Top 3 Picks for Raising Small Farm Animals
If you’re intrigued by the idea of starting a hobby farm or a homestead, you will want to ensure that your small farm animals are well kept. As a beginner, you may be wondering where to start and what animals you’d like to raise. We will help you get started with our top three small farm animal picks and some tips on how to keep your livestock safe, happy and healthy.
Why Small Farm Animals?
Whether you want shining bright orange yolks for your personal breakfast plate or for a budding business, the benefits of raising your own flock, brood, or tribe extend far beyond the chicken coup. Your family size farm can be the source of nutrition for your family and neighbors, and can eventually become quite profitable.
As a beginner homesteader or novice small farmer, it is essential to do your research. The needs of different animals vary greatly and raising livestock can be a challenge at the start, but it’s a challenge well worth the effort. Be sure to take into consideration not only the acreage your property has to offer but also the time you have to spend tending to your animals.
Our top 3 small farm animals ideal for the beginner homesteader or hobby farmer:
Lately, chicken coops have been popping up all over the U.S, and not just in rural areas. Chickens are a common choice in livestock as they are an easy source of eggs and meat. They eat compost, weeds, garden pests, and store-bought feed. They also provide free fertilizer for your farm.
Chickens generally require only 4 square feet per hen in the coop, making it possible to raise them just about anywhere. They do, however, require a covered area to protect them from the elements. They also need fresh water and a cozy place to nest and lay their eggs. Sheds.com offers a great selection of chicken coops, in all shapes and sizes for your flock.
Chickens can produce up to an egg per hen per day, depending on breed. And since you raised your own hens, you’ll know your eggs are second to none. Chickens are susceptible to illness, so it’s important to give them a sturdy and dry home that keeps them happy and healthy.
Ducks are among the easiest of farm animals to raise. Much like chickens, ducks need little space and are quite content with a small pond or a kiddie pool. However, they do need a covered shelter to protect them from the elements and potential predators. Ducks, being larger birds, are susceptible to predators like hawks and dogs, but proper fencing and a covered shelter will provide ample shelter.
Ducks are a very friendly animal to have around a farm or homestead. They are great helpers in the garden and have a very hearty appetite. They make good foragers and will relieve you of your garden pests and weaker rooted plants and weeds.
Ducks also provide very large eggs and are a great source of meat.
Goats are a wonderful animal for a homestead or farm. They clear brush with expert skill. They feed on shrubbery, wood, hay, vegetables, and feed and are notoriously hungry and indiscriminate.
Goats also provide ample milk; some breeds can offer a half to a full gallon of milk a day. Goat’s milk is easy to digest and a fantastic base for making cheese and other dairy products. And unlike other dairy animals, such as cow and sheep, goats are smaller when full grown, making them ideal for spaces with reduced acreage.
Be advised that goats are experts of escape, so a secure fence is necessary. Some may opt to leave goats out to pasture; in which case, you may want to offer a covered shelter to keep them dry in times of bad weather.
Ready to start raising your own small farm animals?
When you’re eager to start your homestead, you’ll want to jump right in. Your small farm animals will bring you lots of excitement and a few challenges. But the joy of running your own homestead and harvesting food from your land is well worth it.
Are you ready to get started? Sheds.com offers a variety of coops, homes and other structures that will help you get the ball rolling on your small farm or homestead.