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Old 02-28-2013, 06:31 PM   #1
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Question What are the easiest chickens,rabbits,and dairy goats to raise?

We are moving back into the country this year....and will be getting some chickens(for eggs),rabbits(for meat) and maybe a goat( for milk)..What would you recommend?

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Old 02-28-2013, 07:57 PM   #2
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Re: What are the easiest chickens,rabbits,and dairy goats to raise?

Welcome to the farm life!

Chickens:
I'd say most chickens are SUPER easy to keep!
They say 3 square feet inside their house and 5 square feet in their yard to keep them happy.
I let my full-sized birds free range and I'd say that makes them the happiest!
I keep the bantams in yards b/c the hawk will take them.

For eggs every day, you'll want Red Star (brown) or Leghorn (white) - I really like my Red Star - they're sweet, quiet, personable, like to be pets, and have a strong desire to lay at LEAST 6 days a week and lay a large egg.

Leghorns are VERY loud when laying (not sure if your neighbors will care) and tend to be very flighty and hard to tame. They also lay 6-7 days and typically lay an extra large egg.

There are tons of breeds, temperaments, colors, etc - and they lay from 2-6 days/wk - just depends on what you want!

Goats:
We have Miniature Nubians - LOVE them!
Sweet, small, great temperments - easily handled by the kids.
They say the mini-nubians 3/4 the amount of a full sized goat, but only need 1/2 the amount of feed and space!

We have 4 does and a buck - babies due in the next few weeks - can't wait!

Invest in GREAT fencing (box wire) and a raised milking stand!

Rabbits:
We have Flemish Giants for meat.
I think all rabbits are pretty much simple to keep - the Flemish eat a ton, but are worth it b/c the amount of flesh you get per animal.
We have our Flemish in "tractors" - basically a moving coop and yard (most often used for chickens)
That way, you can wheel them to a new patch of field each day and they get plenty of grass, new dirt, and sunshine!

Same for the chickens - plenty of grass, bugs, new dirt and minerals, clean ground, and sunshine!

Good luck!
PM me, if you have any questions!
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Old 03-01-2013, 07:41 AM   #3
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Re: What are the easiest chickens,rabbits,and dairy goats to raise?

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Old 03-01-2013, 08:05 AM   #4
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Re: What are the easiest chickens,rabbits,and dairy goats to raise?

No advice, we just got our first chickens, and we have pigs, but welcome back to country living!
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Old 03-01-2013, 08:42 AM   #5
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Re: What are the easiest chickens,rabbits,and dairy goats to raise?

Chickens are fairly easy most of the time. They need ~3sq ft per bird for indoor housing and a good sized outdoor run. You can get away with less confined outdoor space if you let them free range. We used to let ours free range all of the time, but then we started having problems with coyotes taking them so we only let them free range for a few hours a day.

As far as breeds (in our experience)
-- Dominiques - All around good breed. They lay brown eggs almost every day and aren't too flighty. I have a couple of hens who are super-sweet and follow me around the garden when I'm outside and seem to enjoy being held.
-- Rhode-Island Reds - They lay great eggs, but our rooster is a RIR and I always have to keep his attitude in check. He was handled often as a chick and I have handle him regularly otherwise he'll get mean. Our RIR hen is active and has attitude (she's one of the few that will peck me if I get too close to her on a nest box).
-- White Leghorns - Lay lots of white, large eggs. They don't get very big and are very flighty. We had a white leghorn rooster once and he was named "Stewpot" to give you an idea of his disposition.
-- Amerucanas (Easter egg chickens) - They're pretty mellow, but don't lay eggs as often as the other hens. But they're pretty and blue! Both roosters I had of this variety were cowards and poor lookouts, but their beards and plumage are beautiful.
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Old 03-01-2013, 08:59 AM   #6
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Re: What are the easiest chickens,rabbits,and dairy goats to raise?

Well I can't help with the others, but chickens are very easy no matter which breed you choose. If you want to be able to eat them I'd stay away from the bantams but other than that they're all the same, care wise.
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Old 03-01-2013, 01:30 PM   #7
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Re: What are the easiest chickens,rabbits,and dairy goats to raise?

Thanx so much everyone im very excited to move back..Its been about 5 years!
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Old 03-01-2013, 03:14 PM   #8
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Re: What are the easiest chickens,rabbits,and dairy goats to raise?

For Rabbits I highly recommend New Zealands or Californians (or a cross between them. I have also raised Pure Breed Altex and Crosses. To be rabbits are supper easy (no matter what the breed we also raised fancy breeds for pets)
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Old 03-01-2013, 03:35 PM   #9
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Re: What are the easiest chickens,rabbits,and dairy goats to raise?

I second the californians or new zeland rabbits for meat. They give you the best feed to meat ratio. So for the amount of feed they need you get the most meat. Lots of breeds of goats are good. My personal Favorite dairy goat is the Saannen. But alpine, nubian, oberhasi, taggenburg, lamancha are all good dairy goats. Chickens, there are so many and the care is pretty much all the same.
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Old 03-01-2013, 06:42 PM   #10
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Re: What are the easiest chickens,rabbits,and dairy goats to raise?

I agree for meat rabbits, we like New Zealands or Californians. In our area, NZ's are easier to get quality stock in so thats what we went with.

Our goats are Nigerian Dwarfs. Like previous poster said, they are half the size of a dairy goat, but produce great and are seriously wonderful animals all around.

Chickens, oh I love my hens. My favorites are Black Australorps, Rhode Island Reds and Sexlinks.
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