What Farm Animals should you buy?
Over the next several weeks, I will be writing a series 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 of keeping each animal? Animals that will be evaluated include geese, chickens, turkeys, guineas, beef cattle, dairy cows, pigs, donkeys, goats, sheep, farm cats and dogs.
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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.
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.
I hope my analysis of keeping animals is helpful. Not raised with any farm animals as a child, I describe my farm animal experience 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.
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 I will be honest and blunt 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.
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
Animals evaluated include:
Keeping Guard Geese – Is it Worth it?
- 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
- Beef Cattle
The Pros and Cons of Owning Tame Cattle
- Dairy Cows
Keeping a Family Milk Cow
- Bottle Calves
5 Steps to Raising a Bottle Calf
Where to Buy a Bottle Calf
- Farm Dogs
- Farm Cats
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.