Most people get caught up in learning about it takes to run a homestead and never actually make the move. Use these simple hacks I learned along the way to start homesteading today with little to no money. Stop watching the scoreboard and get in the game!
We knew that we wanted to start homesteading long before we started working towards it. We even waiting two years to get started, diligently doing research and following other peoples storied, to get started after we purchased the land. Now that we have the freedom that we have been searching for, we regret that we didn’t get started as soon as we could.
We started our farm from just a piece of land using the advice outlined in this article, and you can do the same. We all make mistakes, now you can learn from our mistakes and I can help you get an upper hand on life.
Our journey has let us create a thriving homestead from nothing with very little money. Today, our homestead is making money while we continue to spend the same, giving us the ability to help other people around the world.
If you want to be in a better spot six months from now, follow these hacks to start homesteading today. Don’t worry about making mistakes, that’s half of the journey!
Make A Decision
If you want to start homesteading when you finish reading this article, you will need to decide what is important to you. Do you want to bake your own bread from scratch? Do you want to raise your one livestock? Or do you want to grow enough food to sustain your family with organic produce year round?
Even if you want to do these all, like we do, find one that will get you out of bed in the morning and get you started today. Find what interests you the most, and get obsessed with it.
It is also important to think of what at what you are great at doing, so you can start from there. If you are great with animals but have a brown thumb, you probably don’t want to start with gardening. If you love to hunt, harvest some meat to fill your freezer. Any sort of success will get you motivated and keep you motivated to try something else.
Those small successes will start to add up and you will start to build off of them. You will look back a few months from now and wonder what took you so long to get started, just like I did.
Our homestead started with a large garden and some Alpacas. It was important to me that we start eating organic fruits and vegetables at an affordable price as soon as possible, while my husband was obsessed with Alpacas. These days, we cover just about every aspect of homesteading, but those are still the foundation that our homestead is built on.
How to Start Homestead Today With Livestock
If livestock is that thing that will get you up in the morning, then this section is written for you. The best advice I can give you is to be patient when it comes to acquiring livestock. Don’t just take everything in, or you will soon be overwhelmed with low quality.
Go on Facebook and join every homesteading and livestock group you can find in your area. People are always looking to give animals away for free; you just need to know where to look. I can all but guarantee you can find free livestock within an hour after this article.
Before you commit to taking any of those animals in, go an inspect them to ensure that they are healthy. You don’t want to start with any project animals that will get everything and everyone else sick.
If you want to start now and for free, this is where you can start homesteading.
We had rabbits long before we had a homestead, but they are a great way to get started. The “breed like rabbits”, so its not hard to get free rabbits to start with.
We got our first rabbits from a family that just didn’t want them anymore. They were very healthy and happy animals, and the price was just right!
The only downfall to free rabbits is that you will be hard pressed to get a specific breed, if that is what you are after. It will get you started on the right path though, and get you into the game!
Rabbits can be a great source of meat and make some extra cash if you do a little marketing.
With goats, you will want to wait for the right goat at the right price. We waited four months to purchase our fist goat who was appropriately named “bahh” by my children. We bought her young from a farm that simply had to many kids that year and needed to clear some space.
She ended up producing plenty of milk and kids for us and was a key part of our homesteads growth. We were glad that we waited to find the right goat at the right price!
My husband loves his bacon, so pigs were naturally on top of our priority list. We regularly purchase feeder piglets for as little as $30 and they are ready for harvest a few months later.
We feed ours all of our kitchen and table scraps, supplemented with store bought food to ensure they are getting the proper nutrition. When they are ready to harvest, you can bring them to a butcher to do the dirty work!
Warning: Raising pigs isn’t for everyone. Make sure that you do you research before committing to take on that task. I also strongly suggest that you purchase feeder pigs for the first year before attempting to breed your own stock.
You should have known that I was going to slip alpacas into this article! These majestic animals are great for beginners because they are low maintenance and great with kids.
You can pick up a few “pet alpacas” or “fiber alpacas” for very cheap from farms like mine that are just looking to get rid of them.
