1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

Anyone go from backyard Chickens(or other small pets) to hobby farm?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by SLKchickens, Feb 6, 2016.

  1. SLKchickens

    SLKchickens In the Brooder

    Aug 21, 2015
    I think we might be crazy "city folks", but now that we've built a nice coop and kept our 8 chickens alive for 6 months...we think we can move on to a hobby farm in the future. When we bought this house we were looking for more land than we got (0.75 acres), but internet access was an issue for my husband's job. Five years later, seems like there is more internet being offered in more rural locations, so it seems to be less of an issue.

    We live in WI and I homeschool our two children, so we would have time to work on and maintain a hobby farm.

    So, right now we have 8 laying chickens, 2 corgis and one black cat. The kids would love to have a lot more chickens and a goat or a sheep. I have NO farming experience and my husband has less, but he's quite handy. Anyone have thoughts or experiences to share??


  2. waddles99

    waddles99 Songster

    Jun 22, 2013
    .75 acres is more than you think. I had about the same when i started out. As far as I'm concerned it all depends on your zoning. What does your town allow you to keep? If you are interested in goats, that much space would be fine. I kept two nigerian dwarf goats in a 30 x 30 pen and they were more than happy space wise. You will have to supplement hay year round but they only go through a bale a month. If i were you i would get 2-3 nigerian dwarves for pets and even milk! Ive never kept sheep but i hear they are very low maintenance. Not many people have them that i know of, but a house about 15 mins away from me has a couple sheep in their front yard. They rotate their pastures, but on .75 acres you don't really have that luxury, so you will have to feed hay year round. Its all personal preference if you want sheep or goats. Ive seen people keep both together but you would need to ask someone with more experience keeping the two together. Goats eat more weeds, bushes, branches, while sheep eat grass. They seem like a good match. Another option to consider is pigs. There are some smaller, heritage breeds that can be really fun to keep. They don't stink as much as you think. Its the intact males that give pigs a bad reputation. If you keep their area clean you won't even smell them at all! Just some stuff to think about.
  3. birds4kids

    birds4kids Songster

    May 15, 2015
    Almost 5 years ago we got close to an acre and now we are considering more space. On an acre your neighbors really have to be OK with whatever you want to do because it is so close to them.

    WI is a great place to have a hobby farm.
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    What do you envision when you say hobby farm? What are your goals?

    You've got plenty of space for gardens and other poultry/fowl. Pigs and goats should be do-able with good management. Rabbits are easy keepers as far as space goes. You'll be able to fit some fruit trees and bushes on your lot. I'm not sure you'd want to try cattle, unless you go miniature.

    Start small. Plant a few things, pick an animal to start with. Remember if you're farming, not keeping pets, you're constantly evaluating if the animal fits into your plan. You may love goats on paper, but you get a few and find they're just not for you. Don't feel you're stuck with them forever, sell them and move on to something else. Trial and error is how most of us have figured out what works on our property. Always be willing to make changes, nothing is written in stone.
  5. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Chicken tender Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    Where in Wisconsin are you, I'm in central Wisconsin, living on a 40 acre hobby farm, downsized from 160 acre dairy farm. I would pick goats or sheep, or house them separately as they have different mineral requirements, and plan on at least 2 for company.

    I don't think you're crazy, I think people living in a town or city are crazy. You don't need experience, just a desire to work a little more and the ability to learn. I hope you can fulfill your dreams.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by