When you are considering the career and lifestyle of a farmer, one of the first things you need to decide on is what kind of farm animal you would like to raise. Your farm is, ultimately, about making money and it’s important to find a combination between profit and passion. While many new farmers still choose the traditional farm animals, others go for the more exotic variations which may require special handling.
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Here is a handful of the animals you can easily raise and love on a small farm, boosting your knowledge a bit and preparing you for life as a farmer.
As an ideal farm animal, chickens are multipurpose animals and the first choice of many new farmers. They require about four square feet of space per hen in the coop, a covered area where they can stay dry and warm – as well as somewhere to nest and lay eggs. Remember that they are particularly susceptible to predators, so make sure you have sufficient fencing and a mean rooster to protect your hens.
The great thing about raising chickens is that you can keep them for so many purposes; use them for eggs, meat, and fertilizer to grow your little farm in no time.
Chickens are, unfortunately, susceptible to illness and will depend on you to keep their coop clean and pleasant at all times. When they live so close together and have weak respiratory systems, you risk seeing all of your chickens falling ill when one gets sick.
Make cleanliness your number one priority, protect them from the hungry eyes of hawks, and your chickens will stay happy and healthy for a long time.
#2 Pekin Ducks
Many consider the Pekin Duck to be the easiest animal to raise on a farm. The eggs they lay are large, their meat can be sold at a good price, and they don’t require too much space either. Where chickens eat basically anything and you won’t have to spend as much money on food, ducks have a larger appetite.
Even better, they won’t scratch the ground like chickens may do, and will help you out in the garden by eating the weaker plants and keeping the bugs off the healthier ones.
The one thing you need to keep in mind, though, is that these ducks are slow birds and especially prone to predators such as dogs and hawks. Sufficient fencing will take you a long way, as well as a safe haven for them to stay dry and relaxed in. Read more at https://morningchores.com to learn how you should care for your very first duck.
They are friendly, low-maintenance, and easy to keep; provide them with a small pool to paddle around in, and they’ll be the happiest ducks in the area.
Perhaps a bit less cuddly but just as perfect for a small farm and particularly valuable, are the bees. You need to invest in quite a lot of equipment up front, though, to ensure a safe environment for your bees as well as secure handling when you harvest the honey.
There is so much potential for a small bee farm and a variety of options when you’re ready to make use of the honey, so that you won’t be missing any variation on your farm.
Although you don’t need to handle the bees daily, there will be periods that require more management. It’s easy to learn on the job, however, and recognize when it’s time to replace hives and queens to make sure your bees are happy and healthy.
As with most farm animals, there is a lot to read before welcoming them into your business. Find the right type of beehive for your colony in this article and commit to the one that would work best for your beekeeping style.
While horses require a large amount of space to roam, you can get away with a hobby horse or two on your small farm. A lot of people keep horses for companionship rather than livestock and, although the conversation is still rolling on whether a horse is a companion or livestock, you can enjoy the experience of raising horses nonetheless.
If you keep them for companionship, it’s a good idea to open your small farm up for horseback riding for children, for example, so that you’re able to generate a bit of income as well. They require a lot of food, maintenance, and space to be happy so spend a lot of time on reading up on how to provide the best care for your new horse.
If you’re interested in keeping larger horses rather than hobby horses, you might want to consider moving to an existing horse farm or just a larger property. You can have a look at https://www.jumpintogreenerpastures.com for a complete checklist of what you need to know about horse farms.
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Goats are great farm animals. When you don’t have too much land, goats are able to provide you with dairy without taking up too much space. As a multipurpose animal, many fresh farmers choose them for their milk, meat, and willingness to clear the brush on your homestead without being asked.
When you provide them with some space to pasture on, a safe area to be warm and sheltered in when it rains, as well as a few companion goats, they’ll basically stay with you on their own. Fail to care for them, however, and your unhappy goats will be quick to suddenly leave your farm. A happy goat is a loyal goat, so make sure you look after their needs.
They are quite prone to illness, though, and you will have to give them a worm treatment twice a year. Keep an eye on them and start the treatment immediately if you notice any stomach problems among your goats. It’s really the only downside when it comes to raising goats, so treat them well, and they’ll pay you back for the love in spades.
As your farm expands, you can always choose to include another farm animal or two. Just remember to read up on how to care for them, of course, and make sure you have the resources to give them a happy and healthy life.