Starting a small farm in your backyard is a great hobby and can even become an introduction to homesteading or larger agricultural operations. But, if you’re thinking about starting small, you need to be sure your hobby farm has all of the essentials.
From wheelbarrows to poultry houses, there are a lot of items on the essentials list. Learn more about everything you need to get your backyard farm started.
Hobby Farm Tools And Equipment
Whether you plan to grow a few crops or raise some livestock, you need the right tools to make the job easy.
There are some basic items that should be on every backyard farm supply list:
●Shovels and other digging tools like hoes and trowels
●Simple hand tools, like hammers, handsaws, pliers, and a good tape measure
●A wheelbarrow or cart for moving soil, feed, and even other tools
●Protective and personal safety equipment, like gloves, glasses, hearing protection, masks, and coveralls
●Water cans, buckets, and sealed storage containers
These are only the bare minimum needs for simple growing and general maintenance. Depending on the amount of land you have available, how much you’re growing, and the number of livestock you’re raising, you might want to consider some additional equipment.
Beyond The Basics: Advanced Farm Equipment
If you’re planning to harvest several large plots or raise livestock on your hobby farm, you might want to consider investing in some more advanced equipment. Here are a few suggestions:
●Compact tractors and utility vehicles help simplify labor intensive farm tasks. Need to move a large amount of livestock feed? Tilling up a large garden plot? A tractor can make this a lot easier. Many compact tractors can be customized with a range of attachments that make them versatile pieces of equipment. Some larger models of riding mowers can also be equipped with additional tools to assist with farming.
●Manure spreaders and composters are both helpful for re-using farm waste to help grow crops. Composters come in various sizes and configurations but even a simple DIY composter can be useful on a small farm. Manure spreaders range in size and price so there’s typically an option available for most budgets. Always be sure to understand best practices for spreading manure to prevent pollution and keep yourself safe.
●Livestock trailers can be particularly helpful if you plan to raise a few head of cattle, keep pigs, or even a horse. It’s important to have a safe means of transporting livestock in the event they need to be moved.
Depending on the size of your farm, your needs, and your budget, there are other pieces of equipment you might consider owning. You may need anything from a hay wagon and baler to heavy equipment like a loader or excavator.
However, while these items can make farm life easier they aren’t strictly necessary. Smaller backyard farmers are unlikely to have a need for more advanced equipment.
Pest Prevention Supplies
Whether you have a small backyard farm or a commercial agriculture operation, pests are a constant problem. Before you start hobby farming, learn what pests are common in your area and how to implement pest management strategies. You’ll also need the right supplies for the job.
Some essential pest prevention supplies include:
●Rodent traps and rodenticide for mice and rats
●Fly traps for poultry houses or other enclosed livestock shelter
●Other insecticides and pest treatments to prevent infestations
Before using any type of trap or pesticide, fully read all instructions and wear any necessary personal protective equipment.
Livestock Supplies & Shelter
If you plan to raise livestock on your farm, there are additional items you’ll need. Poultry are the most common backyard or small farm livestock, but you may raise pigs or cattle.
Be sure you thoroughly understand the needs of your animals before investing in them. Raising livestock requires a significant amount of time and money to do properly. There are a few things you’ll want to be sure you have to be successful with farm animals.
Whether it’s protection from the cold, the heat, or predators, providing safe shelter to livestock is essential on any farm.
The right animal housing will depend on the number of livestock and how you plan to raise them. If you’re starting small with a common animal like chickens, you’ll want to be sure you provide the right kind of shelter. This includes using the best poultry flooring material for your coop.
If you intend to raise calves, you might want to consider using calf hutches for the most accessible and flexible housing.
Larger livestock will also need larger shelters as they age. A barn is a simple solution for sheltering most farm animals. If you plan to build a barn, learn what you can about proper barn ventilation so you know what system is right for you.
Feed & Watering
Animals need food and water as well as shelter. How much feed and the right hobby farm feeding system will depend on the type of livestock you raise:
●For a small number of chickens you’ll likely only need simple poultry feeders or pans.
●If you’re raising pigs you might want to invest in an outside hog feeder for simple distribution.
●You’ll also want a place to store feed like a grain storage bin for easy access and to keep it safe from pests.
Generally, backyard farms don’t require complex watering systems for livestock. Be sure your livestock have easy access to fresh water when they need it. If you experience cold winters, take measures to ensure your livestock waterers don’t freeze during colder temperatures.
Always be sure to keep your livestock safe by fencing off outdoor areas they can access. Installing fencing can also help keep some predators out, too. You’ll need different types of fencing depending on the animals you’re raising. For example, chicken wire and netting works well for poultry, but hogs will require more substantial fencing.
A post driver is a specialized tool that can be incredibly useful for building or repairing fencing. If you plan to have a large fence, you should consider investing in one.
Additionally, keep in mind that some livestock fencing can also be used to protect any crops that you’re growing from pests like deer.
Shop For All Of Your Hobby Farm Supplies
Whether you’re new to hobby farming or you’re a seasoned homesteader, Farmer Boy has everything you need to be successful.
Shop our backyard farm products for the right supplies. Have questions or need help finding the right piece of equipment? No problem. Give us a call at 1-800-845-3374 for assistance.