Essential equipment for livestock owners includes a pickup, compact tractor, trailer, handcart and manure spreader. Because equipment is a large investment, buy the best quality available, and maintain the equipment in reliable condition to keep the equipment working for many years.
Livestock owners may need additional equipment depending on their type of operation. A livestock owner needs various planting and harvesting equipment to grow feed and a bush hog or mower to maintain pastures. Small equipment to consider includes syringes for giving medication, halters for restraining livestock, and a variety of electric and hand tools for small jobs around the farm.
Livestock owners should educate themselves on the proper care of their equipment. In cold climates, equipment may require heavier motor oil, fuel additives or access to electrical outlets to run engine heaters. In warm weather, an algaecide may be required if algae is forming on the fuel filters. Manure or wet material must be scraped out of manure spreaders to prevent freezing and damaging moving parts.
Before purchasing any equipment, livestock owners must consider if they can afford the purchase. Although the initial payment for the equipment is the largest expense, operating costs, including fuel and labor, add to the expense of owning the equipment. Livestock owners should also compare the stress of learning to operate the equipment to the effort saved by owning the equipment. Alternatives to purchasing equipment include hiring custom operators or renting equipment.