The Best Animals for Self Sufficiency

0
145


When it comes to farm animals for self-sufficiency, there are a lot of options to choose from. But not all animals are created equal. Some animals are better suited for small properties, while others do well on larger homesteads. And some farm animals can even be kept in urban and suburban settings. So how do you know which ones are best for you? We will outline the best farm animals for self-sufficiency based on the size of the property, climate, and other factors.

Why You Need Farm Animals for Self Sufficiency

Even if you’re not a farmer, there are many benefits to raising livestock. Farm animals can provide you with food, fiber, and even income. They can also help you become more self-sufficient by providing natural fertilizer for your garden and helping to keep pests under control. Not to mention, they’re just fun to have around!

If you eat meat, eggs, or dairy, having farm animals is a great way to get these products without relying on the grocery store. And if you don’t eat meat, there are still plenty of reasons to have them. Farm animals can provide you with wool for fiber arts or even milk for making soap and cheese. If you are planning on a self-sufficient homestead, you will need to produce meat.

No matter your reason for wanting farm animals, there’s sure to be one that’s perfect for you. Here are some of the best options for farm animals based on different factors.

Best Farm Animals for Self-Sufficiency

Now that you’re thinking about farm animals, it’s time to think about what animals would be best for self-sufficiency. This will vary based on a few different factors, including the size of your property, climate, and what you hope to get out of your animals.

Chickens

Chickens are perhaps the most versatile of all farm animals. They can provide you with meat, eggs, and even feathers for crafts. Best of all, raising chickens requires less space than other livestock and can be kept in urban and suburban areas with relative ease.

If you’re just starting out with farm animals, chickens are a great place to start. They’re relatively low-maintenance, and there’s a good market for chicken eggs and meat. Plus, they’re just really fun to have around!

Chickens begin to lay eggs around 18 weeks and provide eggs throughout their life, although they slow down when they molt and after two years. Meat birds are usually ready to be butchered by eight weeks if you are going with meat chickens such as the Cornish cross.

Even if you’re planning on having your birds free-range, they will need a chicken coop for protection at night from predators.

Excellent breeds for the homestead include:

  • Rhode Island Reds
  • Ameraucanas
  • Orpingtons
  • Plymouth Rocks
  • Wyandottes

These are just a few of the best chicken breeds for self-sufficiency. Many homesteaders prefer heritage breeds over the common crosses, which are bred to produce the biggest birds or the most eggs. No matter which breed you choose, chickens are a great addition to any homestead.

Ducks

Ducks can provide you with meat, eggs, and feathers. But ducks also have the added benefit of being great pest control. They love to eat slugs, snails, and other pests that can damage your crops.

Ducks are a bit more high-maintenance than chickens, so they may not be the best choice for beginners. Like chickens, ducks need a coop at night to protect them from predators.

They are also seasonal layers, meaning they produce duck eggs seasonally. They produce larger eggs and are considered somewhat of a delicacy. Even though you don’t get as many eggs as a chicken, you still get delicious eggs.

Some, like the Pekin duck, are better for meat. Others, like the Khaki Campbell, are better for egg production. And then, there are dual-purpose breeds that are good for both meat and eggs.

Some of the best duck breeds for self-sufficiency include:

  • Pekin
  • Khaki Campbell
  • Ancona
  • Cayuga

Goats

Goats can provide you with goat milk, meat, and even fiber for clothing and other goods. Goats are great at foraging, so they don’t require a lot of supplemental feed. Best of all, they’re relatively low-maintenance and can be kept in a small space.

If you’re looking for a versatile farm animal, goats are a great option. A dairy goat can provide you with milk and cheese. Some will provide lean goat meat. Fiber goats will provide fiber or “wool” for fabrics.

Goats need shelter and good fences because they are escape artists. They are quite clever, but they take up a lot less room than other farm animals.

There are different breeds of goats, and some are better for milk production; others are better for delicious meat. Still, others are good for fiber. There are also dual-purpose breeds that are a good compromise between milk and meat production.

