animals

On the homestead, animals can serve all sorts of different purposes. Whether they’re providing your family with eggs, milk, or meat, chickens, cows, ducks, goats, and pigs are more than just livestock, they’re part of the family! Whether you’re keeping them as lifelong pets or selling their meat as a small family business, we have all the resources you need to keep your livestock healthy and happy.

If you’re new to raising animals, check out our articles on Raising Pigs, Raising Goats, and Raising Baby Chicks.

If you’ve been raising animals for awhile and are looking to make a side business out of it, check out our articles on How to Make Goat Cheese and Breeding Berkshire Pigs.

Recent Animals Posts

  • gopher

    How To Get Rid Of Gophers

    There’s nothing like planting a beautiful garden, only to have burrowing animals eating your carrots and making tunnels through your lettuce patch. Despite being cute and fluffy, gophers are a farm and garden pest. Along with rabbits and field mice, gophers are some of the most common mammals that disrupt growing crops. There are plenty […] More

  • ducks

    Homestead Stories: The Day I Butchered My First Duck

    Our Pekin duck was a problem. Belligerent and lascivious, he had taken the peace of our small flock and turned it on its head. Our ducks had stopped producing eggs due to his voracious affections, and his “favorite” had the bald spots on her head and the foaming eye to prove it. The rest of […] More

  • goats

    What Do Goats Eat?

    Many of us—particularly those who didn’t grow up on a farm—have some strange stereotypes embedded in our minds about what farms are like. All cows are black and white, all farmers wear overalls, all barns are painted red. One of the oddest ones I remember inheriting is the idea that goats enjoy munching on tin […] More

  • chipmunk

    How To Keep Chipmunks Out Of Your Garden Naturally

    They’re cute. They chirp and flirt around, scurrying from one food source to another. But don’t deceive yourself. If you love your garden, you don’t want to be overrun by chipmunks. One chipmunk means many chipmunks. They’re rodents, and like mice and rats, they multiply quickly and they love to dig. They dig holes in […] More

  • chicken perching

    Chicken Mites

    Like many animals, chickens can play host to parasites that live on skin, in feathers, and around their living spaces. One such parasite is Dermanyssus gallinae, the chicken mite, a tiny pest found worldwide, that stresses chickens, reduces egg production, and can also transmit diseases. Finding parasite infestations in your birds is always scary, but […] More

  • alan harvesting honey

    To Catch A Honeybee Swarm

    What is swarming? It’s when one colony of bees breaks off and forms a new colony. If the colony stored enough over the winter and early spring, a new brood will hatch, and the old hive becomes too small for all the bees. When the bees are calmost ready to leave the old hive, they […] More

  • bird and bird house and feeder

    10 Steps To Attract Birds In The Winter

    Do you want to attract winter birds to your homestead landscape? Do you enjoy their sweet sounds and would like to have more feathered friends come to visit? Birds make the garden magically come alive with beauty, color, music, and motion. Read on to learn more about foods that will attract specific birds to the […] More

  • chicken feeder plans featured image

    Chicken Feeders

    Once you’ve designed your chicken coop and decided on chicken breeds, choosing a style of feeder for your birds seems trivial, but it’s not! It can make your daily routine more efficient, keep your birds on a healthy diet, and reduce the chances of disease. Alternatively, choosing the wrong feeder can lead to overeating, wasted […] More

  • cows in pasture

    Sharing A Cow: The Real Experience

    Sunday morning at the grocery store can feel like running a marathon. You enter the race as you push your grocery cart, with a bum wheel, through the automatic doors, and onto the floor. You weave through crowded aisles, check things off your list, and dodge long checkout lines. By the time you’re loading up […] More

  • gecko on planter

    Geckos In The Garden

    Do geckos call your homestead home? Household geckos are said to bring harmony, good luck, and good fortune to the household. Killing a gecko invokes an unhappy chain of bad luck events of long duration. If you have geckos in your garden, celebrate their presence but try not to invite them indoors. A small to […] More

  • Egg Substitutes For When The Chickens Have Stopped Laying

    As happens on many homesteads, our chickens have stopped laying with the shorter winter days. We decided to let them follow their natural rhythms with the seasons and haven’t put a light in their coop to keep the eggs coming. We figure, if they naturally take a break for the season, we’ll let them follow […] More

  • bear at yellowstone

    Bear Awareness

    If you live alone, as I do, in a cabin deep in the woods, it is more than a bit frightening to hear noises in the night. Last year, on a cold and foggy morning in late November, I awoke to a loud thump on the porch. Startled, I stumbled from my bed, grabbed the pepper […] More

  • cows in pasture

    5 Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Become A Homesteader

    Are you tired of traffic jams and the fast pace of city living? Do you long to escape the rush and retreat to the quiet of rural living? If so, you are not alone. Each year, more and more people chose to leave the cultural amenities and conveniences of urban life to embrace a simple, […] More

