There are lots of critters that roam our modern homestead, wild and domesticated. This page can help you navigate my many posts over the years about the clucking, quacking and buzzing going on in our backyard. You can also click here to look at all of my posts written about backyard livestock, as I may have some more recent posts not listed on this page.
More and more clucking can be heard from the backyards, frontyards and even balconies of our urban neighbors. We’ve kept a flock of chickens for several years now and are an excellent addition to the modern homestead. In exchange for a little love and care, our girls reward us with fresh eggs, nitrogen-rich manure, and a natural pest control.
Currently we have six lovely ladies: Pearl (Silver Americana), Golda (Golden Americana), Dotty (Speckled Sussex), Juanita (Black Leghorn), Mary (Cuckoo Maran) and Agatha (Belgian d’Uccle Bantam). We have built so many coops for our various flocks over the years and one of the best ones is included in my book. Here are some of the most popular posts I’ve written about keeping chickens:
- annual deep cleaning on the coop
- chickens in cold weather
- how to kill & butcher a chicken
- molting chickens
- all my posts about chickens
We had a small flock of four Indian runner ducks on our homestead for more eggs, more nitrogen-rich manure, and, let’s be honest, more entertainment. These girls were an adorable addition to our homestead and a great fit for the rainy, cool Pacific Northwest weather. Their favorite activity (aside from swimming in their kiddie pool) was hunting around the garden for slugs on a wet day.
Ducks are a little noisier than chickens, but the make up for it with their rich eggs about 25% bigger than chickens. They are messier eaters and their poop is a lot bigger than their chicken cousins. Despite these downsides, they are less destructive in the garden since they can’t scratch up the soil. We eventually relocated the ducks to a nearby farm to simplify our homestead efforts, but still recommend them as a backyard livestock option (just maybe not when you already have chickens and bees and babies). Check out some of my posts about the ducks:
- welcome ducklings
- adolescent ducks
- duck house construction
- new duck coop
- our drake moves out, new girls move in
- all my posts about ducks
Keeping honeybees takes up very little space, making them a great addition to urban gardens. They increase pollination of your fruit trees (and your neighbors) while providing you with local honey in the summer time. Bees are generally low-maintenance and just need some occasional looking after in the coldest winter months. Here are some posts I have written about keeping honeybees on the modern homestead:
Even the smallest urban spaces can make a little room to support native wildlife. Get some inspiration for your own modern homestead from some of these past posts: