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Finding Your Farm’s New Additions: Where To Buy Livestock for Your Little Farm

Are you interested in starting a small farm? Where will you get your animals?

Thanks for the question, Tanner!

When you start getting to know other people that have small farms, you find that there are many people who are happy to sell you animals that they can’t use on their farm. I’ve gotten many ‘bummer lambs’ (lambs that aren’t taken care of by their mother). Do you remember Shaun the Sheep? It’s also a good idea to visit small farms and homesteads to see if you like caring for animals, and if you want to do the work that goes along with animals.

If you don’t like picking up your dog’s poo from the backyard, you might not like having bigger animals.

Chickens

When it’s time to add chickens to our flock, we usually buy them from our local farm store. We have IFA, CalRanch, and Tractor Supply all within about 30 minutes from our small farm.

Sometimes we buy them from a company online. Did you know that day old chicks can be shipped in the mail?

We have gotten chicks and ducks from Murry McMurray Hatchery. We like duck eggs for baking. McMurray Hatchery has some Gold Star ducks. They lay as many eggs as chickens!

If your parents are on Facebook there are many local groups that teach you how to care for chickens. Many also have people that are selling or giving away chicks and chickens.

Sometimes our chickens decide to hatch out their own eggs. That means we have new chickens without buying any!

The mama hen is doing a great job keeping the chicks warm in this chilly spring weather we are having right now. They are smart chicks because they follow her around everywhere.

Cows

I have been very lucky that I have been able to get cows from a local friend who also raises cows. Make friends with people near you who have small farms. It’s the best place to get good animals!

I bought Echo from my friend. She had a calf that we named MissE. Echo died a few years ago, and we still miss her.

But we love MissE, too. She’s been a great addition to our farm.

MissE looks a lot like her mom. She’s just as gentle and sweet, too.

We have also gotten calves from the local online classifieds. I always visit the cow or other animal before I buy it. I want to make sure that the animal is healthy and friendly. I don’t have a lot of room on my small farm, so all the animals have to be easy to handle and fun to be around.

Sheep

Most of my sheep have come from my friend who also raises sheep. She gives me the bummer lambs that need extra care to raise them. She works so hard in the spring that she doesn’t have time to bottle feed a lamb very often.

Sometimes I raise one of her lambs and send it back to her. Most of the time I get to keep the lamb. Do you remember Bert? He looks like this now!

Once you have sheep, they can also have babies. That’s another way to get more sheep.

Angel, our black sheep with horns, had 2 babies earlier this week.

Now we have four lambs. The black and white lambs on the right will get listed on KSL when they are big enough for a new home. The ginger-colored lamb and white lamb on the left will go to my friend who has given me so many bummer lambs. These are milk sheep. Did you know you can get milk from a sheep? The other two lambs are Navajo Churro sheep.

Goats

Two years ago I bought Leia from my friend who had to get rid of her goats.

She had two goat kids, and we kept Shay.

This year Shay had her own kid. Leia had a kid, too. I also bought a new goat from a wonderful dairy in Utah called, Sweet Deseret.

Ruby came from Sweet Deseret. She had 2 kids this year, too.

All five of our baby goats will go on KSL classifieds this year. We don’t have room for more goats, so they need to find new homes.

Bunnies

We never buy bunnies. Friends around us know we have a little farm. Sometimes things happen and they can’t take care of the animal they have. That’s how we get bunnies. A friend has a bunny that they can’t keep anymore.

That’s how we got Kanoosh.

He has been a very sweet, gentle bunny and we’re so glad he came to live with us at Welcome Home Farm.

Thanks for such a fun question! The school year is coming to a close. I will miss everyone’s questions this year. You are a great group of students with very curious minds.

If you have questions next year you can leave them in the comments section. I’d love to see what you are curious about next year!

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