Best way to make money off a lifestyle block?

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11 years 1 week ago #35110 by Mrt007
Hi there
I am new to this Forum and have been searching through old posts to find something that explains the ups and downs of different types of lifestock, I enjoyed ready through the perfect block topic but it didn't tell me what I was looking for other than pine trees are a no go. If this has already been discussed could someone point me in the right direction.
The reason I am asking is I am looking at purchasing a 30 acre block in Canerbury, flat land and life is too short to waste ten years learning by my mistakes if I can learn from yours. [:I][:I] I was raised on a Dairy farm (unfortunately the old man left the farm in the early nineties to grow tomatoes), I have bred chickens as a teenager and I breed and train gundogs now days. I had full intentions of doing free range chickens until my friend told me the feed cost kill the profit margins now days and he is looking at closing his free range place down.
I don't need the money to pay for the block but it would be nice.
Thank you all in advance for your time

So my questions for those who run their block with an intent to make money are
1. What livestock do you run or crops do you grow-
2. Does it turn a profit-
3. How labour intensive is it-
4. Are there any helpful places/websites to get info from-
5. How much capital outlay would you need to make initially-
6. How much prior animal husbandry would one require-
7. What is the most effective method you have found to make it profitable-
8. Are there hidden costs the novice needs to consider in their budget-
9. What have you tried which turned out to be a failure-
10. Further comments/advice-

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11 years 1 week ago #460882 by Aquila
Its a lifestyle block, you do it for the lifestyle, not the profit. You'll turn a profit if you put no cost on your time (you do it for free). Remember if you turn a profit you pay tax on it.

The only easy too make a small fortune from a lifestyle block is to start with a large fortune.

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11 years 1 week ago #460887 by Mrt007
Not what I would call a constructive post Aquila,
Like I said I don't need the money to help pay the mortgage but don't want to loose a heap of money either.

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11 years 1 week ago #460890 by eelcat
We run a business from our lifestyle block but it is not really the lifestyle block that makes the money, merely that we have the space here for a commercial kitchen and that we grow some fruit and veg for the jams and chutneys.

One of the good things about a lifestyle block is the money that it saves you. We haven't bought veg or fruit (apart from onions) since November and we haven't bought meat for years. We provide our own eggs and milk in season.

1 Border collie, 1 Huntaway, 2 Lhasa Apsos, Suffolk and arapawa ewe crosses, an Arapawa ram,an East Friesian ewe , 5 cats, 42 ducks , 1 rooster and 30 hens, 5 geese, 12 goats, 2 donkeys, 2 house cows, one heifer calf, one bull calf, 3 rabbits and lots and lots and lots of fruit trees...

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11 years 1 week ago #460891 by Mrt007
Thanks. Good way of putting it.

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11 years 1 week ago #460893 by Aquila

Mrt007;462548 wrote: Not what I would call a constructive post Aquila,
Like I said I don't need the money to help pay the mortgage but don't want to loose a heap of money either.

Tough. Your first post essentially asked how to make money from a lifestyle block. You got an answer, did you think every answer would be too your liking? If it was easy to make money from a lifestyle block, we'd all be doing it rather than posting on here.

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11 years 1 week ago #460899 by Gamehunter
Some people get "rich" by using a lifestyle block to become self sufficient at a lower cost than relying on retail commerce for goods and entertainment.
It is not so much how much you earn, but how little you spend.

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11 years 1 week ago #460901 by cowvet
Most "lifestyle blocks"" are heavily subsidised by an off farm income. Many lifestyles on commercial farms are subsidised by an off farm income. are you looking to work and do this part time or what?

If you work off the property then the last thing you want is something that is going to require a lot of labour and to be quite honest if you are looking for a success recipe from others then you are going about it the wrong way. You will need to have passion and commitment to your endeavour or it will never work and will cause a lot of grief.

30 acres - look to where your interests lie. Some might you about calf rearing...but if you work full time, the year is bad with regard to prices and costs...and you get scours through the shed it would be the worse possible advice.
If it purely about the financial success of the endeavour then if you cost in your labour there would be nothing I could think of that you will be happy with.

Negative? Been around to have seen plenty of lifestylers give it a go - those that succeed have passion. You need to find something you have a genuine interest and passion in and then get back to us!


I love animals...they're delicious

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11 years 1 week ago #460902 by max2
What rural enterprises do you like? I think that is a good way to start as you can't be doing something you hate.... and at times, working at home in a chosen environment has its low points and you strive hard to remember exactly why ''you'' wanted to do it in the first place..

For us, we have the forestry section currently being harvested. We are pre 1989 so that comes with different opting out rules, however it was an emotional purchase and not because of the trees. We are going to return most of the land to pasture for grazing, and will plant out the steep bits in natives.

