11 Animals That Can Be Raised In The Backyard

Whether you’re a seasoned homesteader or a beginner looking to explore the world of backyard farming, this post will introduce you to 11 animals that can be raised in your backyard.

From chickens that provide eggs that are healthier than store-bought to goats that produce milk, these animals can offer a sustainable and rewarding way to live. We’ll also delve into the benefits, challenges, and legal considerations of raising backyard animals.

Best backyard farm animals for beginners

So, join us as we explore the possibilities of turning your backyard into a flourishing mini-farm.

ChickensProvide fresh eggs and meat, natural pest control, produce fertilizerNoise, odor, zoning regulations, predators
DucksGood foragers, provide eggs and meat, natural pest controlCan be messy, need access to water, noise
RabbitsLow-maintenance, provide meat and fertilizer, reproduce quicklyNeed protection from predators, can be prone to health issues
BeesPollinate plants, produce honey, require minimal spaceRisk of stings, need specialized equipment, zoning regulations
QuailLow-maintenance, provide eggs and meat, require minimal spaceCan be flighty, need protection from predators
Guinea pigsGood foragers, provide meat and fertilizer, low-maintenanceCan be prone to health issues, need protection from predators
GoatsProvide milk, meat, and fertilizer, good at clearing brushCan be noisy and escape-prone, require larger space
SheepProvide wool, meat, and fertilizer, good at clearing brushNeed shearing, can be prone to health issues
TurkeysProvide meat, natural pest control, require minimal spaceCan be aggressive, need protection from predators
PigsProvide meat and fertilizer, good at clearing landRequire larger space, can be noisy and odor-prone
CowsProvide milk, meat, and fertilizer, good at clearing landRequire larger space, need specialized equipment

1. Rabbits

Rabbits are a good starter animal for those who want to get into raising livestock. They’re easy to raise, and they provide a variety of benefits.

With rabbits, you can expect to harvest meat, fertilizer, and fur. If you’re interested in raising rabbits for meat or fur purposes but not necessarily both, this is the type of animal to choose.

If you’re thinking of raising backyard chickens, you may be wondering if their eggs are safe to eat. Our article on are backyard chicken eggs safe to eat provides answers to your questions and tips for ensuring egg safety.

2. Chickens

Chickens are an excellent choice for a backyard pet. They’re easy to raise, and you can use them as a source of food, eggs, fertilizer and entertainment.

Food: The eggs that chickens produce are a great source of protein. If you don’t want to eat them all at once (or if you have too many), they make great compost material or fertilizer for your garden.

Eggs: Chicken eggs are very nutritious and contain all nine essential amino acids necessary for human health. 

You can easily collect these by letting your hens free range on grassy areas in your yard or by collecting their nests every morning with the help of some friends who will also enjoy eating them!

Fertilizer: If left alone long enough after hatching from an incubator, chickens will eat insects and weeds alike before running around in circles until they fall over from exhaustion allowing their droppings to break down naturally into nitrogen-rich fertilizer which helps plants grow stronger roots! 

This makes it possible for anyone living within city limits who owns land big enough for planting crops on it without having access nearby so long as some basic knowledge about how this process works beforehand using online resources.

Such as sites like Wikipedia where most people go look first anyway before finding out more info elsewhere.

3. Ducks And Geese

Ducks and geese are great for eating. They can be raised for their eggs, feathers or meat. It’s a good idea to start with one or two ducks at first and then gradually add more as they get older. 

Ducks are social animals that need the company of others of their own kind, so having a few extra in your flock will keep them happy and healthy!

People often raise ducks as pets but if you want some meat on the table too there’s no reason why not both. 

It might be fun for kids (and adults) alike who’ve never experienced raising livestock before because it’s such an easy process when compared with other types like chickens or sheep!

Raising backyard chickens is not only a fun hobby, but it can also benefit the environment. Check out our article on are backyard chickens good for the environment to learn more about the positive impact of backyard chicken keeping.

4. Quails

Quail are small birds that make great pets. Quail eggs are edible, and the quail themselves can be cooked and eaten as well. 

