Nothing keeps you snug on a cold day like a good sweater. But with the wool industry blemished by questionable practices, what should a vegan farmer do with his sheep's wool?

While the meat of some sheep breeds does not lose taste with age, others grow pretty fast, saving you time and money. The ideal breed for you will depend on the goals you have for your homestead or farm.

There are around 570 goat breeds in the world, but only 69 of those are truly identified as "dairy breeds". Some of the best goats for milk include Saanen, Nubian, Alpine, Toggenburg, Sable and Nordic.

Meat goats are very easy to care for. They can be raised with little supplemental grain and minimal shelter. Their small size, adaptability to drastic environmental conditions, huge productivity and excellent fertility make them ideal for anyone looking to raise farm animals.

Planning on owning sheep or growing your flock? Here are over 200 sheep name suggestions to consider for your new fluffy friends!

This is a summary of how introduced and acclimated my new house pig to the house and to other pets in the house. Learn exactly what to do when you first bring a new pig home.

Donkeys can and do make amiable pets. These hardy critters are independent, amusing, and inquisitive. If the idea of cherishing one of your own is appealing but you don't know where to start, then this article is for you.

I have raised my fair share of bottle-fed baby goats. I own goats as personal pets and as members of our petting zoo. I want my goats to be as friendly and people-oriented as possible. There are definitely pros and cons to raising a baby goat on a bottle. Here are my thoughts.

Thinking about adopting a goat and need some help thinking of good goat names? Here are over 350 goat name ideas to graze through!

"How much hay do I need for the winter?" In this article, I'll discuss how I calculate how much hay to buy each winter for your goats, sheep, horse, or other livestock to avoid buying too much or too little.

Ever wonder what it is like to raise chickens but think that it would be too hard? Read on to see how easy it is to start your brood from an incubator.

Goats are friendly, brush-eating critters that also make good pets on a small farm, ranch, or homestead. They eat weeds, grass, small brush, and unwanted plants. They also play tricks and are funny!

Discover crucial information that could save the life of a lamb that is cold, chilled, or has hypothermia. Hypoglycemia and starvation are addressed, as well.

So you want a potbellied pig as a pet? Before you sign on the dotted line, make sure you know what you're getting yourself into.

Here are my top five picks of sheep breeds for the small (or hobby) farm, plus bonus material!

Cows have some of the biggest personalities on the farm, so have fun in the process of naming your cows and bulls. Read through this list of names for ideas and be sure to let us know what you choose!

Perfect pet goat names, how do you find them? What makes a good name? There is nothing wrong with being creative when naming your pet goat. There are too many Buckys and Nannys out there!

I was given two miniature pigs, strangers to each other until they met on my small farm. Now Mr Pig has given up his bachelor flat and moved into the honeymoon suite with the lovely Peppa.

Donkeys can provide human friends with important life lessons on the value of hard work, maintaining a sense of humor, and how to treat others. He-Haw! Let the off-color jokes begin.

Basically, three types of chickens exist: the egg layers, the meat birds, and the dual-purpose birds. The dual-purpose birds are the best for raising in the backyard, including Barred Rock and Rhode Island Red.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have a pet pig? This is the story of our family's adoption of a pig we call Wilbur.

The Drenthe Heath Sheep (Dutch: Drents Heideschaap) is the oldest sheep breed of the Netherlands. Both ewes and rams wear horns. I've raised these sheep for over 30 years now and they're beautiful.

From personal experience on my sister's farm, I examine the feed needed for dairy cattle and describe how it is fed every day. The small farmer's life is very hard due to the high cost of feed.

Looking for a little more self-sufficiency? This article will tell you what you need to know about producing your own chicken and pork.

Welcome to our goat pen! Meet Oliver and Delilah, our pet pygmy goats, and see how we built our new goat pen to provide shelter from weather and predators.

Aside from being an important agricultural commodity, sheep are often kept as pets. This article discusses what you need to know if you have pet sheep, or are considering acquiring some in the future.

How to breed your goats, and what to do before, during, and after kidding.

Goats are pretty easy to keep. Find out how much space and food they need and how to provide basic care for these friendly and curious animals.

Don't have much space for a large farm with large farm animals? Well, I have gathered information on many species of livestock that are smaller than your average breed, or they are just small in general.

Are pigs dirty? Do they smell bad? Are they difficult to take care of? Learn more myths and facts about raising pigs.

Taking care of lambs that have been rejected by their moms is a time-consuming job. Here are some signs of maternal rejection to look out for and detailed directions to bottle-feeding lambs.

