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Free Printable Livestock Bill of Sale Templates [PDF] Form

    When buying and selling livestock, having a proper bill of sale is important for documenting the transaction details and protecting the interests of both buyer and seller. However, if you try creating a livestock bill of sale from scratch, it’s easy to miss key information that should be included.

    Using a pre-made fill-in-the-blank template ensures you capture all the necessary sale specifics while also keeping accurate records. In this article, we’ll look at what should be covered in a livestock bill of sale and provide downloadable livestock bill of sale templates for cattle, horses, pigs, sheep, and goats. With these templates, you can quickly generate professional bills of sale for any livestock purchase or sale. Having a comprehensive, accurate bill of sale is essential for smooth livestock transactions.

    What is a Livestock Bill of Sale?

    Livestock Bill of Sale
    Livestock Bill of Sale

    A livestock bill of sale is a legal document that records the details of a transaction involving the sale or purchase of farm animals such as cattle, horses, pigs, sheep, and goats. It serves as a receipt and proves ownership transfer from the seller to the buyer.

    A livestock bill of sale typically includes information like date, animal identifiers, buyer/seller names, sale price, animal descriptions, signatures, and terms/conditions. Having a properly completed bill of sale protects buyer and seller interests in case of disputes over ownership or payment. This essential document provides critical proof of sale specifics and animal provenance.

    Livestock Bill of Sale Templates

    Buying or selling livestock? Our livestock bill of sale template records critical details for any private party transaction. This bill of sale transfers ownership and provides proof of payment.

    The template captures information like date, buyer/seller names, livestock description, brands, identification numbers, purchase price, and payment terms. Additional clauses can be added as needed to specify health guarantees, breeding rights, transfer of registrations, and more.

    With this customizable livestock bill of sale template, both buyers and sellers can formalize the transaction, minimize disputes, and properly document the transfer. The template is available as a PDF so you can easily print, fill out, and sign copies after customizing the details. Whether you are selling cattle, horses, or other livestock, this bill of sale ensures a smooth transaction.

    When to Use a Livestock Bill of Sale

    Livestock Bill of Sale is a vital instrument not only for record-keeping purposes but also to provide legal protection for both parties involved. Here’s a detailed guide on when to use a Livestock Bill of Sale:

    Sale or Purchase of Livestock

    Whenever you are buying or selling livestock, it’s essential to use a bill of sale. This applies whether you’re a farmer selling cattle, a horse breeder trading a prize stallion, or someone selling a few chickens.

    Evidence of Ownership

    In case of disputes over livestock ownership, a Livestock Bill of Sale can act as a piece of primary evidence. This could be necessary in cases where livestock gets mixed with another herd, or if there’s a question about whether someone has stolen animals.

    Tax Purposes

    For farmers and ranchers, livestock is often considered a business asset. The IRS and other tax authorities may require proof of purchase or sale to validate tax deductions, credits, or other tax-related matters.

    Insurance Claims

    If livestock is lost due to theft, disease, or a natural disaster, having a documented record of ownership can help when filing insurance claims.

    Loan Collateral

    Farmers may use livestock as collateral when obtaining loans. Lenders might request a bill of sale to determine the value and ownership of the collateral.

    Breeding Records

    If you’re selling breeding livestock, a bill of sale can be beneficial to verify the lineage or pedigree of the animals. This can be crucial for animals like horses, where lineage can significantly affect the animal’s value.

    Estate Planning and Inheritance

    When livestock is passed down through inheritance or as part of estate planning, a bill of sale can help in documenting the transfer and valuing the estate.

    Quarantines and Health Regulations

    When transporting livestock across state or country borders, you might need to prove ownership and the health status of the livestock. A bill of sale, coupled with health certificates, can serve this purpose.

    What Should a Livestock Bill of Sale Include?

    When creating or using a livestock bill of sale, it’s crucial to ensure it contains essential details to protect both parties involved. Here are the main elements that a livestock bill of sale should typically include:

