Are you looking for ways to simplify your homestead processes?
I’m going to share a few ways to put your homestead animals to work to help save some precious time.
How many of you are looking for ways to save time on your homestead? I’m raising my hand.
Some days it seems like there are never enough hours. Am I right?
One way that we try to save precious time around our homestead is by striving for a simpler life. But sometimes homesteading doesn’t really feel simple.
There’s always something that needs to be done. We get up early, take care of our family and animals. There seems to be never ending projects, repairs, or routine maintenance.
A sometimes overlooked way to save time is by using your animals as helpers by doing what they were born to do.
And by doing this, not only does it help us, but it also keeps them happy and healthy.
How To Put Your Homestead Animals to Work
Goats, chickens, and pigs help prep garden areas before planting. Goats help by getting rid of unwanted brush, chickens scratch and help till the ground. Pigs are also great at digging and turning soil.
They Provide Fertilizer
Aka manure. Goats, rabbits, and chickens are great sources of manure for the garden.
Some say that using chicken manure is best because it is very high in nitrogen and also contains a good amount of potassium and phosphorus.
We use a mix of both goat and chicken manure around here. And personally, I prefer using goat manure over most other livestock because it’s almost odorless.
Pest and Insect Control
Chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, guineas, and pretty much all fowl help keep insects under control.
Guineas are especially helpful if you live in an area with a lot of ticks. We have definitely noticed a decrease in the amount of ticks hanging around here since we added guineas to the homestead.
I just found the first tick of the season on my daughter this morning. And you know one of my first thoughts was… Time to add more guinea fowl!
Using chickens in the compost pile helps to keep it turned, saving that ever so valuable time. Chickens naturally scratch and help break down the grass, leaves, and food scraps into beautiful compost that you can use in your garden!
Animals love to eat treats from the kitchen! Whenever we have leftovers or scraps of food from the kitchen, I give them to our animals.
Have leftover scrambled eggs from breakfast? Feed them back to the chickens!
Certain foods are better for the ducks, or chickens. And some are better for the goats or the dogs. If you have pigs, they love most leftovers or scraps. Whatever isn’t safe for some of our animals goes to another.
Providing them with kitchen treats, keeps them happy and healthy. And it also helps us cut down on waste.
Goats, sheep, and donkeys are great at keeping up with the lawn care. While they probably won’t give you a manicured lawn, they definitely save us mowing time over the summer!
Brush and Land Clean-Up
Speaking of yard care, goats are excellent browsers. They love to browse around for their food and in doing so, they clear up unwanted brush, weeds, grass, and even trees.
We put our goats to work to help with our homestead income and allow them to clear up brush at a local ranch.
Many different livestock can help protect each other as well as smaller animals from predators. We have a huge problem with predators in the area where we live.
We can’t free range our chickens and other smaller animals safely unless we have a livestock guardian out there to watch over them. This is what we do instead.
Many people keep a livestock guardian dog. Others use donkeys and llamas. Some work better than others.
Sometimes having a protective rooster or geese with your chickens can help. Our rooster is very protective of his ladies and our ducks are also helpful with keeping the predators away. Having our goats near the chicken coop has helped deter the predators a little for us.
Nothing is full proof though. So it’s always important to make sure we have a variety of options.
Many breeds of dogs are excellent helpers for rounding up stray cattle, goats, and sheep. We have a very special bred Hanging Tree Cattle dog that is excellent in helping my husband move and round up our goats and cows.
There are tons of different herding dogs that are bred for this job and are easily trained.
Aka instant therapy.
Last but definitely not least. And perhaps, one of the most rewarding jobs of all. They provide great companionship and are total mood boosters!