Learning how to build a pigpen that's right for you starts with learning the type of hog pen you need. Here are the basic types of pigpens, as well as considerations for humane livestock handling.

The basic considerations for building a pigpen start with knowing what it's going to be used for, the size of the breed you plan to raise, and the number and age of animals it's intended for. Here are tips for how to build a pigpen that is sturdy and well-suited for the specific animals that will be housed within.

This article is a guide to Nigerian Dwarf goat care. Housing tips have also been included.

Find out why goats may or may not make good pets. Learn more about them by reading my own experience.

Livestock - pets

I female chocolate puppy left. DOB 1-10-21.She is 8 weeks old. She is a beautiful puppy.

Beautiful black 9-month F1B labradoodle for sale. Puppy is high energy and needs a home with an active single or family with children. Highly recommend fencing or kept indoors—text for a phone appointment. Shots are updated with papers.

12 week old loveable and playful puppies! 1 all black female, 1 all white females, 2 all white males. AKC verified. Vet checkup, current on all shots and worming. Call or text for more information.

Beautiful black F1b medium goldendoodle puppies. 4 male & 3 female from 2 litters.

I have 2 black tri females & 1 black tri male 5 weeks old UTD on shots & wormer tails docked & dewclaws removed call or text

4 Male Sheepadoodle Puppies, DOB: January 25, 2021, lots of color and personality, have been handled and loved since the moment they were born. Current on all Vaccinations and Worming. If you have any questions or need more information please call.

Jessica's Poms CKC resgistered. Eight weeks old, vet checked, have all shots and are ready for a new home.

Simply enter a keyword, click Search. Or, choose a category. Finding what you're looking for is that easy!

Date Range

Pomeranian 1 000 $

Jessica's Poms CKC resgistered. Eight weeks old, vet checked, have all shots and are ready for a new home.

Goldendoodle 1 000 $

Beautiful black F1b medium goldendoodle puppies. 4 male & 3 female from 2 litters.

Labradoodle 1 100 $

Beautiful black 9-month F1B labradoodle for sale. Puppy is high energy and needs a home with an active single or family with children. Highly recommend fencing or kept indoors—text for a phone appointment. Shots are updated with papers.

Australian Shepherd 500 $

I have 2 black tri females & 1 black tri male 5 weeks old UTD on shots & wormer tails docked & dewclaws removed call or text


4 Male Sheepadoodle Puppies, DOB: January 25, 2021, lots of color and personality, have been handled and loved since the moment they were born. Current on all Vaccinations and Worming. If you have any questions or need more information please call.


Livestock is commonly defined as domesticated animals raised in an agricultural setting to produce labor and commodities such as meat, eggs, milk, fur, leather, and wool. The term is sometimes used to refer solely to those that are bred for consumption, while other times it refers only to farmed ruminants, such as cattle, sheep and goats. [1] Horses are considered livestock in the United States. [2] The USDA classifies pork, veal, beef, and lamb as livestock and all livestock as red meat. Poultry and fish are not included in the category. [3]

The breeding, maintenance, and slaughter of livestock, known as animal husbandry, is a component of modern agriculture that has been practiced in many cultures since humanity's transition to farming from hunter-gatherer lifestyles. Animal husbandry practices have varied widely across cultures and time periods, and continues to play a major economic and cultural role in numerous communities.

Livestock farming practices have largely shifted to intensive animal farming, sometimes referred to as "factory farming" over 99% of livestock in the US are now raised in this way. [4] Intensive animal farming increases the yield of the various commercial outputs, but has also led to negative impacts on animal welfare, the environment, and public health. [5] In particular, livestock, especially beef, dairy and sheep stocks, have out-sized influence on greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture. Due to these negative impacts, but also for reasons of farming efficiency (see Food vs. feed), one projection argues there will be a large decline of livestock at least some animals (e.g. cattle) in certain countries by 2030, [6] [7] and the book The End of Animal Farming argues that all animal husbandry will end by 2100. [8]

6 Best Farm Animals to Raise (and 1 Not to) When You’re Just Starting out

MorningChores Staff is a team of writers and editors who collaborate to create articles. If the article you are reading is authored by MorningChores Staff, it means multiple people contributed on it.

If you are new to the idea of homesteading, you might be wondering what farm animals you should consider raising on your land.

Some choose the basic farm animals to raise while others take a more exotic approach. Researching the needs of each animal is always the best place to start.

Raising livestock always has a learning curve but the more knowledgeable you are the better that curve will be to you and your farm animals.