Some of the best goat breeds for self-sufficiency include:

  • Nubian
  • Saanen
  • Alpine
  • LaMancha

Good fiber goats include:

Pigs

Pigs can provide you with meat, fat, and even leather. Pigs are also great at foraging, so they don’t require a lot of supplemental feed. Best of all, they’re relatively low-maintenance and don’t require a lot of space.

There are different breeds of pigs, and some are better for meat production; others are better for bacon and pork. Still, others are good for lard. There are also dual-purpose breeds that are a good compromise between meat and fat production.

Some of the best pig breeds for self-sufficiency include:

  • Berkshire
  • Yorkshire
  • Tamworth
  • Hampshire

Cows

Cows can provide you with milk, meat, and even leather. Cows are also great at foraging, so they don’t require a lot of supplemental feed, but they do require a large amount of space.

Some of the best cow breeds for self-sufficiency include:

  • Holstein
  • Jersey
  • Guernsey
  • Brown Swiss

Sheep

Sheep can provide you with meat, wool, milk, and even leather. Sheep can provide milk for drinking and also for making cheese. Sheep are also great at foraging, so they don’t require a lot of supplemental feed.

There are different breeds of sheep, and some are better for wool production; others are better for meat. There are also dual-purpose breeds that are a good compromise between wool and sheep meat production.

Some of the best sheep breeds for self-sufficiency include:

  • Merino
  • Shetland
  • Icelandic
  • Jacob

Quail

Quail can provide you with meat and eggs. Best of all, they’re relatively low-maintenance and don’t require a lot of space. They are quiet, so they can live in suburban and urban environments.

Quails need special housing that will protect them from other animals. Quail eggs are small but very delicious and are considered a delicacy.

Some of the best quail breeds for self-sufficiency include:

  • Japanese
  • Bobwhite
  • Coturnix
  • California Valley

Bees

Bees can provide you with honey, wax, and pollination services. Best of all, they’re relatively low-maintenance and don’t require a lot of space.

There are different types of bees, some better for honey production. Some are calmer and easier to handle than others.

Some of the best bee types for self-sufficiency include:

  • Italian
  • Carniolan
  • Russian
  • Buckfast

Rabbits

Rabbits can provide you with meat and fur. They’re relatively low-maintenance and don’t require a lot of space. They are quiet, so they can live in suburban and urban environments.

Some of the best rabbit breeds for self-sufficiency include:

  • New Zealand white rabbits
  • Californian
  • Chinchilla
  • Rex

Fish

Fish can provide you with food and fertilizer. Most people who raise fish do so for meat, which requires an elaborate setup, including tanks to hold them. Many people raise fish indoors to ensure that they don’t lose their investment to predators.

The best fish for raising in such an environment are:

Farm Animals for Smaller Properties

How much land you have is a big component of what animals you should have. Not everyone has the space for cows, pigs, and goats.

If you have a smaller property, you might want to consider these animals:

  • Chickens
  • Ducks
  • Quail
  • Rabbits
  • Bees

You may consider raising miniature versions of larger livestock if you have a smaller property.

These include:

  • Miniature pigs
  • Nigerian Dwarf goats
  • Pygmy goats
  • Dwarf rabbits
  • Bantam chickens

Farm Animals for Larger Homesteads

If you have a larger homestead, you can consider having any of the animals above.

If you have a larger property, you may want to consider raising multiple types of animals. This will provide you with a greater diversity of resources.

Farm Animals for Urban/Suburban Lands

Not everyone has the space to raise pigs, cows, and goats. If you live in an urban or suburban area, you’ll have to consider what are the best animals for that type of area.

These include:

  • Chickens
  • Ducks
  • Quail
  • Rabbits
  • Bees

If you live in an urban or suburban area, you may consider raising miniature versions of larger livestock. Of course, this depends on zoning and other laws within your municipality. The good news is that many cities do allow chickens or other smaller livestock, such as dwarf goats.

Conclusion

No matter what size your homestead is, there are farm animals that can be a great addition to your self-sufficient lifestyle. Choose the animals that best fit your needs, and you’ll be well on your way to being more self-sufficient.



Source link

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here