Robert Zwald grew up in the 1900s, farming in Minnesota. This is part two of his stories from the past, as compiled by his daughter, Ruth.
It’s spring euphoria, bovine-style! Just released onto grass from winter confinement, these bouncing belles proclaim their preference for pasture.
Mark Oldham shares childhood adventures of taking care of dairy cows and beef cows including milking, herding cows out to pasture and employing a cattle call in Appalachian country.
A boy growing up in Appalachian Country shares the farming practices of his family.
Learning to raise cows is more of a challenge than you would imagine!
I can hear it now: “What the devil? Angus? They are not milk cows!” Well, it all got started when the neighbor purchased four, what he was led to believe were, Black Angus calves from someone in a valley some distance from us. But the udders on these two cows were huge! They clearly had more milk than the calves could handle.
Some wisdom for chicken owners who are just getting started, from a chicken owner who is still getting started.
Any rancher will tell you, the secret to a healthy, productive herd of cattle is good bulls. Henry the bull may not be perfect on paper, but he turned out to be the perfect bull for Rancho Cappuccino.
Robert Zwald finishes his short memoir with a record of his Wisconsin farm in the 1960s and the growth of his family. This is the eighth part of his stories, as compiled by his daughter, Ruth.
Beekeepers need a consistent way to document hive inspections including prompts to address all relevant areas while looking at a colony of honeybees.
These beekeeping resources will help beginning beekeepers get started raising bees.
There are advantages to keeping track of the cost of keeping chickens as well as the benefits. Here's a cost/benefit analysis from our own experience.
Making good decisions on how we use our land. Keeping it natural.
How to finance your micro dairy and manage your budget for success.
A guide to creating realistic goals for your micro dairy based on your own experience.
Understanding and effectively executing a breeding program depends on understanding the calving cycle and when and how to dry a cow off in preparation of calving.
Silvopasture is a newfangled word for wooded pasture. Basically, all it means is that you are using wooded land with trees and forage for pasture. The trees can be managed for firewood production and/or saw logs and provide welcome shade and shelter for your livestock and forage.
Cows, goats, sheep, water buffalo, camels and, even, horses have been successfully milked by hand for thousands of years. Though it's an age-old practice, milking a cow by hand is not as easy as it may first appear. It’s best to know what you are getting into before you take on this important farming task.
Cows love routine. The more things stay the same for cows, the safer and more secure they feel. Here is my abbreviated list of best practices for milking a cow, learned over many decades in the barn.
Your homestead is complete when you get your own cow for milking. But problems such as a cow who holds her milk or who kicks can make milking difficult and even dangerous. Here are some helpful hints so that you can enjoy your cow and enjoy milking her.
Cows are big, powerful animals, and milking puts you right beside the strong hind legs and feet. If you find yourself with what I call a kicky cow, there are steps you can take to manage the animal.
A cow is born at Sunflower Farm!
Carmen Ortiz shares stories of visiting grandpa on his urban farm where she learned to milk cows, avoided the outhouse and gained an appreciation for gardening.
After almost 50 years of raising cows and dairy farming in New England, I’ve developed what I consider to be 15 universal truths for micro dairy owners.
Aggressive roosters are a nuisance and can be dangerous if they attack small children. Three simple methods can stop most aggressive behavior so that you can enjoy your entire flock of chickens, even the roosters.
Keeping bees is something I've wanted to do on our new homestead. But would I like it? Taking a class is a good way to find out.
Getting prepared for cold weather is quite an undertaking with daylight growing shorter and shorter. Adding to your herd and selling goats takes a lot of planning.
To be a successful beekeeper we must overcome our initial fears.
Raising baby coturnix quail is an exciting adventure. Taylor is completely new to raising poultry and shares his experiences.
Quails make an excellent urban choice for poultry raising, chiefly for their tranquil nature, minimal noise and egg-producing efficiency. In this, the second installment of my series on quail-raising, you'll learn how to identify gender from color and marks and see how quail eggs compare with those of chickens.
There are times when I find beekeeping stressful but most of the time not of my own making. I discuss here the weather, when bees decide to do things you don't want and when you are just totally unprepared!
Miniature cows may be half the size of standard cattle, but as MOTHER EARTH NEWS reader Corinne Talkin writes, these diminutive breeds have big personalities.
There is much to be learned when taking care of dual-purpose cows including how to avoid birthing problems and retained placentas, how to manage mastitis and when to do artificial insemination.
All land is not created equal when it comes to raising animals on a micro dairy.
A Grade 1 group come through the farm for a tour
Life with goats, sheep, cows, chickens and other livestock isn't all roses. Publisher Bryan Welch considers the value of finding and keeping the right partner for tackling life on the farm, goose poop and all.
When our chicks arrived, we had no idea how much we had to learn about how to raise baby chicks. Nor did we know how much the books couldn't tell us.
We've had a few surprises as we travel the road of backyard chicken raising - some of them pleasant, some not so much. Here are a few things we've learned that might help you as you decide whether or not to get chickens for your backyard.
As part of my education on how to be more self-sufficient when we make our move back to Texas, I've been taking classes while here in Australia. One of the more enjoyable classes was in beekeeping. This is our class practical exercise.
How and why I started using leftover raw milk as a natural soil supplement and fertilizer on my dairy farm.
Why I have never trimmed my cow' nails in 8 years of running a micro dairy. Read on to choose whether you want to be trimming your cows' hooves.
Farm life is not always predictable, and some of the surprises turn out to be the most valuable lessons. This story from the ranch about some strong winter-born goats, a protective cow with motherly instincts, and a calf that’s making it against all odds will not only inspire you, but it may teach you something about the wonderful spirit of community support.
We're lucky to be able to live the way we do, even when we feel like we're melting
Danny Weaver is a 4th generation beekeeper. He started out allergic to bee stings and overcame the dangerous allergy. Learning about how to tolerate bee stings is part of being around the bees.
Chickens - how do you know if you’re the ‘chicken type’? If you’re pondering a backyard flock, there are a few questions you need to ask yourself.
Over the last 2 decades BeeWeaver has seen change in who keeps bees, and why they keep bees. The journey of the last 20 years has not been easy for the bees but the efforts of these New Beekeepers will keep the amazing honeybee a part of our word.
How do you keep backyard chickens safe from poultry predators? With a bit of elbow grease and a few tips, your girls will be safe from sharp teeth.
Summing up pasture data where it relates to chickens and customizing land to better suit poultry and their behavior and stomachs. Measuring oil viscosity levels and rescuing a trailer with a portable winch were some of our favorite things.
Steve Judge of Bob-White Systems in Vermont offers his Micro Dairy expertise in this blog series on how to start and manage a Micro Dairy, from farm and barn planning to selecting dairy cows, goats and sheep to daily operations and being profitable.
Breaking down the last week of homesteading we've done over at WaldenEffect.org, and the Top Bar project we started as well as talk on Brix, biodynamics, and Plant Secondary Metabolites. Also have details on an external frame backpack modification.
A little background on how Ric and Vicki moved from Detroit to a Tennessee homestead, and starting to get up to date on what they've done since.
How a born and bred city boy came to leave Detroit, start a Tennessee homestead with his wife, and blog about it here.
Growing Local Food is a new book that encompasses all the needed basics to grow plants, keep heritage breed animals and bees. The author is a homesteader and physician who gives the readers the basic information to grow or find nutritious, local food
For those of us who hate to use chemicals in our gardens, in our homes, or with our livestock and pets, diatomaceous earth may be a safe and efficient substitute. It may worm your animals, rid them of fleas and lice and even handle indoor pests.