8 Best Profitable Farm Animals for Your Homestead (2022)

Adding profitable farm animals to your homestead is one way to make money homesteading, but not all animals will make you a profit.

8 Best Profitable Farm Animals for Your Homestead (1)

When you first start your homestead, getting animals might not be your immediate steps. Chickens, yes, because they’re easy, but chances are you wait until you’re ready. Then, you need to pick the best profitable farm animals for your homestead.

Not all farm animals really make a profit. Some will send you into the red, but that’s okay because you love them.

Other animals will have multiple ways for you to create a profit; these are the most profitable livestock you want on your homestead.

You have to look at a few factors when you pick the best farm animals for your land. This is exactly what my husband and I are doing right now as we debate how to expand our homestead.

TIP: Look at your zoning regulations before you purchase farm animals. Rules do vary from location to location, and you might have a set number of specific animals that you can raise based on our location. You might need to process at an official slaughterhouse before commercial sale.

Related: 35 Ways to Make Money on a Homestead

Picking The Most Profitable Farm Animals

  • Adding profitable farm animals to your homestead is one way to make money homesteading, but not all animals will make you a profit.
  • Space You Have Available
  • Can You Grow The Feed?
  • Multiple Avenues for Revenue
  • Amount of Care Required
  • The Cost of Raising the Animals
  • 1. Chickens – Most Profitable Farm Animal for Small Homesteaders
  • 2. Goats – Most Profitable Animal to Breed
  • 3. Bees – Most Profitable Farm Animal for Hobby Farmers
  • 4. Quail
  • 5. Rabbits
  • 6. Cattle – Most Profitable Livestock for Those with Plenty of Acreage
  • 7. Pigs
  • 8. Sheep

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(Video) 8 BEST PROFITABLE FARM ANIMALS FOR YOUR HOMESTEAD #shorts #animals

8 Best Profitable Farm Animals for Your Homestead (2)

How to Pick the Best Profitable Farm Animals

8 Best Profitable Farm Animals for Your Homestead (3)

Picking the most profitable farm animals depends on the facilities and land that you currently have, your ability to raise the animals, and other factors. What is profitable for you and your homestead might not work for another.

That’s why I’m hesitant to call any animal the MOST profitable. All homesteaders are different. For me, raising chickens, bees, and ducks might yield the best return, while you have more land, so raising cattle earns you the most bang for your buck.

Let’s look at how to decide which farm animals to raise.

Space You Have Available

No matter what animal you pick to raise, they all require room to browse, shelter, and fencing. So, how much land you have determines what animals you can keep on your homestead.

Here is the recommended space needed per animal.

  • Chickens: 2-3 square feet inside of the coop and 8-10 square feet in an outside run.
  • Pis: 12 to 14 sows per acre
  • Sheep: 1/2 an acre per animal
  • Goats: 1/2 an acre per animal
  • Dairy and Beef Cattle: 1-2 acres per animal

Then, let’s not forget you have to fence these animals in, otherwise who knows where they will end up.

Cattle, goats, sheep, and pigs can be pastured with woven wire and electric fences. Chickens need little fencing. You just need to keep them where you want them and keep predators out of their space.

Can You Grow The Feed?

Feed can be one of the most costly parts of raising farm animals, and to make the maximum profit, you need to keep the costs as low as possible.

Can you grow some or all of the feed that the animals need? If so, you’re going to keep your overhead costs lower, but if you have to buy ALL of your feed, take that into consideration when planning your profit margins.

Goats and sheep typically can survive on poor-quality forage and you can turn them out on land to keep the weeds away. Cattle require a higher-quality diet, and dairy cows need a high amount of nutrients to produce milk and stay healthy themselves.

Look at the feed costs per month when picking the best profitable farm animals for your homestead.

Multiple Avenues for Revenue

Is there just one way to make money from this livestock or are there multiple avenues for revenue?

(Video) BEST AND WORST Livestock for Beginners

I always prefer multiple streams because it lets you find what works best for you and maximizes your profits.

An example is chickens. The obvious way to make money on your homestead with chickens is by selling eggs, but did you know that you can sell those same eggs (assuming you have fertile eggs) as hatching eggs for $15-30 a dozen depending on the breed(s) of chickens you have?

Talk about maximizing your revenue!

Related: 24 Ways to Make Money from The Garden

Amount of Care Required

Do you have the time to raise animals that take a lot of time? Chickens require a daily investment of time, but not as much as other livestock.

If you work a separate job, you really need to take into consideration how much time you truly have to devote to livestock. The more that you have, the more it takes to feed, water, and care for them each and every day.

