Make an Income From Your Backyard Homestead
You can make an income from your backyard homestead, surprisingly you can do it without acres of land. While homesteading is very rewarding and can help you live a more frugal life; it isn’t free. It helps with your backyard farm can pay you back in actually cash sometimes too and not just in the food it produces.
So I have compiled a list of ideas on how you can make an income from your backyard livestock. Not all of them will work for everyone, so find the ideas that best suits your time, space and interests. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what you can do to make a supplemental income in whatever space you have.
Make an Income From Your Backyard Homestead – Livestock
Chickens, Ducks, Quail
- Eggs for Eating – You can sell your eggs to your friends, family, neighbors or farmer’s market. I wrote more about that here – Selling Eggs From Your Backyard Homestead. You’ll get the best price for free-range or pastured eggs.
- Fertile Eggs – If you’re able to have a rooster on your property you may find a a business selling fertile eggs for others to set in their incubators. You’ll get more money for rare or popular breeds so do a little research on what people are looking for in your area.
- Day Old Chicks or Ducklings – Some homesteaders do not want to deal with incubation. They’d prefer to to buy young chicks for their brooder. You should also check with your local feed stores – they make be interested in carrying chicks, quail and ducklings; and on a regular basis.
- Meat Rabbits – Meat rabbits continue to grow in popularity in the US and especially with backyard homesteaders. If you aren’t raising them already check out my article on Getting Started with Meat Rabbits. I can tell you, personally, that I often was torn on selling kits or growing them out for meat. I recommend choosing a heritage breed and spend money on good breeding stock; we had no problem selling kits when we wanted to.
- Fiber Rabbits – I see more and more homesteaders spinning their own yarn. I believe fiber rabbits may become even more popular in the next few years. You can sell the rabbits or just their fibers (which does not require dispatching them). You’ll need a mentor to show you how to properly harvest the hair from your fiber rabbits for sale. See Raising Fiber Rabbits.
- Pet Rabbits – As a mom that was bent on only raising meat rabbits, I still got suckered into a little pet Lionhead. Pet rabbits are fun and many seek them as alternatives to cats and dogs in the house. Lionheads are particularly popular with kids because of their sweet temperaments and fluff.
- Rabbit Droppings – Yep, you CAN sell rabbit poop. Gardeners love that rabbit droppings can be composted or put right into their gardens for as a fertilizer. You can sell it by the bag fulls – and if you have a rabbit you know how much just one can produce each day.
- Rabbit Pelts – If you’re raising meat rabbits and a successful skinner, you may find crafters interested in tanning your pelts for their purposes.
- Meal Worms – I can tell you my chickens and quail have always loved receiving fresh and dried meal worms as a treat. And raising meal worms is fairly easy. You can have a market through direct sales to owners of poultry, pet birds and pet lizards; but you may also have pet stores who will buy your stock.
- Red Wigglers – Great for vermicomposting and fishing, red wigglers are a popular worm that you can grow for your own use as well as for sale. See How to Get Started Raising Red Wigglers.
- Compost – From worm castings to compost for planting; if you have extra to sell you will quickly have a market.
Make an Income From Your Backyard Homestead – Herbs
- Sell fresh herb plants or cuttings – If you have the space to grow herbal transplants in small pot this can be a viable business. Also cuttings for people to dry for their own use, is another option.
- Sell dried herbs – Or sell your herbs already dried and packaged.
- Make your own herbal teas for sale – Do you make tea blends? You can make some from your own herbs or ones you purchase.
Make an Income From Your Backyard Homestead – Garden
- Seeds – Do you save seeds? You may have a market for selling your own seeds, especially if they are organic and/or heirloom varieties.
- Transplants – I always seem to have more pepper and tomato seedlings than I really need. If you do too, or you want to do it on purpose, you could offer seedlings up for sales. Some people just don’t want to wait on seeds when they are planning and planting their gardens.
- Fruit and Vegetables – Check your local rules and regulations first; but selling your excess harvest can bring a good income in. If you have enough, you may want to consider a booth at your local farmer’s market.
Make an Income From Your Backyard Homestead – From Your Kitchen
If you’re skilled in the kitchen and have the time to produce extras, you might be able to sell your goods. You’ll need to see what laws there are about selling foods and see if you can meet the standards of your state first.
- Jams, Jellies and other Canned Goods
- Artisan Cheeses
- Fresh Baked Breads
- Starters for sourdough, kombucha, keifer, etc.
Make an Income From Your Backyard Homestead – Crafts
This could be an entire post on it’s own because handmade items are popular at locally, in farmer’s markets and even online. If you have a gift for crafts you might just have a budding business right at your fingertips!
- Homespun Yarn – Knitters and crocheters appreciate homespun yarn for their special projects.
- Candles – Make candles in cute containers for sale. Or offer candles made from special ingredients like your homegrown beeswax.
- Soaps, Lotions, Salves and Balms – If you love to make these handmade personal items you could have a wonderful business! Consider using locally grown / sourced, organic or speciality items whenever possible.
- Needlecrafts – Do you sew? You could make items or offer mending services. Do you knit or crochet? Make afghans, scarves, sweaters, or even wash clothes for sale! Do you quilt? Make handmade quilts to order and you could make a nice profit.
- Woodworking – If you or your spouse is gifted in the art of woodworking there are many products you could make and offer for sale. For best profits consider using woods offered for free or inexpensive scraps.
Make an Income From Your Backyard Homestead – Knowledge
- Teach Home Classes – If you have skills in any of the homesteading arts, consider offering small classes in your home and teach others. Most of the time there will be very little in the overhead other than a few handouts.
- Teach Classes Locally – Often rec centers and the like are looking to add classes to their roaster. Also check with your local feed stores about teaching a class there while highlight their products.
Given a little time, passion and ability you can make money from your own backyard homestead. Just don’t try to take on ALL these ideas at once.