  • three chickens on a fence

    Gifts For Chicken Keepers

    As the holiday season approaches, many of us are struggling to decide what to get for our friends, to show thoughtfulness and care, without breaking the bank. This can be an especially hard decision to make if your friend is a down-to-earth, outdoorsy type who doesn’t care much about possessions. What gifts can you get […] More

  • Chicken Hatcheries

    When you want to start a flock of chickens or grow your existing flock, you have a number of options for how to go about purchasing chicks. Check out our article on where to buy chicks. One of the most cost-effective methods is to buy live chicks directly from a hatchery. So fluffy! ? Watch […] More

  • succulents in picture frame

    Gardening Gifts

    ‘Tis the season of gift giving. Since colder weather has many of us stuck inside instead of in the dirt, we figured this holiday season is the perfect time to find the best in gardening gifts including gear, decor, reading – and of course, don’t forget some of those extra homesteading specialties. We’ve compiled over 70 […] More

  • three chickens looking towards camera

    Homesteader Tips For Dealing With Parasites

    How healthy is your homestead? When evaluating the health of your homestead, it is important to look at the whole picture. The condition of the soil, the health of the plants on your property, the water quality, as well as the immunity level and overall health of people, pets and livestock. If a problem is […] More

  • chickens drinking water

    Lessons From Facing Death On The Homestead

    As a small girl in my suburban neighborhood, dealing with death was something unusual. So when my pet fish died, tears were shed and a solemn, toilet-side funeral was held, complete with speeches! Any time I found a dead baby bird in the spring, my long-suffering father would kindly wrap it in tissues and bury […] More

  • chicken tractor

    Chicken Tractor Plans

    When it comes to housing your flock of chickens, there are many options, but one of the most flexible is the chicken tractor. A chicken tractor is a portable coop that has many of the benefits of a stationary coop as well as a number of added benefits. Building the best structure for you and […] More

  • chicken coops

    Chicken Coop Plans

    A well-built chicken coop is a worthwhile investment. Options range from simple and affordable to elaborate. With so many options available, and a world of creative possibilities to build yourself, it can seem daunting to decide what you want in a coop. Types Of Chicken Coops   Here are a few chicken coop design options: […] More

  • Bats Benefit The Environment—And Your Homestead

    Worldwide, bats receive an undeserved bad rep. If asked, most people worldwide will say they don’t like bats. Bats smell bad, they’re creepy, dangerous, and are typically portrayed as scary in numerous horror films. The majority of folks questioned would likely tell you that bats are “flying rats” that carry disease. Simply put, they are […] More

  • chicken standing on coop fence

    How To Clip Chicken Wings

    Clipping the flight wings on your backyard flock is a harmless and helpful domestic trick that is easy to learn. Clipping a chicken’s wings doesn’t hurt them and can be done at any age. Clipping a chicken’s wings is usually unnecessary until your chickens become adventuresome enough to try to escape their enclosure. Wing feathers […] More

  • Chicken Feed

    Mixing your own feed ration, rather than buying prepared feed, is one of the best ways to save money if you raise chickens (or any animal). You can also be certain about the quality and origin of what your animals are eating. However, to make sure your birds stay healthy, you have to mix the […] More

  • chicken in their chicken run

    Chicken Runs

    Despite the misleading title and the plot of a 2000 movie, a chicken run is intended to let chickens out as well as keep them in. A run is an outdoor enclosure that chickens or other animals can get into on their own. Usually, it’s attached to their coop. It allows them to get exercise and […] More

  • cat in a box

    Homemade Pet Food

    One day, I realized that the pre-packaged food I was giving my pets wasn’t healthy for them. I took the time to consider what they would be eating in the wild, and it definitely wasn’t highly-concentrated food pellets. Sure, grains are good for them, but it just didn’t seem to be enough. The switch to […] More

  • Chicken Diseases

    When you are raising animals, it is always stressful and frightening when they get sick. Here are some common ailments that can strike backyard chickens, and tips for prevention and care. Not all chicken deaths are caused by disease. Check out our article on chicken lifespans to find out more about how long a chicken […] More

  • chickens pecking about the yard

    Free Ranging: The Pros & Cons

    When I brought my first animals home to the farm there was no question in my mind as to whether they would live the life of free range animals. I wanted my animals to be just as free as I was, free to explore, roam, hunt for food, and live their own life while coexisting […] More

  • Bald Eagle Attacks Chicken

    Reddit user mvar posted this near death experience for one of his chickens. Close call for one of my chickens this morning. Only damage was some missing feathers! The lesson, as always, is to have surveillance video covering your entire homestead so you don’t miss amazing stuff like this. Our chicken expert says that visiting […] More

  • chickens pecking about the yard

    How To Humanely Kill A Chicken

    People learn to kill chickens for many reasons. As interest in local and ethical food increases, many meat-eaters have challenged themselves to raise and slaughter their own meat. People who keep backyard chickens for eggs often kill older chickens when they have passed their prime laying age. Even people who keep chickens as pets may […] More