Livestock farming is the process of raising livestock for meat, milk, eggs, or wool. Farmers have been doing this for thousands of years.
Usually, farmers raise only one kind of animal—cows for milk and beef, chickens for eggs and meat—or a few kinds that can live together in the same place.
In this article, we are going to discuss what animals live on a farm.
- Helping animals
What animals live on a farm
Cows or cattle are at the top of the list of farm animals, often raised for meat and milk. Farmers who raise cows usually let them out of their stalls and pastures to graze on grass for much of the day.
They often sleep inside, so they don’t wander away at night. Cattle raising is an important industry in many parts of the world. Dairy farming is the main source of income for many families.
Whether you’re starting your own herd or looking to add on, raising cattle can be financially rewarding and a lot of fun. There are many breeds out there, some better for milk production while others are primarily raised for meat.
The average lifespan of cows is 20 to 25 years, but that number is typically much lower for cows kept as livestock.
Most domesticated cows only live up to 10 years of age, with some cows reaching the ripe old age of 14 years.
So when someone asks what animals live on a farm, I’m sure the cow is the first on the list.
Second, on the list of farm animals, is the sheep. It is another common farm animal that people let out to graze on grass each day.
Like cows, farmers usually put them in a fenced-in area called a “pasture”. Sheep are a very self-sufficient type of livestock to have on the homestead, and, like goats, they are excellent browsers.
Raising sheep is a good way for farmers to make money. Farmers often sell the wool from sheep and use it to make sweaters and other clothing.
Admittedly, there are some difficulties in raising sheep: They’re not as easily fenced as cattle are, so the average sheep farmer needs to take special precautions to keep his or her sheep in.
Profitability in sheep can be challenging, but with close control of expenses, a profit is possible. A general rule of thumb is that 1 acre of land can support two sheep.
They are one of the cutest animals on the list, thanks to their curly tails.
Farmers raise pigs for meat and bacon. Most of the time, pigs live inside in a pen or sty.
Farmers feed them corn and other grains. However, sometimes farmers let piglets out to roam in a small pasture before slaughtering them for food.
They are hearty, simple to raise, and produce an extreme amount of meat in an amazingly short amount of time.
If you’ve ever wondered, “What kind of animals live on a farm?”, just like cows, pigs are one of the main answers.
The top five states pork-producing states in the U.S. are Iowa, Minnesota, North Carolina, Illinois, and Indiana.
Today, there are more than 60,000 pig farms in the United States.
They include a variety of farm sizes and types, and they raise pork to meet a wide variety of consumer demands.
Another popular on the list of farm animals are chickens. They are kept for their eggs and for their meat all over the world, from huge farms to people’s yards.
According to US Poultry, the value of all egg production in 2020 was $8.66 billion, up 18 percent from $7.33 billion in 2019.
Egg production totaled 112 billion eggs, down 1 percent from 113 billion eggs produced in 2019.
Farmers will often let chickens out of their houses (or pens) to run around outside for much of the day. They sleep in coops at night so they can keep warm, safe from predators like foxes and badgers.
One of the first steps in entering the poultry industry is to choose which sector. Generally, there are two types of poultry farming- Broilers and Layers
Keeping chickens is hard, dirty work, and not an undertaking to be entered into lightly. They need a lot of attention and care.
Construction or purchase of coop, run, and fencing This requires time, thought, and money. You need a lot of space for chickens, and they produce a lot of waste material.
The chicken industry is a multibillion-dollar business. Every year in the U.S. alone, more than 9 billion chickens are killed by humans for food; 450 million of those are chickens killed by the egg industry.
Goats are raised for their milk and meat. They have thick coats that help keep them warm in winter months when they might otherwise freeze to death.
Goats also love to feast on just about any kind of vegetation you put in front of them, from grass to leaves fallen from trees.
Goats do very well on weeds, too. Smith says milk production takes a jump when a doe gets to feast on stinging nettles.
Aside from raising goats for food, farmers also use their hair to make sweaters and knit goods.
Goats are similar to sheep in that you can support about six to eight goats on an acre of land.
Rearing goats is a profitable business. Goat raising is gaining momentum for the past couple of years due to its low intensive nature and high commercial value.
Perhaps the most profitable type of dairy goat is the Saanen goat. On average, American farmers will price their goat milk between $8 and $12 per gallon.
6. Ducks and Geese
Ducks and geese often live together. Their feathers help them stay warm outside in the cold seasons.
Farmers let them out of their pens or houses to roam around most days, though sometimes they keep them inside for protection from predators such as foxes and hawks.
Duck eggs are delicious and nutritious. Many people enjoy eating them for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. They’re often cooked sunny-side up with a little salt and pepper.
Ducks and geese may look similar but they’re actually quite different. Geese are larger and more protective than ducks.
Raising ducks is no doubt profitable, which is why a lot of livestock farmers are now raising ducks.
Rabbits also keep warm with their fur coats, so farmers try to find breeds that can live outside all year long.
But rabbits don’t eat grass like other farm animals; instead, they feast on special pellets made of hay and other ingredients that help each breed grow big and strong.
Rabbit meat isn’t very popular in most parts of the world, but it is considered a delicacy in some areas.
Raising rabbits for meat is quite a simple production to start if you have the time and space. It can be highly lucrative, as well.
You can probably ask about $6 per lb for your rabbit meat. It doesn’t matter if you sell it for human consumption or dog food.
Turkeys and chickens will often be raised together because both birds can eat similar food and can even interbreed to make more kinds of animals.
Turkeys are not that hard to raise, but they differ a bit from chickens in terms of what they need, particularly when it comes to housing.
Turkey coops need to be much larger than chicken coops, for example. Turkey meat is one of the most popular kinds of meat in the world.
People eat it at year-round feasts, especially around Thanksgiving. If you are raising BB turkeys, they will reach butchering weight faster than a heritage breed.
I found that in about 3 1/2 months I had Broad Breasted turkeys that dressed out at around 12-14 pounds.
After 4 1/2 to 5 months they dressed out in the 15-19 pound range. Turkey’s Annual Household Income per Capita reached 3,073.314 USD in Dec 2019.
Geese look very similar to ducks but are actually different species. Geese also have special feathers that help them stay warm outside no matter what the weather is like, so farmers let geese walk around freely just like ducks do.
Chicken and turkey eggs are popular breakfast foods all over the world, while geese eggs are considered a delicacy in some areas.
Hobby-raising geese costs $22.94 per goose.
10. Other domesticated animals in farms
Aside from the animals listed above, there are many other species kept as farm animals.
Here is a list of farm animals that aren’t mentioned in the article above.
These animals help farmers in their everyday work:
Dogs are great at keeping predators away from farmed animals.
Horses can help farmers transport goods and materials around the farm.
Cattle and other large livestock, such as horses and donkeys, help farmers plow fields and transport goods.
This article discussed what kinds of animals live on a farm. Some of the most common include cows, pigs, chickens, and goats.
These animals all help farmers in some way or another by providing them with food, eggs, milk, coats for warmth, and transportation.
I hope this article helped you decide to finally live on a farm and start raising livestock.
Sarah Lane has been a farm wife since 2010 and mother of two children for nearly as long. She and her husband, Jonathan, live on a small farm in Texas where they raise dairy goats and beef cattle as well as chickens for eggs and meat. In addition to growing their own hay, straw and garden produce, the Lane family works with other nearby farms to source organic grain from which they make artisan bread sold at local farmer’s market.