Creating an income on a hobby farm

8 posts

Member for

12 years 9 months
Last seen: 03/08/2018 - 21:05
Joined: 09/23/2011 - 16:27

Creating an income on a hobby farm


I have 200 acres north of Crows Nest in Queensland and am looking to try an earn an income off the property. I do run some Hereford cattle, which I really enjoy. We are about to sell off the calves from last year.

I would like to spend more time on the farm and are looking at ways to create more income there. We do not live on the property.

Has anyone raised goats and who do you sell them to afterwards?

Another idea was growing some crops, however water is limited and that would be much more labour intensive.

Any ideas or advice would be appreciated.


Last seen: 12/26/2018 - 09:21
Joined: 05/31/2011 - 09:44

Hi Linda,

You ask a question that many hobby farmer's want the answer to. My general advice is to look at an intensive industry or something that can generate a high value per hectare even if it is long term.

This may be a little left field and I have no experience in growing it but Pongam Tree (Pongamia pinnata) may be worth some further research for your small holding. Its seeds contain oils and fatty acids suitable for biodiesel. It is suited from 500-2500mm of rainfall, fast growing, drought hardy once established, grows on a range of soils (including saline), is leguminous (fixes its own nitrogen). It does not tolerate temperatures below freezing. It sounds good on paper, however a crushing plant and or biodiesel refinery would need to be in the vacinity of your farm to make it work 

Click here for information on Pongam Tree.


Last seen: 03/08/2018 - 21:05
Joined: 10/01/2011 - 10:46

There are also some ideas on how to make money from hobby farming, here. I wish I had the answer to this question as I would give away my day job and make a sustainable living from my farm and be a lot less stressed. 

Last seen: 09/17/2019 - 18:07
Joined: 11/23/2011 - 09:38
Hi Linda,

If you are thinking about running goats on your small farm, you should consider the following:

1. How much water is available? A dry goat in winter drinks about 4lt of water per day. When lactating or on very dry pasture anything up to 10lt per day. Cattle will drink 60lt or more when lactating and 40 - 50lt when dry.

2. What sort of pasture is there and is there any browse available (goats will eat shrubbery and woody weeds). Ideally if given the choice, goats would like 80% browse i.e. shrubbery and woody weeds and 20% grazing. However, they will do fine on just pasture. Note that Sally Wattle is poisonous to stock but not other types of wattle. Goats can’t exist on just wattle though as it is high in tannin which stops them absorbing protein if eaten in large quantities.

3. Fencing. This needs to be suitable for goats. An ordinary barbed wire fence will not contain goats. They need either hinge joint or similar or if you have existing barbed wire fences (as I assume you do) then this can be adapted for goats fairly easily and inexpensively, by adding 1 earth wire at the bottom about 6cm from the ground and 1 live 20cm above that and then running two more live in between the two lower barbed wires. An energiser is  needed to run this fence and they are available at you rural
supplier at a reasonable price. You can either run them on solar power ornmains power depending what is available on your block. Full details andndiagrams of how to set up this system and the answer to your other queries are in my book Farming Meat Goats: Breeding, Production and Marketing. By Barbara Vincent.

4. Regarding selling goats if you have a look in the Queensland Country Life there are usually buyers in there wanting goats. There is quite a good domestic and export market for them. Many butchers also sell goat meat so you can always approach local ones in your area and ask them about local interest in goat meat.

Last seen: 03/08/2018 - 21:05
Joined: 09/23/2011 - 16:27

Thanks for your advice everyone. Our farm frosts each winter so Pongam trees are out. Good suggestion though.

Selling Australian flowers to Japan sounds interesting. I will look into that.

I am available to work on the farm fulltime now so I am looking further into breeding goats and sheep. I will have a look at a couple of farms and look at their fencing before we construct our own fences. Our farm is an old dairy so it has some good grazing areas, however there are also some rougher areas that should have good pickings for goats. We have enough water for livestock.

Now to get to work with my ideas!

Last seen: 04/04/2020 - 09:06
Joined: 04/04/2020 - 08:55

Hi there,

We have 200 acres in the New England region of NSW. We don’t live there and only visit every few months. My parents in law live close though, and check on the property every week or so. The main reason for posting is that I’d like a few suggestions on how to potentially make a few dollars on the property. Here’s a few facts about it;

- Property is barb wire fenced
- Plenty of natural waterholes
- 70% scrub, some open wild grass areas
- Lots of granite rock
- Frost during winter
- No power / town water / sewage etc

Any ideas are welcomed!


Last seen: 01/18/2021 - 09:22
Joined: 01/09/2018 - 16:59

Barb such great advice. And you are right, I am new to the hobby farm lifestyle.

Last seen: 06/21/2024 - 11:59
Joined: 02/28/2011 - 14:19

Hi Katie

Welcome to the small farm forum and thanks for the question.

I will post your question to our Facebook discussion group (one of the members on there may have some further  And local knowledge), the link is below:


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