Quail are easy to raise in your backyard, since they require little maintenance and don’t take up much space. If you’re looking for something with a unique meaty flavor but don’t want to spend money on a bird that’s hard to raise or difficult to butcher, quail are a great choice!

They’re also quiet animals they won’t wake you up in the morning by crowing like roosters do (and who doesn’t want an early start?). 

Also unlike chickens or turkeys, quails aren’t very noisy when they eat; instead of scratching at the ground as chickens tend to do while they search for food, quails will find whatever they need on their own without making much noise about it at all. 

This makes them ideal choices if you have neighbors nearby who might not appreciate loud animal noises coming from your yard every day after work hours end.”

Considerations Before Starting a Backyard Animal Project

Research local regulationsEnsure that raising animals in a backyard is legal in your area and that you comply with any zoning or other requirements
Time and financial investmentRaising animals requires a commitment of both time and money, including costs for housing, food, and other supplies
Proper care and housingAnimals require proper care and housing to thrive, so it’s important to research and provide the necessary resources
NeighborsConsider potential noise, odor, or other factors that could impact neighbors and address concerns proactively
EducationEducate yourself on the specific needs and requirements of the animals you plan to raise, and seek out resources and support as needed

5. Pigeons

Pigeons are easy to raise. They can be fed table scraps, and most people have a few extra scraps in their home at any given time (especially if you’re like me and live with roommates). 

They don’t need much space, so even if you don’t have a yard or room to spare in your house, pigeons are still a good option for those who want to get involved with animal husbandry without having an animal taking up too much space.

Pigeons are social birds who like to be kept in pairs. If you’re raising pigeons on purpose not just taking care of them after they’ve escaped from someone else you should keep two or more together so they’re not lonely!

Pigeons are easy to keep in a cage or other enclosed area outdoors. Many cities allow pigeon owners who keep their birds caged indoors during the day and let them fly outside at night; others require that owners keep their animals confined during all hours of the day (as this reduces the likelihood that they’ll escape).

6. Guinea Pigs

Guinea pigs are a great choice for a pet. They are social, easy to care for and have low maintenance needs. 

Guinea pigs require very little space to live in and can be litter trained to go potty outside their cage. They also eat less than other animals which makes them good backyard pets.

You will need:

A guinea pig cage with a wire bottom so they can walk around on the ground (make sure it doesn’t have mesh that is too big because the smaller mesh makes it harder for them to get through)

Hay for bedding – you might want more than one if you want fresh hay all the time instead of just in between cleanings or if your guinea pig throws their hay around as mine does

Food dish – I suggest getting something shallow so it doesn’t get too messy when your piggies dig into their food!

Growing fruit in your backyard can be a rewarding experience. Our article on what fruits can you grow in your backyard-11 best provides a list of the top fruit trees to grow in your backyard and tips for successful fruit cultivation.

7. Turkeys

Turkeys are large birds that have been domesticated for thousands of years. They can be trained, are good foragers and make excellent egg-layers. Turkeys can be raised on a small farm or in your backyard. They grow fast and produce meat and eggs for food.

8. Sheep

Sheep are a great choice if you have a small backyard. They are easy to take care of, friendly, and good pets. If you want wool, they can provide it. If you want meat, they can provide that too! So what more could you ask for?

9. Pigs

Pigs can be a great addition to your back yard, especially if you’re looking for an animal that is easy to raise. Pigs are social animals and they like being around other pigs, so it’s important to keep several of them at once. 

Pigs are omnivores they eat both plants and meat and therefore need a varied diet of fruits, vegetables and grains as well as protein sources such as eggs or tofu.

Pigs come in many different breeds with varying size, coloring and personality traits; some breeds are known for being more aggressive than others (which may not be desirable in your backyard). Piglets are cute little balls of fur when they’re young! 

Once mature however…not so much.

