Marco L. enjoys the outdoors and one July he set off on a three-month-long canoe trip in Northwestern Quebec, Canada. He planned to canoe the Nottaway River.
About a month into his adventure a bear came to his campsite. The bear destroyed his canoe and ate all his food.
Thankfully, Marco’s beloved German Shepherd chased away the bear.
But without any food, Marco knew he would starve before he could get back to civilization.
After a few days without eating Marco made a tough decision, but one that likely saved his life: he ate his dog.
By October, Marco still hadn’t returned home, and his family alerted police that he was overdue.
After spending months in the Canadian forest, Marco was found barely alive.
He had lost 90 pounds, was dehydrated, suffering from hypothermia, and was so weak that he couldn’t talk.
In the days before his rescue, temperatures had dropped well below freezing, and Marco wouldn’t have lived much longer.
According to one Canadian outdoor guide…
“He survived because he made good decisions. Eating his dog was one of them.”
After his rescue, Marco was taken to the hospital in serious condition.
The mayor of the nearby town said…
“In these parts, there’s a subculture of people who go on these long trips into the middle of nowhere but sometimes we forgot how dangerous it can be.”
Marco is lucky to have survived. By all accounts, he had no other choice but to eat his dog – something he obviously never planned to do.
But this brings us to an important point for survival preparations, which is that animals can play a big role in whether you live or die.
Animals can provide food such as eggs and milk. Plus, when you have no choice of anything else to eat, they can be consumed.
But animals are not equal in the benefits they provide versus the resources needed to keep them. For instance, some need large areas and aren’t suited for backyards.
Considering this, here are a few of the best animals to consider when if want to be even more self-sufficient and survive on your own.
Chickens are a solid option if you are considering animals for survival. They can provide both eggs and meat. (I’ve talked about before how they are down at the bottom of my list after my regular food storage and all else is exhausted.)
They require little space. They will need a coop but not much else.
Also, there is a good market for eggs if you want to sell or barter with them.
Chickens start to lay eggs around 18 weeks old and typically produce eggs for the rest of their lives.
A few of the best breeds are Plymouth Rocks, Wyandottes, and if you are looking for chickens to eat, consider Cornish crossbreeds.
The best thing about goats is they are great at foraging. So, if there is something to eat around the area, you don’t need to provide a lot of additional feed.
Goats are low-maintenance and can live in a small space. A dairy goat can provide milk, cheese, and meat.
A few things goats will need are shelter and fencing. They are good at escaping, so you need to make sure they are secure.
There are a lot of different goat breeds. Some are better for milk and some are better for meat. I would consider Nubian or Alpine goats.
Ducks are a lot like chickens. They can provide eggs, meat, and even feathers.
The difference with ducks is that they are good for pest control. Ducks like to eat snails, slugs, and other pests that could damage crops.
But ducks are more high-maintenance than chickens, and often require additional duck feed.
They need a coop like chickens and they produce eggs seasonally. They produce larger eggs, but less frequently.
Some of the best duck breeds are Pekin and Cayuga.
Sheep provide milk, meat, and wool. They are also great at foraging so they won’t need a lot of extra feed.
Some sheep are better for meat, and others are better for wool.
Like goats, you will need shelter and fencing to keep the sheep contained, but they don’t need a huge area.
A few breeds I would check out are Shetland and Icelandic.
All these animals can be kept in an average-size backyard.
But before getting any of these animals check your local laws. You may need a permit to have them.
If you have a larger homestead, you can consider bigger animals such as cows.
If you are new to having animals for survival I would start with chickens. They are going to be the easiest animal to raise and can provide plenty of eggs.
No matter what size your yard is, you can start with a few chickens and grow from there, and you’ll be on your way to providing a food source during a disaster.
Then, if you have the room, it could be a good idea to diversify your animals to meet different needs.
Use these tips to choose animals that meet your preparation needs.