A Guide to Drought-Resilient Farm Animals

A Guide to Drought-Resilient Farm Animals

The only thing sadder than a field of dried-up crops due to drought is a pasture of dead animals who died from lack of water. Don’t let this happen to you. Climate change is forcing modern farmers to be more selective about the agriculture they grow and the farm animals they raise.

In this guide, you will learn about drought-resilient animals, which may help overcome your lack of sufficient water by raising certain farm animals to survive drought conditions.


The first animal that comes to mind that is drought-resilient is the camel. Camels do not sweat. A camel’s body stores water in its humps as fat, which the body uses to replace fluids. Some camels can go up to 15 days without water and walk up to 100 miles between drinks.

A camel can survive the loss of up to 40% of body weight and then drink more than 30 gallons of water in one session. Camels are a source of meat and milk that is excellent for making feta cheese.


Goats are amazing and will eat almost anything. They are tough and survive in harsh conditions. If they have long ears, that helps release the heat. The Galla breed (originally from Kenya) tolerates heat, makes lots of milk, and has strong teeth. Other breeds of drought-resilient goats to consider include Boers, LaMancha, Nigerian Dwarfs, and Nubians,


Sheep give us wool, meat, milk, and cheese. There are more than 1,000 varieties of sheep. Some sheep can live in the harsh conditions of the desert. The breeds that best handle heat, cold, wind, dust, and little water to drink are Awassi, Damara, Delaine Merino, Dorper, Karakul, Navajochurro, and Tunis.

Sheep that have hair rather than wool do better in the heat. The Sahel type and the fat-tailed Red Maasai are two sheep breeds from Africa with hair. The Karakul breed lives in the desert of Central Asia. This breed survives drought by storing water in its tail as fat, similar to a camel’s hump.


Chickens are not as hardy as other drought-resilient farm animals. The lack of water and hot temperatures will kill them if they are not used to the heat. They do not sweat or pant and therefore have no way to regulate the heat except by excessively flapping their wings. If you see that happening on a hot day, that bird is in trouble from heat stroke.

Breeds of chickens more tolerant of heat and drought conditions are the Andalusian,  Fayoumi, Leghorn, Sumatra, White-Faced Black Spanish, and the Naked Neck with no neck feathers.

Fish Farming

Some may not know that fish are animals. But how can fish be drought-resilient when they live in water? Some fish farms operate on the salt water from the sea. These areas may lack fresh water due to drought yet have abundant salt water.

While salt water is not suitable for the irrigation of most agriculture, it is perfect for farm-raising certain species of fish like salmon, flounder, grouper and more. Moreover, fish not suitable for eating may be grown in salt water, even brackish water, to make fish meal fertilizer.