Farm animals are becoming more valuable as the number of people interested in raising them has soared, and they are also increasingly being sold for money.
In 2016, there were more than 1,300 farms that raised livestock, compared with about 200 in 2011.
But the number has grown since then, with some farms now making a profit on their animals by raising the price of their food.
There are also farms selling pets for $50,000 (£32,500), while many homeschooling parents are turning to virtual farming and making a buck on their pets.
These virtual farms are increasingly popular as people become more aware of the potential for raising animals for food and as a growing number of consumers buy pets for their pets, said Mike Hargrove, owner of Animal Farm in New York City, a virtual farm that has raised more than 100,000 animals for pets and is one of the world’s biggest.
“People are realizing the potential of animals, so they are trying to do what we did and put animals in the right circumstances,” said Hargrosve, who has raised about $3m (£2.3m) on his farm, which he calls “a true family business”.
“It’s also a way to be able to give back to the community and raise money that’s very difficult to do now,” he said.
“The more people know about it, the more people are willing to put their animals to good use.”
Many of the more than 30 virtual farms now offering pets for sale are run by people who have been raised in rural areas and have experience with animal husbandry, such as horticulture.
For example, a New York-based online farm called A Pet Farm, run by Michael Smith, teaches how to raise chickens for sale for $30,000, which can make the $30k a lot more appealing.
“You could get a bird that’s a year old and it’s only $3,000.
That’s what we pay for the bird, and you can’t get a bigger bird for $20,000,” he explained.
Hargroves, who also raises pigs, chickens, goats and sheep for sale online, said that it was hard to get animals to market when it is so difficult to get them to a vet.
“I don’t have the experience to say that they’re safe to give up and not breed.
They have to be properly trained, and if they’re not well, they can’t be bred,” he added.”
It really is a very dangerous time for them.”
Hargrosves said he would be willing to sell his animals if he got a profit from them.
“They are very valuable and they’re very cute and I’m a really good dog groomer, so I’m happy to have a lot of them for sale.
They are not expensive to keep, so it’s a good deal,” he joked.”
We’re very excited to get our first pigs, but we’ll see how it goes.”
A Pet Farm is currently selling some of its birds to a New Jersey pet-supply company for $1,200 a head.
Other virtual farms offering animals for sale include the Pet Farm Virtual in California, which sells dogs for $80,000 and cats for $25,000 to people who also have experience in horticultural management.
Another virtual farm, Farm Animals for Sale, which raised some 500 horses and ponies last year, is now offering them for $250 each on its website.
The Farm Animals virtual farm in North Carolina, run in partnership with a pet-care provider, sells more than 40,000 chickens, pigs, rabbits and other farm animals for $2,000 a head on its site.
“In our experience, there’s a lot less competition for the people who want to raise animals than there is for the animal-supplies companies,” said owner Lisa Smith, who runs Farm Animals in North Conway, North Carolina.
“There’s more demand for the animals because the people in the community are interested in them and want to do something about it.
They’re looking for an animal and they can afford to pay for it.”
The Farm Animal virtual farm is a private business in Georgia that raises animals for free.
“Every day, it’s the same old story.
People are buying their pets and selling their pets,” said Smith.”
If you’re looking to make money, I think that the animal products industry is a great thing, but there is a lot to be done.”