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Ranches 101: How to Manage Texas Hill Country Ranches

By Rodger Ciliberto Subscribe to RSS | May 23rd 2012 | Views:

Take a break from watching those old Westerns; ranch management is more than that. It’s okay to sit back and enjoy what Mother Nature has to offer once in a while, but if you want to make the most of it, you need to know how to care for your ranch.

Know your livestock and their needs. You don’t give the same food to all your cattle, goats, and horses. In fact, one animal breed may have different needs from another breed. Like people, animals also have different temperaments; understand how you can deal with the quiet and shy Mimi, as opposed to Moo-Moo who likes to roam around the ranch a lot. Look for nearby stores where you can buy food and other supplies for your livestock.

Know what equipment you need. Decide whether you want to rent, borrow, or buy farm equipment. The first two choices are ideal if you’re going to use the equipment temporarily. Consider the quality of the equipment, and how these can aid production efficiency.

Set a daily routine. If you live on your ranch, the sight and smell of plants and animals are likely the first things that greet you in the morning. You may find ranch duties tiresome if you don’t know whether it’s better to milk the cows before feeding the chickens, or vice versa. Set cleaning duties at the end of the day; if minor cleanups are necessary the morning after, do them as efficiently as you can.

Get help. Eventually, your Texas Hill Country ranch will grow, and so will your responsibilities. Set a budget for the people who’ll feed the animals, another group of people to keep the ranch clean, and yet another to keep out predators. Look for competent and trustworthy personnel who genuinely care for your animals. Make it a point to visit your ranch regularly for inspection, even with your busy schedule.

Consider the possibilities. If you purchased your Texas Hill Country ranch originally to raise livestock, you can think about whether to open it to visitors. You can earn extra money courtesy of your guests, on top of your normal earnings on your farm animals. If you think the ranch has appreciated to its “best value”, consider renting it to third parties.

Managing Texas Hill Country ranches isn’t easy but can be rewarding. Being a ranch owner or caretaker opens up an opportunity to experience a lifestyle to which you’re not accustomed. For more information, read

Rodger Ciliberto - About Author:
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