Quaker Farm Home
8 Ways to
on a Homestead
8 Ways to
on a Homestead
Selling small livestock can provide a valuable homestead income, especially if you have a clear
speciality. Generally speaking, pure breeds will sell for higher prices than animals that are
cross breeds. If the livestock is registered, so much the better.
Health of the animals is extremely important and your management should not only meet physical needs but
should provide a healthy, holistic environment and living conditions as well. Nothing turns away
sales quicker than inadequate, crowded and untidy animal housing.
Some of the livestock projects we have found successful over the years include chickens, dairy goats, sheep, rabbits,
ducks, pea fowl and more.
Chickens are personable and really fun and satisfying to raise! People who raise chickens really
love their birds
and chicken people are some of the friendliest people to know. I think it is because raising chickens is
such a satisfying project when you devote quality time to it, that it makes chicken
owners happy and content themselves!
I guess that makes chickens therapeutic in more ways than one!
For instance, at Quaker Farm, we have raised Buff Orpington
chickens for many, many years.
People like the quality of our laying hens and their value as a heritage breed,
and they pay a premium price for them. As a naturally broody breed,
hatching out Buff Orpington chicks is very easy. It requires no incubator costs and our
like the fact that they are naturally hatched and holistically raised.
There are many
breeds that are naturally broody as well.
Just remember you need a rooster!
Chickens also produce
eggs which can be sold at a road-side stand or at a Farmer's Market. Farm fresh eggs are always very
popular so be sure to price them according to their real value.
Don't underprice farm fresh eggs - farm fresh eggs are not "cheep"!
So, if you plan to work with the right breed of chicken you can diversify your
income from them in several ways by offering for sale:
Eggs - Chicks - Laying Hens
Rabbits are a marvelous project for people who have a limited amount of space, and they are a fun
project too. Our Checkered Giant
rabbits are another good example. Because of their uniqueness, size and quality,
our Checkered Giants were very, very
popular with 4-Her's, homesteaders, other rabbit breeders and customers who liked rabbit meat and
were willing to do their own processing. Every spring and summer we had a
long waiting list and we always sold out.
As a bonus, if you build your rabbit pens high enough off the ground, you can raise worms underneath
the pens - with minimal set up costs.
It works great, and if you live near areas where fishing is popular, there is your market for fish bait! We
live right near
Lake Huron, one of the Great Lakes, not to mention numerous inland lakes and streams where fishermen
Dairy Goats and Sheep
If you have even more room, the popularity of dairy goats and sheep is on the rise.
It seems that people
are finally realizing just how fantastically economical dairy goats are to raise and how
healthy, nourishing and delicious their milk is.
As for sheep,
their speciality markets continue to increase. Both sheep and goats can be dual purpose. Let's
take a quick look at each.
Goats can be raised for milk or meat or both. In many states,
goat shares can be marketed.
sure to do your research and carefully observe the laws in your area.
We have raised several breeds
of goats over the years.
We started out with Nubian dairy goats, then added Oberhasli, Saanens and finally Boer goats.
We have loved them
all. We have consumed their creamy sweet milk and used it to make cheese, ice cream and yogurt,
and otherwise, we have
just plain enjoyed
their company on the farm each and every day.
Today, we just keep a very small herd of Nubian dairy
goats having now come around full circle back to our beginnings. Again, usually the highest prices
are paid for purebreds.
As for sheep, a dual purpose flock that produces both meat and quality fleece for hand spinning is ideal.
Sheep require space and like goats, sheep are a herd animal and they need the company of their kind to be
In the right climate and with the right pasture conditions, sheep can
free-range graze for several months of the year.
Premium prices are often fetched for both free range lamb and prime fleeces.
We raise Cotswold sheep, for instance,
and there is an excellent
market demand for their fleeces and market lambs.