While there are some homesteaders who will veer away from it, a key part of homesteading for most people will be raising animals. Here, we want to give you a few ideas as to how you can go about this, as well as a bit of information on how you can turn your livestock raising into a business.
As with all things when it comes to homesteading: you will want to ensure that you start small and simple. Do not get a whopping number of animals in at the start. It can be tough to handle. Start with a few, and then expand your operations.
Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to breed your own animals. You can always buy them in ‘young’ and then raise them yourself. A lot of people find this a whole lot easier.
Small Farm Animals
Your staples will be:
All of these will be able to provide you with a decent source of meat, while the first two can also provide you with eggs. Of course, you do not need all three.
For example: some people won’t have both chickens and ducks. Some people loathe rabbit, and thus will not raise them.
Honestly, feeding all of these animals is not all that difficult. As long as you buy in specialist feed for them, then it should be easy. They do not need much more than this, although there are some that will supplement the diets with a dash of fruit and vegetables.
If you want the healthiest and happiest animals (and this translates to tastiest animals!), then make sure they have plenty of space to roam about and forage. Do not keep them cooped up all the time.
Large Farm Animals
Perhaps the most productive animals for you here will be cows and goats. Both can provide milk, and allow you to make cheese. Of course, cows will also provide you with meat, but it is probably best not to slaughter one on your property unless you know what you are doing.
Goats often make a great option for farms, because they will be able to clean out overgrown areas and the like. They are fantastic at it.
It is perhaps worth noting that if you are going to raise cows, you do need to make sure that you feed them the ‘correct’ foods.
For example: if you have dairy cows, they need to be raised on alfalfa hay, whereas beef cattle can just eat a standard hay mix.
Some people will also raise horses to allow them to ranch.
Turning Your Farm into a Business
There are plenty of different ways that you can turn your farm into a business here.
If you are breeding animals, then you will be surprised at how much you can charge for newborns. There are other homesteaders, just like you, who will never breed their own animals. However, this doesn’t stop them needing a steady supply of new ones to replace the ones they slaughter.
Of course, your animals are also going to be producing food items. You can sell eggs and meat with ease. In some cases, particularly if you are raising sheep, you can also sell their wool.
As we mentioned previously: you can also raise horses and start your own ranch. However, do bear in mind that this can be exceedingly difficult.