Raising livestock in your backyard will require a bit of research into the types of animals you chose as well as how to feed them, house them and care for them. Much of your decision will be based upon the size of your backyard, but another consideration you might want to start with is local regulations and laws.
In populated areas, there are likely rules about the type of animal you can raise in your backyard, as well as the number of animals you can have. There might be rules about where the animal's pens should be placed in relation to your neighbor's property. Make sure you have done your homework before you start to save yourself any trouble later.
If you do not have livestock regulations where you live at least try to be courteous to your neighbors. Nothing will ruin a good friendly relationship like an abundance of odor and flies invading your neighbor's home.
There are certain animals that just do not make good backyard livestock. Any animal that is large and needs room to graze just makes a poor choice. Rabbits, sheep, goats, pigs, chickens and other types of poultry are the best options for backyard livestock. The easiest animals to raise as backyard livestock are surely chickens, rabbits and goats.
Chickens are popular for many reasons. Two of them are eggs and meat. Chickens also eat bugs, weeds, and leftovers. A chicken coop is a simple structure made of wood with a wire floor, nest boxes and perches. Some chicken coops have an outdoor area called a 'run'.
Make sure you protect your garden from your chickens as they can ruin your crop - or worse, your neighbors! Chicken wire is the best option for construction material to cover their coop and run. The underside of the chicken coop as well as the fencing needs to be sturdy to protect the chickens from predators.
Rabbits are quiet and clean which make them a perfect animal for backyard livestock. Hutches made of wire are the best housing option for rabbits. The hutches need to be predator-proof, so do not skimp on the construction supplies! Made sure the manure is removed regularly from under the pens so that flies and odors are kept to a minimum.
Goats, while cute, smart and generous milk producers, they are difficult to keep in a pen. Goats will attack whatever type of fence you erect. While destroying the fence they will also make a good deal of bleating noise.
Goats do not require much in terms of housing, but in bad weather, they will need a shed of adequate proportions for shelter. If you have hard surfaces in their pen, you may want to add some rubber matting to help the goat be more comfortable.
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