Starting a farm is stressful and trying to decide on the best farm animals to raise just adds to the pressure. Do you want cows? Do you want chickens? How about goats? Goat are great, right?!
Some people stick to farming just one animal, while others choose two or twenty. The key to finding the best farm animals to raise is research. Below is a list I have developed to take some of the researching stress off your shoulders. You really want to know the best farm animals to raise? Look no further than right here!
First Stop: CHICKENS
Chickens are one of the best farm animals to raise. Although, finding the best breed for you needs would require additional research because there are over 150 different kinds. The biggest obstacle to raising chickens would be shelter: you would need a chicken coop. They are relatively low-maintenance animals. They feed off bugs, leaves, herbs, and prepared food that consists of grains and a protein source. The feed can be bought at a feed store and is relatively inexpensive. There’s also websites and blogs that can teach you how to make your own.
Chickens provide to main for sources: their meat and their eggs. Now, these food sources can be used to feed your family and/or be sold to make money for your farm. That decision would be totally up to you, the farmer. It is one of the greatest benefits of chickens though.
Second Stop: GOATS
Goats make a great asset to any farm and are amongst the best farm animals to raise. Like chickens the biggest obstacle would be having a pen for them to live in. Penning them will also mean you have to keep them very satisfied because they love to jump fences (and other things!). Another option, and often the one people choose, would be letting them free-range. This would allow them to eat grass (ready-made lawnmower for an added bonus!), shrubs, and be somewhat self-sufficient. They also eat vegetables or feed that you buy/make. If you go the free-range route you would need to be sure and have some sort of shelter for them to rest in during storms and/or bath weather.
Like chickens, goats provide two food sources: meat and milk. These can be used to feed your family and/or sold to make money for the farm. Deciding which breed of goat fits best for your farm would require a little research ( you didn’t think I was going to research everything did you?!).
Third Stop: PIGS
This brings us to our final animal-the pig. Pigs are often underrated as one to the best farm animals to raise because they tend to smell. Which is crazy because they are actually very clean animals. Pigs will eat anything you give them which really helps with their cost/maintenance. Like the goat, they do require a pen. However, if you have enough space/land/acreage you can let them free range too! This also helps cut down on their cost/ maintenance because they require a lot of food to flourish. Combining free ranging with “slop” (leftovers you are going to throw away) helps keep them feed and helps keep their cost down.
Just like with chickens and goats, pigs are a great food source provider. They can be used to feed to feed you family and/or sold to raise money for your farm. If they are fed, they are happy. This allows you to have more time to tend to other things on the far.
You would still need to do a little research to decide which breed of these three farm animals would best suit your needs and costs. Researching, keeping up with vaccines (if needed) and deworming are very important steps to take as well. Now that we have discussed the best farm animals to raise, I wish you long years of happy farming!