If you are looking for a cattle business to start with very little competition, then you may consider starting bison breeding. A bison is also known as an American buffalo; it was nicknamed bison to differentiate it from an African buffalo. Over the years, there has been an increase in demand for buffalo meat, as it was found to contain protein in large quantities and also low cholesterol.
The bison industry is less competitive than other livestock industries. Therefore, that is one of the reasons why anyone can enter the market and make money before it becomes very competitive in the next few years. This is a business that has recorded a high level of profitability. This is especially for those who know how to do things.
This article aims to serve as a simple guide for anyone who wants to start a bison farm. It contains basic details about what it takes to start the farm. You can be sure that you will move forward when you make these tips your own. So, let’s look at the following factors to consider in creating a bison farm.
Starting a Bison Farm Business
1. Develop a Business Plan
The first step towards starting a successful bison farm is to develop a business plan. What is a business plan? A business plan contains all the intricate details of how a business will operate. It contains defined details of the business; such as business objectives, business structure and business formation process.
In the case of a bison farm business, the business plan should contain the basics such as, the estimated capital you need to start the business, taking into consideration all the steps you will take in bison formation from the breeding stage to maturity and the amount of each stage will cost for each bison multiplied by the number of bison you want to grow on your farm.
2. Go to training
If this is your first time running a bison farm, then you may have to go through additional training to learn how to care for the bison. A bison is not a domesticated animal and can be temperamental if not properly cared for. That is why you need to know every detail involved in caring for them. The best way to learn about this is to spend a few months on a bison farm to become familiar with the entire process of managing a bison farm.
3. Raising capital for your business
Starting a bison farm can be capital intensive, you need to have already calculated the capital requirements needed to start and float the business until you start making returns. If the structure of the business takes into account the partners of the company, you can raise money with your partner(s) to run the business.
Another place to raise capital is through an angel investor. They only provide the capital necessary for the management of the company without having to intervene directly in the daily management of the company. You can look for the angel investor association in your state and reach them with your business plan.
One or two of the angel investors may be willing to invest in your business idea. If you decide to take a loan from the bank, you should consider the period it will take for a calf to grow into a mature bison ready for sale or to give birth to the female species, to help you plan the repayment.
4. Buying a farm
This business is a long term business, so it may require you to purchase your own land space to serve as your farm. You can also enter into a long-term lease if the capital you have cannot cover the proper purchase of a piece of land. The piece of land that will serve as your farm should be flat land and have enough pasture for your bison to graze on.
5 . Building a farm
After you lease the land, you need to fence the land around it with a gate on each side of the fence. Bison are strong animals, so the materials to build the fence should be strong materials, such as barbed wire, and the fence should be at least 6 feet high to prevent bison from jumping on it.
6. Purchase of farm equipment
You need to order the equipment you will need to take care of your bison such as, rake, shovel, wheelbarrow, water scoop. These are very basic and important tools that should be purchased at the beginning.
7. Buying You Bison
It is advisable to start with calves if you are running a farm for the first time. This is because it is easier to train a calf and make it less violent than when you buy mature bison. Also, it will give you enough time to become familiar with your calves before they mature into bison.
You can buy calves from bison farmers at your location. It is advisable to see a Veterinary Doctor to perform a series of tests on the calves to make sure they are free of disease, since it will be a disadvantage for you to buy sick calves.
8. Employer’s Workers
You can’t run a bison farm alone, you’ll need some helping hands to take care of every aspect of your calf’s care on a daily basis. You can hire a bison trainer to help tame your calves from the beginning to make them more violent.
9. Market your business
It takes 3 to 5 years for a calf to mature into a bison, while the female species begins to give birth from the third year. You can contact the large restaurants and hotels that sell bison cuisine to supply them with the meat, you can also source people who buy the animal and supply the restaurants. You can also sell young calves to bison farmers to earn money.