For efficient utilisation of available farm resources and to increase the income per unit of land, seven integrated farming systems were developed and different combinations of crop, animal, fish and bird were evaluated at three locations of Eastern India, viz. Patna, Vaishali and Munger districts, to sustain productivity, profitability, employment generation and nutrient recycling for lowland situations from 2007–2008 to 2009–2010. Among the tested different Integrated Farming System (IFS) models, viz. (i) crop + fish + poultry, (ii) crop + fish + duck, (iii) crop + fish + goat, (iv) crop + fish + duck + goat, (v) crop + fish + cattle, (vi) crop + fish + mushroom and (vii) crop alone, crop + fish + cattle model recorded higher rice (Oryza sativa L.) grain equivalent yield (RGEY) (18.76 t/ha) than any other combinations, but in terms of economics, crop + fish + duck + goat model supersedes over all other combinations. The highest average net returns (USD 2655/yr) were recorded from crop + fish + duck + goat system over all other systems tested here. Higher average employment of 656 man-days/year were also recorded from crop + fish + duck + goat system because of better involvement of farm family labours throughout the year. Based on a sustainability index (SI) derived from different models, crop + fish + duck + goat system was found superior with a maximum sustainability for net returns (73.1%), apart from the addition of appreciable quantity of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium into the system in the form of recycled animal and plant wastes. The wastes/by-products of crop/animals were used as input for another component to increase the nutrient efficiency at the farm level through nutrient recycling. Results on integration of different components with crop depending upon suitability and preferences were found encouraging, and to enhance the productivity, economic returns, generating employment for farm families and maintaining soil health of the farm, the crop + fish + duck + goat combination could be adopted in the eastern part of India than cultivating the crop alone on the same piece of land under irrigated condition. Addition of organic residues in the form of animal and plant wastes could also help in improving the soil-health and thereby productivity over a longer period of time with lesser environmental hazards. The livelihoods of small and marginal farmers could be improved by their adoption of IFS technologies on a larger scale, as they provide scope to employ more labour year-round.