In some circumstances, fruit pulp can be a good food for livestock. Here are a few examples of how it can be used.
The EPA is now defining a CAFO (formerly confined animal feeding operation) as a Country Animal Feeding Operation.
Find out how to feed rabbit babies using a goat's milk-based formula.
People living near massive livestock operations may be at risk from the pollution they generate--which is higher in some cases than the nation's most polluted cities.
Donna Pellegrin shares her mother's stories of growing up on a fertile, bountiful farm during the Great Depression, and of the homesteading skills that kept them well fed.
Edamame soybeans are tough,fast-maturing plants that can withstand extreme garden conditions. They have few problems with disease or insect pests. The green pods are delicious and high in protein, and make a good addition to an edible landscape.
Announcing our new automatic chicken feeder contest and how some lucky person could win a 10 pack diy kit or 3 premade watering units.
Here's the scoop on the best way to feed birds.
Here are some natural disinfectants you can use for wild bird feeders.
Check out this expert advice for the best way to position a bird feeder near a window.
You can build a low-cost, squirrel-proof bird feeder using simple tools and inexpensive materials. All you need is some plastic drain pipe and caps, hardware cloth and a bit of wire (or a wire hanger). In no time at all, you’ll have all sorts of birds at the feeder — and the squirrels will be perplexed!
Learn what to expect when you get to the sale barn.
Tips on creating nature art, winter bird feeders and children's art.
In this posting we will ask the question if the climate is reaching a tipping point. We will define climate tipping points and use the paat to determine if we are reaching tipping points. We will also discuss climate feedback amplification.
Invite the birds into your yard with this simple bird feeder made from a toilet paper roll.
Duncraft introduces a new concept in bird feeding - the patented Underneath Bird Feeder
The Sacramento Municipal Utility Destrict (SMUD) recently approved a FIT policy, which will allow owners of small renewable energy systems in the company's area to sell excess energy back to it. Several areas in the United States have passed similar policies in recent years.
Droll Yankees Inc.(R) announced the addition of a new Nyjer Domed Cage Feeder (THDC-23Y), a hybrid of their popular New Generation Finch Flocker and Sanctuary lines.
Trying to sum up a few of the lesson learned while figuring out the best way to incubate and hatch cute chicks.
When honeybees are unable to store enough food for winter, the beekeeper must decide how to support the colony through the winter.
What needs doin' in the beeyard?
Families can now enhance their diet with Omega-3 fatty acids from their homegrown eggs.
Land O'Lakes Purina Feed helps address the lack of Omega-3, an essential fatty acid, in American’s diets with their latest innovative feed: Purina Layena Plus Omega-3.
Get a great idea for a bird feeder in this week’s Photo of the Week. Keep submitting your photos every week for a chance to be the Photo of the Week!
Is it really necessary to give my new chicks “chick starter” feed? Any reason why I can’t simply give them “layer” feed right away?
In this posting we discuss the role of the positive Arctic Feedback Factor in amplfying climate change. We also discuss how this feedback factor triggers the release of methane from the floor of the Arctic Ocean and from the permafrost.
This posting will discuss how clouds, volcanoes and water vapor effect the climate.
There are layer chickens, and there are broilers. We talk a lot about eggs, but now we'd like to hear your thoughts on raising and butchering your own meat chickens. Is it too much reality? Is it worth the unpleasantness?
It's time to start thinking of winter for your bees. They much have enough food to get through the long months when no food is coming in. It's your job to see that they do.
When and how to feed your honeybees.
A step-by-step guide, and benefits to growing sprouted grain fodder for your livestock as a natural alternative to commercial feed or as a pasture supplement.
Vermont passed a bill into law last week that established a feed-in tariff policy. The policy is one of the United States' first.
The Blacked-capped Chickadee, a frequent visitor to backyard bird feeders, loses a surprising amount of weight each night. Don't try this diet!
New feed is specially formulated to meet the unique nutritional needs of miniature horses and ponies
Purina Horse Feed is partnering with A Home for Every Horse and www.Equine.com to launch a horse feed coupon giveaway for rescue shelters.
The Farmers’ Almanac is a blend of useful information, entertainment and fascinating lore.
Great Pyrenees have a reputation as great livestock guardian dogs, but they also protect poultry. Read what two owners of Great Pyrenees have to say about the dogs’ innate ability to protect poultry and other livestock.
