If you are considering adding animals to your homestead, you may not be sure which ones would be the best to add first. If you are new to homesteading, you don’t want to get overwhelmed to quickly and give up. Some animals require a lot of time and attention while others can manage well on their own. Let’s look at some of the best options for beginning homesteaders that want to add some livestock to their property.
Man’s Best Friend
If you don’t already have a dog, this should be first on your list. Not only are they great companions, but they can be a valuable asset against would be intruders, robbers, and others who aren’t familiar. They are incredibly loyal, and will be fiercely protective of your family. They will also get rid of some rodents, like moles, which could wreak havoc on your garden and yard.
Backyard chickens (even in urban settings) are growing in popularity. Chickens can be a dual food source (meat and eggs) and are a good first homestead animal. They don’t require a lot, other than some feed, water, and a place to nest and some room to forage and graze. They will start laying eggs after just a couple of weeks. Letting them free range for food will add awesome nutrients to their diet will improve the quality of their eggs. Caring for chickens is a great way to get kids involved in helping around the homestead, too.
Another homestead animal that can be a great asset to you is the goat. They will eat on lots of green plants (so you might want to keep them from any precious roses or other things you don’t want “trimmed” without your permission). Not to mention they are wonderful pets, and will provide your family with nutritious milk. So, if you have goats and chickens, you will have a constant food supply from just those 2 animals.
A donkey is a great choice for your homestead for a couple of reasons. First, they are excellent at hauling large loads. They will need a good sized piece of land to graze and stretch their legs, so you might want to make sure you can provide that before getting one. They would be super convenient if you had to haul belongings in a survival situation. Not to mention they could haul bags of feed for other animals around your property.
Like the donkey, horses are a good choice if you have room for them to graze. They are also good for carrying people, or carrying supplies. If you are in a situation where no gasoline is available, your horse is going to be how you get around (especially if you are traveling more than a few miles). Horses are also a good choice for a pet, as they tend to be loyal and very gentle if treated well.
Hopefully this will help you to decide which animals you’d like to add to the homestead first. Whatever species you decide on, no doubt adding animals to your homestead will be a wonderful decision. Do you have any animals on your homestead? What would you recommend for newbies?