From rabbits and laying hens to dairy and beef cattle, there are food-producing animals for everything from small backyards to huge ranches.
That’s a good thing, because drought-caused grain shortages are filtering down to supplies of meat, eggs, and dairy products.
An example is the effect on dairy herds, explained by the Daily Dairy Report:
Extreme drought this summer meant higher prices to feed dairy cows, and now the U.S. faces the smallest dairy herd in almost a decade. That means higher milk prices, and not just for the kind you drink. Lots of types of food companies are affected, and the impact depends on the type of milk product they use. (Read more in this article at Marketplace.org.)
Feed issues are causing similar shortages and price hikes in factory and small-farm meat, poultry, and egg production.
What does that mean for us? Now is the time to be thinking about raising some meat, poultry, eggs, or dairy.
Not only will it help with supply challenges, but it’s a great feeling to know that you can provide a complete meal with protein sources to go along with what you raise in the garden. But you must also Caring for Livestock
Think about what will work for you and learn all about it!
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Our Resource List
Livestock for the backyard or farm:
Backyard Homestead Guide to Raising Farm Animals by Gail Damerow
Small-Scale Livestock Farming: A Grass-Based Approach by Carol Ekarius
Which meat animal should you raise? at HobbyFarms.com
Poultry in general:
Storey’s Guide to Raising Poultry by Glenn Drowns
Pastured Poultry Profits by Joel Salatin
The Small Scale Poultry Flock by Harvey Ussery
Raising Backyard Chickens Made Simple Part 1
Raising Backyard Chickens Made Simple Part 2
Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens by Gail Damerow
Success With Baby Chicks by Robert Plamondon
The Chicken Encyclopedia by Gail Damerow
The Chicken Chick blog
Fresh Eggs Daily blog
Raising Quail by Allen Easterly at Backwoods Home Magazine
Raising Ducks by Liz Wright at Mother Earth News
Raising Turkeys at Home by Herman Beck-Chenoweth at Mother Earth News
Raising Guinea Fowl by Jeannette S. Ferguson
Storey’s Guide to Raising Rabbits by Bob Bennett
How to Raise Backyard Rabbits by Aubrey Vaughn at Mother Earth News
Salad Bar Beef by Joel Salatin
Storey’s Guide to Raising Beef Cattle by Heather Smith Thomas
Raising Beef Cattle on a Few Acres from Utah State University Extension
The Backyard Cow by Sue Weaver
Dairy at Home from Hobby Farms Magazine
Storey’s Guide to Raising Pigs by Kelly Klober
Raising Your Own Backyard Pig by Kay Wolfe from Countryside Magazine
Storey’s Guide to Raising Dairy Goats by Jerry Belanger
Storey’s Guide to Raising Meat Goats by Maggie Sayer
Raising Goats for Fun and Profit by Janet Wallace from GRIT Magazine
Storey’s Guide to Raising Sheep by Carol Ekarius
Basics of Raising Sheep from Sheep 101
About Alpaca Meat from AlpacaFarmBC.com
About Camel Milk from Oasis Camel Dairy
Camelid Husbandry from Camelidynamics
All About Raising Alpacas by Janet Wallace from GRIT Magazine
All About Raising Llamas by Jon Geller from Mother Earth News
While we’re talking about animals, we can’t leave out fish and honey bees…
How to Raise Fish for Food at Home from Mother Earth News
Storey’s Guide to Keeping Honey Bees by Richard E. Bonney
Raising Honeybees from Beekeeping for Beginners
And don’t forget to evaluate your needs for livestock protection!
RLT Livestock Guardian Animals (donkeys, llamas, livestock guardian dogs)
Key to the Rural Living Today Network blog posts listed above:
RLT = Rural Living Today (our main website and blog: encouragement for the urban/suburban to rural transition)
Previous posts in our Beating Food Challenges series:
In this series, we’re listing some great resources for each of our ten topics: growing vegetables, herbs, and fruit; raising meat, eggs, and dairy; local food sources and buying freezer meat; food storage; food preservation; sprouting; foraging; bartering; and learning more and more to help along the way.