These alpacas are great fiber producers but simple aren’t of high enough quality to breed. This is especially common in males because only the top 5% of males are really worth breeding. The rest are just a waste of space that can be used for worthy males or females that can breed to the worth males.
If you do it right, you will make more money selling their poop and fleece than it costs you to feed them each year. Just make sure that you start with at least three of these social animals or they will start to have all sorts of funky health issues linked to depression.
If you want to start breeding alpacas for profit, you can still do so at a relatively low cost. They key is to purchase the animals from the right farm.
We started out by purchasing 3 relatively inexpensive females, after they were breed to top of the line studs. Most breeders offer a free breeding to any of their males with the purchase of a female, to help add value to the deal.
Find a farm that has some of the best males in the industry and get a few low cost females from them. Breeding your medium quality females to their high quality males and you are likely to produce great results.
If you purchase males and females, keep in mind that you will need a way to keep them separated.
Don’t Have Much Space?
Even if you don’t have much space, you can start homesteading today with chickens, rabbits, and ducks. They are perfectly happy with a very little amount of space as you keep their areas clean.
Should I Breed My Livestock
If you want to create a sustainable source of meat, you will need to start breeding your livestock eventually.
If you are starting with rabbits, ducks, or chickens, you can start breeding them very quickly if you chose. If you are starting with larger livestock, you might want to wait. It’s just important that you keep that in mind when you purchase your first animals. Don’t buy a brother and sister pair of goats if your goal is to breed goats a year from now!
Rabbits are a great way to get your feet wet with breeding. They mature in just six months and can produce a new litter every month.
Some litters will be small, and some will be large. They typically range anywhere from three to ten baby rabbits.
Figure out how often you want to eat rabbit for dinner and do some math. If it takes two rabbits to feed your family and you want to eat rabbit once a week, make sure that you are harvesting at least eight rabbits a month.
The same math is true for chickens, but it takes much longer for them to become large enough to harvest. Depending on the breed, it can take up to a year from egg to full sized chicken.
Learn Homesteading Skills
If you are serious about getting off the bench right now, the easiest way is to start working on your homesteading skills now. Many of these skills, such and baking bread, canning, and butchering, are lost arts that you will need to work on.
I have gained much satisfaction from my ability to make bread from scratch. As long as I have plenty of salt and flour, you can bet that my family will not go hungry!
One sill that I had to work on early was canning. You will need to grow excess vegetables in your garden and can them if you want to eat homegrown produce throughout the year.
To start homesteading today, you can go to your grocery store and pick up whatever vegetable is in season right now and can it. The fresher vegetables will be healthier and you will take advantage of the best pricing all year. This is a great way to get up and get started right now.
You should always be working to improve your skills on a homestead. In fact, I am currently working on my sub-par ability to cook with sourdough!
Start A Garden
Even if you start with a small one, having a garden is one of the best places to start.
Homesteading is all about making something from nothing, and gardening is a great way to build confidence in your ability to do just that. Find a spot that gets a good amount of sun and get started today (as long as it’s not winter).
Only Grow What Your Family Will Eat
True homesteaders only take what they need from the land, and gardening is where you need to remember that.
Don’t take up half of your garden with vegetables that you won’t eat. You can make much better use of that space by growing more of what you will eat, or something you can preserve for later.
Learn from my first year gardening mistakes where I grew way too much! I printed a handy list of what to grow when for my climate and literally grew at least one of everything. We fed at least half of that garden to the chickens, and throw another good chunk in the trash.
If you are into cooking things from scratch, tomatoes are one of the best places to start. They are easy to care for and a few plants will give you plenty to work with.
Another great vegetable to start with is beans. Beans are a great source of protein for your family and can be canned for the winter months.
When you mention growing wheat, everyone pictures a huge wheat field which wheat as far as the eye can see. What if I told you I grow enough wheat to cook bread for my family almost every day in a forty square foot plot?
You can even use the berries that you grow to make your own flour!
Let Me Know What You Think
What motivations do you have to star homesteading right now? What is stopping you from doing so?
Is this page missing something that you would like to see included? Show me some love in the comment section.