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View Poll Results: Most important farm animal?
Cow 42 9.01%
Horse 14 3.00%
Goat 49 10.52%
Pig 16 3.43%
Chicken 293 62.88%
Rabbit 15 3.22%
Fish 1 0.21%
Sheep 11 2.36%
Emu 3 0.64%
Other 22 4.72%
Voters: 466. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-10-2012, 03:45 PM
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My land can not support cows. I grew up with cattle, I am used to having them. But my land is dense forest, and much of it is wet.

Goats do well in this region, as do sheep.

Pigs do well.

We have friends who focus a lot on rabbits, and I can see benefits of going with rabbits. The same friends of ours also suffer from 'Rabbit Starvation'. They have chickens, but he is violently allergic to chicken. They raise goats, but they hate chevron. So they keep going back to eating more rabbit. They both lost their teeth, and now have dentures. And still they focus a lot of their diet on rabbit.

I have chickens. We eat a lot of chicken. Ducks and turkeys too.
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Old 04-10-2012, 03:46 PM
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Sadly, like a knife or gun, there isn't one super-critter to fit every role under every circumstance.

My priority list for acquisition and/or retention would be: Chicken > Goat > Bee > Hog > Horse ; with the position of horses being highly variable depending on it's necessitated value in agriculture and transportation.
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Old 04-10-2012, 03:48 PM
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yep for my little area I went with the chicken. Easy to maintain all round. ( I have experience) plus i can always trade eggs for something like milk or bacon. Now if later on I can get my hands on a piglet or two i have experience with those as well. They'll dig up and root you out a great garden area all the while fattening up on mother earth and food scraps. Apples and berries in the fall as feed or a treat helps to sweeten the meat if no molasses is avail.
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Old 04-10-2012, 03:49 PM
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I personally would want Chicken, followed by Goat or Sheep, and lastly pig, gotta have that bacon.
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Old 04-10-2012, 03:49 PM
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I may be slow, but i dont get the point of this poll. How can anybody say that one animal is more important than the other? If you are looking to be self sustained, then you should have a good variaty of animals. You cant get milk from chickens, so then you should keep a goat, sheep or cow in addition. Likewise you cant get much work out of a chicken, so then you should look into cows, pigs, dogs, cats, horses, donkeys, lamas, you probarly get the picture now.

There is tree animal types i think one should aspice to keep, that would bee a fair good allrounder for the most people, who atleast lives in a northen climate. Can be good for other climates too, but i dont live in those climates so i cant really say.

Chickens: They produce eggs, feathers, meat, and good fertilizer, whit the right breed they can take care of them self and find their own food. They can also do some work in the sense of helping the compost to faster rotting, and i like to have them around in the kitchen garden when i dont have veggies there.

Goats: They give meat, milk, fur/wool/ragg, and leather. They eat a lot more branches and other foods then cows, and are smaller and cheaper to keep than cows. They will do a lot to keep down new trees, but will do everything in their power to destroy your fruittrees. Weather you coose a cow or a goat, rembember that there is no such thing like to much milk. What you dont drink and eat yourself, is good food to chickens, pigs, dogs etc.

Pigs, who give meat, leather and aboundance of good fertilizer. They is also a great workhorse to your kitchengarden, since they will turn it upside down. They are also strong enough for you to ride on them or use them to carry stuff, but good luck getting them to do that! But ther strenght is something you should remember. Good fences around your veggies and other animals is probarly a good idea. They can eat smaller animals you keep, so be aware of that.

There have been those who have said that cickens can produce other chickens here. It is important that folks remember that its not true for every chicken breed, and that when choosing any kind of animal, you must be sure that its a breed that can reproduce whitout to much human interference.

Lastly, if you have several different species of animals (wich i personally think you should aspire to have) let them gras together or shift grasefields every year. Parasites and sickneses that is adaptet to one species, will not thrive if there is another species that now grasses there.
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Old 04-10-2012, 03:50 PM
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I voted chicken but would second bet on rabbits. raise a lot in a small space on relatively little feed. But on second thought it has been so long since I've eaten rabbit I don't know if I like them so FRIED CHICKEN FOR THE WIN!
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Old 04-10-2012, 05:45 PM
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Swine. For the same reason people put them in 2nd, 3rd, or 4th in their list I put them first.

