If you are living in the countryside and plan on raising a few animals for homestead. There are few things to consider like you need to choose which animals to raise depending upon how much space you have. Raising cattle will require a lot of space. If space is an issue you can raise rabbits or chickens instead.
Cattle farming will be difficult, so you can choose a single cow, goat, or sheep to raise. This will provide milk, meat, and wool for your small family. Rabbit, chicken, and quails are also a good choice for homestead animals.
After a lot of trial and error, i have chosen
Top 5 best homestead animals you should raise:
- Goats and sheep
Chicken, ducks, quails, and turkey all these birds come under poultry. The most popular is chicken and they are the easiest to raise. You can raise chicken for their eggs and meat. Raising a group of chicken will give you eggs that’s enough for your small family. Did you know if you select the right breed of chicken you can get more than 250 eggs per year?
Related: How often do chicken lay Eggs
Raising chicken will also provide your family dinner table with meat. Breeds of chicken for meat and eggs are different. So make sure you select the right breed if you want to raise chicken for meat.
Related: How to raise chicken for meat?
Duck is also are a very good option for homestead animals. They provide you with eggs and meat. If you planning to raise poultry I would recommend you add chicken and ducks because they can live happily with each other. But make sure you have a small pool for ducks because they love to splash and stay in the water. Duck eggs are prized by pastry chefs because of its fluffy texture which is perfect for making cakes.
Raising turkey is not for everyone. It is a bit difficult task, so if you are new in raising poultry then choose chicken or ducks.
Bunnies are one of the cutest homestead animals you can raise. And I’m sure your children will love them. They also make very good pets. You can raise rabbits for their meat. The demand for rabbit meat is more in Asian countries as compared to the US and Europe. I know many successful farmers who are raising rabbits for meat. Rabbits live for about 8 to 12 years. Make sure that you don’t raise only a single rabbit. They are very social animals so they like to live in pairs or groups.
Related: How long do domestic rabbit lives?
Goat and Sheep
Goats are very versatile and practical to raise. Due to the small size, they don’t require much space. You will get meat and milk from a goat. One goat can provide you with two to four quarters of milk every day. You need to make a strong fence for your goat shed. Goats will help you get rid of unwanted bushes on your small farm. There are different breeds of goats that will provide you with more milk or meat. Goat breeds like Toggenburgs, Oberhalsis, Girgentan will provide you with high-quality milk. And goat breeds like Bore and Kiko will provide you with high-quality meat. I have written a complete article on how to raise goats and which breed to choose, and how to make goat housing you can check that as well.
Similarly to goat raising sheep is also a good option. You can get meat and wool from sheep. Depending upon your location weather conditions sheep can provide you with high-quality yield. You need to carefully select the breed of sheep. Rambouillet, Delaine Merino, Norwegian, Bluefaced Leicester, Columbian sheep, and Polypay sheep are the best sheep breed for spinning wool.
And Cheviot, Dorset sheep, Hampshire sheep, Suffolk sheep, Dropper breed, and Texel sheep are the best sheep breed for meat. One of the good things about sheep is that they can live peacefully with other animals. So if you have few goats as your homestead animals you can add few sheep as well. I have written a complete guide on raising sheep on a farm you can check that as well.
Related: Raising sheep on a farm
Cattles are generally raised for milk and meat. Similar to goats and sheep you need to build a proper fence for your cattle. Raising cattle is a little more difficult than other animals in this article. But if you have time and the right attitude nothing is impossible. Raising a cow has a lot of benefits like you will never need to buy milk form the market again. And they will take care of the bushes on your farm. Cows can produce four gallons of milk per day. And for about 2 years without breeding them again. Cow dungs can be used as fertilizers for your small farm. There is a huge demand for cow meat, so you can earn some extra money as well if you will raise multiple cattle.
Holstein, Ayrshire, The Shorthorn, Jersey cow, Guernsey, and Brown Swiss are the top 6 dairy cattle breed. Agnus, Hereford, Charolais, and Galloway are the top cattle breed for meat.
Related: Top 6 dairy cattle breed
Pigs / Hogs
Pigs are also a very good choice for homestead animals. Raising a single hog can give a large amount of meat, and it is very easy to raise hogs.
Pigs are smarter than goats and very good at avoiding fences. So it is best to put an electric fence if you are planning to raise hogs. They don’t really require a lot of space as well. There are a lot of myths about pigs, one of them is that pigs are very dirty animals. This is not true. In fact, they are very clean animals. They will not poop in the same place where they eat and sleep.
They have very few sweat glands that’s why they cannot sweat. So in order to keep their body temperature down, they like to stay in a pool of mud. You need to take proper care of what you feed your hogs. I have written a nice article about pig food, their housing, and a beginner’s guide to pig farming make sure you read them too.
Related: Beginners guide to Pig Farming
Related: Pig food
Raising these animals is quite fun. I’m telling you from my own experience. You should involve your kids as well so that they learn how the life process works. It will help them to see the world in a different way. And plus you will have an abundance of food supply for your small family.
About the Author
Farm Animals Guide
Subscribe to our monthly newsletter to receive all of the latest news and articles directly to your inbox.