If you are new to the farm or homestead life and want to start raising your own livestock, it can feel overwhelming at first. There are a variety of animals to choose from, and they all serve different purposes. First, you must decide what you want to gain from having livestock. Is it food, profit, companionship? After answering this question, you can then decide which animals would most benefit your needs.
Here are some of the most cost-effective farm animals to raise as a beginner homesteader that can help you lead a more self-sufficient lifestyle with little to no experience raising livestock.
Rabbits are a great addition to any farm. They are a good source of meat, take up very little space, and do not cost a lot to feed. They can be fed store-bought feed, fodder, extra vegetables from the garden, weeds, grass clippings, and hay. Rabbits are also great for your garden because they produce some of the best fertilizer.
One consideration about raising rabbits is that they are prone to predators and selling rabbit meat has a smaller market as some people aren’t used to the idea of eating them.
Goats can be an extremely profitable investment for your homestead. They are good at clearing brush, a meat source, and great for dairy. Goats will feed on shrubbery and wood and love indulging in hay, vegetables, and store-bought feed. Some people choose to leave their goats out to pasture. If your goats are in a smaller space, it is important to give them a covered place to stay dry when it rains, such as a portable run-in shed. They tend to have stomach issues and need to be dewormed a few times a year. Goats are also very social animals, so it is important to have more than one.
Chickens are by far the greatest gateway animals when it comes to starting your livestock journey. They don’t require much space and are a source of eggs, meat, and fertilizer. There are various types of chickens and choosing a chicken breed will help you determine how many eggs you’ll get a year from each bird and their temperament. The concern about raising chickens is that predators love them. To keep your chickens safe from predators, it is necessary to invest in a safe and protective chicken coop.
If you are ready to start the worthwhile process of raising livestock, Deer Creek Structures can help. We can build you a custom barn or shed to keep your new animals safe and protected, along with sturdy, well-ventilated chicken coops.
Give us a call today at (254)546-2276 to begin the rewarding journey of raising livestock!