This is part 2 of a series on teaching encouraging kids to embrace a homesteading lifestyle. Part 1, on gardening, can be found HERE.
The idea of raising animals is usually pretty appealing to kids, especially when they are cute little baby animals, the hard work that comes with animals isn’t quite so appealing, here are some tips for raising animals on a kid friendly homestead.
1. Start Simple: Start simple with some laying hens or meat rabbits. They only require simple enclosures, food, and water. They are generally very easy to raise and don’t come with a hefty price tag. They are a good way to see if raising animals works for your family.
2. Be Clear and Direct: If you are planning on raising animals for meat than you need to make sure the whole family understands. Kids can very easily become attached and will quickly consider every rabbit, chicken, or cow a member of the family. I think its best to be honest from the beginning and explain the reasons you are choosing to raise meat animals in a clear and direct way. That way there are no surprises later.
3. Assign Chores: Get your kids involved with the daily care of the animals. This is a great lesson in responsibility and will help them appreciate the animals that much more. Collecting eggs or refilling water and food dispensers are easy chores that most young children can handle.
|Our Buff Orpington laying hens are very friendly, perfect for kids|
4. Do your Research: There are lots of different breeds out there and you will want to make sure you choose a breed that is on the calm and friendly side. You don’t want a farm full of mean, grumpy animals that like to chase little kids. Here is a great book to help.
5. Stick with females: We have found that female animals tend to be calmer and easier to interact with while males tend to be more aggressive and territorial. You can always “rent” a male if you decide to breed.
6. Join a Club: Lots of towns have 4-H or FFA clubs that can help teach your kids how to properly care for animals. They can be a great resource and also a great way for kids to make friends and get involved.
Do you have any advice you’d like to share?
Linking up with: Homestead Barn Hop, The Modest Mom, Frugal Days and Sustainable Ways, Natural Living Link Up