Livestock are domesticated animals, like chickens, raised in an agricultural setting to produce labor and commodities such as meat, eggs, milk, fur, leather, and wool. They are often incorporated into site design, ensuring the efficiency and productivity of the system. Animals, domestic or wild are a critical component of any wild or designed sustainable ecosystem. Research indicates that without the animal's participation and contribution, ecological integrity is diminished or impossible. Some of the activities that contribute to the system include: foraging to cycle nutrients, clear fallen fruit, eco-grazing to control opportunists, spreading seeds, and pest maintenance. The nutrients are cycled by animals, transformed from their less digestible form, such as grass or twigs, into more nutrient-dense manure.
Several animals can be incorporated into a permaculture system, including cows, goats, chickens, geese, turkey, rabbits, and worms. A more specific explanation of how the animals can be used is seen in the chicken design. Chickens can be used to scratch over the soil, thus breaking down the topsoil and using the fecal matter as manure creating a [[sustainability|sustainable] system. However, in the domestication of these animals, the complexity and elegance lie in an effectiveness and efficiency of the design, including factors like timing and habits to specific areas of a farm. For example, animals require daily attention in a way that is much more demanding than plants.