I hear a lot about raising chickens and raising goats on the homestead. Heck, both of these animals have multiple magazines dedicated to raising them. But what about the other animals that can be raised on smaller properties that will provide for the family? Ok, so I've started to hear more about meat rabbits, that's one. But what about a big ol' hog? Those things get HUGE! That's a lot of meat there, and unless your kosher, its some pretty good eatin'.
Ok, but seriously, think of everything that comes from a pig. You've got bacon, sausage, ham, pork, and lard. (Yes, I said lard, but that's another entry.) When you consider that there are small homestead farms out there raising heritage breed hogs upwards of 250# and getting 75% packaged meat from that. I admit, I have not done this, yet, but from what I can find online, that's 75% MEAT. That doesn't count the lard, salt pork, etc. that can be made using fat. That's a lot of meet for one growing season. Now, I'll admit, I don't know the breakdown of meat by type, but still, for an animal that can forage in pasture. Think about it... a meat goat will weigh much less, but on average, you will only get about 33% of the goats body weight for food (20% if you debone it all). Also, take into consideration if you can do the processing yourself, or if you will need to pay someone to do this all for you... that cost might change your mind.
I'm not saying to not think about each of the other animals, but make sure you consider these lovely animals. I'm still doing some research to see if they can be pastured with any other animals, but hey, I'm not saying this is for everyone, its just a thought.