Homesteaders everywhere choose to add animals to their property. Animals make excellent pets, companions, workers and even food sources. Sometime along your own homesteading journey, you may think about adding your own animals to your homestead.
There’s a lot to know before adding animals to your homestead, though. Multiple animals mean that you have numerous more mouths to feed and water. Plus, they need proper attention and care, especially if you’re using them for sustenance.
An important factor in homesteading is the ability to sustain yourself. You learn to provide for yourself while limiting your carbon footprint on the environment. However, suppose you don’t consider everything there is to know about adding animals to your homestead. In that case, you may end up back at the grocery store purchasing animal products, selling your animals or making a larger carbon footprint than you intended.
Animals deserve to have healthy homes with reliable owners, whether they’re on a homestead or not. If you’ve been considering adding animals to your homestead, then you have probably thought about the various questions that come with it. Whether you’re a beginner homesteader or are a professional homesteader looking to add cattle or chickens, this guide will help you understand what to know about adding animals to your homestead.
Know Your ‘Why’ for Wanting Animals
First, you need to know your ‘why’ for wanting animals. Farm animals are undoubtedly cute, but you don’t want to purchase farm animals for their cuteness. Eventually, they get bigger and grow older, and they’re no longer the baby animals they once were. That’s what happens with pets, too, when families purchase a puppy or kitten as a pet, but then no one wants it because of the responsibility and care that goes into it.
Why do you want animals? Is it for food purposes? Do you want them to be productive, or are they for show? Do you plan on keeping any as a pet? Will you sell any of the animal products to other people? Consider these questions before purchasing animals for your homestead.
Ensure You’re Allowed to Have Animals Where You Live
Some places may have restrictions as to what animals you can keep on your property. If you live in a more urban area, like a town or a city, there are likely rules on which kinds of animals you can own and keep on your property. Check with your local homeowner’s association (HOA). You should be able to call, email or read up on animal regulations.
If you’re not allowed to have large farm animals, there are still plenty of options! Most urban areas are loosening their restrictions on having backyard chickens. Plus, you could have rabbits or even a beehive to get your animal farm started.
Consider Your Space
Next, consider your space. Homesteaders fortunate enough to have multiple acres of land should have little to no problem sheltering a herd of cattle or flock of chickens. They still need to ensure the land is…