I am purchasing a .35 acre property with agricultural zoning and would like to keep things very small, just a couple farm-type pets.
I have a one-car garage I plan to convert to a barn. Here are my ideas so far, please comment/help:
1. I want a micro pig AKA teacup piglet. She will come in and out of the house. I may breed her once or twice.
2. I really like pygmy goats. I'm thinking about two.
3. I'd like maybe two chickens, enough for my own eggs. I live alone.
3. I'm looking for other ideas that you may have for backyard pets.
Can they all live together? I was going to put a standard chainlink fence around the whole backyard.
In Ontario Canada, does the barn need to be heated for these type animals? Is a horse out of the question?
Ps I'm not growing a garden and don't plan to eat any of them.
Thank you for any help you can give!
How much of that lot will actually be your pasture area? The more you crowd things in there the more feed/hay you have to purchase or forage leaves and such elsewhere, and you may have to walk your goats. A horse can't go in so small a space without a LOT of hay and exercise. Goats and chickens can live together, I know people who keep them together, but the birds cannot be fed while goats are there as goats get greedy for grain (and lock all the feed up tight away from them). BTW will they be milking goats? Add one kind of animal at a time don't get a lot to learn all at once, start with the smallest/simplest ones. Make sure you add lots of ventilation to the garage turned barn, even in cold insulation is good but air tightness is very very bad. Get a chicken variety that's heavy and has feathered feet. You might consider a livestock guardian dog, not a pet exactly since it has a job watching out for the others. Also, how about an angora bunny or two in the house or a hutch? Lovely spinning fiber from those and you don't kill them either for them to be productive.
Personally, I would use the space for fruit trees and bushes and keep the animals down to chickens or ducks. I do love the critters, though! Bunnies are an excellent suggestion for house pets.
However, everything but the horse sounds doable. The goats might get a bit bored, though. Bored goats can be about as troublesome as a bored dog. If they were milking goats (which would mean an occasional flux in the goat population) they would be more purposeful. However, goats and a garden are usually incompatible in that small space. I'm a gardener-- I would choose the garden instead and run chickens and ducks in it occasionally.
Brahmas and Cochins are really sweet, fluffy, feathered-leg chicken breeds that are decent layers and are not so active that they need more space than what you have. They are also poor flyers because of their size, so keeping them contained with just a tallish fence would be adequate. Both have relatively small combs, which make them more cold-hardy. A good part of Ontario is at a more southern latitude than our home near Seattle, so depending on where you are, natural winter light might still get you an egg a day out of 4 young hens through the season. It's always a guess, though. Best to use winter laying needs to size your flock properly, then share the surplus in the spring and summer.
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