Are you looking for some new additions to your homestead? Check out this list of the best homestead animals!
Living on a homestead is an incredible experience – the sense of community, independence and having creative control over your life is unparalleled. But one of the best things about homesteading is bringing animals into your daily life! From goats to chickens, there are many amazing animals that make great additions to any homestead.
If you’re debating what animals to add to your homestead, know that it's not an easy decision! Even deciding on the type of farm animal can be overwhelming. Each species has its own unique needs and benefits that must be considered in order for them to thrive on your property—not to mention these animals will be a central part of your day-to-day life.
We’ve compiled a list of the best animals for homesteading so you can make an informed decision when choosing which four-legged friend is right for your space. The trick is to understand each animal’s needs so you can create an environment that will keep them happy and healthy.
Not only do animals add life and personality to your property, but many types of livestock also offer practical benefits including eggs, milk, meat production, manure for fertilizer, bug control and tilling yards.
Whether you’re starting from scratch or just introducing a few new faces to an existing operation - there's an animal that can be welcomed onto your homestead!
8 of the Best Animals for Homesteading
Goats make great livestock on a homestead. They have a hearty appetite for weeds! Goats will eat anything from grasses to shrubs and even trees if given the chance. They can also be used for fertilizer production and can be tamed into friendly pets. If you decide to raise goats on your homestead, make sure to keep them in a secure fence so they don’t wander off and get into trouble!
Chickens are one of the most popular homestead animals due to their versatility. They are easy to care for and provide eggs every day, which makes them ideal for feeding your family or selling at a local farmers market. Chickens come in many different breeds such as egg layers, meat birds, ornamental birds, dual-purpose birds, and bantams—so you have plenty of options when it comes to choosing which type is right for you.
Like chickens, ducks can provide eggs on a daily basis while also eating weeds around your property. Ducks tend to be hardier than chickens because they’re able to tolerate colder temperatures and wetter environments better than chickens can. Ducks also require less space than chickens do; so if you have limited space available on your homestead then ducks may be the better option!
Sheep are excellent for beginner sheep ranchers! They produce wool which can be harvested for clothing, blankets, carpeting, etc. Some breeds even produce milk which can be used in cheese making or other culinary creations. Sheep require good fencing in order to keep them contained (and out of trouble) as well as access to plenty of grassy areas where they can graze freely throughout the day. Sheep love routine so once you get them settled in their new home with plenty of food and water each day they should thrive!
Horses require a bit more work than other animals but they can be incredibly rewarding pets! Horses need plenty of space and exercise so if you have enough land then this might be a good option for you. They also require regular veterinary care and regular hoof trimming which may require some additional expenses depending on what type of horse you get (check out our guide on horse ownership). With proper care, horses can bring joy and fulfillment into any homesteader's life—so don't let the extra work scare you off!
Cows are another great option for homesteaders. They provide milk, cheese, butter, and beef. Their manure is also an excellent fertilizer. Cows require a lot of space, so if you have a large homestead, they may be a good option for you.
Pigs are another popular choice for homesteaders. They provide pork, bacon, and ham. Their manure is also an excellent fertilizer for gardens. Pigs are relatively easy to care for, but they can be destructive if not given enough space to roam.
Honeybees are an important homestead animal as they pollinate crops and produce honey. They require special care, but can be a valuable addition to any homestead
No matter what type of animal you choose for your homesteading dreams, there is no doubt that having these animals around will bring joy and fulfillment into your life while helping you become more self-sufficient.