1. Pekin Ducks

Pekin Ducks are the easiest farm animals to raise. They are a great source for meat and large eggs.

They also require very little space.

They have a bigger appetite than chickens but are great foragers as well. You can get by with building them a small house and giving them a kiddie pool to swim in, and they will be extremely happy.

Pekins are great helpers around the garden. They do not scratch the ground like chickens so they are kind to your plants. They will eat your weak rooted plants and keep the bugs off of your healthy ones.

They are friendly farm animals and are a great addition to a larger farm or your backyard.

The only caution with ducks is they are larger, slower birds so they are weak to predators. Hawks and dogs are their biggest threat but with proper fencing they should be well protected.

Space needed
Cost to raise
ConsiderationProne to predators
You may need to get used to duck eggs and meat
They need a larger living area than chickens

Read this guide if you want to know all about raising ducks:

2. Rabbits

Rabbits are great additions to any homestead. They are a great meat source, cost very little to feed, and take up very little space.

Rabbits’ gestation period is about one month. They often have 6+ in a litter, and their babies can be culled at 8 weeks so it is a fast meat supply.

They can be fed store bought feed, fodder, extra veggies from the garden, weeds and grass clippings, and hay. Rabbits are also great for your garden because they produce some of the most amazing fertilizer.

Rabbits do usually require hutches. They can be built for very little cost or purchased. Some choose to let their rabbits free range in a bunny tractor for protection. You may also choose to raise your rabbits in a colony setting. Their housing obviously has many options that can cost as little or as much as you choose.

Space needed
Cost to raise
ConsiderationProne to predators
Some people are not used to the idea of rabbits as a meat source

Read this guide if you are interested in raising rabbits:

3. Chickens

Chickens are commonly raised farm animals because they are multipurpose animals. They are a great source of eggs, meat, and fertilizer.

Chickens require about 4 square feet of space per hen in the coop. Chickens require a covered area to stay dry, fresh water, and a place to nest and lay their eggs.

Chickens will eat almost anything. You can feed them compost, weeds, leftovers from the garden, or store bought feed.

Breed will depend upon how many eggs you will get a day and will also determine their temperament. They are susceptible to predators such as hawks as well but having good fencing around their coop and a good rooster will help in protecting your hens.

Chickens are also susceptible to illness.

Cleanliness in their coop must be a priority in order to keep healthy chickens. Where chickens roost in such tight quarters and have weak respiratory systems, if one falls ill usually they all will. You must also be aware of using proper bedding in order to deter lice and mites.

Space needed
Cost to raise

If you want to raise chickens in your backyard, read and bookmark our ultimate guide on raising chickens from the “chicken experts”:

4. Goats

Goats are magnificent farm animals to keep on your homestead.

They are great at clearing brush, a meat source, and also great for dairy. If you are looking for a dairy source but don’t have a lot of acreages a goat is the way to go.

Nigerian Dwarf goats can produce anywhere from a ½-1 gallon of milk per day. Goat milk is actually easier to digest than cow’s milk and a Nigerian Dwarf normally only weighs about 75 pounds so they are much more feasible in a smaller space.

Goats will feed on shrubbery and wood. They love hay, vegetables, and also store bought feed.

Some choose to leave their goats out to pasture. If your goats are in a smaller space it is good to give them a covered place to stay dry when it rains. They will appreciate it.

Goats are very susceptible to illness. When a goat has a stomach issue it can be a matter of life or death in only a few hours.

It is important to worm them a few times a year. You can choose to use store-bought medication or feed them pumpkin or pine trees. If you notice they have a stomach problem start treating them immediately.

Goats are also escape artists. The only true way to keep them fenced in is to keep them happy, and consider getting proper goat fencing for this.

They are social farm animals so it is important to have more than one. If you keep them well fed and give them a buddy, they should stay happy and want to stay right where they are.

Space needed
Cost to raise
ConsiderationUnpredictable behavior

We have a whole section on Goat care, and here is a good post to start with:

5. Pigs

Pigs have a bad reputation for smell and messiness. In reality, pigs are clean farm animals. If you have the land available to allow them to free range then your feeding expense will be a lot lower.

The smell factor will also not be an issue because the more you move them the less they smell.

When pigs have babies their litters can often consist of as many as 11 piglets. They are obviously a great meat source, but you must raise the babies for a year to get an adequate amount of meat from them.

They eat compost, corn, other grains, milk, bread, fodder, and practically anything else you feed them. However, being such large animals they do require a lot of food which can get expensive if they are not free ranged.

