Off-grid living is becoming popular as people look for a calmer life outside the pressure of city life. Animal and bird lovers are also venturing into this new experience to realize their dream of raring and benefiting from animal farming.
Are you planning to go off-grid and raise birds but wonder what birds are worth your time and commitment?
This article will discuss the 6 most profitable birds to raise for an off-grid homestead. However, before you settle on types of bird to rear, you want to ensure that the law governing the location of your land allows bird raring. You could also consider several other factors we will discuss in a moment.
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Factors To Consider Before Raising Birds Off-Grid
Several factors go into raring profitable birds. Considering these factors will help you with proper planning.
1- The Bird’s Nutritional Needs
Different birds have different feeding habits and feed that the farmer should know. What you feed chicks may not be what you will feed adult chickens. Feed for broilers could be different from those of rosters.
Similarly, what you feed turkey may differ from chickens’ or ducks’ feed. You can research your bird’s need feeds and where to get them.
2- The Bird’s Maturity Rate
Your goal is to profit by selling meat, eggs, or chicks to others. Therefore, knowing when your birds will be ready to generate a stream of income is important for any farmer. Most people want to generate quick returns and recover their investment with a few years of bird-raring.
Some birds take longer to reach maturity, while others grow very first. For instance, turkeys are seasonal layers, taking between 5 and 6 months a year before they can start laying eggs again, while chickens can regularly lay eggs after they mature.
Birds have different sizes, which determines the food they eat and their accommodations. For instance, if you want to raise turkeys, you will need a larger accommodation than those of ducks or chickens.
4- The Bird’s Risk Of Diseases
Certain locations are susceptible to bird flu and other diseases that can sweep out your birds and sink your capital.
It is essential to examine the region’s history with bird diseases. It could be a red flag if your off-grid neighbors have had an issue with birds dying.
Of course, if you want to profit from raising birds, you will have to sell them or their products. Therefore, establish if you have a ready market for that type of bird you want to raise.
Some birds are rare and may not have high demand, while others have a ready demand waiting to be met. Once you know which birds will fetch the highest profit, you invest in them.
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6 Most Profitable Birds To Raise For Off-Grid Living
Now let’s discuss which birds will likely fetch you good money from your farm.
Chickens are probably the most popular and easy to raise birds of all time. You can rear them for meat or eggs with a ready market worldwide. Furthermore, chickens feed on the plants and grains you grow on your farm, which means you will have an easy time getting their food.
You will decide which bread you want to keep depending on size, purpose, and environment.
- If you want to primarily sell chicken meat and have a relatively large space at your homestead, you can go for big chicken breeds such as Brahma and Cornish.
- However, if you want chickens that produce eggs and meat, you can raise Campine, Hamburg, and red star breeds.
Many people love duck eggs because they are larger and richer than chicken eggs. Therefore, they are suitable for baking and other delicious recipes.
The best off-grid homestead duck breeds include Indian Runner, Pekin, and Khaki Campbell. In the United States, Pekins are the most popular ducks for eggs and are also loved by many restaurant chefs.
Since they are not good sitters, you need to plan for an incubator. However, that can be a blessing in disguise because your ducks will enhance the frequency at which they lay eggs.
Remember that ducks love water, so ensure your homestead has a good water source. You can build them a plastic bag pool where they can swim and cause all sorts of mess.
You will also need to clean their hut weekly because they have more droppings than chickens. The beauty of ducks is that you can keep them together with chickens and roosters.
Turkeys are often raised for meat due to their size and can fetch you good money than ducks or chickens. However, they need more feed and a large space to raise. A mature turkey weighs between 20 and 30 pounds, four times more than chickens and ducks.
You will invest between $5 and $9 for a baby turkey. If you have a huge farm, you can allow them to walk and feed on free natural food to keep the feeding bill down.
Nevertheless, if your homestead does not allow free-ranging, you will need a round of a 50-pound bag of turkey feeds to take care of six turkeys for two weeks.
Geese require deeper water than ducks and are best suited for off-grid homesteads with no nearby neighbors who may complain about honking noise.
Although most Geese are aggressive, you can find mild breeds. Newbie poultry farmers may struggle to raise them, especially if they have not dealt with an aggressive rooster and managed the ordeal.
A goose can bite your children, and your kids’ cries and screaming may catch your attention. So, be ready to deal with that mess.
Additionally, you will regularly clip their wings to prevent them from flying away. Before raising geese, invest in a six feet chain link and bird netting to surround your fence.
Depending on the goose breed, goslings will cost you between $10 and $25. Some popular geese breeds for meat include Embden, African, Pilgrim, French Toulouse, and Classic Roman.