Some livestock requires less time and maintenance than others.

The Cost of Raising the Animals

I mentioned the feed costs, but that’s not everything. Animals require monthly upkeep, such as bedding and veterinarian supplies. Don’t forget vaccinations and any other cost for raising your animals.

As I said, the more costly the animals, the less profit you make OR THE MORE YOU CHARGE.

The 8 Most Profitable Farm Animals

There is no guarantee that you will make a profit with these farm animals, but these tend to be the most profitable farm animals. Profit is subjective to many factors.

1. Chickens – Most Profitable Farm Animal for Small Homesteaders

8 Best Profitable Farm Animals for Your Homestead (5)

The first animal that you probably think about having on your homestead is probably chickens. The real money maker is selling chicken eggs because nearly every household needs eggs. Hens produce a steady supply of eggs, and since you can use broody hens or an incubator to hatch eggs, you have an endless supply of chickens.

Homesteaders tend to pick chickens because of their low maintenance needs and low costs to raise. Plus, you have multiple revenues available.

Chickens are a profitable farm animal, especially if you focus on raising strictly organic chickens. If you can label our eggs “organic” or “locally sourced”, you can boost your sale price.

It is hard to get the official organic stamp, but you can charge more for organically fed chickens.

Expect to sell your pasture-raised eggs for $4-6 per dozen.

(Video) Easiest farm animals for beginners: Best animals for new homesteaders

If you’ve yet to dive into the realm of chicken keeping, take a look at everything you need to know about adding backyard chickens by My Homestead Life. She really includes everything!

How to Make Money Raising Chickens

  • Sell eggs
  • Sell hatching eggs
  • Raise and sell chicks
  • Raise and sell pullets
  • Sell chicken meat

2. Goats – Most Profitable Animal to Breed

8 Best Profitable Farm Animals for Your Homestead (6)

Goats are becoming one of the most popular homesteading livestock choices. While it might seem strange to those living in the United States, around 65% of the global population eats goat meat.

Homesteaders are on a fast track to change the idea of goat meat being an oddity. Aside from goat meat, goat milk and cheese are a fantastic alternative from dairy.

If you have the ability, getting organic certification for your goat products will increase the profit margin even more.

You don’t need to purchase an entire herd of goats to make money. It’s estimated that two goats will earn you between $1,000-2,000 per year. One of the best ways to make money with goats is to sell the kids. Goats have anywhere from one to four or five kids, and most can be bred once or twice per year. If you sell each kid for $200, you have a great money maker!

How to Make Money Raising Goats

  • Sell goat milk and cheese
  • Sell goat meat
  • Rent out goats for foliage control
  • Stud services
  • Make and sell goat soap
  • Selling goat kids

3. Bees – Most Profitable Farm Animal for Hobby Farmers

8 Best Profitable Farm Animals for Your Homestead (7)

Many homesteaders purchase honey bees as a hobby; they’re perfect for urban homesteaders. You can raise honey bees in many cities across the United States.

You might not consider bees livestock, but they are valuable on any farm. Bees are pollinators, so they’re needed for your garden and crops. Let’s not forget that locally sourced honey and beeswax.

Learning how to keep bees does take knowledge, so it’s best if you find a local mentor to help you. You also need to protect your hives from wildlife, such as rats, raccoons, squirrels, and opossums.

The start-up cost of bees can be high. It can cost up to $600 or even $700 to start with bees, and that can be deterring for many homesteaders. My Homestead Life shows you how to start beekeeping on a budget.

How to Make Money Raising Bees

  • Hive rentals to local farmers
  • Sell honey
  • Sell beeswax and beeswax products

4. Quail

8 Best Profitable Farm Animals for Your Homestead (8)

Quail is a small bird that you can raise for profit, and they breed readily. They take up very little room on your property, so they’re perfect for urban homesteaders.

Quail aren’t a typical choice, but that means you might be the only homesteader in your area that sells them. Restaurants have a demand for both quail meat and eggs.

How to Make Money Raising Quail

  • Sell quail eggs
  • Sell quail meat
  • Raise and sell quail
  • Sell quail hatching eggs

5. Rabbits

8 Best Profitable Farm Animals for Your Homestead (9)

Rabbits are another choice for profitable farm animals. You don’t need a large space to raise rabbits, making them ideal for urban homesteaders.

Rabbit meat is a healthy option, and since rabbits breed so quickly, you can have an endless supply of rabbit meat for your family. A pair of rabbits can produce 6-10 bunnies each month.