    1. Header or Title: Clearly label the document as “Livestock Bill of Sale.”
    2. Date: Include the date when the bill of sale is being created.
    3. Details of the Seller:
      • Full name
      • Address (including city, state, and zip code)
      • Contact information (phone number and email, if available)
    4. Details of the Buyer:
      • Full name
      • Address (including city, state, and zip code)
      • Contact information (phone number and email, if available)
    5. Description of the Livestock:
      • Species (e.g., cattle, sheep, goats)
      • Breed
      • Age or date of birth
      • Sex
      • Identification marks or tags, tattoos, or brandings
      • Registration or pedigree details (if applicable)
      • Health information or recent veterinary checks (if available)
      • Quantity being sold
    6. Price and Payment Details:
      • Total purchase price
      • Payment method (e.g., cash, check, wire transfer)
      • Payment terms if not paid in full at the time of sale (e.g., installment payments, due dates)
    7. Warranties or Representations: Any specific promises or guarantees made by the seller about the livestock’s health, lineage, productivity, etc.
    8. As-Is Clause: If the livestock is being sold “as is,” meaning without any warranties, this should be clearly stated.
    9. Risk of Loss: A statement indicating when the risk of loss or damage to the livestock passes from the seller to the buyer.
    10. Indemnification or Hold Harmless Clause: This is a statement where one party agrees not to hold the other responsible for any damage or legal implications that might arise after the sale.
    11. Governing Law: Indicates which state’s laws will govern the interpretation and enforcement of the bill of sale.
    12. Signatures:
    • Signature of the seller
    • Signature of the buyer
    • Witness signatures (if required or deemed necessary)
    • Notary acknowledgment (if required or deemed necessary)
    1. Additional Clauses (if applicable):
    • Right of First Refusal: This gives the seller the right to repurchase the livestock before the buyer sells them to someone else.
    • Breeding rights or restrictions
    • Any other special terms or conditions agreed upon by both parties.

    Selling Livestock: A Step-by-Step Guide

    Step 1: Determine the Purpose of Sale

    Before selling livestock, identify the primary purpose of the sale. Are you selling for meat, breeding, dairy, or wool production? Each category has different market requirements. For instance, meat livestock are typically sold based on weight and health, while breeding stock requires documented lineage and may have specific genetic attributes.

    Example: If you’re selling a cow for its breeding potential, you’ll emphasize its lineage, any awards, and its offspring’s production.

    Step 2: Assess the Health of the Livestock

    Ensuring the health and wellbeing of your livestock is paramount. Conduct a health check and seek a veterinarian’s evaluation if necessary. A healthy animal fetches a better price. Most buyers will want proof of recent vaccinations, worming, and any other necessary treatments. Healthier animals reduce the risk of spreading disease.

    Example: Mr. Johnson ensures his pigs are free from swine flu by having them annually checked and vaccinated.

    Step 3: Market Research Investigate the current livestock market trends. Understand the demand, prevailing prices, and the best selling seasons. Livestock markets can be seasonal, with certain periods bringing higher prices due to demand spikes. This research can be done online, at local auctions, or by discussing with fellow farmers.

    Example: Mrs. Clark discovers that sheep wool prices surge in spring, so she schedules her sales around this time.

    Step 4: Prepare the Livestock for Sale Make your livestock presentable. This might mean shearing wool, cleaning, or grooming. Animals that appear well-taken-care-of tend to fetch higher prices. It’s also a good time to gather necessary documents such as birth records, health records, and pedigree information.

    Example: Before selling his horses, Mr. Smith grooms them and ensures their manes and tails are free of tangles.

    Step 5: Choose a Sales Venue

    There are various venues to sell livestock: direct to consumers, auctions, online platforms, or through agents. Each venue has its advantages and drawbacks. For example, auctions can offer immediate sales but might come with higher fees. Direct sales allow for more control over prices but may require more marketing effort.

    Example: Miss Allen prefers selling her goats directly to local dairies to avoid auction fees.

    Step 6: Set a Fair Price Once you’ve researched the market and prepped your animals, set a competitive price. This doesn’t always mean the highest price; it means a price that reflects the quality and health of your livestock while also remaining appealing to potential buyers.

    Example: Based on the quality and weight of his cattle, Mr. Rodriguez sets a price that’s slightly above the market average.

    Step 7: Advertise and Promote

    Whether you’re selling directly or through an auction, promotion is crucial. Take high-quality photos of your livestock, write clear descriptions, and use multiple platforms such as local newspapers, online farming forums, and social media.

    Example: Mrs. Lee creates a Facebook page dedicated to her poultry farm and showcases her hens, complete with photos and videos.

    Step 8: Engage with Potential Buyers

    Be available to answer questions, provide additional information, or even give farm tours if selling directly. Building trust with potential buyers can lead to better prices and repeat business.

    Example: Mr. Evans invites a potential buyer to visit his farm, offering a firsthand look at how his sheep are raised.

    Step 9: Handle the Transaction

    When a buyer is secured, ensure all paperwork is in order. Provide the buyer with all necessary records. If the buyer is from a different region, be aware of transport regulations and health certifications.

    Example: Miss Patel sells a batch of pigs to a buyer from another state. She ensures she provides all the required cross-state transport documents.

    Step 10: After-Sale Service

    A successful livestock business isn’t just about one-time sales. Building relationships with buyers, checking in on the livestock’s transition, and being available for post-sale questions can lead to referrals and repeat business.

    Example: After selling her alpacas, Mrs. Gomez sends a thank-you note and checks in a month later to see how the alpacas are adjusting to their new home.

