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

poultry in pasture
dairy goat grazing
poly-wire fence
chick
Two toms and hen lilac turkeys
Hereford cattle grazing on an ARS research range in Montana.
Cow and calf on a pasture in southern Iowa.
Measuring with grazing stick
goat
Livestock
lambs in cooler