Own business: reindeer herding

* The calculations use the average data for the World

In Russia, agriculture is currently in a deplorable state, but some of its species practically do not develop at all. This includes reindeer husbandry, which is traditionally considered an occupation of the indigenous peoples of the north. However, reindeer breeding is possible in other regions, moreover, in the north, completely available opportunities are not used, in connection with which we can say that this direction is accessible to many more novice entrepreneurs. Of course, there will be a lot of difficulties in this type of business, and in addition to managing it, you will have to think about developing a marketing campaign aimed at promoting reindeer husbandry products throughout the country, and doing it alone is practically impossible, and it will be necessary to work together with other entrepreneurs. However, the opening prospects should convince the businessman that this niche is a great way to make money. Especially if she receives state support.

To get started, you must register as a business entity. Here, registration of a peasant farm (peasant farm) is best suited, because by its very nature it is very close (legally) to individual entrepreneurship. That is, there is an analogue of a simplified taxation system - a single agricultural tax, and the registration itself is not difficult. Registering a legal entity makes sense only if it is planned to open a large enterprise with a different profile of work. In general, registration does not require more than a month of time, and money is unlikely to be more than 10 thousand. Also, if peasant farms are registered, it is worth contacting the local administration to clarify information on available benefits, in some regions support programs are funded by the local government. Next, you need to contact your local veterinary service to obtain permission to conduct their household. Particular requirements are placed on farmers who plan to raise deer for slaughter, that is, for the production of meat. In this case, the veterinarians even visit the farm and check the correctness of the slaughter (here the requirements will be put forward by the service itself, which I had to contact), not to mention the fact that it will be necessary to provide samples of their products for laboratory research. Obtaining this permission can be especially difficult for many farms, so it’s good to have an experienced reindeer breeder already working at the farm by that time, who knows these animals well, understands how to care for them and knows all their diseases and can eliminate the problems that arise. For assistance in obtaining certificates, you can contact a specialized office that is preparing for licensing activities, but this company will require additional funds for its work.

Reindeer husbandry can be founded for different purposes, and only experienced farms combine several directions at once. The most obvious solution is to raise deer for meat and by-products, which include horns and skins. Some pharmacological companies purchase products of slaughter waste for their needs (for example, antlers), skins may be of interest to industrial enterprises, taxidermists and hunters, but it can be very difficult to sell meat in Russia. Still, only a few restaurants buy venison, which prepare exotic dishes, and in the life of a deer only the very northern peoples eat it; in central Russia it is rather difficult to meet a person who at least once tried venison. There is practically no demand for this meat in this country, but quite a few companies in Europe will be happy to buy Russian venison. The fact is that in Russia the largest number of deer, even in the Scandinavian countries, in which deer is considered to be a familiar agricultural animal, they are raised many times less. Therefore, there is a demand for meat abroad, but here you need to have a huge amount of evidence and conclusions in order to be able to export such products. However, if you engage in a marketing company, you can instill a love for this delicious and dietary meat in your own country, only this is a very long-term and complex project. In general, in terms of taste, venison can well compete with traditional types of meat. But there are other options for developing your business. Very often, deer are raised for hunting, many breeders are engaged in reindeer husbandry in order to subsequently raise animals to launch on the territory where hunters are shooting them. Today this is almost the simplest and most profitable direction, and from a legal point of view, not a single law is violated - animals are delivered to a fenced area, they do not affect the population of wild deer, and hunters hunt according to established requirements. Another option is livestock breeding, that is, raising deer for the subsequent sale of live animals. You can deliver them to other countries, and sell them in your country. If you find a sufficient number of consumers, then this type of business can be very profitable. And finally, animals can be raised for ecotourism, there is a special interest in deer as beautiful animals, and many people visit reindeer herding farms just to see the deer live and even ride them. That is, there are several directions, and each entrepreneur, if one of these areas has not justified itself, can switch to the other.

First you need to find territory for your farm. Deer are rarely kept in enclosed pens, they are usually provided with a considerable area - this allows animals to feel great in captivity and, most importantly, to feed on their own. Of course, additional food will be required, but not in those quantities if you had to keep the deer in a small area. Need a plot of several hectares at least, for a large herd, the bill goes to tens of hectares. Here, the entrepreneur himself determines the size of his farm from which he is ready to start a business, of course, a beginner should advise opening a relatively small farm. The cost of renting one hectare of land will vary greatly depending on the region, by the way, deer can be raised not only in the northern regions, but also in central Russia. However, here the land will be more expensive, traditional taiga and tundra regions for reindeer husbandry are not very expensive, they can be rented or even bought for a relatively small price. It is also worth contacting the administration in your area with a proposal to lease land, here in the long-term lease it can be rented at the lowest possible price or even free of charge. But let’s take into account the cost of one hectare, equal to 500 rubles for one year of use. You can not take agricultural land. So, 100 hectares of land will cost the entrepreneur 50 thousand rubles a year, and this is in most cases a very high amount, if you wish, you can save significantly (or not pay at all, as was noted). That is, there should not be any problems with the site; reindeer husbandry can be dealt with in general where none of the useful crops grows at all. Also, you need to fence your plot, and there are several options. If we take into account the most expensive and high-quality fence, then for the enclosure of 100 hectares you will need about 4 million rubles. In addition, it will be necessary to erect farm buildings in which reindeer herders will live and reindeer will be slaughtered and other operations with animals will be carried out. There are also many options, but the exact cost of construction work depends on a huge number of factors. In general, for the amount of 10 million rubles, you can get a finished farm with a size of 100 hectares, only this size of the plot is suitable for large enterprises. Usually farmers occupy a much smaller area.