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Rabbit meat sells between $1-2 per pound. You need to raise the rates for 6-8 weeks before butchering. Considering how fast they reproduce, you can earn over $4,000 per year from rabbit meat with just a single pair of breeding rabbits.

Not all ways of making money raising rabbits have to be unpleasant. You can make money raising pet-friendly breeds of rabbits and selling them to families.

A standard breed rabbit sells for $20-50 as pets. If you sell 10 bunnies each month, you stand to earn $2,400-6,000 per year.

Also, rabbits tend to produce a lot of manure, and rabbit manure is highly sought after by organic gardeners. It is an excellent fertilizer, and you can sell the manure to local gardeners.

How to Make Money Raising Rabbits

  • Sell rabbit meat
  • Sell rabbit pelts to be used in crafts
  • Breed rabbits for pets
  • Sell rabbit manure

6. Cattle – Most Profitable Livestock for Those with Plenty of Acreage

8 Best Profitable Farm Animals for Your Homestead (10)

Beef cattle are considered the most profitable livestock and easiest to raise for profit, but homesteaders with small acreage won’t be able to raise cattle. Cattle, whether you want beef or dairy cattle, require plenty of good-quality pasture, supplemental hay, fresh water, room to roam, and veterinarian care.

Canada and the United States has a large market for beef, so cattle gives you a decent profit for each head of cattle that you raise. You might be surprised that, while they do require plenty of food, cows are generally low-maintenance.

If you can raise your cattle organically, you’ll find that there is a lucrative market for organic beef, milk, and cheese. However, be sure to check your state laws for selling raw milk and raw milk cheese!

How to Make Money Raising Cows

  • Sell Beef – organic or not
  • Sell Milk, Butter, Cheese, Yogurt, etc.

7. Pigs

8 Best Profitable Farm Animals for Your Homestead (11)

Did you know that pigs were nicknamed “mortgage lifters” by old homesteaders due to their value? Pigs are easy to raise, put on weight until they’re ready for slaughter, and eat basically anything.

However, pigs can be dangerous. Yes, they are a bit cute (depending on the breed), but pigs can be aggressive especially for those not used to handling large animals.

The best part of raising pigs is that they eat whatever you give them, so long as its edible. You can toss all of your food waste to your pigs; they’ll e happy as can be. They also do require a clean space.

Pigs are highly intelligent, but you might not believe it. Typically, pigs need two spaces – a bathroom and a bedroom. Pigs will not mess up their sleeping space, so long as they’re separated.

If you’re breeding pigs, you can get at least 8-10 piglets every 4-5 months. Depending on the breed of pigs that you raise, some sell for more than $100 per piglet. If you plan to sell 15-20 piglets each year, that will earn you between $1,500-2,000 per year.

How to Make Money Raising Pigs

  • Sell pork
  • Breed and sell heritage pigs

8. Sheep

8 Best Profitable Farm Animals for Your Homestead (12)

Sheep might be profitable if you can time lambing to Easter or Ramadan. Both are times that people will pay a higher price for good-quality fresh lamb.

You might want to raise both cattle and sheep. Lambs are considered a short-term sale item because it’s such a short time between their birth and when you make a profit. Cattle take much longer, up to 18-24 months.

If you have a hilly on your property, sheep are a great choice. They handle hills perfectly, and since they eat anything, sheep are relatively low-maintenance.

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How to Make Money Raising Sheep

  • Sheer and sell
  • Spin the wool into yarn
  • Sell lamb meat
  • Breed and sell lambs to local farmers

Pick the Most Profitable Farm Animals

Don’t let this list limit you. Aside from these profitable farm animals, you can also consider raising ducks, fish, horses, guinea, and more. You can even make money by selling earthworms!

Always plan carefully. Not all farm animals will be a wise choice for your homestead. You need to think about the cost of investment, the cost of feed, care required, and more. Picking the right farm animals is a hard decision.

FAQs

What farm animal is most profitable? ›

Beef cattle are generally the most profitable and easiest livestock to raise for profit. Beef cattle simply require good pasture, supplemental hay during the winter, fresh water, vaccinations and plenty of room to roam. You can buy calves from dairy farms inexpensively to start raising beef cattle.

What is the best livestock for a homestead? ›

Poultry, without a doubt, are the easiest animals to raise on the homestead. Starting with this small livestock will give you the confidence to explore other livestock options. Chickens are the quintessential livestock for every farm and homestead.

What is the best farm animal to own? ›

What is the best animal to breed for profit? ›

What is the most profitable animal to breed? Larger animals usually bring in a higher profit. If you have the land, then horses, cattle: beef and dairy, goats, sheep, pigs, and chickens are the most profitable animals.

