Are you looking to achieve food security through homesteading? If so, you’re in luck! Having the right animals on your homestead is essential for food security. Here is our top 5 pick of the best animals for food security on a homestead.
No two people are exactly alike so no two homesteads would be exactly alike. So that being said homesteads vary greatly in size, scope, goals, and climates. I would never say this is an “absolute” list, but rather a general guide to the best animals for food security on a homestead. Pick and choose what is best for your homestead and leave the rest.
Best Animals for Food Security on a Homestead
Chickens are the homesteader’s go-to animal, and in most situations the starter drug if you will for self-reliant living. They can be easy to keep in almost any environment from tropical climates to the cold of subarctic homesteads, city-steaders to the extremely rural.
Chickens make a great addition to almost any home as they will eat almost any kitchen or garden scraps you may have and turn that into a quality protein.
So for these reasons, chickens are my top pick for producing meat and eggs and providing valuable food security for the homesteader.
Like chickens ducks make great homestead animals for self-sufficiency the difference is they need water, a kiddie pool, a pond, etc. Ducks (breed depending) can be a little better source of eggs in the winter or dark months than chickens. So they make a quality source of meat, eggs, and breed-depending, fat as well.
If your homestead is in a watery area where ponds are in abundance, or in need of a protein source that can produce eggs, meat, and fat, then ducks might be your go-to choice.
Love them or hate them goats make a great option for food security for the homesteader. With many different varieties that thrive in as many different places goats can be raised to provide meat, milk, fat, and even fiber (depending on breeds of course).
On our homestead, we have used goats primarily for milk, but aside from that there has been meat and fat or tallow as well.
One of the newest members of our homestead is sheep. I am embarrassed to say we did not get them sooner. As a much easier-to-manage-than-a-goat ruminant, sheep are a must to consider for food security.
Sheep are most often thought of for wool, and at that, they can do well. However, they can also be raised for milk, meat, and the high-quality tallow (or fat) that they produce. So if you are looking to make an animal dual purpose or even more then look no further than the sheep.
Small homesteads throughout time have relied on pigs and for good reasons. Pigs make a great source of meat and lard (that is pig fat), and often just one pig can feed a family for a year or even two for smaller families.
Another great thing about pigs is the natural skill they have of rooting can turn up the soil and efficiently plow up an area they will be used for planting, and all done without expensive machines or fuel costs.
Not all pig breeds are the same so do your research to find exactly what will work for your homestead situation.
I include these as honorable mentions because we have never had them, but I know many homesteaders find them as a highly valuable source of food security.
Even though I do not have them on my homestead bees are something I dream of having one day, and that is because they are such an amazing source of food security. They can fly for miles to find food, they pollinate so efficiently they can help your gardens to be more productive, and supply lots of sweet honey.
Without having any first-hand experience with rabbits I do know they can make a great source, especially for city homesteaders or people wanting to have a self-reliant source of meat in a small area.
Additionally, rabbit droppings are a very high-quality manure that makes a wonderful natural fertilizer for the garden. And of course, a happy fertile garden grows more food.
Maybe no two homesteads are alike however wanting food security on your homestead is something we all have in common. So be it ducks, sheep, or bees food security is a great big fantastic goal, and I applaud you for it.
So no matter where you are or where you start, I urge you to start. Take your food security into your own hands, and start with this list. No matter if your goals are dairy, meat, fat, pollination, fiber production, or soil fertilization on homesteads big or small city or rural this list has got you covered.
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Beth is a mother of 6 living on a handful of acres in an old farmhouse in central Kansas. Beth has a background in the military and health and fitness however her passions come from her homestead life. Beth is an enthusiastic homeschooling mom, avid organic gardener, chicken & goat wrangler, who is obsessed with herbs and natural remedies and maintaining an all-around Do-It-Yourself lifestyle. Beth loves to share all she has learned about and sustainable living. While striving for a healthy, natural life, family-centered life.