Are you ready to move beyond stacking cans on shelves? If you’re serious about survival, you might want to think about keeping some livestock for when things get ugly.
Certain animals are better than others in providing vital food and other items we all need. It requires a balance of maintenance and yield, and it’s wise to know what animals heave the best payoff.
5 Best Livestock Animals for Preppers
Poultry is good for laying a lot of eggs for very little work. You have to keep up on maintaining their coop or they won’t lay in the same place, however. You must also collect eggs daily and keep the coop closed off from predators. You need to be mindful of disease concerns, worms, lice, and mites. Chickens are great for free-ranging and organic eggs — which is in high demand. Extra eggs can be sold for good money.
Goats are well-adapted animals that provide meat, milk, and fleece. They love grazing and are good for keeping the weeds away, but make sure they don’t destroy anything left in the open. Goats can be good escape artists, too. So, be certain they’re well-contained. Some labor goes into having goats; they need to be milked twice a day. When it comes to their health, goats are prone to mineral deficiencies and internal parasites. Goats are also a great source to make cheese, soaps, and yogurts.
Sheep are a good livestock animal to have because they graze well and provide lambs, milk, wool, and meat. The downfall is they are like goats in that they escape easily — so great fencing is a must. Sheep are also very prone to diseases like blowfly strike, foot rot, and various other health ailments. Sheep offer a lot for preppers in spite of the challenges they pose. Other benefits of owning sheep are they have lambs, meat going for competitive prices, and milk to make cheese.
Rabbits are cheap, quiet, easy to handle, good for meat production, and breed well. The only real disadvantage to owning rabbits is they don’t make you any extra money since it’s low in price. If you own these animals, keep them in a dry place and protect them from extreme temperatures and predators. Rabbits can get ear mites and colds. If chickens are on the same property, keep them separate since the same diseases can harm them.
Pigs eat almost anything and fatten up easily. They’re an easy livestock animal for preppers to have on-hand. A con of owning pigs is they wreck good grass if they aren’t ranged or contained well in a paddock. They require shelter at farrowing and mud baths for skin. Pigs need feed daily if they aren’t ranged. The main disease concern for pigs is mastisis after farrowing. Ham and bacon isn’t only delicious, it sells for a premium and is easy to sell!
No matter what you choose, be sure you talk with professionals experienced in keeping and maintaining livestock before you move forward. Keeping livestock healthy and productive requires a tremendous amount of effort and knowledge, but the reward can be lifelong food and materials.