The following are procured breeding animals. The cost of one animal depends on its type, in general, reindeer husbandry includes the cultivation of animals that are quite different from each other. Traditional reindeer husbandry involves the cultivation of reindeer, today the most widespread is the cultivation of deer or, as it is also called, red deer. True, this animal is not typical for Russia, and it is usually imported from other countries or bred artificially on farms. Mouflon, fallow deer and sika deer are also popular. The cost of one breeding animal starts from about 30 thousand rubles and reaches 50 thousand, so that the farm brings income, you need to have a considerable number of deer, that is, even a dozen will be few. If you take into account 50 animals, then you need to allocate 2.5 million rubles for the purchase of the first deer. It is usually not difficult to find a breeder today, but it is impossible to exclude the possibility that animals will have to be transported from a completely different region, that is, transportation costs will also have to be included. But good farms can supply animals with ready-made veterinary certificates and all the necessary vaccinations. In general, initially it is worth looking only for such farms for cooperation.

The biggest problem in this business is likely to be the search for people who will serve the farm. There are really few experienced reindeer herders, this science is generally not taught anywhere. Therefore, it is ideal if the entrepreneur himself understands reindeer husbandry. There is a positive point in reindeer husbandry - deer are very unpretentious animals, so even only 2 people can follow a very large herd. That is, the entrepreneur in the ideal case does not even need to hire outside specialists, because if he understands directly about reindeer husbandry, it will be enough to teach members of his family simple skills. Then you don’t have to spend money on employees, because the wages of experienced reindeer herders can be very significant. Although there are no exact indicators, the amount of salary can vary greatly depending on the region. If we take it equal to 30 thousand rubles, then two employees will receive 60 thousand already, and in a year the payroll will amount to 720 thousand rubles. And this is without other expenses for the maintenance of their employees. The next item of expenditure is the direct maintenance of the deer themselves. According to the calculations of experienced reindeer herders, one animal will need about 10 thousand rubles a year, this includes food and the necessary veterinary examinations. Although on many farms it is not possible to optimize costs, therefore, in most cases, the content of one deer will require 2 times more. Thus, for keeping 50 deer, half a million rubles must be allocated for the year, and in the worst case, one million. Thus, to open its reindeer herding farm, it will be necessary to allocate an amount of almost 14 million rubles to create and ensure the first year of operation. This is a very large amount, but some farms were opened for a total of around 5 million, that is, this is a calculation for a relatively large farm.

The annual expenses for the maintenance of his farm of 50 animals will amount to a little more than one million two hundred thousand rubles. If we consider pedigree livestock breeding, then in the first year you can get about 35 young deer, each of which can be sold for the same amount of 50 thousand, that is, the company's income will be about 1.7 million rubles, and profit - 500 thousand. Moreover, a significant part of the costs will be exactly the salary of employees, without the involvement of outside people you can get much more. After the very first year, it is recommended to increase the number of breeding animals, that is, to purchase a new batch of animals from breeders. Large farms keep about 100 animals as breeding animals, and this is not too much for deer, because they quietly get along on the territory provided to them. If you sell venison, then only on meat can you earn in about 2 years - it is at this age that the animal is slaughtered. The weight of one deer averages 100 kilograms, while directly meat from it can be obtained for 80 kilograms, although some breeds give more. And this is without considering other useful by-products; in general, experts say that in Russia the non-waste production of deer meat is not widespread, although horns, bones, and skins are sold in developed countries. The cost of one kilogram can vary greatly depending on the deer breed, but on the domestic market it is almost always sold cheaper than abroad - everything is connected with the fact that deer meat is not popular and is little consumed by Russians. But in Russia it’s realistic to sell one kilogram for an amount of 150 rubles, abroad - sometimes 2 times more expensive, some types of deer (for example, the same deer) are more expensive, and a kilogram of their meat can be sold for 500 rubles. If you install your packaging equipment, you can sell delicacies, that is, clippings of certain parts of the body, a kilogram of such a product is already sold for 700-900 rubles. If you take into account 35 individuals, each of which produces 80 kilograms of meat, the total income from the sale of the party will be 420 thousand rubles at the lowest price of 150 rubles. At a price of 500 rubles - 1.4 million. As you can understand, a farm that is engaged in breeding deer for meat, keeps a very large number of them (more than 100) in order to make a profit while maintaining the same level of expenses. Moreover, it should be noted that large farms seek to reduce costs for the maintenance of animals, because with a cost of 10 thousand per head, the profit is only 2 thousand per animal, which is very small. Of course, 150 rubles is not the best indicator, it is generally the lowest possible price on the market. If you cooperate with buyers from Europe, you will be able to get many times more, and the experience gained in the field of reindeer husbandry will make it possible to increase the number of your animals and do without attracting new employees. But, although this business can be called promising, it largely depends on external factors, like any agricultural one, for example, climate, weather, and diseases. State support also plays a significant role. In general, dealing with it, you need to understand that at the moment the market in Russia does not need a huge amount of venison, and it is not known whether this situation will change in the future.

Matthias Laudanum

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