What farm animals can you make money from? ›

The best farm animals to raise for profit are pigs, small ruminants (sheep or goats), game birds, standard breed roosters and rabbits.

What is the cheapest farm animal to raise? ›

Chickens are generally a low-cost farm animal; the feed is cheap, and they love to eat all of your scraps. It only takes a few minutes per day to take care of chickens.

What is the easiest livestock to keep? ›

If so, then here's a list of the easiest animals to raise even for beginners!
  • Cattle. ...
  • Goats. ...
  • Turkeys. ...
  • Pigs. ...
  • Rabbits. ...
  • Honey Bees. ...
  • Sheep. ...
  • Make Your Homestead Livelier with These Easy-to-Raise Farm Animals. As a new or soon-to-be farmer, it's best you stick with these low-maintenance farm animals.

What is the most low maintenance farm animal? ›

The chicken topped the list for the most low maintenance farm animal. Chickens don't need much land, food, or clean-up, and in turn, just a couple of chickens can provide you with a constant supply of meat and eggs. Now, hold on!

How do small farms make money? ›

Using Livestock to Make Money Farming. Livestock is probably the most common way farmers make money from their land. And while animals have a few more expenses and a higher overhead, they usually bring in top dollar in terms of net income.

What is the easiest and most profitable crop to grow? ›

Top 13 Most Profitable Crops To Grow
  • Mushrooms.
  • Microgreens.
  • Ginseng.
  • Lavender.
  • Saffron. ...
  • Goji Berries. ...
  • Wasabi. ...
  • Bonsai Plants.

Which is more profitable goats or cows? ›

Goat production is highly profitable, even better than cattle or sheep.

What animals sell for the most? ›

These are the 10 most expensive animals in the world
  • Green Monkey: Auctioned for $16,000,000 in 2009. ...
  • Missy Missy: Estimated worth up to $1,200,000. ...
  • Sir Lancelot Encore: Estimated worth up to $16,000,000. ...
  • Tibetan Mastiff: Estimated worth up to $582,000. ...
  • White Lion Cubs: Estimated worth up to $140,000.
25 Apr 2018

Are sheep or goats more profitable? ›

Goats are more profitable than sheep. There are many factors that contribute to a farmer's profits. These factors include the price that goats or sheep sell for at market. Their age to maturity and the number of kids each year also affect a farmer's profitability.

Are pigs or cows more profitable? ›

Are cows or pigs more profitable? If you are raising dozens of animals, then cows are generally more profitable than pigs. Cattle herds reproduce and there are many ways to make money off of them. But, if you are looking to raise a few animals, then pigs are more profitable than cows.

Which livestock business is more profitable? ›

Poultry farming is the most profitable livestock farming enterprise in the world. This is because the demand for poultry products across the globe is very high and unfortunately, the number of poultry farmers in the world is not enough as the current production is yet to meet the demand of consumers across the globe.

Which breed of goat is most profitable? ›

The most profitable dairy goat breed is the Saanen, in which you can profit up to $36 per day. So, if you're asking how much money can you make raising goats, selling their milk can give you a good profit.

What animal produces the most meat per acre? ›

This will give a true reflection of the live weight pounds that can be produced per acre.
  • Cows for beef/veal: To produce 52.4 billion lbs. of beef and veal now requires 348.596 million acres (150.32lbs./acre). ...
  • Chickens: To produce 53.4 billion lbs. ...
  • Pigs: To produce 31.74 billion lbs.
3 Jan 2019

What farm animals can live together? ›

Farm animals that can be successfully raised together are ruminants (cattle, sheep, goats) and poultry, pigs and poultry, mixed ruminants and mixed poultry. If you are looking to raise multi species together, the best combination to start with is ruminants and poultry.

What animal thrives alone? ›

Platypus

Platypus are solitary animals for most of their lives, although they can sometimes be seen in pairs. Mothers only stay with their young for a few months.

What farm animals need a barn? ›

Dairy and beef cattle, horses, pigs, sheep, goats, and poultry are the most common animals housed in barns. Several factors must be taken into consideration when creating these housing spaces for livestock: climatic conditions, air and water quality, bedding, pasture, food, etc.

How many goats do you need to be self-sufficient? ›

You need to have at least two goats because they do not do well alone. A family of four likely needs to milk only one goat, but two will allow you to sell or share your products. Time-wise, it is very safe and easy to implement once-a-day milking instead of morning and evening.

Are cows or sheep more profitable? ›

Sheep are more profitable than cattle, per animal unit (1,000 pounds) Sheep are more profitable than cattle, if you are comparing by animal unit. If you are just comparing money from sheep per acre to money from cattle per acre then the answer is: raise sheep.

