Is raising cattle a good investment?

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raising turkeys
Image by james_gordon_losangeles
Saint Hovannas Monastey, or Hovhannavank (Armenian: Surb Hovhannes Vank) is an Armenian Apostolic Church monastery located in the village of Ohanavan in the Aragatsotn Province of Armenia. It is situated atop a steep gorge carved by the Kasagh river. The monastery’s title originates from the combination of the name Hovhan (Armenian for Jonah) and the word vank, which in Armenian means monastery. The monastery was dedicated to John the Baptist, whom Armenians venerate as their patron-saint. The monastery stands on the edge of the Qasakh River Canyon, and its territory is adjacent to the village of Ohanavan.

History and architecture
The oldest part of the monastery is the single nave basilica of St. Karapet (i.e. Holy Forerunner, John the Baptist) that was founded at the beginning of the fourth century by St. Gregory the Enlightener, who baptized Armenia into the world’s first Christian nation. The wooden roof of the early church was replaced in 554 AD with a thatch cover, and the basilica itself underwent profound renovation between 1652 and 1734.

The centerpiece of the monastery is the Cathedral built between 1216 and 1221 through the donation of Prince Vache Vachutian. The Cathedral has a cruciform floor plan, with two story sacristies in each of the four extensions of the church. The dome has an umbrella-shaped roof, which is unique to Armenian churches. Cathedral’s important decorations include carved scenes from the Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins (Matthew 25:1-13).

Portal leading into the main church from the gavit.In 1250, Vache Vachutian’s son, Kurt Vachutian, built a narthex (gavit) next to the western wall of the Cathedral. The narthex is supported by four base pillars and features a central rotunda (added in 1274) that rests on twelve columns. Between the 12th and 17th centuries, Hovhannavank was known as an important educational and theological center of Eastern Armenia that had a scriptorium where manuscripts were written and illuminated. The monastery was described in details in 1686 by the historian Zakaria Kanakertsi who spent his entire life at Hovhannavank.

The monastery walls are covered with rich lapidary inscriptions. One large engraved text high on the northern wall of one of the monastery’s auxiliary structures reads:

…By the grace of merciful God, during the reign of Queen Tamar, daughter of the great Gevorg, in the year 642 (1200 AD) of the race of Torgom, we—brothers Zakaria and Ivane—sons of Sargis the Great, son of Avag Zakarian, when the light of God’s grace rose and entered Armenia and raised us from weakness in the battle against the enemies of Christ and destroyed their power and quenched their violence, with the country of Ararat delivered from the heavy yoke of their servitude, wished to make offering and gave the tribute of the grace to the Holy Forerunner of Hovhannavank …
Another key inscription was left by Konstandin I, Katholicos of Armenia.

Hovhannavank’s Cathedral belongs to the category of “Gandzasar-style” ecclesiastical edifices that were built approximately at the same time in different parts of Armenia, and were endowed with similar compositional and decorative characteristics (another example—Cathedral of the Haritchavank Monastery). Those include umbrella-shaped dome, cruciform floor plan, narthex (often with stalactite-ornamented ceiling), and high-relief of a large cross on one of church’s walls. In 1918, the dome and the southern wall were destroyed by a powerful earthquake; both were reconstructed in the 1990s.

Question by luis o: Is raising cattle a good investment?
I have 25 acres and want to raise 5-6 heads of cattle. But I don’t know what to buy prue or mixed breed. And what kind of breed? Just want to sell the calves for a saving acct for my daughter (7 years old) for college. help

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2 Responses to Is raising cattle a good investment?

  1. You will go broke.
    If you can not raise your own feed-it will cost too much.

    John S, BaC
    June 22, 2014 at 10:45 pm

  2. Big livestock = big expenses. 5-6 animals are not going to make you money. Most people I know that are raising a few head of beef cattle (usually angus steers where I live) are slaughtering early this year because they can’t afford to keep feeding them.

    I also live around some large dairy farms, and again, you need lots of animals to turn a profit, and even then, the profit is marginal. Feed prices are up, hay is up, and diesel is through the roof still. Greater overhead leaves a smaller profit margin.

    If you are looking for a way to start saving some college money, have you considered poultry? Meat birds, eggs and layers are in demand and poultry is relatively inexpensive to keep. You might consider looking into dual purpose chickens, meat quail, meat turkeys (heritage breeds, not those white hybrids with bad tendons!), raising produce and local farmers markets. It’s seasonal and it’s not enough to pay the mortgage, but depending on where your interests are, you might be able to start putting some money away.

    Other options on 25 acres could include leasing some of it to a local grower (qualifies you for CAUV also, and saves you tax money), contracting for leases for grazing, or check into finishing. You might also want to consider hogs or meat goats, but again, your overhead will be higher than it would be with poultry.

    If you have a pole barn, you could also consider leasing stalls and boarding horses. Private boarding could be self-care or full-care and can earn you $ 150-250 monthly per horse. If I had the facilities and more acreage, I’d be boarding already.

    25 acres gives you lots of options, but I think cattle is going to be a losing endeavor. Hope the other suggestions give you some ideas!

    June 22, 2014 at 11:44 pm

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