    Writing a Livestock Bill of Sale: A Step-by-Step Guide

    Completing an accurate, legally-binding livestock bill of sale is important for both buyers and sellers when transferring ownership of farm animals. However, if you are unfamiliar with these documents, you may be unsure of what information needs to be included. Following a clear process makes it easier to produce a complete bill of sale that covers all the key details.

    In this part, we provide a step-by-step guide to writing a livestock bill of sale when purchasing or selling cattle, horses, pigs, sheep, goats or other farm animals. We will outline the essential steps, including identifying the buyer and seller, describing the animal(s), specifying sale terms and price, signing the document, and retaining copies. With these steps, you can create a comprehensive bill of sale that properly records critical information. Here are the key steps we will cover in this guide for writing effective livestock bills of sale:

    Step 1: Understand the Purpose

    A livestock bill of sale serves as a legal document confirming the transfer of ownership of the livestock from the seller to the buyer. It provides both parties with written evidence of the terms and conditions of the sale, the price paid, and details about the livestock. This document is crucial for tax purposes, liability reasons, and ensuring clarity regarding the sale.

    Example: Mr. Brown wants to buy cattle from Mrs. Davis. To legally document the transaction and terms, they agree to draft a livestock bill of sale.

    Step 2: Basic Information

    Start the document with the title “Livestock Bill of Sale.” Underneath, note the date of the transaction and the full names and addresses of both the buyer and seller.

    Example: “Livestock Bill of Sale, dated August 25, 2023, between Mrs. Jane Davis of [address] (Seller) and Mr. John Brown of [address] (Buyer).”

    Step 3: Describe the Livestock

    Clearly describe the livestock being sold. This should include the type of animal, breed, age, color, markings, registration details, and any other unique identifying features or tags. If multiple animals are involved, provide detailed descriptions for each.

    Example: “One Hereford cow, aged 3 years, primarily white with a red face, tagged with ID #123456.”

    Step 4: Sale Price and Payment Terms

    Clearly state the total sale price agreed upon. If there are payment terms or a payment plan, specify these details – such as down payment, due dates for future payments, and accepted payment methods.

    Example: “Total sale price of $2,000, with a down payment of $500 made on August 25, 2023. Remaining balance due by September 25, 2023, payable by check or cash.”

    Step 5: Include Warranty or “As Is” Statement

    Specify if the livestock is being sold “as is” (without any warranties) or if there are any warranties provided by the seller regarding the health or productivity of the livestock.

    Example: “The livestock is sold ‘as is’ without any express or implied warranties from the Seller, including the livestock’s fitness for a particular purpose.”

    Step 6: State Any Liens or Encumbrances

    Disclose if there are any liens, debts, or other encumbrances tied to the livestock. A buyer will want assurance that the livestock is free from any third-party claims.

    Example: “Seller warrants that the described livestock is free from all liens and encumbrances and that the Seller has the full right to sell the livestock.”

    Step 7: Indicate Responsibility of Care

    Clearly state when the responsibility of care and ownership transfers from the seller to the buyer. This is crucial to determine who is liable if something happens to the livestock during the transition.

    Example: “Responsibility for the livestock’s care, risk of loss, or damage transfers to the Buyer upon payment completion and physical delivery.”

    Step 8: Obtain Signatures

    Both the buyer and the seller must sign and date the document, verifying that they agree to the terms outlined. It’s also advisable to have the document witnessed or notarized to further its authenticity.

    Example: At the bottom, spaces are provided for the Buyer’s signature, Seller’s signature, and date, followed by spaces for a Notary Public (if applicable).

    Step 9: Provide Copies

    Once signed, both the buyer and seller should receive a copy of the livestock bill of sale. This serves as a record and proof of transaction for both parties.

    Example: After signing, Mr. Brown and Mrs. Davis each keep a copy of the bill of sale for their records.

    Step 10: Record Keeping

    It’s crucial for both parties to safely store their copy of the bill of sale. This document can be needed for tax reporting, proof of ownership, or in the case of future disputes or clarifications about the sale.

    Example: Mrs. Davis places her copy in a folder labeled “Livestock Sales 2023” alongside other important farm documents.

    The Dos and Don’ts of Selling Livestock

    Selling livestock like cattle, pigs, horses, sheep, or goats can get complicated easily if you don’t follow best practices. Whether you run a farm business or are selling a few animals as an individual, it’s important to handle livestock sales properly for your own protection. There are a number of important dos and don’ts to keep in mind when going through the sales process.

