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What's the best livestock for our 4.5 acres?

Home Forums FOOD PRODUCTION, HARVEST AND STORAGE Backyard livestock What's the best livestock for our 4.5 acres?

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  • #255478
    mrsrashmrsrash
    Member

    We have 4.5 acres in Wagin WA that we are planning to relocate to soon. I would like to know the best types of livestock to produce most of our own meat & eggs. Also possibly milk for cheese making. The area is surrounded by sheep farms so we can probably manage to get a sheep o slaughter each year cheap enough. Thanks :dry:

    #503845
    karyn26karyn26
    Member

    We are on 5 acres and have tried cattle,the cows would escape to go looking for a bull,they are very adept at jumping fences when they want to get out.

    We had freisian and hereford .

    At present we have sheep only 2 ATM but looking to stocking up as we butcher our own.

    There are probably others who can give you more info on breeds best suited to small farms.

    #503846
    GgangGgang
    Member

    definately goats for milk and you can eat any male kids :tup: goats eat a lot less than cows and a good dairy doe will produce 3 or more litres a day

    they are easy to handle, friendly and smart. If you have elecric fencing they are easy to keep in

    unfortunately they dont lay eggs 😆 but they do mix well with chooks as eating goat poo is very good for chooks

    I know a dairy goat breeder down your way. IMO it is well worth getting a good quality dairy goat

    #503847
    SimoSimo
    Member

    I like the “mini meat sheep” myself although I do not have any. On a small block the minitures mean you can have more head of livestcok so less freezer space and you can maintain a breeding population while still culling for meat. These guys aren’t too far from you:

    http://www.petteetpark.com.au/home.php?SessionID=1d7dce154e3e4b098609c

    #503848
    SteveSteve
    Keymaster

    Baringapark has done some pretty amazing things with her few acres. She has pigs(Large Black, Berkshire and Wessex Saddleback I think), goats and chookens (oh and a horse or three)…

    She doesn’t get on here often but I’ve seen her pop in every now and then…

    #503849
    mauzimauzi
    Member

    Hi,

    Over the past 25 years we have had pretty much all livestock and at the moment have a dairy cow (milk cheese and butter) pigs (meat and paddock preparation), sheep (whiltshire horns so for meat and grazing under orchard), muscovy ducks (meat and insect control), campbell ducks (eggs and insect patrol), geese (meat and grass control) and meat rabbits (meat and pelts). All animals also work for fertility and pasture improvement (as well as me just loving to have lots of animals around :laugh: )

    The stock chosen depends on what type of land and facilities you have as well as what sort of time you want to spend and your general experience and confidence but I would guess a couple of dairy goats (so long as you have either good permanent fencing or good electric fencing. Goats are really browsers so it would be a good idea if you can grow some hedging around your fencing (other side) if you do not have sufficient above ground fodder to keep them healthy. 4.5 acres is a bit small for a dairy cow if you wish to run other stock as well (bearing in mind the need to sustain them through the winter as well) and goats being a little easier to handle if you don’t have a lot of experience.

    Sounds like sheep may be easy for you to get and people around with some experience to help in the beginning.

    I think meat rabbits are great (not only because they are nice to work with but because the meat is good for you and feed to weight ratio they are the most efficient meat source for small holdings).

    Muscovy ducks are great for meat. Their meat tastes more like veal and nothing like usual duck meat.

    Kharki Campbell ducks are really good for eggs and you have the dual purpose of slug and snail, insect control for your vege areas.

    I prefer ducks to chickens as they are cheaper to maintain, don’t scratch up the gardens and work really well in the vege area/orchard etc to help with insect control. Having said that I refer to Campbells and Indian runners as they prefer insects to veges :laugh: although it is a good idea to monitor how long you leave them in food areas and they do like young lettuce in particular so maybe either protect your seedlings or leave them out of the garden until things have grown on a bit.

    Hope this helps and happy to offer any help that I can on breeding and caring for these types of animals.

    Cheers

    Mauzi

    #503850
    mrsrashmrsrash
    Member

    Thanks everyone :tup: I grew up in dairy country in NSW so I don’t have a lot of experience with sheep or goats. I have never actually tried goats milk. Is it much different from cows milk? I had definately planned on getting ducks and chickens but I will probably steer clear of the geese as I once had a bad experience with a flock of geese!! (Being cornered by the whole flock all carrying on can put you off a bit). What type of rabbits do you breed for meat? I was also thinking of getting a couple of alpaca’s as guards. Do they really work? :kiss:

    #503851
    mauzimauzi
    Member

    Goats milk, fresh, is not unlike cows milk. It is very important what they eat as this does effect the milk greatly though.

    Meat rabbits are generally a cross of New Zealand Whites, Californian and Flemish Giants these days. It is important to purchase from a reputable breeder as the genetics can make a huge difference to litter numbers as well as health.

    The one animal I have not had is Alpaca’s but friends that have had them have been pleased with the results. We used a donkey with our goats and that worked well except for having to put the donkey in the Jenny Craig paddock regularly.

    Good luck with your venture.

    Cheers

    Mauzi

    #503852
    gabeandrewsgabeandrews
    Member

    Hi, new to this site but saw your request. We have a 5 acres property in Geraldton. Had been buying fresh goats milk for a couple of years and when it became unavailable we made the decision to buy one ourselves. We got a Saanan and her female kid about 18months ago. Now we wondered why we delayed for so long getting our own. It has been great. We love having them around, and milking every morning. She is an older, experienced milker and gives about 1 and 1/2 litres daily. No trouble to milk, just jumps up on her stand and never kicks the bucket over… They dont each that much either, we used to have horses. A small amount of mixed feed, chaff, goat pellets, soaked lupins and oats with left over kitchen scraps. Then we cut a wild wattle branch for them to munch on which they devour.. They have access to the paddock but mostly prefer to hang around their yard. They dont like rain and stay in the stable. Each morning I pick up the poo and get about 1/2 a bucket for the vegie patch and the chooks pick thru whats left. The kid is now expecting in October and we will then milk her. When we get an oversupply of milk I just make riccotta type cheese which is really delicious. Cut into cubes and fry in butter, garlic, chilli and salt. Hope this helps..

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