another livestock farming business you can consider is pet birds farming. In this case, you will be breeding birds for pet purposes and other domestic use, but never for consumption. Examples of pet birds include Parrots, Doves, Pigeons, Peafowls (Peacocks and Peahens), etc.

44. Worm farming: worms are very beneficial to farmers, sadly not all farms have enough of them. Because worms have an important role to play in maintaining soil fertility, there is a huge and steady market for them. Worm farming is the easiest way of turning fruit and vegetable scraps into a great potting soil or soil amendment for your house plants or garden. Worm farming is specifically vital and useful for people who will like to compost their food scraps but do not have vacancy for backyard compost bin.

42. Guinea pig farming: Breeding guinea pig is very lucrative and rewarding because they are very prolific. First of all, mating them is very simple. Rearing them is as well easy and at the end of the day, you will smile as you watch these little creatures grow and develop. Just ensure that you will be capable of providing good homes for the babies when you sell them.

43. Sheep Farming: Sheep are raised mainly for their wool, milk, skin and manure production. Additionally, sheep meat is very tasty, nutritious and popular in a lot of countries. Basically, sheep farming business is a great source of income and it is beneficial for eradicating poverty from the barren, desert, semi-arid and mountainous areas. The most lucrative aspect of this business is that you don’t need to have a huge capital investment to start a sheep farming business.

44. Finishing Enterprise: a finishing enterprise is a business that produces livestock, especially cattle of a specific grade. In a finishing enterprise, 700 to 900-pound feeder cattle are fed to reach a market weight of approximately 1,100 to 1,200 pounds. Traditionally, a finishing enterprise requires a large amount of grain feeding to produce a grade beef animal.

There is some demand for grass-fed beef cattle, which only receive mother’s milk and grass pasture or hay throughout their lives. Beef cattle usually reach market weight at 15 to 30 months of age. A finishing enterprise buys off cattle from farmers at a specifics stage and rears them to the required weight before they are sent to the slaughter.

45. Cow-Calf business: a cow-calf business mainly breeds cows in order to sell their calf. The calves are sold at approximately six months of age and at 500 pounds. Some cattle producers raise purebred or seedstock cows. The young bulls produced are sold as breeding stock to commercial cattle producers, which raise cattle for meat production. Cow-calf enterprises require adequate feed to maintain the cows throughout the year, and facilities for raising the cow and calf pairs.

46. Feeder Calf or Stocker Enterprises: After weaning, calves are called feeder calves. Ranchers or farmers raising feeder calves purchase the weaned calves and raise them to 700 to 900 pounds. This type of operation works well if pasture, grazing land or abundant hay is available.

A specific type of feeder calf enterprise is called backgrounding, where a farmer or rancher purchases calves at weaning time and cares for the calves during the transition from weaning to finishing. Sound health management and nutritional practices are required for backgrounding calves. After one to six months in a backgrounding program, the calves are sold to finishing operations.

47. Meat Processing: Meat processing is the use of machines to process and package meat that is to be taken to the market. Commercial meat processing is a capital-intensive business, because all processed meat products must in one way or another be physically and/or chemically treated. Additionally, you must have proper distribution and marketing strategies before initiating the business.

Ejike Cynthia

Head of Research / Chief Editor at Profitable Venture Magazine Ltd
Cynthia is a writer and editor with a quirky sense of humor. She has a background in journalism with years of experience in freelance writing, copy editing and business research. Cynthia has a B.sc in Mass Communication and a higher degree in Personnel Mgt.
Ejike Cynthia