Unlike most poultry and chicken electrolyte products on the market today that treat hundreds of birds, Sav-A-Chick™ is ideal for casual poultry raisers with 1 – 10 birds.
A summary of our quest to find non-medicated chicken feed that has higher quality ingredients than the typical feed store bag of chicken food.
Easy-sew step-by-step instructions (with photos) to repurpose feed bags into handy totes.
The best sources of chicken nutrition, as outlined by specialist Jeff mattocks, include feeding birds whole wheat and field peas, and providing them space to peck on a polyculture pasture.
Feeding chickens sustainably means keeping them healthy by using a combination of free-range, good-quality commercial food, supplementing their diet with garden produce and perhaps even mixing your own poultry food.
The contest is in honor of National Wild Bird Feeding Month.
Try this expert advice to keep goats from getting out of the pasture.
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.
Of all the baby animals born on the farm — the chicks, lambs, puppies, calves — the goat kids are in a class of their own. Racing, playing, causing mischief, find out what makes kids so much fun and so invigorating to watch.
Beano, Rancho Cappuccino's resident guard donkey, appears to be experiencing maternal envy. Without a baby of her own, she's taken to borrowing (unasked, of course) the lambs and kids of the sheep and goats she protects.
The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy announces the new Heritage Turkey publication, Selecting Your Best Turkey for Breeding. The resource highlights on the history of Heritage Turkeys and how to raise the breed.
Most stock tanks aren’t designed to prevent the water from freezing. The tanks have no insulation, and the large area of water exposed to air doesn’t help either. Livestock owners frequently us a floating electric tank heater. But there’s a better (and less expensive) solution — solar livestock water tanks.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the American Egg Board are being sued for using $3 million in public funds to fight a phase-out of inhumane farming practices.
Last spring, I decided to raise my own free-range turkey for Thanksgiving. Here’s how that project turned out.
Raising endangered livestock, such as Mulefoot hogs, is good for the farmer as well as the future of heritage breeds.
It's true, under the right circumstances, livestock grazing does help build healthy soil. Here's how it works.
Help keep cages and water sources clean with Solway Feeder's horizontal watering nipples.
After the kidding is over, we take good care of our girls! And, the babies need to be bottle fed, so here are the instructions on how we feed our kids.
Funds will go to Honored American Veterans Afield and Feed The Children organizations.
Using an old-world technique, Russians are growing their own organic crops -- and it's working.
Consumer Reports has stated that it recently found arsenic in food, The United States' rice supply is contaminated with this "group 1" carcinogenic.
Although livestock guard dogs are the oldest and most traditional livestock guardians, Jan Dohner gives us a look at the other two livestock guardians – llamas and donkeys.
You’ve done your homework – examining your needs, situation, and breed preferences – and now you are ready to select your LGD. This is an expensive, long- term commitment of time and energy. This LGD will be protecting your farm and stock. Please take your time to choose your pup carefully.
This video slideshow combines photos and video clips of heritage livestock breeds that were present at various Mother Earth News Fairs.
Teaching a farm dog — a livestock guard dog — which animals to protect and which animals not to isn't an easy task. Learn about the protector/protectee animal relationships at Rancho Cappuccino, and about how the Rancho guard animals are taught to protect their charges.
Publisher Bryan Welch doesn't make his living on the farm, which he says is a good thing. He writes about his steps and missteps in his first year using an automatic waterer for his cattle, and the first winter test.
It's a challenge to describe the place where I take my livestock when it's time for them to cease being my companions, and to become my product instead. I call Steve's Meats in DeSoto, Kansas, the "packer." And, indeed, when I stopped off there this morning they had about 800 pounds of beef frozen and packed, ready for me to take home. It filled the freezer to the rim.
The voting outcome of Ohio's Issue 2 is seen as a win for industrial agriculture.
Confrontation with life and death situations are unavoidable when living on a farm. Seeing baby animals come into the world is beautiful, but sometimes these beautiful moments can be full of anxiety if things aren't going just right.
How I use baking soda to treat my ram that is prone to bloat.
The emotional realities of butchering and processing your own livestock.
Jenna has three new sheep on the homestead and she's already learning a lot.
Do you employ a livestock guardian to protect your flock or herd? We want to hear about it!
