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What Equipment is Needed for Ranching?

Whether you’re thinking of embracing the ranch lifestyle, or if you want to fine-tune your existing operation, you need the right tools to do it. New ranchers can often buy the wrong pieces of equipment, and you may be surprised to learn that you do not require brand new equipment or tools.

Running your own ranch provides the opportunity for you to work outdoors and be your own boss. Cattle ranching is a business and to start a ranch takes a lot of planning. While there are many factors to consider when starting a ranch, there are a few basic considerations that should be included in every cattle rancher’s plan from cost to cattle.

We have put together a list of must-haves for the first-time rancher. If you buy the right equipment, you will have more funds for the perfect piece of land.


It doesn’t matter if you plan on running a small herd of cattle, it is necessary to have a tractor on your ranch to haul feed and hay. They can even haul people. They are versatile while saving time and resources. 

It is important to buy the right size tractor for your operation. There is a difference between what a cattle and horse ranch need as far as tractors go.  


These small utility vehicles make life on the ranch easier. They can handle a range of different projects from transporting supplies, raking, mowing, carrying firewood, and plowing snow.

ranching equipment

Post Hole Diggers

This is a simple hand tool used to dig holes. It’s made up of two handles joined at the base by a pair of shovel blades.  They don’t need gas, are easy to use and they’re a one-person tool. And it is easily transportable. 

Transportation for livestock

If you are planning on buying a horse or cattle, you will need a livestock trailer. It may not be used every day but without one, you could find yourself borrowing or renting one.  


If you plan to harvest your own hay crops to feed the cattle, a baler would be necessary. 

Branding Irons

To mark your own cattle, as they will be free to graze. 


To catch the cattle. 

Feed and Water Troughs

This is to provide grain for the cattle, as well as a man-made watering area. This equipment is adequate to care for 150 cattle to 500 cattle. Spreading the equipment cost over 500 cows rather than 150 cows reduces the equipment cost per cow unit dramatically. Economies of scale is the term used to describe this.

ranching equipment

The cost associated with equipment is significant and it should prompt any ranch owner if it is really needed, whether it be used or brand new. Depreciation, Insurance, and repairs are other costs to keep in mind when it comes to ranch operations. 

Hopefully we have sent you on your way to building up your ranch from a dream to reality.

Any questions about land, contact us here.

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