What is the easiest goat to take care of? ›

The easiest goats to keep vary depending on the individual goat. With that being said, nubian goats as well as pygmy goats are usually the top picks as far as easy going and friendly goats.

Are alpacas a good investment? ›

Just a few decades ago there were but a handful of farmers and ranchers importing and breeding alpacas in the United States. Now, thanks to a number of factors, alpacas are considered a lucrative and relatively easy livestock investment, with their numbers climbing to about 50,000 in this country.

What is the most expensive livestock? ›

The most expensive cow—$1.2 million

In the fall of 2009, Missy the Ponoka cow, sold for $1.2 million at an auction in Toronto. The Ponoka Morsan Farm in Alberta sells "elite dairy genetics." Their cows always go for high prices, but Missy sold for $800,000 more than their second most expensive cow.

Are pigs or cows more profitable? ›

Are cows or pigs more profitable? If you are raising dozens of animals, then cows are generally more profitable than pigs. Cattle herds reproduce and there are many ways to make money off of them. But, if you are looking to raise a few animals, then pigs are more profitable than cows.

Which is more profitable goats or cows? ›

Goat production is highly profitable, even better than cattle or sheep.

Are sheep or cattle more profitable? ›

Generally, sheep are significantly more profitable per acre than cattle. This depends upon the prices of both sheep and cattle in your area, if your area is appropriate or too harsh for sheep and if you are willing to put in more management time for the sheep, as compared with cattle.

What cattle breed brings the most money? ›

What breed of cattle is most profitable? Angus: This is the most popular breed of beef cattle. Their meat quality is excellent and they provide 50 percent of their weight in the meat.

What is the most low maintenance farm animal? ›

The chicken topped the list for the most low maintenance farm animal. Chickens don't need much land, food, or clean-up, and in turn, just a couple of chickens can provide you with a constant supply of meat and eggs. Now, hold on!

How do small farms make money? ›

Using Livestock to Make Money Farming. Livestock is probably the most common way farmers make money from their land. And while animals have a few more expenses and a higher overhead, they usually bring in top dollar in terms of net income.

How many pigs do you need to make money? ›

You need one pig that is sold for more than the cost to raise it, to make a profit.

How many cows do you need to make money? ›

As a rough guide, farmers can expect to make a full-time income from a dairy herd of about 60-80 cows, and a beef herd of at least 150 cows.

Which breed of goat is most profitable? ›

The most profitable dairy goat breed is the Saanen, in which you can profit up to $36 per day. So, if you're asking how much money can you make raising goats, selling their milk can give you a good profit.

How many sheep do you need to make a profit? ›

To make money raising sheep, you would need at least several hundred ewes, probably more than 500. While there are some farmers who make a majority of their income from sheep farming, sheep raising is more often a part-time or secondary enterprise of a farm.

Can you mix sheep with cows? ›

Grazing sheep and cattle together has been shown to reduce predator losses, but in order for mixed species grazing to be an effective deterrent to predators, cows and sheep must bond together. When bonded sheep and cattle are turned out to pasture, the sheep will follow the cattle.

How much does a beef cow sell for? ›

Based on the 2019 budget, slaughter cows (1,200 pounds) are expected to average $50 per hundredweight, while 550 pounds steers and 520 heifers are expected to average $145 and $130 per hundredweight respectively.

Are sheep or goats more profitable? ›

Goats are more profitable than sheep. There are many factors that contribute to a farmer's profits. These factors include the price that goats or sheep sell for at market. Their age to maturity and the number of kids each year also affect a farmer's profitability.

What is the easiest cow to raise? ›

Hereford. The Hereford cow is a friendly and easy going breed among other breeds of cattle. They are known for their beef. The basics: Hereford cows have white faces and an easy-going disposition which makes them easy to care for and almost like pets.

Which cattle has best meat? ›

Angus beef has become all the rage in recent years thanks to its well-marbled meat, which typically earns Prime or Choice grades from the USDA and is usually the highest-quality meat available in grocery stores.

Is a steer or bull worth more? ›

While figure 1 shows the differential at 550 lbs, its' also worth noting that the differential between bulls and steers tends to wider as weight increases.
...
The Value of Selling Steer Calves vs Bull Calves.
Value of 550 lb bull, initial price of $155 per cwt
$10 / cwt price slide$0.94 per lb
$15 / cwt price slide$0.64 per lb
Lbs needed to add $60 of value per head
12 more rows
30 Mar 2018

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