Quail farming has become popular among homesteaders since they require small spaces and consume less food than other types of poultry. You can keep quail even if your farm is small and become self-sufficient in eggs and meat.
These birds are easy to keep and mature very fast. If you are looking for one of the most profitable birds to raise for off-grid living, quail can generally provide you with meat and eggs to sell. Interestingly, their eggs can fetch more money than chicken eggs!
However, you will need an incubator to hatch and raise the chicks since they are not excellent sitters.
You can be sure you will get a return on investments with their eggs and meat highly demanded worldwide. One quail can lay up to 300 eggs in their first year, making them very profitable.
They are also docile and peaceful; you don’t have to worry about kids crying from a bite. Furthermore, you can sell your quail at any age to other farmers or meat lovers.
Pheasants are bred for meat and eggs, although most people prefer chicken. Of course, chickens can outlay pheasants and have more succulent meat. However, pheasants also have their strong selling points.
For example, their eggs are always larger than chicken, meaning you have more proteins with pheasant eggs. You can target markets that demand gamier meat or eggs. These markets will undoubtedly love pheasant products.
Their meat tastes like turkey, so turkey lovers will buy into pheasants. Since they are larger than chickens, they need more feed. If you feed them chicken food, their meat will likely taste close to chickens.
One thing to keep in mind when rearing pheasants is climate. If the pheasants are not indigenous to the area of your homestead, they can be adversely affected by disease and weather changes.
So, when deciding on where to buy pheasants, go for indigenous breeds that will be hardier to the local environment.
Pheasants require a larger enclosure because they are used to hunting. Generally, they are considered more active than chickens and may try to escape their cage.
Good research can establish a market for your pheasants and their eggs.
The 3 Most Profitable Animals To Raise
In addition to raising birds, you can also raise other animals; here are the top 3 most profitable animals to raise.
The market for cattle in the United States is enormous, as in other countries. Even though cattle require little more land than turkeys or chickens, they consume less, about two acres for a pair of cows and one acre for a single cow.
In addition, growing cows will require a water source and a barn for the winter with hay to keep cows fed when snow is on the ground. Shade for hot summer days is also essential while out on pasture.
In return, cattle will reward you with several products:
- Milk and value-added products, including crema, butter, yogurt, and cheese.
- You can also directly sell the milk for about $8.00 per gallon or to a store through a cooperative.
- You can also raise steers for meat to sell.
When raising cattle, food quality and animal conditions are essential. Customers expect animals to be grown naturally and fed grass instead of grain. It might take longer to get them to sale; however, the return on your investment will be worth it.
Rabbits are cute, can bring in some extra income for you, and do not require a big space. You can keep them in simple hutches; they eat a combination of store-bought foods and homegrown weeds, vegetables, and grass clippings.
Rabbits are excellent breeders and can have up to 12 kits per litter.
In addition, rabbit meat is in high demand because it is low in calories and rich in protein.
Most people find rabbit meat enjoyable to eat, as rabbit meat is a lean protein, meaning that it is good for the heart and will not contribute to high cholesterol or heart disease (Source: WebMD).
Also, some people buy rabbit pets for company. Additionally, the high levels of nitrogen and phosphorus in rabbit droppings make it a popular manure highly favored by gardeners.
Goats are increasingly becoming more popular in the United States. Apart from being tasty and delicious, goat meat is rich in protein and healthy red meat full of vitamins and minerals. Its high protein, vitamins, and minerals make goat meat one of the planet’s most nutrient-dense foods. On a global scale, 65% of meat consumed worldwide is goat meat.
Goat meat is profitable since these animals are small and inexpensive. In addition, Goats generally don’t require large amounts of grazing space as goats will consume just almost anything.
Along with goat meat, you can also produce goat’s milk, which offers various health benefits, and it is easier to digest for most people because it is lower in fat and lactose. More importantly, goat milk is excellent for people suffering from dairy allergies or digestive issues.
If you get a chance to get your goat milk certified, you can charge higher prices.
Like cow’s milk, you can also use goat’s milk to make other value-added products, including cheese.
You can even make natural bath products, cosmetics, and lotions from goat’s milk: these offer anti-allergen and organic benefits.
The income potential for raising goats is enormous, particularly when you rent goats out to people who practice goat yoga or want to have overgrown areas cleared of their vegetation.
You have various options to explore if you are going off-grid and would like to make money by raising birds. You can go with chickens, quails, turkeys, ducks, geese, or pheasants.
However, before deciding which poultry bird to raise, it is essential to establish if the condition in your homestead is ideal for them. You will also determine the infrastructure and resources needed to realize your project’s positive return on investment.