The right furry friend can offer your household more than a warm cuddle and slobbery kisses – they can even help out with putting a meal on the table and boosting your winter wardrobe! We’re talking, of course, about ‘pets that produce’ and the perfect example is chickens.
Who doesn’t love the idea of fresh eggs every day for free? Rhode Island Reds are prolific layers, with a single chicken producing more than 250 light brown eggs a year. If you’re after more variety on the colour spectrum, consider a Light Sussex hen – hardy and good for beginners, they come in lots of different colours, including speckled and silver.
Showing off your fowl? The Pekin Bantam is a very refined exhibition bird, but pales in comparison to the splendour of the pompom-esque Silkie, a fussy customer that demands a lot of extra care. Click here for instructions on how to make a chicken coop.
For a fresher-than-fresh supply of dairy, why not consider a goat? The milk is easier and quicker to digest than cow’s, and a Swiss-breed Saanen goat supplies an average of five litres of milk a day. They’re a herd animal, so you’ll need at least two to keep each other company. Just be sure to check with your local council.
And if it’s free fleece you’re after, look no further than an alpaca. The Huacaya is as easycare as it gets, with shearing only required once or twice a year. Their soft coat will have you all wrapped up!