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Rural Living: These Are the Easiest Animals to Raise on a Small Farm

Life on a small farm can be a time of fun and quiet enjoyment, but it can also mean adding extra work if you choose to raise a few animals. While you wouldn’t want to raise livestock that would require large fields upon which to graze, there are several small animals ideally suited to small farms. Some of these animals can be used for food and other for shearing and yes, even poop for garden fertilizer! Whether you have just moved to your small farm or are finally considering raising a few animals, here are some suggestions to get you started.

First, a Word About Safety

Some properties are located in areas where there are natural predators. Before choosing chickens, for example, it is always wise to speak with some other farmers in the area. Are their chickens being ravaged by foxes? If so, it is important to keep them in an enclosed area through which predators cannot gain access. Maybe you are raising chickens for fresh eggs daily and not only would your chickens be in danger, but your food source would be depleted as well.

Also, where is your small farm located? Even farms are situated on busy roadways and so the type of fence or crash barrier you construct is of vital importance. Not only will a strong crash barrier constructed from high-impact supplies found at Armco Barrier keep autos from crashing into your animals, but they are strong enough to keep animals from wandering out into the roadway.

Safety is a huge issue if you are going to be raising animals on your small farm.

2 chickens walking next to each other on a small homestead.

Five Animals to Raise on Small Farms

With all that in mind, here are 5 animals best suited to small parcels of farm land. Again, depending on whether you are raising them because of the ‘cuteness factor’ or for serving some functional purpose, your choices will only be limited by the size of land you have available and how safe you can keep them. Here are suggestions:

  1. Chickens – With an inexpensive setup, you can raise chickens for food and for eggs. If you can build a chicken coup large enough for a few dozen hens, you could have a nice little side business going on. Fresh eggs are always in high demand, especially those raised without antibiotics and other chemicals that ‘could’ be harmful to humans.
  2. Goats – Not only are they great for keeping your land well-grazed, but they can produce up to three litres of milk a day. Looking to make goat’s milk fudge or cheese? It’s goats you want! However, goats will need strong fencing such as that from Armco Barrier mentioned above.
  3. Sheep – Also great grazers, sheep can offer wool, meat and milk depending on which breed you choose. Actually, sheep’s milk is said to be better than goat’s milk for cheese, so keep that in mind as well.
  4. Rabbits – For rabbits you’ll need a little barn/outbuilding with a dirt floor, but they can yield a tidy little profit because they are considered a delicacy. They are not difficult to care for and with the right kind of rabbit, Angora for example, the fur can also sell for a handy sum.
  5. Honey Bees – Okay, so they are not technically what you’d think of as a farm animal, but there is nothing healthier and more profitable than honey. With so many lovely wildflowers throughout the US, not only can you harvest the honey but what about a home-based beeswax business for candles and lip balm?

With just a small piece of land, you can raise these animals for profit or pleasure. Just remember to keep them safe and you’ll have loads of fun, and alas, a bit of work but you’ll finally have the farm you’d always dreamed of.