If you’re thinking of adding a pet or two to your home then you might be thinking about common options like a dog, cat or even a rabbit. While these are excellent choices for adding a friendly companion to your home, some people like exploring the different options they have for uncommon pets. A great example of this is farm animals such as goats, donkeys, chickens or even pigs. Farm animals are generally incredibly friendly, they can sometimes provide resources (such as chickens laying eggs) and they can be just as loving as regular house pets.
So in this article, we’re going to talk about keeping farm animals and pets and the things you need to know in order to make it work for your home.
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Always talk to your family about getting a farm animal pet
Unlike a cat or dog, farm animal pets usually demand a lot of work and space. It’s a good idea to speak to your family members before getting a farm animal pet as it’s something that requires a lot of dedication and work from everyone in the family. You’re also going to be giving up a lot of your garden space to look after them and everyone needs to be in agreement that it’s a good idea and that they’re willing to contribute to the animal’s welfare.
Most families prefer to get a common pet such as a cat or a dog because they’re easier to look after and are generally considered the most acceptable pets to raise. However, for families that want something different, farm animals can be a quirky and unique experience that you just can’t get when raising a cat or a dog.
Do you have enough space in your backyard?
As briefly mentioned, you’re going to need a lot of space when you raise a farm animal. It might involve constructing a sturdy metal barn to house the farm animals when it’s raining, you’re going to need a lot of space for them to roam around and you might also need to adjust existing garden furniture to create a large fenced-off area for your pet of choice.
If you don’t have enough space then we would strongly advise you to not get a farm animal as a pet. Farm animals require a lot of space to give them a fulfilling and happy lifestyle, and keeping them locked in a small enclosed space will make them stressed and unhappy. Of course, this will depend on the type of animals that you decide to keep. Smaller animals such as chickens and ducks won’t need as much space, but a donkey can get quite large and will need a lot more room to move around, especially as they grow up.
Are there specialists in your local area?
Unfortunately, having a farm animal pet such as a goat in a city environment might not be the best idea because it’s unlikely that you have a qualified veterinarian nearby that can help you. It’s difficult to keep these pets without having an expert nearby that can come and perform medical checkups. It’s also important to ensure that your farm animal is getting the right amount of nutrients and that you can recognize any kind of injuries or signs of disease that could be affecting them.
It’s more likely that you’ll find a qualified farm animal veterinarian on the outskirts of cities or closer to rural areas. If you live in these types of areas, then it’s far more likely that keeping a farm animal as a pet will be a viable option for you. Regular health checks are incredibly important to the wellbeing of farm animals, so don’t neglect this responsibility.
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Sourcing the right products and equipment
There are a couple of considerations to keep in mind when it comes to purchasing things for your farm animal. This can include everything from the right fencing to a barn or even water troughs to ensure that they have access to clean water at all times. Luckily, you can get a lot of these items from local stores in rural areas or on the outskirts of towns.
If you don’t have access to any of these businesses locally, then you can also purchase goods online and have them shipped directly to you. This makes getting supplies such as vaccines, vitamins, clothing and grooming items much easier. Since these are very specific items, you likely won’t find them with regular online retailers, so getting to know local businesses and online specialist stores is the key to taking good care of your farm animal.
Picking the right farm animal to raise
Now that we’ve gotten most of the important details out of the way, here comes the fun part; picking a farm animal. Here are our top choices:
- Small donkeys are a great choice as long as you take care of them. They’re great for kids to ride on and they’re incredibly social. They take a lot of work to look after and they can grow surprisingly large, but they’re a staple choice in keeping farm animals at home.
- Ducks can be an excellent choice if you don’t have much room. They can get incredibly messy and they tend to smell a bit, but they are certainly entertaining and unique to have around. There are different breeds such as Mallards and Pekin to choose from and we suggest doing a bit of research to find one that appeals to you.
- Pigs have a reputation of being very messy, but they’re also incredibly easy to keep and will eat just about anything. They’re social, they love to play and they’re also fun to watch, making them a great choice if you have space.
- Goats are another common choice. They love to jump around, play with other animals and people, and they’re also incredibly intelligent.
Whatever you decide to choose, just remember that caring for farm animals is an incredibly time-consuming process that demands a lot of your attention. We highly suggest that you do plenty of research before committing to ensure the wellbeing of yourself and your chosen pet.