Chickens are vulnerable to a not only disease, but predators as well.
Swine are big enough and mean enough to protect themselves and the piglets.

Great return on food consumed, especially concerned with what they will and won't eat.

Prolific.

They either need to be fenced or everything else does.

Junior and adult pigs are not a good mix with small children.

And sows are very protective of piglets.

Take more processing than chickens, but you get a more valuable product, giving more barter value in a pig than a chicken.

But you are getting more for less work, feed, and aggravation.

And which would you rather have? A couple of eggs and a chicken leg, or a ham steak, or bacon, or pork tenderloin when you've been working outside all day in the cold.

Just my thoughts on the subject.
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Old 04-10-2012, 05:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeatHunter View Post
From a Survivalist standpoint, which animal is the most important when it comes to food, farm work, or animal byproduct?

Please discuss.
I said other as in all of the above. Man does not live on bread alone.
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Old 04-10-2012, 05:57 PM
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I picked Sheep because of 3 by products, wool, meat, and MILK. Milking sheep is viable and produces many cheeses. Although I must say I am intrigued with the alpaca idea as a good alternative to sheep.
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Old 04-10-2012, 05:58 PM
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My point of the poll is to see what animal seems to be standardized as the best all around animal, some animals require greater skill to sustain, others easy but yield less benefits. If I had a BOL, someday I will, I want to have my own animals and the knowledge of the Indians to use them to their full potential.

So far the chicken has been the most popular for several great reasons, and others have had light shed upon them in both good and bad ways I had not thought of. This is constructive to those of us like me, who might choose their belly over practicality.
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Old 04-10-2012, 06:08 PM
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i picked a goat, sometimes a man gets lonely.
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Old 04-10-2012, 08:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FarmerJohn View Post
the biggest problem with a cow is its size and weight

if something bad happens and you have to butcher a 1500lb cow with one or two people its a pain in the ass it will be slow and then you run into the how do i preserve 3/4 of a ton of meat

with a dairy goat for example I can get a gallon of milk a day roughly or more depending on the breed and being that the amount of pasture 1 cow requires I can keep 6-7 goats so my milk yield is roughly the same as one cow but if i decide to butcher one its like dealing with a deer there about 150lbs so it can be a one man job
also what happens when your one cow or two gets injured or killed? with seven goats I have a much better chance of having some left over and i can bring a goat inside if i needed to for safety


in summary
where do you put 1500lbs of cow to keep/preserve the meat
what do you do with/put 8 gallons of milk a day
Even a good butcher is only going to get around 60% of that live weight in meat. One man that knows what he's doing can do a steer by themselves in a day (not including grinding of hamburger) especially since you're going to want to kill, clean, skin and hang that thing for a few days before butchering.

As for numbers, it takes more than one cow to tango so to speak If someone can only afford or have room for one cow then you probably aren't in an area that most of the benefits will be a concern and they won't be much good for you w/o something to breed them (no liquid N2 deliveries to keep that semen frozen either).

Also, cows don't need nearly the defense that the smaller animals do. No sense spending all your ammo and drawing attention to your location to keep every coon, skunk, weasel, opossum, coyote, bobcat, hawk, owl, feral dog and farm cat from eating your chickens and goats if you don't have to.
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Old 04-10-2012, 08:43 PM
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According to a friend of mine, they are good eating as well. She had one that was so mean she made him dinner.

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Originally Posted by 9MMare View Post
While I wouldnt have voted for it as number 1, one/two animals I never see mentioned here for survival or prepping are llamas/alpacas.

They are low maint, dont require alot of food, can be used for packing, but especially, provide valuable fibers.
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Old 04-10-2012, 08:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txplowgirl View Post
In a way that's gonna be hard to pick just 1.