As I left my off farm job in march, I have been raising bobby calves and I don't buy at the expensive end of the sales. I love calves over sheep any day, but I know of others who are doing the same with sheep.

Anyhow the outlay there is quality shelter (warm and dry), powdered milk formula, equipment such as calfaterias (I prefer the stallion make), a basic first aid supply from your friendly vet (after doing the annual interview), an account with the vet (for those emergencies), meal suitable for calves, plus suitable fencing & troughs for the meal. My younger calves also wear jackets (yes I am a softie but its a tough life for the wee things). Freely available access to water and yards.

At this stage I am not planning on selling them as weaners as the market is poor and after several weeks of filling up calfaterias twice a day, I want to make more than $200 per head so will keep them on.

I have bigger ones up the back, generally (very generally) depending on weight and breed, you could expect to sell a yearling (in our area) for between $650 - $850. I have a couple of murray grey crosses and angus crosses (older than yearlings but under 2) who would be weighing in around 400 kilos and at current prices could expect $1.90 - $2.00 per kilo ''ish''.
These guys are not just left ''up the back'' but are fed hay (grown on our property but baled by a contractor) on a daily basis (travel by quad bike), are drenched, 5 in 1'd, tagged, etc. When they go to the sales, they will be transported by a local stock transport contractor. Once again you need access to good quality yards and race.

the property is fertilised, another cost part and parcel of raising livestock. there are probably a million more things I could tell you about it, but nothing that hasn't already been said on this forum. :)

go for something you want to enjoy!

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11 years 1 week ago #460903 by kindajojo
Sorry got to agree with mrt007....unless you lifestyle is "making money" then you probably wont make money.
-particularly if you factor in a realistic payrate for yourself and covering the cost of your investment.
For example I spend an average of say 15 hours a week running the LSB which if I was paying myself for labour at my current offblock rate would mean I would be negative in a little over three weeks.
on that size your option would be intensive horticulture to make $$ at which point its a business.

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11 years 1 week ago #460908 by DiDi
You don't say where you are but if you have the money, you could also join all the Developers buying into decent sized LSB's in Auckland believing that somewhere in the distant future (I'm picking 30 years) you will make big money given the development of Auckland - and there will be! Who the hell is going to want to live in the mass slum - so people will be bolting out of Auckland to get grass under their feet.

If I were young and prepared to do the time, I would be seriously considering that as an option as you won't get that return from owning an LSB.

I did incidentally having owned one for 22 years that turned out to be a very sort after area but that was a bonus - not a plan 22 years ago. Now we have the option to consider it given Loopy Len's plan and the current Government's plan to bring another million people into Auckland. Just another option to consider - or get an outside job to support your chosen lifestyle. It isn't a cheap or easy choice.

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11 years 1 week ago #460915 by Mrt007
Ok then Cowvet i guess this whole exercise was a waste of time then. What I was hoping for was for people to tel me what they have tried, what was successfull and what wasn't, I love animals of all shapes and sizes and would be passionate and would research any decision I made that is why I started this thread. Research!!! I could just buy a block of land throw animals at it but that is not the way I do things. Yes I work full time, week on week off where I am away from home, but my partner and kids are at home. I will tell you what I am passionate about is my kids hence why I am trying to find a way to subsidise my income enough to move home and live with them full time. Subsidise my income enough so that my partner can work at home so if the kids are sick she can tend to them. I don't want this to be my sole source of income. I am a hard working thirty three year old trying to make something of my life and a brighter future for my kids. But the first response I got was a negative one. Why would I charge myself for my time. It is the one thing that is free and every hour that my 2,3 or four year old is with me while I am doing something on that block of land is worth far more than any money you could pay me.
There's the Passion!!!

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11 years 1 week ago #460916 by Mrt007

Aquila;462554 wrote: Tough. Your first post essentially asked how to make money from a lifestyle block. You got an answer, did you think every answer would be too your liking? If it was easy to make money from a lifestyle block, we'd all be doing it rather than posting on here.

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My post didn't ask how. It asked which is best. And I don't see anywhere that I said I wanted an easy option.

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11 years 1 week ago #460919 by Mrt007
Thanks Swaggie. Your advice is appreciated and noted

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11 years 1 week ago #460922 by KaiapoiKen
I afraid I agree with Aquila. If you think you are going to make money from your block, especially here in Canterbury you're dreaming. All of us have tried various things but most would agree that we finish up supplementing our income through what we grow/raise on the property. Sure, sometimes something works but that's very much the exception, just sit back and enjoy the lifestyle, the freedom, the quietness and being able to watch your kids do the things that are available for them to do in the country and not have to worry about the things urban-bred kids get up. to.

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