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How to Choose the Right Animals for Your Farm!

Choosing the right animal for your farm can sometimes be a challenge. So to help make this easier I wanted to share the 4 main questions we asked ourselves when we were deciding which animals would fit best on our farm. 1. What animals do we want on our farm?

Simply make a list of the animals you would love to have on your dream farm. You can even rank them from most desired to maybe someday. You may want to be specific enough to include the breed, for instance we had chickens at the top of our list but there are several different breeds to consider. Each breed has their own look, meat quality, egg color, and personality. Best advice is to start broad (i.e. chicken) and narrow down as you research (i.e. Speckled Sussex).

2. How much land does each animal require? Go down your list of animals and research how many you can have per acre. Evaluate your lands capacity by comparing your farms acreage to what each animal needs. If you have a grazing animal you will need to determine if they need to rotate pastures and how often. Best advice here is start small and grow as you feel comfortable. You do not want to cause stress on yourself or the animals by overcrowding your farm.

3. What is the cost of caring for the animal each year? This is probably the most important part. There are so many things to consider when starting a farm. Top items include: fencing, barns, shelters, water, food, supplements, hay, hay storage, vet cost, breeding, and processing. Take plenty of time here to research what your animals will need. Best advice is to find a local farmer who has that animal, I promise you they will share everything they know! I am yet to meet a farmer who isn't willing to teach me about their animals or farm life. It is such a joy to share something that we love and care about!

4. What do we want from our animals? Take time to look at your list of animals and decide what you want from them. For example we wanted cows that are dual purpose, meat and dairy, knowing this helped us narrow down to the breed that fit our farm. This is also helpful when you have limited room and have to be more selective on what animals you add to your farm. Best advice is to determine what means more to you and add those first.

With all the research done it's time to evaluate and make some decisions. It is so important to know your limits and understand your farm. Start small and with one breed at a time. Chickens are a great animal to start with because they are fairly low-maintenance and they will help you develop a routine. Introduce the next animal once you feel comfortable. Be patient with yourself and your farm. Caring for animals should be a joy, so enjoy it! Don't get me wrong, farming is definitely hard work but we love it! I especially love sharing our farm and our journey with you. I even created another worksheet to help you choose the right animals for your farm! I hope that you find this to be helpful and encouraging. I look forward to sharing more of our farm with you, God bless Get the FREE Choosing the Right Animals Worksheet right here!

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