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off-grid organic farmer
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We have goats, sheep and hogs; then chickens, ducks and turkeys.

Oh and bees.

We want to include doves.

We used to have rabbits when the kids were growing up, ate the last of them.
 

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who? what? me? No!!!
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I currently have:
2 ringneck pheasants
5 ducks
2 turkeys
11 rabbits
23 chickens

I recently butchered 15 cornish X chickens and will get another 25 in about a month
I would love to have a couple pigs and a goat or two as well, but space and zoning will not allow that

and Bees are a great idea. for production of honey as well as pollinating fruit trees and garden plants. Problem is, I wouldn't know the first thing about how to start with bees and one of my kids and I are allergic to some bees stings

another "animal" that can be kept fairly easily is catfish
 

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If we are talking hard core SHTF where we have to hide from invaders and law enforcement was non existant, it would be a game changer since anything that crows, clucks, quacks, moos, baaaahs or whinnies would be an anouncement that there are people over here and dinner is served.

If things are that bad, rabbits and muscovey ducks (dont quack) would be the best animals. If you have some buffer zone, maybe bantam chickens since they arent as loud plus many are great foragers and good at escaping predators. being bantams allows for a more diverse population if your space is limited. If you only have space for 1 full sized rooster and it dies, you are SOL Geese would be good as well since they will work as guard dogs and live off of pasture and they arent typlical farm animals that would draw alot of attention. Guineas as well.

If things arent that bad... say hyper inflation and food shortages where a good fence and some lights keep people away.... Since I have 3/4 acre plus some open land around me I am limited. Two or 3 pygmy goats for dairy. I choose pygmies because 1 full size will go dry and I will have no milk. Already have 1 pair of geese and some pekin ducks (good egg layers), and barred rock chickens (need to cut numbers down) and rabbits. The rabbits are pet / show breeds but some are good sized breeds that would make decent meat breeds but hopfully could get some good meat breeds.

Most of the animals eggs and milk would be for barter however. Calorie consumption would come mostly from potatoes. 1/4 acre of potatoes provides enough calories for 4-5 people. To me, growing grain (with less calories) just to feed to chickens (lose more calories) isnt the best way. I only want enough that they can pretty much take care of themselves.
 

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I'll echo most of the posters and say I'd like goats and chickens. They are easy keepers and have multiple uses. maybe ducks and/or geese, but I don't have any experience with them.

I would not keep horses, if I thought I needed a light draft animal I'd have a mule. Then again, I'm not a huge fan of horses in the first place.
 

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I would keep cats and dogs. Dogs for security and cats so the dogs have something to eat. ;)
lol.

Yeah, I'd have dogs too. I mean, we do have two German Shepherds currently. While I don't think they'd ever actually attack anyone if I needed them to, they'd at least bark and alert us to the stranger being around.

speaking of dogs, has anyone ever tried spinning yarn from dog hair? maybe I'll go start a new thread about that.
 

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strikes to the left
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No one has mentioned fish. Catfish are easy enough to raise, quiet, taste good, and the holding area will provide an additional water source.

Black solider flies are also easy to raise, produce great compost at nearly a 95% rate, and will produce plenty of grubs to feed chickens, fish, etc.
 

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This is odd, but Hubb's post made me think about it. If you are near the mid atlantic bay's, blue crabs can be raised in fresh water easier than must fish. problem is, large fish will eat them but an old pool would work. feed them road kill, chicken carcass, grass clippings, intruders, etc.

Now that I think about it, some koi (colored carp) breeders raise their carp on grass clippings. Koi were originally raised as food and their are scaleless and semi boneless varieties. One could do research and find the varieties that are best suited for food. They breed eaisly of given the room.
 

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I have a trio of chickens at the moment, I'm (HOPEFULLY! FINALLY!) getting a pair of rabbits next weekend.

When my husband and I get our farm, we want to have more chickens, more rabbits, goats, horses, and MAYBE sheep. I haven't decided on the sheep yet.
 

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Indefatigable
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My dream barnyard: 6 goats, dz chickens, a few rabbits, a water source that could support fish, turtles, crawdads, a watch dog for every room of the house, a really BIG dog for the yard, a few cats, maybe a horse for plowing and other heavy work. Someone mentioned they wouldn't want animals that make noise. That noise could save your life.
 

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Someone mentioned they wouldn't want animals that make noise. That noise could save your life.
It all depends on the situation and how bad it is. If people are doing crazy things and a total lack of regard for person and property have taken place, you want to leave a small footprint!


-Nate
 

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It all depends on the situation and how bad it is. If people are doing crazy things and a total lack of regard for person and property have taken place, you want to leave a small footprint!


-Nate
That's what I was getting at. Dogs also arent the first thing people are looking to eat. But personally, If my family is starving and I hear a rooster, I may come checking it out. Or, if you have a BOL that is well hidden from the road and no where near a major road, I wouldnt want a cow letting everyone within 5 miles know I am there and I have beef.
 

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ducks: meat, eggs, feathers for down insulation and more, insect and pest control for problems in the garden, ducks will eat anything that doesn't eat them first... they have almost no health problems compared to chickens and are active foragers which are practically self sustaining in areas which have ample rain (and if they have access to a body of water).
 

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ducks: meat, eggs, feathers for down insulation and more, insect and pest control for problems in the garden, ducks will eat anything that doesn't eat them first... they have almost no health problems compared to chickens and are active foragers which are practically self sustaining in areas which have ample rain (and if they have access to a body of water).
watched my duck eat a wasp then they were eating the flys that swarm the poop of where the chicken tractor was yesterday. Looked like they were catching them too.

I read that ducks have a better ratio of food to meat than chickens.
 

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Country Girl
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There is a big difference and a huge learning curve between keeping a couple of animals as pets and raising them in numbers suitable for a food source, so anyone planning on raising food animals after SHTF really should be gaining (or already have) the experience now while its not critical for your survival.

We have about 40 chickens and another 30 chicks 4-8 weeks old at the moment, a couple of in calf small breed cows, a flock of self shearing sheep, 2 horses and 2 ponies. I'm seriously looking into raising rabbits as well, as a pre-SHTF partial food source for our 4 dogs and 2 cats. From what I can gather, rabbits are far more cost effective in food consumption than chickens, and less susceptible to disease (except for Myxa and Calci that we have here). They are very lean so not good as a sole food source for anything though.

Animals are easy for me...its relying on my (in)ability to get plants to grow and be healthy that worries me;) I think I need another 2-5 years experience with gardening to be happy that I could support my family's needs for fruit and veg without a shop for back-up!

I live outside a small town in a rural area...if its a SHTF scenario where serious security is an issue, then IMO we personally are stuffed anyway so its not part of my preps which are largely based on self-sufficiency even if S-never- HTF.
 
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