5 Animals for Farm/Acreage Living

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It's so hot...all we want is a puddle! (Our herd after one of their many Houdini acts.)
It's so hot...all we want is a puddle! (Our herd after one of their many Houdini acts.) | Source

Animals for Small Acres

When asked which animals I would have if I lived on a farm, I had to share my thoughts.

First of all, my family and I live on an acreage and I wouldn't have it any other way. I grew up on a farm and have always loved the open spaces and the fact there are no nosey neighbors looking into my windows. The best part of it all is the variety of animals a person can raise.

My choice of animals is in the order we got ours when we moved here 4 1/2 years ago. The first was a couple of cats, as the rodent population had exploded while the acreage was vacant. I love cats and was happy to have them again, even though they are unable to live inside the house with us due to spouse's allergies.

Within a week of living here, we went to the SPCA and adopted a puppy. He is a German Shepherd Cross and quickly claimed us and our home as his own. He wasn't keen on any animal coming into the yard if he could help it. He did miss a bear walking past our house, as he was on the opposite side having a nap in the sun. When he did get wind of it he chased it away. I also watched him kill a skunk late one night - then he wondered why no one wanted to pet him for several weeks. We also own a Blue Heeler, who joined our family the summer of 2009.

As my daughter was a member of 4H, we raised project animals (steers) and pen mates for two winters. They were interesting to have around, and were fairly easy to look after. They were happy as long as they were fed, watered and had somewhere to escape the cold wind, rain and snow. The hardest parts were halter breaking the project steers and dropping the pen mate off at the slaughter house. I do have to say, having home raised beef is a definite bonus and less costly than buying meat at the grocery store.

When the first year of 4H was over and the project steer was sold, two horses joined our family. They are beautiful animals and are also easy to take care of. Their diet consists mainly of hay and occasionally oats during the winter months, and in the summer they are able to enjoy the fresh green grass.

Our newest addition to our acreage (animals I wanted from the moment we moved here) is a small herd of alpacas. They are the cutest and easiest of livestock to raise. They do not eat very much (I'm sure our German Shepherd eats more than they do in a day) and do not require a lot of space. It is possible to raise 5 - 7 on an acre of land. They are also easier on the landscape than cows or horses, and their manure makes a great fertilizer which may be added directly to the garden. The best part about our little herd is it grew by one this winter (February 2012). We had a surprise cria (baby)!

One more type I would like but have not invested in yet are chickens. It would be great to have fresh eggs and home raised chickens in the freezer. Free range chickens are much tastier than store bought, and the eggs are much more flavorful as well. I am hoping we can build a chicken coop this spring so we can enjoy the benefits of them. One added benefit of chickens is they are great pest control in the garden.

Depending on your amount of acres available will determine the number of any of the above animals you can raise. You also must remember they need to be cared for, which means going out and doing chores whether it is 90 above or 40 below. Having animals is a pleasure, and I wouldn't have it any other way.



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Comments 8 comments

christollesseb profile image

christollesseb 4 years ago from UK ME ASIA

Certainly brought back lots of childhood memories. We were raised on a smallholding in the South West of England. I do not know how self sufficient we were, but I do remember being surrounded by lots of different animals. We had a couple of goats and their kids which provided milk. Chickens, Ducks , Geese, for their eggs & an extensive vegetable garden, a small orchard and a copse where we got fuel. It was a pleasant spot at the edge of a village, a few hundred yards from a small river. It backed on to a big farm. Thinking back it is clear that life was in harmony with the seasons and most activities were dictated by Mother Nature. For fun we also kept a few rabbits who were always increasing, a guinea pig and our five dogs. Thanks for reminding me of a more rewarding way of life. Voted you upward and onward.


cloverleaffarm profile image

cloverleaffarm 4 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham

We have only 2 acres, and have had pigs, and chickens. We love having chickens for both meat and the eggs. They are a great bug eater to...no ticks here. They are easier than raising children. You have to try it. I wrote a couple hubs on it if you are interested.

Voted up!


brsmom68 profile image

brsmom68 4 years ago from Alberta, Canada Author

@christollesseb - Thank you for reading and voting up. My favorite times of year when I was a child was calving season (they were so cute) and summer when my sister and I would go have picnics in the shade of a stack of bales.

@cloverleaffarm -Thank you for the vote. I will be reading your hubs shortly. We had chickens on our farm when I was a child and I loved going out looking for eggs. As the chickens were free range we used to find eggs in all sorts of places, from the chicken coop to the barn. It was a carefree lifestyle from what I recall; one that I hope I can recreate with my writing (to pay the bills) and the animals to provide food and entertainment (and the alpacas can definitely be entertaining).


mljdgulley354 profile image

mljdgulley354 4 years ago

Great hub about living on a farm and taking care of animals. The other thing is if you want to go someplace for the weekend you can't take them with you. Hope you have someone to help take care of the animals when you want a break.


cloverleaffarm profile image

cloverleaffarm 4 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham

Ha, we have a blast watching our animals. We call it "the farm channel", as we don't have TV.


brsmom68 profile image

brsmom68 4 years ago from Alberta, Canada Author

@mljdgulley354 - Thank you! Yes, we do have a friend who does the chores when we are away; and we do his while him and his family are away. He has a much wider variety of animals than we do, so it is always fun going there.

@cloverleaffarm - "The Farm Channel"; what a cool term for it - and easier on the eyes. :)


momster profile image

momster 4 years ago

Great hub. Thanks for answering my question. My husband and I live in the country. Right now we are raising dogs,cats, pigs, and kids. It has been great. It is nice to be able to raise your own animals. It is a wonderful experience for children also. Thanks for sharing and voted up.


brsmom68 profile image

brsmom68 4 years ago from Alberta, Canada Author

@momster - Thank you for taking the time to comment. I love it here and have no desire to live in town. It is peaceful and relaxing most of the time.

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