Chicken; eggs, meat, feathers for ticking and raising more chicks for same.
Cow; milk, butter, meat, tallow,

I could go on but that's the top 2 for me.
I would take goat or sheep over a cow. They'll give you the same things as a cow (plus wool in the case of the sheep), but they are smaller, eat less and are easier to manage.
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Old 04-10-2012, 10:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShellbackBill View Post

A close third is a goat. Meat, fur, milk, eats about anything.
We raise fainting goats and just had a bunch of kids .... Goat is the #1 eaten meet in the world ... they are small and easy to keep!

Check out my goats and see them faint on you tube ...

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Old 04-10-2012, 10:26 PM
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This got me thinking about the reproduction rate of these animals, as that would be important if you want to slaughter them. Also found info for the length of time a newborn will nurse, as you can’t be taking the milk for your self during these times. These results are via google and various web sites, I went at this with the thought of SHTF so no bottle feeding is allowed.

A cow can only produce 1 calf per year. Twins are rare. Calf will nurse for 2-3 months!
Average weight for a jersey milk cow 900 to 1200 pounds

The gestation length of a goat is approximately 5 months or 150 days typically with 3 off spring. Goats can birth 2 times a year but it only recommended 1 time per year. Goat “kids” will nurse for up to 4 months.
Nubian goats “milk” can weigh up to 175lbs.
Boers “meat” can weigh between 150 to 250 lbs.

Pigs can have two litters a year are possible in good conditions although one litter a year is more common with an average litter of six. Feral pigs have a reproductive rate that is closer to rabbits than other large herbivores. We don’t drink pig milk! Pigs can grow very large, but most people will want to slaughter them at around 300 lbs.
Pigs will reach upwards of 265 pounds in 5 months after birth. So we will say 300 lbs each after 1yr. So up to 12 pigs a year at 300lbs each = up to 3600lbs, WOW


Chickens 1-2 clutches a year, could be up to 20 per clutch. Chickens don’t make milk.
A Bantam hen will weight 3 lbs and a Cornish Rock 16 lbs
I’m going to split the weight here and go with 8lbs avg per chicken. Up to 320lbs of meat in a year from one hen (8lbsX40eggs=320lbs possible). This would be a very lucky outcome from one hen I think.

Rabbits can have up to 30 kittens a year. Good luck getting the milk!
A doe rabbit that weighs 10 pounds can produce 300 (10lbsx30kittens) pounds of meat in a year.

Now this is just a quick google search and the info may be a bit off and I know various breads will give different results, but I just thought I would post what I found. Its nice to see the "high" side of what is possiable with the various animals, I think having a few of each that will for sure produce and care for offspring makes the long term out look of SHTF a lot better.
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Old 04-10-2012, 10:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sulfur View Post
This got me thinking about the reproduction rate of these animals, as that would be important if you want to slaughter them. Also found info for the length of time a newborn will nurse, as you can’t be taking the milk for your self during these times.
...
While you probably won't do much milking for the first week (because it is colostrum, extremely high in antibodies and protein to give newborns a jumpstart), you can and should be milking while the young are nursing, it will encourage greater production during that lactation and future lactations. If you wait until the young are weaned, you will get little or nothing. Milk production is highly responsive to demand, it is part of the hormonal systems that protect the female from mastitis if her young die, or nurse unevenly.
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Old 04-11-2012, 04:23 AM
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I vote for oxen.
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Old 04-11-2012, 04:30 AM
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Dragonid, I did not know that thanks! I learn so much great stuff on here.
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Old 04-11-2012, 06:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeatHunter View Post
From a Survivalist standpoint, which animal is the most important when it comes to food, farm work, or animal byproduct?

Please discuss.
I Think Volume wise as far as a Cow goes, you will get much more from milk, and ultimately the meat.
Chickens will only give eggs on a smaller scale and only one meal for their meat. Plus, chickens don't bring anything in a barter situation.
A cow on the other Hand will bring great barter value. The possibillities of what can be derived from a full grown cow are really huge. over 1800 gallons a year worth of milk alone....Try getting that out of anything else.
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