You can have a lot of family fun even in the smallest backyards. When we talk about backyards, gardening would automatically come to our mind. However, our backyard may be used for more than just growing vegetables; you can also raise animals there. In return, these animals can provide organic dairy and meat for your consumption.
To help you get started, here is a list of the kinds of animals you might like to raise in your backyard, along with some valuable tips about raising them.
Raising chickens in your backyard has a lot going for it. Their eggs are tempting; they’re better than any you can buy in the supermarket and have a far richer flavor. Moreover, the shells and chicken feces can be composted together. Also, chickens are excellent pets for gardeners because of their ability to spot and eat insects.
Before you start raising chickens, you should verify the permissibility of doing so in your area and whether or not there is a restriction on the total number of birds you can keep. You’ll also need room for hen houses or proper backyard chicken coops.
Every three hens should have their feeder and waterers, roosting space, and nesting box in this coop. Also, keep in mind that chickens require daily food (and hydration). And, of course, you’ll have to do the dreaded “manure shoveling” all year.
Maybe you’re interested in goats because they’d make good pets or because you think they’d be a good learning instrument for your kids. Beyond that, they provide free milk for your family. Plus, goat milk has a better flavor and is better for your family’s health.
When you’ve decided to raise goats, there are a few things you should have in place before you bring your first goat into your backyard.
First, check your local ordinances to ensure you can legally keep goats on your property. Ensure you abide by the neighborhood’s deed restrictions or restrictive covenants. To keep your goats safe and sound in your backyard, you’ll need to provide them with a fenced-in area. Ensure your property has adequate fencing surrounding the area where they will be kept. Weaved wire and cattle panels are both effective goat fencing materials.
Moreover, you should build shelter from the weather in your backyard for them to use as needed. You’ll also want to keep your goats in a spot in your backyard that stays at least partially dry for the better part of the year. Too much rain can make them sick.
You can save money on goat feed (grain) if you keep your goats in an area of your backyard with plenty of browse.
Many people may be uncomfortable or uninterested in rearing such a cute creature to eventually send it to the slaughterhouse, even though they can be used for fiber or breeding and meat is often their most profitable commodity. However, a juvenile rabbit can reach butcher weight in only 12 weeks, making it nearly as fast as chickens.
Although raising rabbits requires some planning and organization, the animals themselves are simple to handle. The upfront cost is often much lower than it would be for larger animals due to the lower costs of fencing, pens, feed, and breeding stock. Furthermore, many rabbits can be grown in a relatively small area; hundreds of rabbits each year can be produced in a standard backyard with careful planning.
The duck is an excellent choice for a pet due to its resilience, low cost, and low maintenance needs. They’re kind and entertaining companions, and their lifespans can reach 20 years. Even the laying kinds yield decent meat and duck fat, and ducks are generally better garden companions than fowl.
Giving your ducks access to an endless supply of clean, fresh water is crucial to their health. They could do just fine without even a little pool. Having access to potable water is a critical need.
Waterfowl feed is the best option if you just plan on raising ducks. Most duck keepers also maintain chickens, turkeys, or geese in the backyard, feeding all birds a layer pellet or crumble. Feeding adult ducks a diet designed for chickens or a mixed flock will suffice for their nutritional needs.
Although they may look like vegetarians, ducks eat a wide variety of insects. Their favorite activity is to use their bill to probe a mud puddle for worms, slugs, and other squiggly creatures.
Indian Runners, Rouens, Khaki Campbells, and Blue Swedes are just a few examples of great small-scale breeds. The traditional White Pekin is also a high-quality all-around breed. You can easily raise contented ducks if you invest in quality feed and a small pool.
Space is a major consideration when breeding animals at home, and in many places, there are limits on the types and numbers of animals that can be kept. However, if you are allowed to do so, the benefits and entertainment they could provide to your family make it well worth the effort of feeding them and maintaining their shelter in your backyard.