I think you get the idea of starting small.
Next up is emotion or money. I like cows. I bought some bottle calves for the old homestead. I even got them cheap, one for $50. I bottled them until they were 3-4 months old. I had 5 total. I learned how to band them and figured out that castration was better after one got an infection. I dosed him up and called an experienced cattle man to come over and give advice. We tried everything we had but he still died. I was telling me my mother about it and she asked why we didn’t call the vet. I had trouble trying to explain it to her without feeling like a animal killer. Where I grew up animals were pets not food. I can still be that way to some extent and probably put more into that calf than I should have because I bottle fed it. In the long run though these animals are producers or you are wasting money, time, and resources. I do not own hay, corn, or grain equipment so I have to buy it to feed things. I am working toward rotational grazing but am nowhere near close yet. I live in Alabama and we have 20 acres of trees and brush for the most part. I bought goats to help kill the brush and trees as well as have babies to sell. I got a donkey to keep coyotes and dogs off of the goats. I have pigs to eat and sell piglets. I have chickens to give me eggs and meat. I just don’t have money to keep things because they are cute or I am sentimental. My dog even has a job. He is the alarm system and burglary prevention agent as well as keeping other dogs out of the farm.
After the first year of the bottle calves something was just not right they were too small. I had given them hay and wormed them but they just were not growing up right. I had a chance to sell them and recoup the money I had in them or keep them and keep pouring money into it. After consulting some folks, I decided to sell them and try to develop more pasture land for them. I just couldn’t keep them and risk losing money.
Generally you have to take emotion out of decisions. If you let emotion dictate what you do on your farm you can end up getting more than you bargained for. More animals that do nothing, more feed bills, more headaches, etc.