–Account for spoilage/wastage when purchasing feed. Spills, accidents and mice happen even if you think you have a good way to avoid them, nothing is 100%.
–Do not buy culls as a newbie, even if the culling is for color or some other minor reason (as opposed to culling for health issues or deformity or poor conformation). Even if the animal’s genetics and conformation are super and it’s just a case of “I have twelve brown cows, wanted to get rid of one”, it’s not worth the stress for a newbie. An experienced homesteader or farmer can take a chance on that kind of soft cull because they have an established process, but newbies are still trying to figure things out and it’s just not worth it. We are keeping our cull purchase, but no more culls until we have the hang of things.
–Predation comes in large and small sizes. Gotta cover all the angles, within reason.
–If you have money and not time, use the money instead of waiting around on that time you won’t ever have. Obviously taken far enough, this would mean not homesteading or farming at all, but paying 50 or 100 bucks for a coop when you are never going to get around to building one is not a false economy.
Those are the biggies, just trying to get a better handle on total costs and specialization.