They require a pin with strong fencing. They are very strong farm animals and can escape if they put their mind to it.

Space needed
Cost to raise
Cell contentThey eat a lot
Can be smelly and dirty

Here is a great guide on getting started with raising feeder pigs:

6. Cows

Cows are a large animal and, therefore, require a large amount of space. One cow needs around an acre to graze. You must technically have at least 2 acres for it so you can rotate pastures.

They are a great source for milk and meat. However, because of the amount of space they take up, it is fair to say that a cow is not right for everyone.

There is also a lot of danger to owning a cow.

They are a large animal and can seriously injure you if you are not accustomed to handling them.

They need a large water source, a barn for winter with a large supply of hay to keep them fed, and shade for hot summer days while they are out in the pasture.

Space needed
Cost to raise
ConsiderationNot for beginners

If you are keen on owning a cow, have a look at these cow breeds:

7. Honeybees

While most people somehow do not consider raising honeybees on their homestead, they’re actually magnificent creatures and require very little maintenance.

You need hive boxes to get started and a small water source where they can rest and drink. Their water source can be a bird bath with little rocks in it to keep them from drowning or something as large as a pond.

The best thing about bees is you can get them for free!

They swarm a lot in the spring and are very gentle when they do. You will need a bee suit, gloves, and some sugar water to catch them but once you do, you have a free hive.

Hive boxes do have feeders on top that you fill with a mixture of 5 pounds of sugar watered down. However, bees travel up to a 5-10 mile radius to collect food so they usually do not depend on the feeder.

Bees are not vicious animals to keep.

If you place their hives off of the beaten path you won’t even realize you are keeping them.

The obvious perk of keeping bees is the honey. You always have to leave them a little in the event that they need it as a food source, but the majority of it is all yours and it is delicious!

Bees do have upfront costs like hive boxes, bee suits, etc. but the initial investment is worth the experience of raising bees and having honey on tap in your backyard.

Space needed
Cost to raise
ConsiderationSome people allergic to bee stings
You can’t become self-sufficient with only bees

For more information on why beekeeping is awesome, and other beekeeping guides, visit this post:

Raising animals on a homestead is always exciting, and it is lovely having farm animals around for kids as well. It is an opportunity to learn and to harvest your own food right in your backyard.

COVID-19, livestock and pets

The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine points out that coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that range from the common cold to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). Some coronaviruses cause cold-like illnesses in people, while others cause illness in animals, such as cats, dogs, cattle, pigs, horses, poultry, camels, and bats. The canine and feline coronaviruses are very common in pets and do not cause illness in people.

COVID-19 is believed to have originated from wild animals (likely bats) in China. Due to mutations in the virus, it developed the ability to infect humans and spread from person to person. There is no evidence at this time to suggest that any animals in the U.S., including pets, horses, livestock, or wildlife, might be a source of COVID-19 infection. It is always a good idea to practice healthy habits around pets and other animals. This includes washing hands after handling animals, their food, waste, or supplies.

The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine provided some answers to common questions about animals and COVID-19.

What is the risk of COVID-19 infection in horses and livestock (cattle, small ruminants, camelids, swine)?

There have been no documented cases of COVID-19 infection in horses or livestock species, and there is no evidence to date that humans represent a risk of this infection to farm animals. However, there are many coronaviruses of veterinary importance, such as transmissible gastroenteritis virus (TGEV) and porcine respiratory coronavirus of swine, infectious bronchitis virus of poultry and equine and bovine coronavirus. While these are generally very contagious diseases within a group of animals, they are not often transmitted between species and are quite host-restricted.

It could be very upsetting to hear your veterinarian talk about coronavirus in your herd, flock, or barn at any time. Livestock coronavirus diseases represent a very low risk for human infection and disease (and are not COVID-19). However, other infectious disease of livestock are zoonotic, or diseases that can be transmitted between humans and animals. Salmonellosis, brucellosis, ringworm, rabies, tuberculosis, cryptosporidiosis, and Q fever are examples of zoonotic disease. These infections still remain important considerations when interacting with horses and livestock and emphasize the importance of routine biosecurity and rigorous hand hygiene after any contact with animals.

Do horses and livestock represent a COVID-19 infection risk for humans?

