A draw of homesteading is the ability to be more self-sufficient. If you want to raise and grow your own food, you are one step closer to self-sufficiency.
You can take it a step further by raising homestead animals that will provide additional income.
However, before you jump into buying homestead animals, you need to do the math.
You may have grand ideas for your homestead, but you don’t want your animal investments to leave you in the red.
Instead, you want to figure out which homestead animals are worth the investment.
In other words, you want to choose homestead animals that are not too much of an investment in the beginning but will more than pay for themselves in the long run.
We’ve put together this list of 8 homestead animals with low investment and high yields to get you started.
Homestead Animals Considerations
When deciding on which homestead animals to invest in, there are several factors to consider.
- What are your goals with this animal?
- Do you have any personal preferences?
- How much space do you have?
- Are there local zoning restrictions that will prevent you from raising certain homestead animals?
- What housing and feeding requirements do the animals have? Are these affordable?
- Can the animals provide multiple avenues of revenue?
In addition, you must consider the other costs of buying the animal upfront, such as vaccinations and veterinarian visits.
A good rule of thumb is that the more an animal costs upfront, the less profit you will bring in.
The only way to get around this issue is to charge more.
Do you live in a community that will spend more money on fresh, farm-fed food products, or is it a highly competitive market?
Use these questions to guide you to the homestead animals that are most appropriate for you.
Now that we’ve discussed the basic considerations for homestead animals, let’s talk about the ones that could be the most profitable for you.
One of the most common homestead animals is chickens. They are a good source of income because they are used regularly for meals – meat and eggs.
In addition to selling fresh eggs, you can use broody hens and hatch eggs, which means having an ongoing supply of chickens.
- Sell eggs
- Sell hatching eggs
- Sell chicks
- Sell chicken meat
[Related Read: Chickens or Ducks: Which Is Better for the Homestead?]
2. Honey Bees
Raising bees is a hobby many urban homesteaders turn to. If you have gardens, bees work wonders as pollinators.
Bees are also profitable.
In addition to selling honey, you can also sell beeswax.
- Sell honey
- Sell beeswax
- Teach beekeeping classes
- Offer beekeeping services
[Related Read: Get a Productive Beehive Going in a Few Short Weeks]
Not only are rabbits cute and fluffy, but they are also a fun and easy way to earn money.
Since they don’t require a lot of space, they are another favorite choice for urban homesteaders.
The most profitable way to use rabbits is to sell rabbit meat.
Since rabbits reproduce so quickly, you can earn a lot of money selling rabbit meat from just a pair of breeding rabbits.
- Sell rabbit meat
- Sell rabbits for pets
- Sell rabbit pelts
Goats are a good choice for those without enough space for cattle. But that’s not the only reason to have goats on your homestead.
Goats provide multiple avenues of revenue.
- Sell for meat
- Sell the kids
- Get certified to make and sell goat products (goat milk and cheese)
- Rent out goats for grass chewing/mowing
[Related Read: Dos and Don’ts of Raising Livestock Together]
Not quite as common, quail is a great choice of homestead animals.
They are small, and breeding is easy.
Since there are fewer homesteaders selling quail, you can sell quail meat and quail eggs to restaurants for significantly more money.
- Sell quail meat
- Sell quail eggs
- Sell quail
Worms are not the typical homestead animals, but worm farming is growing in popularity.
Homesteaders have discovered the benefits of vermiculture (worm composting) for making rich, beneficial soil.
As a result, cheap little worms can turn a large profit.
It’s easy to start worm farming, and there are many ways you can use them to earn money.
- Sell worms
- Sell worm compost
- Sell worms for bait
[Related Read: How to Start a Worm Farm]
Turkeys are obviously popular around Thanksgiving, but there is a need for turkey meat all year long.
Raising turkeys is similar to raising chickens, but they do require a bit more space.
Turkey eggs are in high demand and go for significantly more than chicken eggs.
- Sell turkey meat
- Sell turkey eggs
- Breed and sell turkeys
Cows are the last on our list of homestead animals for good reason.
Cows cost a good bit more than the other animals on this list starting out. They also require a lot more space and more work.
That means they may not be the right fit for everyone.
However, for those with the space and ability to invest in cows, you can see very nice returns.
Not only will you save money on milk with dairy cows (if you raise them), but you will make a profit on every calf sold.
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