Farm Pets: 11 Popular Farm Pets!

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Updated on: Educator Review By: Michelle Connolly

Farm pets are animals kept and raised on farms for agricultural purposes. Farm pets usually live on farms; however, some of them are in zoos. Some farm animals are treated as pets, like pigs, chickens and goats; however, these animals are meant to live in livestock, not inside houses. Farm animals should stay outside the home as they sometimes carry harmful germs that can cause illness. Washing hands after handling them or their supplies can protect them from these illnesses.

Farm pets are considered a source of food; people get milk from cows, eggs from chickens and meat from many animals, so raising farm animals is a great way to do business. There are many types of farm pets; all of them are useful in one way or another.

Farm Pets
Farm Pets

1. Goat:

Goats are the best farm pets for profit and self-sufficiency. They are useful for fibre, meat, cleaning brushes and dairy. Goat milk is preferable for many people for its health benefits, such as easiness of digestion and is great for people who suffer from lactose intolerance. Nigerian dwarf goats can produce half to one gallon of milk daily. Goats need care, providing them with shelter, food and goat fencing to prevent them from escaping. Goats are not low maintenance; they are vulnerable to illness, worms and stomach problems.

2. Ducks:

Ducks are low-maintenance farm animals to raise; they don’t need big space compared to other animals, and they are great to raise for beginners and for-profit or self-sufficiency; so they are desirable farm pets . Ducks are useful for their meat and eggs, preferable to many for baking over chicken eggs.

Raising ducks is not a big deal; they only need proper fencing, a kiddie pool, and a house. They are very useful for the garden as they eat weak-rooted plants, worms, snails, aquatic plants, bugs and pests. Ducks can also eat fish, eggs, grains, and seeds. They need more area than chickens; for example, they need 10-15 feet to roam and 4-6 feet as a house; they make great pets, though. The best duck breed is Pekin, which is valued for meat and eggs and produces 90% of all duck meat.

Farm Pets
Farm Pets

3. Cows:

Cows are the best choice for making money from raising livestock. Livestock is easy to raise but large, so they might be dangerous if someone can’t handle them;  cows are the best to raise in livestock. When it comes to business, it’s better to choose the right breed, there are dairy cows, beef cows, etc., so it’s better to know the best for the farm and business. Some people like to raise cows and then sell them after they’re weaned, while others prefer to wait until they are grown and sell them for meat or dairy, depending on the breed.

Some people may need to produce milk and other dairy products for a small subsistence farm, like cheese and butter. Miniature cattle breeds are a great choice for small farms as they don’t need a large space. All cattle require hay and good-quality pasture. The Dexter type of cow is a smaller breed but still needs a space of good quality land to graze on and good hay during the winter. Cows need a barn for winter, a water source,  and shade for summer. Farmers must be cautious when handling cows, whether bulls or cows protecting their calves.

Farm Pets
cropped image of farmer feeding cow with hay in stable

4. Chickens:

Chickens are the most common farm pets because most people eat eggs and chicken meat; plus, some farmers and gardeners are using chicken dung as fertilizers, chickens can produce eggs daily depending on the breed, so it’s a great chance for profit. Chickens can eat scraps of food, garden leftover, chicken feed, bugs and weeds; they can reduce the risk of harmful insects. Chickens need to be monitored on a daily basis to check their health and well-being; they also need fresh water daily and a covered shelter (in case of rain).

Farmers usually get hens with a rooster or two; there are popular breeds for egg laying, like Barred Rock, Speckled Sussex, and Ausralorp. Bantam chickens are smaller and may be ideal for people with small chicken coops in backyards. Welsummer chickens are petite, dual-purpose birds for eggs and meat. Orpingtons are great as pets and also can produce eggs and meat.

5. Rabbits:

Rabbits are excellent to raise, even for beginners; they produce meat (rabbit’s meat is lean but tasty), good farm pets and are super for profit as they breed quickly; females can give birth to 6 or more in one pregnancy. Some farmers use their dung as fertilizers; Rabbits are social animals, so they need to be in company with one another,

6. Pigs:

Pigs are the most common farm pets for profit and self-sufficiency; they are a big source of meat. Therefore, pigs need good care, like dental care and routine hoof. Female pigs are usually weaned at 8 to 10 weeks old and give birth to up to 11 baby pigs in one pregnancy. Although farmers can send pigs to butchers when they weigh approximately 250 pounds, which usually takes six months, it is better to keep pigs on a low-calorie diet to avoid becoming obese.

Pigs can eat many things like grains, grass, bread, corn, kitchen scraps, and more. Although it is essential to feed pigs high-quality food to get high-quality meat,  pigs have a big appetite, so it’s better to let them graze because food can be expensive, plus moving can keep them more healthy and clean.

6. Sheep:

Sheep can be perfect for any farm size, unlike pigs, who need a large area to move around and eat. Sheep are great for beginners as they are a big source of milk, meat and wool. Sheep milk is more amazing for making cheese than cow and goat. Keeping more than one sheep is better as they don’t like living alone. The Suffolk breed is useful for wool and meat, while the Blackberry is a hairless breed for meat. The Miniature Cheviot is the UK’s hardiest breeds and is treasured for its wool, and the East Friesian is the best dairy sheep.

7. Quail:

Quail are more low maintenance than guinea fowl as they are quiet and do not need a big space. Quail are great to raise for profit and self-sufficiency for their eggs and meat. They need a roosting area, a covered enclosure,  and a brush for shelter. Their area needs to allow for one square foot per bird.

Giving them protein supplements for their food is better, so they don’t become cannibalistic. Also, it is better to keep them away from other birds, like geese or chickens, to prevent injury or death. They are smaller than chickens, but hens start laying eggs at eight weeks and lay about one egg per day, with 3-4 eggs equal to one chicken egg.

8. Honeybees:

Honeybees are low-maintenance Farm animals that can flourish in a backyard to expand for profit or self-sufficiency. Most people have them for honey, but they produce many other products, such as royal jelly, beeswax, bee pollen, and bee bread. Raising honeybees requires only a water source and hive boxes. However, they need to be watched during the winter, so they are not for beginners; they are sensitive to other chemicals and pesticides. Honeybees are also vulnerable to skunks, raccoons, bears,  and other predators for their honey, or they become food.

9. Dogs:

Dogs are man’s best friend; they help herd any size of livestock and guard and protect them from predators. A livestock Guardian Dog can be a tremendous asset, especially on large land or a rural farm. They can also be excellent pets. However, working dogs are not fitted to the backyard or suburban farms. Livestock Guardian Dogs need proper handling, fencing,  and training. Herding dogs need excellent training to herd properly, so they are not for beginners. A beginner should start with a grown-up dog already trained.

Some dogs are good for herding and others for guarding and protecting; some breeds can do it all. The best dogs for farms include the Border Collie, Maremma Sheepdog, Great Pyrenees, Australian Shepherd, Tibetan Mastiff, and Komondor.

10. Horses:

Horses also live on the farm and help the farmer with daily work. For example, horses can pull trailers, wagons and ploughs. People also ride horses, to help them travel great distances.

11. Geese:

Geese are found on a farm; so they are the typical farm pets, female geese lay eggs like chickens, female goose will have around 4-5 goslings at a time.


Farm pets serve a variety of purposes. They are raised as pets or for self-sufficiency or profit. There are farm pets for beginners (new farmers) that are low maintenance and even some that can easily fit in a backyard. Farm animals are most commonly used as livestock for food, fibre, companion animals, or helpers to keep the farm running smoothly or pest-free. Farm pets are the best friend for any farmer and humans generally.

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