When buying a small holding or homestead, it is natural, to consider which animals may be suitable to raise. Some animals are kept as pets, others for milk or eggs, some for wool or hair, finally some are raised to be eaten.
Chickens are one of the most popular animals, easy to keep and they can provide you with fresh eggs. Keeping ducks and geese, can also provide eggs, a bonus for geese is that they are great watch dogs. Ensure that any birds are kept safe from predators at night.
Keeping goats, at least two, is also easy. They only require the space of a garden, supply them with plenty of fresh water and additional hay. Goats always need a shelter, available 24 hours a day, to protect them from wet and windy weather. These delightful animals make great pets, especially the miniature varieties. All goat varieties are able to provide milk, and some are able to be brushed for their hair.
Sheep are also able to be kept on small holdings, but require more space than goats. They are primarily kept for their wool, and once sheared, will need to be sheared regularly. Sheep can also provide milk.
Although it is possible to keep cattle, either dairy or beef, there are miniature breeds of cattle, which may be more suitable. Dairy cattle are primarily there to provide milk and cream. Beef cattle as expected are raised for meat. Full size cattle require quite a lot of space for grazing.
Although it is possible to keep pigs on a small holding, they require a rotating field system. Giving them access to open fields, or woodlands is ideal in the summer. Whilst in open fields they will need a shelter, and ideally some wallows. During the wet winter months, it is recommended that pigs be kept in dry quarters with lots of straw.
For more exotic residents, alpacas and llamas can be raised on small holdings. Stock alpacas at a rate of two per acre, and llamas at five per acre. Both of these animals require a rotational field system, and access to shelter. Whether a fully enclosed shelter depends on the regional climate. Additional food will also need to be supplied as a supplement. Both alpacas and llamas are social creatures and will require that there is always more than one.