Humans are not at risk for passing COVID-19 to their horses or livestock and there is no reason to believe animals can transmit the disease to humans. However, the virus is very contagious between people, and circumstances where animals or their products bring people together can create a real risk of infection and disease during this pandemic. It is important to respect the current stay-at-home order and social distancing guidelines when you must interact with others. To allow the benefits of interaction with horses and livestock to continue, including maintaining economic production, as well as the social and mental health benefits, practice rigorous hand hygiene during and after visiting farms and make sure you’re following these safety tips:

  • Stay at least 6 feet away from other people.
  • Limit the number of people in the barn at any one time.
  • Encourage sick people (boarders, workers, veterinary staff) to stay home. Consider additional restrictions or closure in case of illness or poor compliance with recommendations.
  • Clean and disinfect environmental surfaces regularly, and modify barn hours to allow for cleaning. Clear water, feed buckets, cross ties, lead ropes, tack, halters, grooming supplies, water taps, hoses, stall and door handles, wheelbarrows, shovel and broom handles, doorknobs, light switches, countertops
  • Ensure availability of hand hygiene materials (soap and water, hand sanitizer).

What preparations should be made for horses and livestock during the pandemic?

Caring for livestock appropriately during this pandemic will ensure the maintenance of a safe, secure, and stable food supply, and ensure the health and well-being of companion and therapy animals that are important for the health and well-being of humans. Disaster preparedness for horses and livestock should include planning for consistent sources of hay, feed, medications, and alternative caretakers if needed. Create your plan now and share it with others who may play a role. Additional resources listed below provide recommendations on disaster preparedness for horses and livestock operations.

Additional resources regarding COVID-19 outbreak:


Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article.

Livestock, farm animals, with the exception of poultry. In Western countries the category encompasses primarily cattle, sheep, pigs, goats, horses, donkeys, and mules other animals, such as buffalo, oxen, llamas, or camels, may predominate in the agriculture of other areas. By the 21st century, livestock made up slightly more than 1 /9 of all vertebrate biomass. Estimates suggest that the mass of Earth’s livestock, some 100 million metric tons (about 110 million tons), is more than that of human beings, wild birds, and wild mammals put together.

A brief treatment of livestock follows. For information on individual species, see alpaca, buffalo, camel, cattle, cow, donkey, goat, horse, llama, ox, pig, reindeer, sheep, water buffalo, and yak.

Cattle (genus Bos) make up the largest livestock group worldwide. Among those prominent in beef production are Hereford, Shorthorn, and Angus. The chief dairy cattle breeds are Holstein-Friesian, Brown Swiss, Ayrshire, Jersey, and Guernsey. Cattle feed primarily on pasture by grazing, but in modern farming their diet is ordinarily supplemented with prepared animal feeds. Cattle are sometimes used as draft animals, particularly in small-scale farming and in less developed regions.

Sheep (genus Ovis) were among the first animals to be domesticated, perhaps as early as 10,000 bce . Some 200 breeds are recognized. Closely related to goats, sheep are raised primarily for the fleece or wool of their coats, for meat (mutton and lamb), and, to a lesser degree, for milk. Like cattle, sheep graze for their food, eating both short, fine grasses and coarse, brushy weeds.

Pigs, or domestic swine (family Suidae), have been raised for their meat (pork) since ancient times. There are more than 300 breeds worldwide. In the United States the term hog is used for swine weighing more than 54 kg (120 pounds), and the animals, regardless of breed, are classified for marketing purposes as lard, bacon, or pork types, the lard types being the heaviest. Corn is usually the basic feed for pigs, although wheat, sorghum, oats, and barley are often included in their diet.

Goats (genus Capra) are raised for their milk and its by-products and for meat, hides, and wool. The numerous breeds constitute three major groups: the prick-eared (e.g., Swiss) the eastern (e.g., Nubian) and the wool (e.g., Angora [mohair] and Cashmere). Goats eat pasture grass, alfalfa or other hays, and feeds made from grain.

Horses (Equus caballus), first intensively domesticated in Central Asia, are bred not only as livestock but also for riding, show, and racing. As livestock, horses are used for farm work or for riding, the latter especially on large cattle ranches. The numerous breeds may be classified according to place of origin (e.g., Clydesdale, Arabian), by their principal use (e.g., riding, draft), or by outward appearance (light, heavy, pony). Horses feed on grass and other pasture growths, and their diets are usually supplemented with hays, grain (primarily oats), and other nutritive feeds.

Donkeys (Equus asinus), also called asses, and mules, the hybrids formed by crossbreeding a male donkey and a female horse, are used as work animals on many farms. Sure-footed and strong, they are often employed as saddle mounts as well.

Watch the video: A Small Scale Integrated Livestock Farm