In this time of worldwide pandemic health crisis, deciding what’s the best livestock to raise for your homestead is very important. In fact, there are a lot of factors that need to be considered in order for your homestead to be successful. Factors such as the size of your homestead, your location, and most importantly the cost of raising the animals that will be included in your “best homestead animals to raise” list.
So, before you start raising animals in your backyards, you must first think long and hard about the type of livestock you think will be the easiest and have the highest success rate for you to raise. Because once you start, there is no turning back.
To help you, here are 7 of the best homestead animals to raise that you can consider.
One of the most popular and easiest livestock to raise for your homestead is poultry. And when we say poultry, we don’t only mean chickens. There are a lot of options besides the chicken. Ducks, geese, guineas and even turkeys if you have space are just some of the best homestead animals that you can raise.
For small homestead, chickens and ducks are the most common and logical choices because they are the easiest to raise. They only require a little space (3 square feet of space for each chicken or duck) and they provide fresh eggs and meat for the whole family to enjoy. Chicken and duck feathers can also be used to stuff pillows once they are dried, cleaned, and treated.
Poultry is also a great pest control. Ants, hornets, wasps, slugs, ticks, name it and poultry animals will gobble it.
When it comes to meat, pigs are one of the best sources. It is also one of the best homestead animals that you can consider raising. A single full-grown pig can provide you an amazing amount of pork for you to enjoy or to make a profit from. Raising pigs is also easier compared to other livestock. Pigs eat almost anything and can reach to about 100-150 kilograms in less than a year. Pig manure can also be used as a good fertilizer if you have a garden.
When it comes to space, pigs require only a little. Just make sure to keep your pigs warm and dry and also give them plenty of water.
In homesteading, you will never go wrong with goats. Goats are extremely versatile. They can be raised easily and can be used in different kinds of ways. Goats are a great source of meat as well as milk. In fact, goats can produce more than a gallon of milk per day that you can drink straight up or turn it into delicious cheese or yogurt.
Since goats are much smaller than cows, it is also more practical to raise them when homesteading is concerned. Compared to cows, goats don’t need a lot of space to graze plus they also breed much faster( a single doe it can give birth to 2-3 kids at a time).
The popularity of goat meat is also on the rise. More and more restaurants are now offering goat delicacies in their menus. This means that as the popularity of goat meat soars, so is the market value for goats. And for homesteaders who loves raising goats, this is great news.
Sheep just like goats also provides meat and milk and in addition, it can also provide you a good amount of wool. Raising sheep won’t also take much of your time and space. Just build a fence around your perimeter and let them roam around. They will feed on the grass and weeds that grow in your yard.
In terms of breeding, a single ewe can give birth twice a year to 2-3 lambs. Over time, you will have an abundant flock of sheep that can produce your meat, milk, and wool that you can sell and enjoy.
Growing some fish is also a great survival plan. One of the best species of fish that you can add to your best homestead animals list is the catfish. Catfish can be raised even in small spaces and they can grow and multiply rapidly. You can grow your catfish in ponds ( if you have one) or even in a barrel. Feeding your catfish is also a breeze. Just feed them worms once a day.
If your space is limited, don’t worry. You can still grow fish by the method called aquaponics. Aquaponics is a symbiotic system of growing plants and fish together. It is agriculture and aquaculture in one. This method of growing fish is best suited in urban places.
Examples of fish species that you can grow in your backyards are:
While rabbits are sometimes considered as pets, it is still one of the best homestead animals that you can raise. Rabbits can provide meat ( about 600 pounds of meat per year) and wool. Their droppings also make great fertilizer.
Rabbit meat is rich in protein and they are also one of the easiest homestead animals to grow. Rabbits only require small space and their source of food is also not that hard to come by. Grass and weeds are enough to feed your rabbits. Rabbits are also highly reproductive. In fact, a single doe can produce as many as 25 rabbits in a single year. An important note to remember, make sure to clean your rabbit cages regularly because rabbits are messy animals and they are also smelly.
Raising and keeping a cow is not as easy as the other homestead animals on our list. It is harder and you will also need a much bigger space for your cows to graze. In short, raising a cow is a big responsibility most especially if you are planning to raise a herd in the long run. But be that as it may, raising cow still has a lot of benefits.
Cows are a great source of dairy products. A single milking cow can produce about 4 gallons of milk in a single day for up to 2 years even without being rebred. A raw cow’s milk has so many health benefits and it can also be processed into different dairy products like cheese, yogurt, butter, buttermilk, kefir, sour cream, and many more.
Cows can also provide you a great amount of meat. Just imagine all the beef recipes you can do on cows’ meat. Briskets, ribs, loins, ground beef, and STEAKS. Yummy!
Cows manure can also be used as a fertilizer to your gardens. Just place your cow manure into a compost pile for it to break down and then add it to your soil.
These are just 7 of the many different animals that you can raise for your homestead. While it is true that raising these animals can be a lot easier when you are living in the country, there are still a lot of ways for you to raise some of them even if you are living in an urban area. Just choose the right animal that is appropriate for your location. Also remember that keeping and raising these animals requires a lot of patience, dedication, and responsibility.