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

  • a sheep peers into your soul

    6 Reasons To Raise Sheep

    My parents raised sheep for several years when I was a kid. They were my favorite of the animals we experimented raising on our hobby farm. Watching the sheep give birth was absolutely amazing and the baby lambs made the most adorable pets! My siblings, friends, and myself also got a lot of entertainment attempting […] More

  • white leghorn hens

    Best Chicken Breeds For City Living

    By the time neighbors acknowledge that you grow the most vigorous tomatoes and bake the tastiest bread around, you’ve probably thought more than once that raising chickens might be for you. Having done your homework, you know that more cities throughout the U.S. are permitting as many as four or six chickens in a backyard […] More

  • goat cheese made without rennet

    How To Make Goat Cheese

    At our goat dairy, we run summer workshops on making cheese. We like these cheeses because they don’t require rennet or even aging. In this article we’ll go through everything from getting the milk to setting up your operation so you can sell the cheese you make. We have pure Saanen goats, Nubian goats and […] More

  • cows at an organic farm eat

    How To Buy Meat Direct From A Farm

    So you eat meat, and you want to get it from a farm you know and trust. Don’t we all! If you are considering buying meat direct from a local farmer for the first time, you may have some questions and uncertainties. When I was growing up, my parents bought meat from Safeway and other […] More

  • goats in a pasture

    Raising Goats

    Goats are sweet, social, mischievous and stubborn. They are a favorite of urban homesteaders who want fresh milk but can’t keep a cow. Homesteaders favor milking goats as a food source because of their milk’s mild flavor and moderate output. Even people (like me) who don’t like “goat” flavor in milk and cheese are startled […] More

  • excavator for fish pond

    How To Build A Fish Farming Pond

    Fish farming is an old agricultural method that modern homesteaders can use today. A great source of continuous protein, freshwater fish farms allow anyone to grow a different variety of fish that can be used for personal consumption. While it may be hard work to get started, building a fish farm can be rewarding, fun, […] More

  • chickens

    Where Do Chickens Come From?

    Do you know where your chickens come from? Not the store, or the farm, or even the breeder, but where the species first arose? Until fairly recently, neither did scientists. The chicken, so ubiquitous in our diets and increasingly in our backyards, have largely been ignored by scholars of domesticated animals. Cows, goats, even sheep […] More

  • pigs being fed

    How To Raise Pigs

    Pigs are by far my favorite homestead animal. They are curious, affectionate, and incredibly smart. Those are also the characteristics that make them uniquely challenging. The first time I ever saw a pig I was 12, travelling in Eastern Europe. The pig had gotten out and was being chased around a courtyard by four or […] More

  • Beekeeping For Beginners

    Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that our honeybees are in trouble these days. That should have everyone concerned seeing as how they play a vital role in the pollination of many of our crops. Plus, their honey, wax, and propolis are all incredible products that would be sorely missed if not […] More

  • chickens

    The Brave Chickens Who Protect Us From Viral Epidemics

    A slightly battered chicken coop underneath a shade tree a few miles south of the Columbia River is a barracks for soldiers in the war against communicable disease. The coop houses the Western Umatilla Mosquito Control District’s sentinel chickens, the area’s first line of defense against West Nile Virus, St. Louis Encephalitis, and Western Equine […] More

  • Heifer International -Cambodia, December 2015. Income II Project. Klang Savuth (43) (left), Kid Moa (43) and their son Ky Damkoeung (6) pose for a photo outside their home on December 08, 2015 in Kok Romeat Village, Cambodia.

    Why Bill Gates Would Raise Chickens

    What’s the best way to get a poor family in the developing world on the road to self-sufficiency? Cash? Education? Internet access? Tech industry pioneer Bill Gates has a decidedly low-tech suggestion. In a short and sweet post on his personal blog in June 2016, Bill Gates gave four main reasons why chickens are the […] More

  • bees and honeycomb

    Pollinators

    This spring, my partner and I planted a small orchard on our new property. We ran into some confusion when deciding how far apart to plant our chestnut trees. Turns out there isn’t a simple answer, because of pollination! What Is Pollination And Why Is It Important? Briefly, pollination is how plants sexually reproduce, how […] More

  • baby chicks near coop

    Buying Baby Chicks: A First-Timer’s Guide

    Raising your own backyard chickens makes you feel connected to the source of your food, and proud of every egg you eat. There are lots of resources to help you get started if you are a first-time chicken owner. Here, we will look at where and how to buy baby chicks. Even if you’ve had […] More

  • Praying Mantis

    The word “mantis” is from the Greek word μάντις for prophet. Praying Mantis Photography By Tustel Ico Praying Mantis ‘Rate my Bike’ by Tustel Ico. 500px.com/dolphino Please ‘like’ Tustel’s image on above link! Praying Mantis on two spores by Tustel Ico. 500px.com/dolphino Praying Mantis ‘Staring at the Sun’ by Tustel Ico 500px.com/dolphino Praying Mantis Photography […] More

  • baby-bluemarlin-thebillfishfoudation

    Baby Marlins And Sailfish

    The term “Billfish” refers to certain predatory fish species belonging to the family Istiophoridae. Their characteristics include a spear-like rostrum or “bill,” which is used for slashing at and stunning prey. Marlins, sailfish, spearfish and the swordfish are all billfish. Marlin and sailfish distribution range is basically worldwide throughout both tropical and temperate regions (seasonally). A […] More

  • 12 Chicken-Friendly Plants To Grow Next To Coops

    If you’ve had chickens for long, you probably have noticed that they eat all day long. They peck and scratch at the soil and eat every last bit of our kitchen scraps and leftovers. Letting your chickens free range, or giving them access to plenty of natural vegetation and/or rotating their grazing parameters, is the […] More

  • chicken

    Concerns With Urban Animal Slaughter

    Photo Credit by VeryGeeky. This article is a response to a Slate.com piece published by James McWilliams on June 6th, 2012. The article, titled “The Butcher Next Door: Why the rise of DIY urban animal slaughter is bad for people and animals,” tries to make the point that animal slaughter by untrained people in an […] More

  • Living Mulch of White Clover

    Beekeeping as a business

    Beekeeping is a hobby that you can easily turn into a side-business no matter where you live. Keeping bees requires a relatively small monetary investment to get started and can turn a profit within a few short years. There are many non-monetary benefits to keeping bees like better garden yields, fresh honey, and a feeling […] More