Livestock

Cattle, sheep, and goats are ruminants; they need to eat forage to be healthy. Hogs and poultry may thrive on pasture, but because they cannot digest cellulose, they require additional feed to be most productive. We highlight nutrition for all livestock as the fundamental building block of health and productivity. Pasture management is key to caring for the land as well as livestock, and encompasses strategies for pest, parasite, and predator management.

Profitable farm businesses focus on controlling costs and marketing the animals and livestock products through channels where pricing covers all production and business management expenses. Incorporating livestock into a crop farm (grains and pulses, vegetable, or orchard) can add organic matter and build soil fertility, provide new sources of income and farm resilience, and help with weed and pest control.  

Below, you’ll find practical information about things like working with a meat processor and direct marketing lamb, how to care for ruminants and manage pasture. Publications, podcasts, videos, and blogs posts provide information about getting started with livestock, low-cost infrastructure, basic production and marketing information, health care, and ideas for combining enterprises to get the most out of the land and your time.  

Sheep in a cradle during an ATTRA training

Featured Topics

ATTRA’s Livestock Resources

Lucy the sow getting back scratches
Bee hive
A flock of sheep heading to market
poultry netting
two sheep
Beef cattle in the pasture
Rack of lamb with undesirable tear in finish
a sow with piglets
Cows and goats grazing the same pasture