Best starter livestock

GrowPro

Farm Hand
Messages
25
I have a client who has several acres of land who wants to add some farm animals that will basically be treated as pets. I know she isn't planning to slaughter them, so they'll either need to be spayed or neutered or all of one gender. I don't raise livestock so I have nothing to go on. Which farm animals are good for beginners that also meet that criteria? I'm leaning towards goats or chickens. I'm also considering walking away from the project, even though it's quite lucrative, because I'm not sure she knows what she's doing, though I guess she could learn. What do you think?
 
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Riin

Farm Hand
Messages
29
Chickens are also the way to go in my honest opinion even though I haven’t raised any livestock yet. But they are easier to take care of when compared to other animals. It’s good for motivation, for starters.
 

OhSusanna

Farm Hand
Messages
48
I'm with Riin about chickens being good for motivation since they reward you with fresh eggs. If this gal is interested in eggs and is willing to collect them, then chickens are great for newbies. Just make sure she's willing to put in the effort to learn how to take care of them. If she's looking for more of a pet, than goats are great, just make sure she has at least two of them because they are herd animals and will get into all sorts of trouble otherwise. If you think this gal has no intention of caring for the animals then walk away. We all had to start somewhere though, and we've all made our mistakes. It just takes a willingness and desire to learn.
 

Ben

Farm Hand
Messages
35
Horses can be a good investment, and they're easy to love, just make sure she has time for them. Horses are herd animals, so she'll need more than one horse, or she'll need a companion of some sort for the horse. Rabbits are pretty easy to care for and some are rare and fancy that she might like. A pond stocked with koi fish could also work. Whatever she chooses, she'll need to know how to keep them safe, what they eat, where they should live, how to keep the area clean, what they need to eat, and things like that. It can go really badly for the animals if she's not prepared to meet their needs or hire help that will do the work for her.
 

Skyline

Farm Hand
Messages
67
Pigs are easy to raise to be honest. Although some said it takes more time (which is true),it’s not as difficult as many imagine. But it’s also better if you have enough space for them.
 

RichZ

Golden Chicken
Messages
154
I would say that chickens are the easiest to raise, but they get picked off by every kind of predator including hawks and neighbor's dogs. You do get eggs and never have to slaughter them, but losing large numbers of them can be traumatic. NEVER name chickens, the named chicken will always be the first to be picked off. Goats aren't hard to raise, but you need REALLY good fencing, because they are escape artists. They're smart (REALLY smart) and if you bottle raise them, they will consider you their parent.
 

Minty

Farm Hand
Messages
58
Interesting about what RichZ said about name chickens. I wonder what the main cause is. Personally I name most of my animals so I don’t observe such problem in my farm. Chickens are indeed the easiest to raise in my opinion. Goats and pigs are my second and third picks.
 

RichZ

Golden Chicken
Messages
154
I also name all of my animals and consider them all pets. But my wife and I quickly learned that what we heard was true with chickens, the ones with names are the first to get picked off. It doesn't happen with other animals, just chickens. When we had a dairy goat farm, we had 120 goats. Each one had a name and each one knew their name and came when called. Actually the goats responded to many commands, they are extremely intelligent and eager to please. Even all of our 40 sheep had names and came when called.
 

Minty

Farm Hand
Messages
58
I also name all of my animals and consider them all pets. But my wife and I quickly learned that what we heard was true with chickens, the ones with names are the first to get picked off. It doesn't happen with other animals, just chickens. When we had a dairy goat farm, we had 120 goats. Each one had a name and each one knew their name and came when called. Actually the goats responded to many commands, they are extremely intelligent and eager to please. Even all of our 40 sheep had names and came when called.
That indeed sounds like a headache. I wonder if you keep them in a run or not. Although chickens are not good flyers, when there are attacks, they can sometimes fly up to a tree branch if one of their wings is not clipped. Or you can have a rooster that defend them from predators.
 

RichZ

Golden Chicken
Messages
154
That indeed sounds like a headache. I wonder if you keep them in a run or not. Although chickens are not good flyers, when there are attacks, they can sometimes fly up to a tree branch if one of their wings is not clipped. Or you can have a rooster that defend them from predators.
I allow my chickens to free range. In the spring, summer and early fall, they don't even need feed, they eat bugs and ticks and help my farm pest free without pesticides. However, that exposes them to predators, of course. It's a trade off. Roosters typically don't do a very good job of protecting the hens, unfortunately. And when I find hens missing, I often find the roosters hiding. I've had chickens for over 20 years, I've never had a rooster who was a very good protector.
 
 
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