Homesteading has moved from a compulsory way of living in the West to an optional way to step back from the hurried career and family activities that are increasingly prevalent in ordinary society. Homesteading is a lifestyle that includes home-made food, processing the soil and making products for yourself and your home. Animals are an important part of the home process and provide strength for riding, companionship and a source of food. Here are the best animals to consider investing in as you dive into your home experience.
When it comes to gnawing through acres of blackberries and weeds, no one can handle the job of goats. Depending on where you live, you may not need to feed them, which makes them a cheap pet to have on the farm. Think about the goat of the goat that is most beneficial to you or get a variety of them to meet your needs.
In addition to clearing overgrowth, milk goats can be used for milk, butter and cheese. Be aware that you have to invest in fencing in an attempt to keep goats where you want them, or they will clear every crop, not just the invasive ones.
Chickens are probably the first pets for animals to control because they are easy to care for and provide food in a short time. Chickens can be grown exclusively for egg production or eaten as meat. If you find yourself with an excess of eggs, you can even sell them to neighbors or residents in town.
Most farms have cows for good reasons – dairy cows provide milk and other dairy products for the family. This helps keep trips to the grocery store to a minimum. It does mean regular milking, however, and dairy cows become rough and even sick if this is not done, so think about your other responsibilities and be realistic when it comes to owning dairy animals.
You can also own cows as a source of meat, either buy young cows to grow for butchers or breed your own. A large cow can easily support a family during the winter and by growing your own you know what it has eaten and can control the quality of the meat.
Pigs are another common source of meat in the farm. It's hard to have morning bacon and sausage without them. In addition, pigs eat a variety of foods, helping you to effectively use your leftover food and the piles of acorns around the property.
A word of caution – if you have little or no experience with livestock, pimples may not be your first choice. They are smart, spunky animals with a strong will and a bit of escape art that allows them to swap out of almost any pen. On the other hand, in addition to providing regular feeding, pigs do not need lots of your time.
Sheep wool has many of the same benefits as angora, plus sheep grazing freely and also provides meat and milk.
Few people think of rabbits when considering food sources, but they make an excellent meal. In addition, angora rabbits provide fluffy fur that is used as a yarn. The wool yarn can in turn be made into many useful products such as dry wool and the wool can also be sold on the market. Angora rabbits are soft, friendly and easy to care for.
Running a farm means growing or raising your own food products, so keeping bees is a great way to have honey available for cooking and to easily drop cornbread. Beekeeping also creates a useful pollination cycle for your plants and provides wax you can use to make other products such as beeswax candles.
Your plants are likely to grow larger and be more productive with bees around. In addition, you are doing the planet a favor given the heavy bees losses due to a widespread colony collapse.
8 and 9 Dog or cat
Even if you spend your days surrounded by a variety of animals, have a cat or dog (or both, or more) companionship like no other being. Especially dogs are intuitive to other animals on the farm and often warn if there are problems. Cats serve their pleasure by hunting or hunting mice, which can be a huge problem, especially in food storage areas.
Horses are a great investment, but if the budget, space and needs are a match, they are an endlessly useful animal around the farm. With exceptional strength, horses can help move logs and other heavy objects. In addition, they make the perfect environmentally friendly transport for a trip to town or out to the fence line on the back of 40 acres.