Growing animals in the city are now possible with the right equipment, techniques, and methods. As long as the area where you live does not have restrictions against raising animals, you can start raising them for food or for a small business. Here are the animals that have adapted to city life.
Chickens are by far the most common farm animal. They are a perfect source of eggs, meat, as well as fertilizer. Almost all parts of a chicken can be put to good use. They only require about four to five square feet of space per chicken in a coop.
Raising chickens are low-maintenance, and they eat almost anything; they can be fed with leftovers, rice, compost, store feeds, or weeds. Their breed will depend on how many eggs they can yield in a day. However, chickens are very susceptible to illness.
Goats are helpful for clearing some weeds and bushes. They are also great sources of dairy, milk, and meat. Goat’s milk is easier to digest than cow’s milk, and a Nigerian Dwarf goat can produce about one gallon of milk every day.
They only weigh a little over 70 lbs. and they can be raised in a small space like the backyard. Goats only feed on wood and shrubs, so you will not spend tons on feeds.
However, goats are great escape artists; make sure you enclose them in a sturdy and heavy-duty aluminum fence to keep them safe. Aluminum or a combination of wooden and wire fencing are often used.
Owing to its size, Peking ducks are easiest to raise in the backyard. Ducks are an amazing source of meat and eggs. Like chickens, they only require very little space to survive and thrive. They have a rather big appetite when compared to chickens, but they are best at foraging.
They do not scratch the grounds as chickens do, and so they are found much kinder to plants. Ducks are best to roam around the garden as they help keep off the bugs.
Rabbits are cute, but aside from that, they can be an ideal meat source. They cost very little to feed and maintain and can take up very little space in your backyard. Rabbits are best for your garden as they can produce the most amazing and nutrient dense organic fertilizer for your plants and crops.
The gestation period of a rabbit is 30 days. They can have as much as 6–8 litter at once and babies culled at 8–10 weeks if you do the math that is a really fast meat supply for you and your family.
Pigs are usually frowned upon for their messiness and bad smell. However, contrary to popular belief, pigs are very clean animals. If your backyard is spacious and you can have them free range, your feeding expenses can be kept at a minimum.
Plus, the smell factor can be rid of as the more they are on the move, the less they actually smell. When pigs get pregnant, they can have as many as 10–15 piglets. They are basically a great source of good meat, but you have to raise the babies for a year to get the right amount of meat off of them.
Pigs can eat leftovers, corn, grains, milk bread, fodder, compost, and just about anything you feed them. But, since they are big farm animals, they can require a lot of food which can create a dent in your pocket.
With the right information and knowledge, you can be on your way to raising a small homestead of animals in your backyard. The trick is to keep your animals within your property, minimize the noise they create, and make sure they don’t smell so your neighbors don’t complain. I believe raising livestock can be both a rewarding and challenging experience.