You may have a farm and you may be doing brilliantly growing your own vegetables and fruit, but livestock is where the most profit can be found. Choosing your livestock, however, can be difficult because you need to understand the requirements of each animal so that you can keep them as safe and as happy as possible.
Chickens are easily the most popular barnyard bird. They can be efficient at producing both eggs and meat, not to mention that they gain a pound of meat for every two pounds of feed. A good hen will provide you with twelve eggs for every five pounds of feed as well. If you aren’t quite sure which option you want to go with then there are now dual-purpose breeds available for you to choose from. The best thing about chickens is that they are fantastic foragers. They will eat bugs, weeds, kitchen scraps and even meat as well. Chicken wire is very cheap to come by and they don’t have any care requirements. You do however have to make sure that you clip their wings or invest in a tall fence if you want to keep them earthbound.
Sheep are quiet, calm and best of all, free from odour. They are also very easy to keep in a pen. They are also brilliant grazers and if you keep them in a pasture exclusively then you will also find that they are one of the most economical creatures you can keep. If you have an adult ewe then you can get around 100lbs of meat and 8lbs of wool from each one. When buying your sheep, it’s important that you go to a reputable provider such as Australia’s Livestock Exporters. The one thing that you need to know about sheep is that they do require shearing regularly. Labour can be high during lambing season as well, not to mention that sheep are constantly under threat by predators. That being said, they really are some of the easiest animals to keep.
Goats are quite possibly the most intelligent and the most companionable of all livestock animals. They are highly efficient at producing milk and they can produce around a gallon per day. Goat’s milk is very similar to cow’s milk and there are plenty of breeds for you to choose from. The hide from the goat can also be used to create a huge range of garments as well, such as rugs, jackets and even vests. If you are planning on having animals on your farm then goats are a brilliant choice. You do however have to milk them twice a day, 7 days a week during their lactation period, which lasts around 10 months. They don’t need too much space either, but keeping them penned can be hard work if you don’t have a high-quality, sturdy fence so this is something else you need to think about. All in all, goats are some of the easiest animals to keep, but if you don’t have the time to invest in them then there are other options available.