If you’re looking for something fun to do with your pig(s), consider training them to do tricks like rolling over or playing dead by using positive reinforcement techniques such as treats or toys when the pig does what it’s supposed to do correctly

Creating privacy in a small backyard can be a challenge, but it’s not impossible. Our article on how do you make a small backyard private-easy guide offers creative and practical solutions for adding privacy to your outdoor space.

10. Cows

Cows are large animals that eat grass, hay and grain. They can be milked to produce milk, which can be butchered or sold.

Cows can also be raised for beef or milk.

You Can Raise Animals For Some “Green” Cash, Or For The Fun Of It

Raising animals can be a profitable venture, but it can also simply be an enjoyable way to spend your spare time. If you’re interested in getting into the animal-raising business, there are several animals that can be raised for profit. Here are some examples:

  • Chickens
  • Goats
  • Sheep
  • Pigs

The most important thing is to pick the right animals for your climate and goals. A goat farmer raising goats for milk will have much different needs than a person who wants to raise chickens for eggs or sport hunting.

Pros and Cons of Backyard Animal Keeping

Provides a source of fresh foodMay require a significant time and financial investment
Promotes sustainability and self-sufficiencyCan be noisy or odor-prone, potentially causing conflicts with neighbors
Offers a fun and educational hobbyMay be subject to zoning regulations and other legal restrictions


I hope that you have found this article helpful. If you are interested in raising an animal for profit, please contact me at my email address

Backyard breeding is a controversial topic with potential negative consequences for the animals involved. Our article on are backyard breeders bad explores the risks and ethical concerns associated with backyard breeding.

Further Reading

Are Backyard Chicken Eggs Safe to Eat?: This article explores the safety of consuming eggs from backyard chickens, discussing potential risks and how to mitigate them.

Are Backyard Chickens Good for the Environment?: This post discusses the environmental benefits of raising chickens in the backyard, including reducing food waste and promoting sustainable practices.

Are Backyard Quail Easy to Raise?: If you’re interested in raising quail in your backyard, this article provides an overview of the process and offers tips for success.

Mini Urban Farm’s Guide to Livestock for Urban Homesteading: A comprehensive guide to raising a variety of livestock on a small urban farm.

Best Farm Animals’ List of 12 Farm Animals You Can Keep in Your Backyard: A helpful list of farm animals that are suitable for backyard farming and homesteading.

The Grounds Guys’ Blog on Smaller Farm Animals You Can Keep in Your Yard: An informative article on smaller farm animals that can be kept in a backyard setting.

How Much Does it Cost to Fully Landscape a Backyard?: This post offers insights into the costs associated with landscaping a backyard, including materials, labor, and design considerations.

How Do I Make My Backyard More Small?: If you have a small backyard and want to maximize your space, this article offers practical tips for creating a functional and beautiful outdoor living area.


Are backyard chickens a good idea?

Raising chickens in the backyard can be a rewarding experience, providing fresh eggs, natural pest control, and a fun hobby. However, it’s important to consider the responsibilities and potential downsides, such as noise, waste, and the risk of disease.

Are backyard animals safe for kids?

Many backyard animals, such as chickens and rabbits, can be a great way to teach kids about responsibility and nature. However, it’s important to supervise children around animals and teach them how to handle them safely to avoid injuries.

How much space do I need for backyard animals?

The amount of space required for backyard animals varies depending on the species and the number of animals you plan to raise. Generally, chickens and rabbits require at least 2-3 square feet per animal, while larger animals like goats and pigs need significantly more space.

Check with your local ordinances for any zoning requirements or limitations on the number of animals you can keep in your backyard.

What are the benefits of raising animals in a backyard?

Raising animals in a backyard can provide a source of fresh food, promote sustainability, and offer a fun and educational hobby.

What are some challenges of backyard animal keeping?

Some challenges of backyard animal keeping include noise, odor, zoning regulations, and potential conflicts with neighbors.

What are some important considerations before starting a backyard animal project?

It’s important to research local regulations, consider the time and financial investment required, and ensure proper care and housing for the animals.

What are some resources for learning more about backyard animal keeping?

In addition to the resources listed above, there are many online forums, books, and local classes or workshops available for learning more about backyard animal keeping.