What did your hobby farm look like when you started? Did you set out with nothing more than a small garden? Perhaps you built a small chicken coop and declared that that was as far as you wanted to go. Many hobby farmers start out small but enjoy the benefits of sustainable, ethical, and home-grown products so much that they quickly want to expand. If you’re in the same boat, you’ll need to decide which animals will make a good fit for your current setup. Check out these ideas for the best animals to add to your growing hobby farm.
Chickens are easily the most common hobby farm animal, but they aren’t the only birds that can thrive on your property. Where do you go once you’ve mastered the art of keeping a chicken flock? Whether you want to sell eggs and meat or keep these birds around for entertainment and pest control, ducks make a great addition to any hobby farm—especially if you already have chickens. In fact, ducks are one of the best birds to raise alongside your existing chicken flock. Just make sure you have plenty of space for your new flock members.
If your hobby farm includes a garden, you need pollinators around. That’s why honeybees are one of the best animals to add to your growing hobby farm. A hive or two of these hard workers will help your plants flourish year after year. You can also sell the raw honey, beeswax, and other products from your hives. Even better, honeybees are surprisingly low-maintenance compared to other livestock. Once you set up your hives in a safe location, much of the beekeeping season passes with little more than a weekly inspection to ensure your colonies are in good shape.
Who doesn’t want to see adorable, fluffy rabbits every time they walk around the farm? As cute and cuddly as these creatures are, their benefits extend far beyond being a charming addition to the farm. Some hobby farmers raise rabbits for their meat, which is both rich in protein and low in calories. Others make money by selling rabbit pelts. You can also raise friendly breeds to sell as pets to a good home. No matter what you choose to do, there’s no denying that rabbits are a useful and profitable idea for a developing hobby farm.