Farming is technically the oldest profession on the planet as humans have always harvested and grown food for consumption.
In recent years farming has been done on a huge scale by farmers with large areas of land and massive machinery. However, the prevalence of small-scale farmers is increasing. Much of this is a result of the economic crash of 2008, although the recent dip in economics and the COVID-19 outbreak are also significant factors.
People are aware of the environmental impact of their decisions and the fragility of jobs and income. Moving back to small-scale farming gives people security against economic heartache.
Unfortunately, there are two main issues facing those deciding to focus on livestock. The first is which breeds and that will be dealt with here. The second is financing the purchase of the stock and even the necessary land and facilities. Fortunately, you can get livestock finance to help with this.
These are goats but a lot smaller than the standard size goat. That makes them excellent for small-scale farming, especially as they are surprisingly easy to keep happy. However, they do have a tendency to eat everything, you’ll need to keep them contained to ensure they only eat what you want them to.
Pigs are generally bred for meat and can help you to create a tidy profit. You’ll need a couple to get you started and enough space for them to sleep and roll around Pigs don’t need that much space but they can be a lot of fun to keep and look after.
Sheep produce lamb which is always a popular and expensive meat. They’ll also give you their woolly coats. You can use this to make items yourself or sell them to others to process further.
Sheep don’t need a huge amount of attention. They need a field to roam in and protection from wild animals, they can often be targeted by wolves or similar creatures
Chickens are one of the most popular starting points. A small collection of five or six can easily grow into a much larger collection. You’ll need enough space for them to strut and peck for food as well as a safe area for them to lay their eggs and keep them away from foxes and other wildlife.
You can simply gather and sell the eggs or you can sell the chickens to other farmers or for food. There are plenty of choices when keeping chickens!
Finally, there is an array of options if you’re considering cattle. You usually need several feeds to keep a herd of cows as they’ll eat a surprising amount of grass. You’ll have to rotate them through the fields.
If you’re keeping them for the milk you’ll have to get milking facilities and take the cows back and forth every day. Of course, if you prefer you can simply breed them for the meat. Beef is always in demand.