So you’ve decided to start a small farm, but you’re not sure what animals to raise, or what to plant. How do you decide?
The most likely candidates for farm animals are the ones that you’re drawn to naturally. If goats seem odd or strange, maybe they’re not for you. Perhaps you have fond memories of petting cows on your grandparents’ farm or have a fondness for pigs.
If your goal is to start a business with your farm, think carefully about markets for your product, and do some research to see if there is demand for it. If your goal is self-sufficiency, you’ll want to consider what kind of food you and your family like to eat. Don’t raise pigs if you never eat pork!
Often, people are drawn to unusual or exotic animals. Their thought process is often that something that isn’t “what everybody else is doing” will be marketable. This isn’t always a logical conclusion. While speciality crops can be a great way to generate income, sometimes this can backfire. Be sure there’s a market for your unusual animal, herb, vegetable or fruit before investing a lot of money in it.