Food storage is important for serious preppers to have, but it can only last so long. If the world plummets into an extended SHTF situation, you’ll need to have a reliable source of food available to you. In addition to storing up heirloom seeds and learning how to collect seeds to propagate your own produce garden, it’s also important to know how to raise, butcher and prepare livestock. Animal products are rich in protein, which is an important dietary building block your body will need when you’re working hard to survive.
Whether you’ve owned livestock before or you’re looking into it for the first time, there are a lot of things to figure out. In addition to determining where you’ll keep your livestock and how you’ll protect and keep your animals safe from predators and thieves, you also need to determine what type of livestock is most sustainable in emergency situations. Here are a few of the top livestock animals to consider buying when you’re prepping for SHTF situations.
Chickens are small animals that don’t take up too much space but provide a delicious and reliable source of food. It’s important to keep in mind that some chicken breeds are louder than others, so opt for quieter breeds if your goal is to be discreet and avoid unwanted attention.
Another benefit chickens offer is that they are low-maintenance animals. While they are outdoor animals, you can move them into your garage or other covered area in a pinch. Their droppings can be composted to help your fruit and vegetable garden grow a more plentiful harvest. Additionally, they can help eat up mosquitos and other pests.
2. Small Goats
While large goats require a lot of space to raise, Nigerian dwarf goats and Pygmy goats can thrive in much smaller areas. These goat breeds are also good at foraging food for themselves, even on land that isn’t particularly rich in foliage.
Nigerian dwarf goats are commonly used as dairy goats, while pygmy goats are frequently raised for both milk and meat. If you’re worried about the wellbeing of your goats when SHTF, you can bring them inside your pole barn or large garage for temporary safekeeping. Keep in mind that goats are known for their uncanny ability to eat practically anything, so never house them near your food storage, seeds or even “non-edible” items such as backpacks and sleeping bags. They’ll try to eat anything they can possibly chew.
Pigs are exceptionally easy to feed, as they’ll consume almost anything you give them. They’ll also root around on the ground to find anything edible in the area. Since they’re so adept at self-feeding, pigs are a favorite animal for preppers to raise.
Some pigs can grow very large, but they don’t need a lot of space to thrive. In fact, the smaller the wandering area, the bigger and fatter pigs tend to be (which is ideal for getting the maximum amount of meat from a single animal).
One of the nicest things about pigs is that practically every part of their bodies is edible. Even the skin can be made into chips. A single pig has the potential to feed a small family of 2-4 people through an entire winter.
4. Dexter Cattle
Beef is a great survival food, but it’s not easy to raise cattle because they require a lot of space and a lot of food. However, there is a miniature breed of cattle, called Dexter, that does not require as much roaming space or food. You won’t get as much meat from a Dexter cow as you would get from a standard cow, but you’ll still be able to harvest a decent amount for your survival needs.
Are there any other types of livestock you’re currently raising or would recommend for a SHTF scenario? Tell us all about it in the comments section below.