Regenerative Livestock

Livestock have long been appreciated and revered for the gift they give us in their sacrifice for our nourishment. With highly intentional, logical husbandry and management practices, we can maximize the ecosystem benefit these animals provide. Their various lifestyles can fill certain niches within the ecology of a land, including fertility cycling, pasture management, pest control, water retention, intermediate disturbance, or draft power.
Providing a diversity of habitat types within your system will encourage wildlife presence, increasing the abundance and resilience of the ecosystem. Strategic introductions, particularly with the American Beaver, can provide highly economical ecosystem engineering and increase water retention.
The presence of amphibians is a good sign of ecosystem health and purity. Intact ecosystems are beneficial to any farm or homestead , especially with regard to pest cycles.
Grazing animals provide nutrient cycling in pasture spaces, which benefits the soil life. Coupled with rotational grazing practices, sheep or pigs can be a great way to derive profit from an agroforestry system while the tree crops are maturing, while providing effective pasture management.
Pigs are tremendously strong animals, and are generalist omnivores, meaning they can adapt to many different environmental and dietary conditions. Coupled with proper management, pigs can turn over annual beds to make way for cover crop or another succession of annuals. If you need to transition an area from native forest to food forest, pigs are excellent at disturbing the understory to prepare it for planting. Additionally, the wallows they often make in damp areas can provide valuable ecosystem function. Poultry are an invaluable part of pasture renovation; they provide excellent nutrient cycling, insect predation, and a light disturbance to stimulate diversity and growth. A single "guardian goose" living within a laying flock is helpful to ward off smaller predators.