    In this article, we’ll outline key dos and don’ts for smoothly and successfully selling your livestock. We’ll cover critical topics like documentation, biosecurity, animal handling, and transaction practices. Following these recommended dos and don’ts will help minimize risks and issues throughout the sale. Here are some key dos and don’ts we’ll cover for those looking to sell livestock:


    1. Do Provide Full Disclosure: Always be honest about the health, age, breeding history, and any other pertinent details regarding the livestock you’re selling. Full transparency not only builds trust but also protects you from potential future disputes.
    2. Do Perform Regular Health Checks: Regularly have your livestock inspected by veterinarians and keep updated health records. This ensures that you are selling healthy animals and can provide necessary documentation to potential buyers.
    3. Do Market Effectively: Utilize various platforms – from online forums to local newspapers – to reach a wider audience. High-quality photos, detailed descriptions, and showcasing any awards or special traits can make your livestock more appealing.
    4. Do Understand Market Trends: Keep abreast of current livestock market prices and trends. This will help you set a competitive price for your livestock and identify the best times to sell.
    5. Do Provide a Livestock Bill of Sale: Always provide a detailed bill of sale during the transaction. This serves as a legal document confirming the terms and conditions of the sale, offering protection for both buyer and seller.
    6. Do Offer Post-Sale Support: Especially for less experienced buyers, offering advice on care, feeding, or answering any post-sale queries can enhance your reputation as a seller and encourage repeat business.


    1. Don’t Withhold Information: Concealing known health issues, age discrepancies, or breeding problems is not only unethical but can lead to legal repercussions if the buyer discovers they were misled.
    2. Don’t Overprice: While it’s natural to want the best price for your livestock, overpricing based on emotion or attachment can deter potential buyers. Always price based on the current market and the actual value of the livestock.
    3. Don’t Neglect Presentation: An unkempt or dirty animal can give the impression of poor overall care. Ensure your livestock is clean, groomed, and presentable when showing to potential buyers.
    4. Don’t Be Rigid in Negotiations: While you shouldn’t undervalue your livestock, be open to negotiations. A bit of flexibility can lead to a quicker sale and a satisfied buyer.
    5. Don’t Forget About Transportation: Understand the logistics of transporting livestock, especially if selling to someone far away. It’s essential to know who bears the responsibility and cost of transportation, and that all necessary permits for movement are in place.
    6. Don’t Ignore Feedback: If a buyer or even a potential buyer provides feedback – whether it’s about the pricing, the way you present the livestock, or the sales process – take it into consideration. Feedback can be a valuable tool for improving future sales.


    Buying and selling livestock is a major financial transaction that requires clear documentation for the protection of both buyer and seller. However, drafting a bill of sale from scratch can lead to missing key information and create potential issues. Using a livestock bill of sale template is an easy way to generate a professional bill of sale that includes all the important details right away.

    In this article, we provide free fill-in-the-blank livestock bill of sale templates for purchasing and selling cattle, horses, pigs, sheep, and goats. These templates allow you to quickly create legally-binding bills of sale in Word or PDF formats tailored to different livestock types. With sections for sale date, animal ID, price, buyer/seller signatures, and more, these ready-made templates cover everything needed in a proper livestock bill of sale. Read on for an in-depth look at these free templates that make documenting livestock transactions simple.


    Does a Livestock Bill of Sale need to be notarized?

    The requirement varies by jurisdiction. While not all regions require a Livestock Bill of Sale to be notarized, having it notarized can provide added legal authenticity and protection.

    Is a verbal agreement sufficient for selling livestock?

    While verbal agreements can be binding in some jurisdictions, they are harder to prove and enforce. A written Livestock Bill of Sale offers clear evidence of the terms agreed upon, making it a safer and more transparent option for both parties.

    Can I use a generic Bill of Sale for selling livestock?

    While generic Bills of Sale might cover the basics, a specialized Livestock Bill of Sale is designed to cater to the specific needs and details of livestock transactions. It’s advisable to use a document tailored to livestock sales.

    What if the livestock turns out to be sick or doesn’t meet the described conditions after the sale?

    The Livestock Bill of Sale may include warranties or an “as is” clause. If the seller provided warranties about the livestock’s health or condition, they could be held liable for undisclosed issues. However, if sold “as is,” the buyer generally assumes the risks associated with the livestock after purchase.

    Can I use a Livestock Bill of Sale for multiple animals in one transaction?

    Yes, a Livestock Bill of Sale can cover multiple animals. However, each animal should be described in detail within the document to avoid any ambiguities.

    What happens if payment terms are not met by the buyer after the sale?

    If the buyer fails to meet the agreed payment terms outlined in the Livestock Bill of Sale, the seller may have the right to reclaim the livestock or take legal action to recover the owed amount.

    Do I need a lawyer to draft a Livestock Bill of Sale?

    While it’s not mandatory to have a lawyer draft the bill of sale, it can be beneficial, especially for more complex transactions or if you’re unfamiliar with the process. A lawyer can ensure that the document is legally sound and that your interests are protected.

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    Betina Jessen

    Betina Jessen

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