Planning a ‘mooove’ to the West Country and looking to keep cattle on a smallholding or farm? If so, we’ve highlighted five key things you should bear in mind when it comes to buying land suitable for cattle…
Whether you intend to keep cattle for showing success or supplying milk to the dairy industry, knowing why you want to keep cattle forms the basis of any decision surrounding the purchase of land.
The purpose will help you to establish how much land you need, how many sheds and if you require extra space to cater for future growth. For example, do you vision producing and selling your own dairy or meat products?
If the answer’s yes, then you’ll need to take into account additional space for equipment, such as a creamery, and a suitable location that has good public access for when it comes to selling your products.
Size of farm
Planning to keep a few bullocks to maintain grass, or a medium-sized herd for milk production? Knowing how many cows you want (and need to give you revenue) is essential to determining the number of acres and sheds you’ll need and the price you’ll pay.
Looking to start off with a smallholding? An 18-acre farm with five-bed bungalow and outbuildings in the heart of the Tamar Valley, an Area of Natural Beauty bordering Devon and Cornwall, will cost just under £500,000 (click here to see property); great value if you’re looking for space for your family and a few cows!
Meanwhile, if you’re aiming to set up a large-scale dairy or beef farm, a five-bed house with 100+ acres will be into seven figures.
NB: Bear in mind the rule-of-thumb, which states around 1.5 to 2 acres is needed to feed two cows!
Type of acreage
No matter if your farm or smallholding is 50 acres or 100 acres, you’ll want the best pasture for your cattle to graze on or for crops to grow their winter food on.
The type of land you buy will affect the output and quality of your cattle; you’ll be pleased to know the soil types across the South West are suited to the vast majority of cattle breeds.
If you want more information about soil types, check out the Soilscapes viewer as supported by Defra: http://www.landis.org.uk/soilscapes/
Keeping cattle is a full-time commitment, so when it comes to buying a farm or smallholding you’ll want somewhere you can keep stock all year around.
Fortunately, the South West’s mild climate means cattle can be grazed outside for the large majority of the year, but you’ll need housing for those winter months, especially if you plan to keep dairy cows.
A smallholding with sheds will be hugely beneficial, but have no fear if there aren’t any because there are other options. For example, is there space available and the possibility to gain planning permission for the housing of livestock? This is another route many farmers take to cater for their cows.
What does the future hold for you? Already thinking about owning a large dairy herd, growing your own crops and installing revolutionary equipment to cater for a bigger output? Whether you’re looking for a smallholding or farm, always consider your next steps to save you having to uproot and restart your dream elsewhere.
Looking at moving to Devon or Cornwall, to buy a farm or property with land, get in touch with West Country Dream, on 07816 514667 or visit our contact page.