There are over 273,000 families sustaining themselves with small farms in the US.
If you’re ready to create a homestead of your own, you’re going to want to know a thing or two about raising livestock and poultry on small acreage.
There’s a lot to learn about keeping farm animals, and it can get overwhelming to see how much advice is floating around online.
To start you off, let’s take a look at the three most important (and simplest) tips for raising livestock and poultry on your own land.
- Know Your Intentions When Choosing
Chances are good that if you’re looking into raising livestock and poultry, you’re not looking for pets. You’re looking for a way to increase your self-sustainability. However, there are a number of ways to do that and it will affect your choice of suitable animals.
Cattle and pigs will provide the most meat but poultry will also yield meat without requiring as much land. If you’re not interested in meat, you’re going to want laying hens, dairy cows, or goats.
It’s important to know your intentions from the get-go because it affects everything from the animals you choose to the way you raise them. For example, you’re going to need a different kind of food if you’re raising meat birds than if you’re simply looking for a source of eggs.
- Make Sure Shelter and Protection Is Adequate
Caring for livestock and poultry means providing them with adequate shelter and protection from predators. Once again, these factors depend on the kind of animals you decide to raise.
If you’re raising larger animals like cattle, you’re going to need a strong, high fence to keep them from breaking loose. However, they may not need a barn (unless you live in a cold climate) and they won’t need the heat lamps you’ll need for young poultry.
Poultry is the biggest concern when it comes to predators. Foxes, coyotes, and even local dogs are a threat if they get into your chicken coop. Make sure that your coop is ventilated but that any holes in the woodwork are sealed off to keep predators out.
- Stay Proactive About Livestock and Poultry Health
Most early homesteaders recognize that the upfront cost of raising livestock and poultry is pretty big. The hope is that once the majority of the animals and the necessary equipment is purchased, those costs will start to even out. However, nothing will mess with your return on investment like sick animals.
Stay on top of any medical treatment your animals need and act fast if one falls ill. The last thing you want is for one sick animal to spread their illness to the rest of your homestead and wipe out the whole lot.
Plan Ahead Before Raising Livestock and Poultry
Have you been thinking about raising livestock and poultry? Follow our steps and do some deeper research into the specific breeds you decide to raise and that goal can become a reality.
Want to know more about all things animal-related? Bookmark our page and stay on top of everything there is to know about the animals in your home.