What Farm Animals should you buy?
Do you dream of owning a farm full of animals? Animals that will help you become more self-sufficient, raise your own food and even be companions. But, you aren’t sure which animals are best for your homestead? The beginner’s guide to farm animals is for you!
You have come to the right place. I have written a series of articles about keeping different animals on the farm. The beginner’s guide to animals on the farm answers the questions: What is the purpose, cost, advantages, disadvantages, and special considerations including temperament and behavior of each animal?
I evaluate all the animals that we have owned on our homestead including
Stay tuned for other animal overviews, for animals such as sheep, meat rabbits, llamas, and alpaca. Of course, birds such as quail, pheasant, and peacocks will be evaluated too.
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As an animal lover, I have always been a “fly by the seat of my pants” kind of girl when it comes to acquiring new animals on the farm. I see an animal and think, ‘Look how cute that animal is. I sure would like to get one. Without much research or inquiry, I purchase the animal.
There has been a lot of trial and error with my animal husbandry. This series will help you make informed animal buying decisions, rather than impulse decision making. I wish I would have had a Beginner’s Guide to Animals on the Farm when I was purchasing animals.
What to expect in the Beginner’s Guide to Animals on the Farm
Due to my impulsive buying nature, we have had pretty much all the farm animals at one time or another. Ponies, beef cattle, dairy cows, donkeys, chickens (both layers and meat), ducks, geese, guineas, turkeys, a goat, pigs.
About the only animal, we haven’t had is sheep. But I want some. My husband did have them when he was a child, but at this point, owning sheep would mean re-fencing the pasture with woven wire.
Although my buying nature, might be impulsive, once I purchase an animal, I am very committed to keeping the animal and giving it the best farm life possible based on its purpose.
For example, I have recently acquired a pair of geese. I have always wanted geese but hesitated because of their reputation of being mean. Well, unfortunately, my geese are not the nicest animals on the farm and living up to their reputation of being mean. But I am making adjustments to our setup to keep them and I am learning a lot about geese behavior. You can read more about whether keeping geese is worth it.
I hope my analysis of keeping animals is helpful. Not raised with any farm animals as a child, I describe my farm animal experience starting from a complete newbie perspective.
Here is what to expect for each animal in detail. The purpose, cost, advantages, disadvantages, ease of keeping the animal, and special considerations for each animal. I will also evaluate the general temperament and behavior of the animal.
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Purpose of Keeping an animal
Why keep the animal?
This is probably the most important question to ask yourself when considering purchasing an animal. I’ve purchased many animals just because I thought it would be fun or the baby animal was cute. These are NOT good reasons to purchase an animal. Here are some good reasons to purchase an animal.
- meat or other food product such as milk or eggs
Cost of raising the animal
Is it cost-effective to raise the animal on the farm? Not every animal is raised for a profit. Some animals are on the farm to protect other animals. Some animals raised on the farm are a pet. However, most of the animals must earn money in order to justify owning it.
Advantages of keeping animal
What are the positive things about keeping a particular animal? Many of our animals have more than one purpose and I will outline the advantages of keeping each animal.
Disadvantages of keeping animal
What are the negative things about keeping a particular animal? I have found that most articles on the internet the positive side of owning an animal but give you an honest and blunt opinion about the disadvantages of keeping each animal. Farming seems like a rosy, pleasant lifestyle, and in some ways it is, but there are many discouraging aspects of it too. I help you have ALL the information you need to make animal purchasing decisions.
Special considerations for each Animal
- Ease of keeping the animal
- Environmental factors – housing, feed, noise
- Temperament consideration – quiet, aggressive,
- Ability to raise in different settings – Rural/ Suburban/ City
A Beginner’s Guide to Animals on the Farm
Below is a list of articles related to animals on the farm. When you sign up for my newsletter, you will be the first to hear about new articles and freebies from Cattle Upon a Hill.
Farm Animals Articles:
Keeping Guard Geese – Is it Worth it?
Raising Turkeys on the Farm. 5 Important Considerations
- Chickens (general)
Keeping Chickens on the Homestead – 5 Important Considerations
- Chickens (layers)
5 Tips for Starting Happy, Healthy Chicks
3 Simple Ways to Deal With Extra Roosters On the Farm
- Chickens (meat)
Spring Chicks on the Farm
5 Important Considerations Before Keeping Ducks on the Homestead
- Beef Cattle
The Pros and Cons of Owning Tame Cattle
- Dairy Cows
Keeping a Family Milk Cow
Owning a Family Milk Cow, Is it Worth the Commitment?
Making the most of your Farm-Fresh Milk
5 Simple ways to Use Farm-Fresh Milk in the Kitchen
- Bottle Calves
5 Steps to Raising a Bottle Calf
Where to Buy a Bottle Calf
This post may contain affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure here.
If you are looking for funny inspiration, I highly recommend any book by Joel Salatin. Here is a good, beginning farming book.