Having a hobby farm is not always fun and games. It can be a enjoyable activity, and a highly productive way to spend your free time. Whether starting your hobby farm to turn it into an income generating activity in future or just to keep it as a rewarding pastime, there are important things you should be aware of. Meeting the basic needs and wants of livestock and even vegetation inure more enjoyment and better productivity from them.
The Proper Shelter: Knowing the right type of shelter for your hobby farm animals is quite imperative. Depending on the number of cows, goats or chickens you have, size would be a factor to look at. Consider going for the type of shelter that would protect your animals from weather extremities or keep them enclosed in case there is a livestock disease outbreak in your area. Some such as cattle for instance does not require much in the way of shelter unless you live in a very extreme environment. Most goat owners provide some type of enclosed shelter for them but that appears to be more for ease of handling than protection of the goats. If housed or confined them provisions for feeding and waste removal must be taken into consideration.
Feeds and Feeding: In todays market highly specialized nutritionally balanced extremely palatable and equally expensive feeds for just about any animal you can name are available. I for one prefer the cows to graze, the goats to browse and the pigs to root when and where possible. I also like the idea that the meat from them is not full of the many additives and medications so often found in the commercial feeds. Yes there are animal nutritionists veterinarians and other but they like the specialized feeds are expensive. By all means use them if needed but as with my own health I try to stay out of the doctors office if I can!
Pest and Disease Control: It is also important to have an understanding about some of the pests that commonly affect livestock. This way, you will be better prepared to handle them and manage your hobby farm animals so that they do not need outside help in most cases. Good clean food and water and sanitary living conditions are a good way to have healthy contented livestock. There may well be diseases or infections that come up and will require the need for specialized help. If so use them! But there is a wealth of information available on the web, in books or just that family down the road who has been doing this for years and it can save you a ton of money and you gain your own knowledge as you go.
Do some research. The latest and greatest or the biggest may not be the best match for your needs.