The Best Farm Animals for a Homestead

Farm animals are a huge part of the agricultural industry. From cows to horses, these animals provide food for us and help make our lives better in many ways. 

There are so many different farm animals that it’s hard to pick just one! The best way to choose which animal is your favorite might be by what type of product they produce or how they’re raised on the farm. 

If you’re looking for a pet, then you might want to consider one of the smaller animals like a chicken or rabbit. 

However, if you’re seeking for something to assist with farming, larger animals like cattle and horses are most likely the way to go. So, if you want to know what the finest farm animal is, start by looking at these picks!

The Best Farm Animals for a Homstead

1. Horses

Horses help farmers with transportation by pulling wagons full of hay or supplies around the property. This is why it might make sense to look into purchasing an older horse rather than one who has never been exposed to this type of work before since old horses are more likely to know what needs to be done without much training required from you! Of course, you can also ride horses for pleasure on the farm.

2. Pigs

Pigs are frequently used on farms to help with organic waste disposal by consuming them. This is because they can consume virtually anything and convert it into edible meat or products sold. Furthermore, their manure can be used as a natural fertilizer and assist in disposing of food waste! This has resulted in them being regarded as one of the most adaptable animals on this list.

3. Chickens

The benefits of keeping chickens on a homestead are numerous; not only do they lay eggs, but they also provide meat and feathers for use as bedding or insulation in the coop, among other things. In addition, chickens don’t require much space, making them an excellent choice for small farms or city dwellers who want to keep a small flock of birds as pets.

4. Goat

Goats make excellent livestock for farms. Animals raised for milk or meat are easy to care for and can be produced in large quantities. Furthermore, goats can eat weeds, which is advantageous because it helps keep the land clean. Goats are one of the most beneficial farm animals that you can have. A large number of people keep goats on their property. Also known for their playful nature, goats enjoy playing with children.

5. Sheep

Sheep are another animal that has many benefits on a farm. Sheep produce wool, so they give us fabrics like sweaters! Since sheep have their fur, it keeps them warm in cold weather, making them an excellent choice during winter months, especially if you live up north somewhere with colder temperatures throughout the year. One more reason why this animal makes a perfect addition to your farm? The poop from these creatures is used as fertilizer since sheep will typically only go after eating plants once they’ve died, and the poop is an excellent additive for your soil to give it nutrients.

6. Alpaca

While many people think of llamas when they hear the word “alpaca,” these two animals are quite different. Alpacas are smaller, and their fiber is softer and more valuable than llama fiber. Alpacas are also considered much gentler creatures, making them a good choice for those who want an animal that’s easy to care for. Many alpaca owners say they even make good pets.

7. Ostrich

Even though ostriches are not commonly kept as pets, the eggs they produce are pretty valuable. Some ostrich breeders sell their eggs to people who want to use them as a high-end food item or as a novelty gift for their wealthy customers. It is possible that a single egg will cost more than $100 and will produce a chick that will sell for more than $2000.

8. Angora Rabbit

The angora rabbit is distinguished by its long, soft fur, which can be spun into yarn. Unfortunately, because these rabbits require a lot of space to roam, they aren’t a good choice for small farmers. The addition of an angora rabbit to your farm, on the other hand, can be an excellent addition if you have the necessary space. Angora rabbits are also low-maintenance animals that make wonderful companion animals.

9. Beef Cattle

Beef cattle are quintessential farm animals, and they are usually raised for their meat for personal use when bred on a homestead. You can use them to produce milk and other dairy products, as well as for meat production. Also, they’re relatively simple to take care of, but they require a lot of land and food to do so. 

10. Turkey

Turkeys are perhaps not as well-known as some of the other farm animals on this list, but they’re no less important. They provide a valuable source of meat and can clear away pests and weeds from crops, making them an essential part of any sustainable farm. In addition, turkeys can consume large quantities of insects, helping to keep pest populations under control. This is why turkeys are one of the best farm animals around.

11. Dairy Cow

For any dairy farmer, a dairy cow is an absolute must-have. These cows produce various products, including milk, butter, and cheese. Besides being relatively easy to care for, dairy cows can produce beef and milk. In addition, a dairy cow can give birth to one calf per year. Farmers with only a few acres of land will benefit from owning a couple of dairy cows, whereas large farms may require upwards of 30 or more cows to be productive.

12. Donkey

For centuries, donkeys have been used as hardworking animals to haul hay and other crops in agriculture. The ability to pull carts or wagons and serve as pack animals makes them an excellent choice. Donkeys are a perfect choice for small farmers who require an animal to perform various tasks. For example, donkeys are frequently used as livestock guard animals to keep livestock safe from predators. They’re also incredibly patient with children and will allow small children to climb all over them without kicking or biting them.

13. Geese

Geese are fascinating creatures that can be used for both meat and eggs. They are also used to produce a variety of products. They’re also effective at removing pests and weeds from the homestead, which is a bonus. On the other hand, Geese require a lot of space to roam around, so they are only suitable for large farms. Goose is relatively easy to tame and make excellent pets despite their reputation for being aggressive. Furthermore, because they are loud, they can alert your other livestock to the presence of predators.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a cow and a bull?

The difference between a cow and a bull is that cows are female and bulls are male. Cows are used for milk and meat, while bulls are used for breeding. Cows are also smaller than bulls. Bulls are larger and have thicker necks.

Do I need a dog to protect my livestock?

It is a great idea to get a guard dog to protect your livestock. There are many different breeds to choose from but some of the most popular ones are the Great Pyrenees, Kangal, and the Anatolian Shepherd.

Do cows feel pain when they’re milked?

When milking a cow, pain receptors are stimulated in the teats. This can cause discomfort for the cow and lead to a decrease in milk production. Therefore, some farmers use machines that pulsate or vibrate on the udder, stimulating nerve endings and blocking pain signals from reaching the brain. 

Takeaway

Now that you know about the best farm animals, you can choose wisely when adding livestock to your homestead. Each animal has its benefits and drawbacks, so it’s essential to do your research before deciding. 

By selecting the right animals for your farm, you can create an autonomous operation that provides you with food, fiber, and companionship. 



Written by Brian Rucker

Brian Rucker has spent his entire life participating in essentially all things homestead. He grew up on a homestead and helped his parents do the day-to-day. Read more of Brian's articles.