Do you have a farm or homestead and wondering what types of farm birds to keep around? Farm birds can benefit anyone with some acreage or even small plots. Many species provide delicious eggs and meat, but they also eat bugs and provide organic manure. Plus, they make great pets! Discover nine types of birds on a farm, including the pros and cons.
Chickens are probably the first animal that comes to mind when you think of farms, and there is a good reason. These types of farm birds are easy to keep and very useful. They provide fresh eggs and meat while keeping down pests.
They are also great companions for children and other animals around the property. And they are also affordable as they don’t need much space, and it’s easy to grow your own chicken feed. Some downsides to owning chickens: they can be noisy, destructive, and smelly. But that may not bother you if you have a farm!
Most often when we think of turkey, we think of Thanksgiving dinner. And while turkeys are remarkable for their meat, they also add many more benefits to your farm. Turkeys also produce edible eggs similar to those of a chicken, but they are slightly bigger and thicker. However, they take longer to produce, and turkeys can become broody more quickly.
These majestic birds are also friendly and cleaner than chickens. You won’t have to worry about their bedding ending up in their water or their feces scattered everywhere. They also make excellent pets; many people keep toms around for company.
Ducks are an underrated source of meat and eggs and provide other benefits for farms and homesteads. They are easy to take care of and don’t require complicated housing. You will also save money on food as these birds are excellent foragers and get most of their nutritional needs from pecking around your property. Pests are some of their favorite foods, and they will keep your gardens free of tomato hornworms and slugs. Ducks are hardy birds that don’t need much attention and rarely get sick. Due to their stronger immune system, they are more disease resistant than chickens.
Geese are unique animals known for their aggressive and territorial behavior, often chasing, snapping, and hissing at people who get too close. But this hostile conduct is also part of what makes them great for farm life. They guard their flocks and can detect unusual sounds and intruders, chasing off anyone or anything that threatens them.
Geese are also great for lawn maintenance, readily ridding your garden and yard of pesky weeds. They can get most of their diet from pasture, so you won’t need to spend a ton of money on feed. And finally, these birds can be used for their meat and feathers.
While guinea fowl are typically used for their meat, they make excellent additions to your other birds for other reasons. Like geese, they can be great guards, as they are very vocal about intruders. Many people place them around their chicken coops to keep out predators.
Guineas are also useful for keeping down tick populations, which is helpful if you live in an area with a tick problem. They will also eat mice, rats, and insects that threaten your garden. And lastly, guinea fowl are aggressive towards snakes and will either kill them or scare them away.
Many farmers keep quail for their meat and eggs. Their eggs are considered a delicacy and can be sold for more than chicken eggs. Unlike most other farm animals, quails are shy and quiet and can be great pets and companions for other animals. They are also smaller than other birds and don’t require as much room or bedding, making them a worthy choice for small homesteads.
However, they can be messy as they leave behind a lot of feces, and some people believe quails are more expensive to produce as they require a high protein feed. But quail poop also makes excellent manure.
Pheasants are a popular game bird and a healthy wild pheasant population can be a sign of a healthy ecosystem. If you are interested in increasing the wild pheasant population in your area, raising pheasants and releasing them is an excellent option. You can also choose to keep them on your property and raise them for their lean, white meat and eggs.
One pheasant can lay an egg a day during the peak of their laying season. But there are some downsides to raising pheasants. They are elusive but can become territorial and even cannibalistic. They also do not do well with sitting on eggs, so you will need to incubate them yourself.
The partridge is a small game bird but larger than a quail. They are an easy addition to your farm because they don’t consume that much feed or require much land. They also don’t need that much attention and can take care of themselves with little help from farmers and steaders. These birds are primarily reared to be used on hunting preserves as their meat has a delicate, sweet flavor similar to chicken. However, they are very small and typically only provide enough meat for one person.
Peafowl, or peacocks, may not be the first animal on your list of farm animals. But some agree that they make worthy additions. They are beautiful birds with long lifespans; some can live up to 50 years old! Other than adorning your property and making your neighbors jealous, peacocks can be raised for meat and eggs. Their eggs are larger than a chicken’s but taste similar, and their meat is flavorful and aromatic.
They also keep pest populations down, such as insects, snakes, rodents, and amphibians. And they make fantastic guards, screaming at anything or anyone that doesn’t belong. Although, you might think twice about your decision after hearing their creepy screams in the middle of the night.
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