On today’s podcast mon and I talk about the three best animals to start homesteading with. It doesn’t matter if you are on acreage, in suburbia on a decent sized lot or you have a postage stamp for yard you can raise one or allo f these animals.
1. Chickens – the gateway animal to homesteading. These animals do so much more than lay eggs – they scratch, till, spread fertilizer, provide meat, control pests, prep/clean up gardens and much more. In order to get the full benefits of raising chickens we recommend that new homesteaders raise meat birds as well as layers.
Recommended book to start: Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens
2. Ducks – a very versatile animal as well. They also spread fertilizer, provide meat, control pests like chickens but they don’t till so they are gentler in garden areas. One draw back is that they are quite a bit harder to process because their feathers hang on tight!
3. Rabbits – they breed, well, like rabbits! They are very quiet so if you have uppity and nosy neighbors, rabbits make a good choice and they take very little space to raise. If you are able, we recommend that you put them on fresh grass as much as possible but this isn’t necessary. Rabbits are the EASIEST animal to process. There is no pulling feathers – a huge benefit for beginners! A great place to start your research on raising meat rabbits: Backyard Meat Rabbits(The Urban Rabbit Project) and Beyond the Pellet
Most importantly, get started! Don’t get analysis paralysis! Research a little bit and get some starter animals. The other great thing about these three animals is that they are complementary. Rabbit manure can be used right away because it releases nitrogen slowly, chicken and duck manure needs time before using directly. All of these animals impact the land differently.
“Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.” (Proverbs 12:1 ESV)