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6 Livestock You Can Raise On Just 1/4 An Acre

Image source: dreamersfarm.com

Image source: dreamersfarm.com

Living out in the middle of nowhere is appealing … but not always possible. Living in the suburbs, though, doesn’t mean you can’t have the farm you’ve always wanted.

There are lots of resources that teach about gardening in small spaces, but hardly anything about livestock. Which makes it feel like keeping animals on a small piece of land – even as small as one-quarter acre – is impossible. But it’s not! You just have to be clever about it.

Are you looking for fresh eggs and meat? Would you like to be able to sell your extras? Basically, livestock can offer five valuable resources: fiber, eggs, meat, milk and offspring. Picking animals that can give you the resources you need without taking up much space is the key if you have a small yard.

1. Chickens. Chickens are easy to raise and easy to keep. They eat mosquitos’ eggs and pesky spiders, which can make your backyard more comfortable. You will want to consider multi-purpose breeds such as Rhode Island Red, Plymouth Rock or Sussex. These breeds produce a good number of eggs and enough meat to be worth eating. Roosters are necessary if you want to grow your flock. But keep in mind they are not allowed in most urban and suburban areas due to their noisy crowing. Each hen needs only three square feet with adequate nesting boxes.

2. Ducks. Keeping ducks is similar to keeping chickens. They don’t take up much space and they make very little noise. Male ducks don’t crow like roosters, which makes them more neighbor-friendly. They, of course, also help produce fertilized eggs. Ducks require four square feet of coop space per bird and lots of space to run around outside. Domestic ducks are bred to be heavier so they don’t fly and have more meat on their bones.

3. Quail. Quail are much smaller than other fowl and take up less space. They make very little noise, which is great for those of us with close neighbors. They eat less and use less bedding. In fact, many quail keepers use wire bottom cages without any bedding at all.

All The Answers To Every Chicken Question And Quandary You Have …

They mature quickly and begin laying eggs every day from the age of six weeks when cared for properly. You can often keep quail in areas where chickens are not permitted. However, because they are smaller, they lay smaller eggs and don’t have as much meat as the larger fowl.

rabbit keeping tips4. Dwarf goats. Keeping dwarf goats has been compared to having dogs. They’re affectionate and enjoy being around people and other animals. They are social animals and are happiest with other goats. They are multipurpose animals because they have tasty meat and milk and some produce high-quality fibers such as Mohair and cashmere. They require five to six square feet of living space and 20 or so feet of grazing area. They do best with traditional grass grazing and also enjoy some grains.

5. Sheep. Sheep may be the perfect multipurpose animals. Sheep produce wool, but they are also great meat animals and even produce high-quality milk. They are generally not the friendliest of animals. Sheep are prey animals, which means that they are naturally more nervous which makes them more difficult to milk and causes them to kick and butt. They do have more complex needs when it comes to lambing. If you don’t plan on breeding your ewes, then housing shouldn’t be too much of an issue. A full-grown ewe requires between 12 and 16 feet square feet of living space, and a lambing pen should be between 16 and 25 square feet.

6. Rabbits. Rabbits are often kept as pets, but they also have benefits for the homestead. They create great fertilizer and compost and are good eating. Rabbits produce angora wool, which is a highly sought-after fiber. They take up very little room and they don’t eat much. The downside is that they are messy and often smelly. However both of these issues can be remedied by frequently adding fresh bedding to their homes. The amount of space they require varies depending on their size. Rabbits that are less than five pounds require one to two square feet where rabbits that weight 11 to 12 pounds require five square feet.

Before you jump into keeping any kind of livestock, be sure and check your local zoning requirements. Most areas have guidelines listed right on their website or you can make a quick phone call to the zoning authorities or animal control. No matter what kind of area you live in, there likely are animals to fit your needs and space.

Which livestock do you believe are best for a small plot of land? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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10 comments

  1. 6 Livestock You Can Raise On Just 1/4 An Acre, IF THE GOVERNMENT WILL LET YOU!
    .
    What a country.

  2. Make sure you have the stomach for harvesting rabbit or goat for their meat. Know how to dispatch an animal in a humane merciful manner. But, I found it way to difficult for me. I can do the chicken and down a deer with one shot 30/30. Knock off a few squirrels or catch some fish. But, those pigmy goats and furry rabbits just pull at my heart, more than my stomach. Meat does not need to be the center of every meal anyway.

    • I feel the same. I just could not raise a goat, rabbit, or a calf for food. Once I ate quail because everyone said it was so good. Could not go back for seconds because I love all the birds too. So as far protein in a SHTF situation, I’ll just have to eats other foods that provide it.

  3. You will need a lot more land than that to plant food that the critters can eat or graze. And don’t forget the garden you need for yourself and yours…

  4. If you don’t have much land,have fun raising the 4 legged variety if you have a garden….hahaha

    Goats will eat nearly anything,including their living quarters… and you think you may have a high enough fence……LMAO!
    Rabbits always chew on something,that includes their home too..wire and wood..their teeth are constantly growing.
    Sheep,well their like goats but don’t try to eat everything…..but they do a good job at what they do like…which is a lot…LOL

    Fowl are pretty good.If you have a small plot you’re only going to want a couple,more than that they’ll make it smell no matter what you do….unless you’re going to have a pooper scooper and ship everything off to fill our landfills of more unnecessary fill.
    They’re good at keeping bugs out of the garden and the rest of your land.You’ll have to watch for predators,Opossums,Weasels,Fox,Coyote love them along with many other animals.

  5. Goats actually prefer browsing on shrubs, trees and higher off the ground vegetation before grass.

  6. Neighbors, family, church, etc teams/communal members that work together can split the tasks at hand. Some folks that provide a service or “product” that others do not have or do not want to perform can barter their services or product for that want/need. A pre-plan/commitment to these goals is suggested.

  7. I’m looking more for pets that I can raise on a acre

  8. I HAVE a 1/4 of an acre for rent in Plant City, Fl

  9. Do you really want to keep these animals penned their entire live raised on feed in stead of grazing. 1/4 acre is okay for a pair of chickens and a rabbit, if your going to not only be humane but also allow for free ranging. If you want penned, grain fed animals like the factories produce then go for it…but if you have neighbors they will probably not be too neighborly due to your practices and smell.

    Bees. Bees are your best choice for a tiny plot. Just keep the water source full and you can harvest valuable honey and beeswax, etc. Plus they would be to the benefit of every garden around.

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