Adding Animals To Your Homestead

How To Create A Homestead With Little Money – Adding Animals

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Once you have your structures and fencing in place, you will want to start adding animals to your growing homestead. Why else would you build barns and shelters?

Before you begin adding animals, be sure to read up on structures and fencing (pt 1.).

Which animals to add is all up to you, but we will go over a few here. Please look into your local regulations on which/how many animals you can add to your homestead. In my opinion, always add at least 2 of the same animal so they have a friend to live with.

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Chickens

Chickens
Chickens

If you ask me, chickens are a must have and are super easy to raise! They don’t take up much room at all and love kitchen scraps. Hens are not very loud and will supply you with eggs.

On the other hand, roosters can be loud and sometimes aggressive. I have hand-raised all mine and they are sweethearts. It’s like dogs…all depends on how they are raised as to how they will act. You do NOT need a rooster. Hens will survive just fine without a rooster and will continue to lay eggs. The eggs they lay will not hatch though – they are not fertilized.

Chickens also produce some amazing fertilizer (poop) that you can use for your garden and plants!

Ducks

Ducks
Ducks

Next step up is ducks. Ducks are kind of like chickens but do have a few more requirements. They require a bit more room as they will also love having a pond to swim in. The pond will need to be cleaned out regularly so they have continuous fresh water. Ducks love fresh greens, such as lettuce.

Female ducks will also supply you with eggs and you do not need a male unless you want fertilized eggs for hatching.

They are a bit louder than chickens and will make more of a mess in their area.

Turkeys

Turkeys
Turkeys

While turkeys take a bit more to raise than chickens, they are definitely fun! They require much more room as they can jump very high (up to 30 ft), and grow much larger than a chicken. Along with turkey feed, they love kitchen scraps just like chickens!

Female turkeys lay eggs 1-2 times out of the year. Ours lay between March and May. Some breeds will lay again in the fall for a few months. You do not need a male for egg production unless you want to hatch them.

These are quite a bit louder than the other birds given they “gobble” all day to each other, and the females will give a high pitched chirp frequently.

Pigs

Pigs
Kunekune Pigs

There are many types of pigs to choose from if this is the route you want to take. We chose Kunekune pigs because they are smaller in size so the kids would be able to handle them easier than a large Durock pig.

Pigs LOVE kitchen scraps, but also require additional feed. We feed ours alfalfa pellets, sweet feed, occasional sunflower seeds, and of course kitchen scraps.

I have raised Berkshire pigs before and they get BIG. I was not able to go in the pen alone as they would try to knock me over (and got close many times). They required more grains for their feed being they are not a pasture type pig such as Kunekune.

Goats

Nigerian Dwarf Goats
Goats

In my opinion, I would leave goats for the people that have land and maximum security fencing. I love goats! Don’t get me wrong. But they are very mischievous. They broke through our welded wire fencing, and our chain link fencing. There were many days that we would look outside and see 1-2 in a neighbor’s yard!

Goats are very sweet (if raised right). We raised ours for babies and milk because I got too attached to their cuteness and great personalities. I couldn’t eat them.

There are different kinds of goats to choose from: meat goats, dairy goats, big goats, or miniature goats. We chose Nigerian Dwarf so the kids would be able to handle them with ease, and they made some decent milk.

They do require much more room to roam than a chicken, and also some high quality hay as feed. If I ever get the right property with the right fencing, I would definitely get goats again.

Other Animals

While there are countless other animals that you could add to your homestead, I would have to write a novel to cover them all. I have not personally raised cows, alpacas, llamas, donkeys, guineas, pheasants, or horses. We have done quail and they were definitely interesting. We are still contemplating on whether we should add them again or not.

Keeping The Cost Down

Now that we have talked about many animals you could add to your homestead, I bet you are wondering how to get them for less money.

There are a few outlets I personally use to keep the costs of getting animals down:

  • Craigslist: Many people get animals and later decide they do not want them anymore. I have found many chickens for free! All it costs is gas money to pick them up. There is also other people that may be selling there animals cheap. I found a GREAT deal on the goats we bought!
  • Facebook groups: I am part of a farm animal giveaway group on Facebook. There are people giving away (or bartering) animals, but so far there are not many located anywhere near me. I still keep looking though.
  • Friends and family: I have some friends that we trade/barter animals with.
  • Raise your own: Hatching/breeding your own animals can be cost effective. We hatch our own turkeys and chickens, then either sell the ones we don’t want/need or they go to freezer camp. We have bred our own goats and sold them. This year, we are looking to breed our pigs.

As a warning…getting animals from unknown people on Craigslist and/or Facebook can come with diseases/sicknesses. I always quarantine these animals for a while before I even think about putting them in with any of my animals. I don’t need to lose a whole flock because a bird I picked up “looked good”.

If you are unable to find animals the ways listed above, you can always spend a bit more to get better quality. Feed stores, breeders or hatcheries are also great places to find animals. These animals usually come disease free but I would still quarantine just to be safe.

Hopefully this helps you start your homestead. If you come up with other tips/tricks, please feel free to comment below to help everyone out with their dreams!

author

Unknown Homestead

Hello! Welcome to Unknown Homestead! I'm Erika. While I would love to say we have an amazing, huge homestead that is complete and bringing in the dough....it's a work in progress on just over 2 acres. We bought this property in 2019. I had big dreams but this fit the price range. Being built in the 1980's it was not an old house like people buy, but it still needed some work to be done. I handle the animals and yardwork, while Greg handles the smoking/grilling of meats and still works a fulltime job until this homestead is complete and profitable. Having 3 stepchildren does help get some things done around here, but now there is another one on the way. We started out as (I guess you would say) normal people. Depending on grocery stores for food and binge watching whatever TV show or movie we were into at the time. Our ways have since changed (and are continuing to change). We have added chickens, ducks, turkeys, and pigs to our Unknown Homestead (along with our dogs and cat of course). While this property is not that old to us, I have been trying to change my ways for many years. This blog shows what we are doing and how, with the hopes it can help some of you with your hopes and dreams as well!

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