The time to prepare for livestock or pet emergencies is not when they fall ill, but before. Here are some basics so you and your critters are covered.
You don't have to depend on nature to feed your bees. Take matters into your own hands and plant enough good food for your bees, so they have good, safe food all year long.
Advice from a sustainable farming expert on how to get started with livestock on a small piece of land.
H1N1, or swine flu, didn't have to be the epidemic it is today. Are factory farms to blame?
Lyanda Haupt talks about the challenges and rewards of protecting her chickens and garden from local wildlife.
If you’re new to raising chickens, you might be a little intimidated setting up house for your new flock. Homesteader Jenna Woginrich offers a straightforward overview of getting started, from preparing a brooder to providing feed and water.
The best low cost (semi-reliable) options for getting animals and plants onto your homestead!
We had a dehorning and RE-castrating day at the farm today. We had to make the very difficult decision to dehorn three heifers that had not been properly dehorned as babies, which is when this should be done.
Today I gave the cows all a dish with a zinc mix, copper mix, and sulfur mix. I do this about once a week to see if they need to free choice those particular minerals. Today they liked the sulfur and zinc but did not eat much of the copper. It is amazing how farm animals know what they need and will take it if they need it.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Maine dairy farmer Dyan learns that giving up control, whether over a mischievous flock or a single lamb, can have its own rewards.
Maine and Minnesota Goat Schools are over, and a great time was had by all; Janice Spaulding recaps the events and prepares for the next one is in Ohio in September.
Livestock guard dogs were found in a sweep of cultures from southern Europe through Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and central Asia. They worked in the company of shepherds who often spent weeks on high summer pasture or on long migratory routes.
Check out these photos of some of the animals that attended the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR.
The peaceful tranquility of farm life is often more or less controlled chaos, especially during the busy spring season!
We know why we love heritage breed livestock, but why do you?
Although used less commonly than dogs or llamas, here is one more possibility for a livestock guardian – a guard donkey.
A growing number of homeowners are realizing how useful chickens can be in the backyard: They offer pest control, fertilizer, comedy relief, and their business end doles out concentrated protein like a Pez dispenser. Unfortunately, novice chicken-owners can encounter problems when they expect more than chickens can deliver, either in food, companionship or general co-operation.
If using a livestock guard dog is not the right decision for you or your farm, Jan Dohner takes an honest look at another option – the guard llama.
Jan Dohner explains how the different Livestock Guard Dog breeds were developed and introduces us to their differences in style of work, temperament and other behaviors.
Author Maggie Bonham recounts the various ways she's managed to obtain free goats, including Craigslist ads and trading for chickens.
In a previous post, “What is a Livestock Guard Dog?,” I described what livestock guard dogs do but it is also exceptionally important to know how they do this job. Understanding how not only helps us work with our LGDs but also explains why other breeds or crosses with non-LGD breeds are not likely to perform this same outstanding job.
Livestock guard dogs are an attractive choice for predator control on the farm. Jan Dohner gives us an honest look at the pros and cons of choosing a Livestock guard dog versus a guard donkey or llama.
Re-homed adult or rescue LGDs are another option when you are looking for a working livestock guard dog for your farm.
In our last few posts, we’ve been looking at the various breeds of livestock guard dogs. But before you start looking at advertisements or litters of puppies, there are a few more questions for you to ask yourself. They are centered on two broad issues – your predator problems and your farm or homestead.
In this post, Jan Dohner describes the different roles a livestock guard dog can perform on a farm or homestead - a full-time livestock guardian, a general farm guardian, or a family companion.
In Part One of this post, Jan Dohner explained how the different Livestock Guard Dog breeds were developed and introduces us to their differences in style of work, temperament and other behaviors. In Parts Two and Three, we take a brief look at some of the more common LGD breeds available in North America.
In previous posts, we have looked at how guard donkeys work and we’ve examined the pros and cons of using a donkey as a livestock guardian. If you are contemplating using a donkey, let’s look now at how to select a good candidate and how to integrate him or her into your stock.
New baby chicks for our backyard urban chicken flock.
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.
Guard donkeys and a good pen for nighttime can be vital to protecting new lambs and kids, especially with coyotes on the prowl. Find out how all it takes is one small mistake to produce fatal consequences on the farm.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is accepting public comment regarding a draft Guidance for Industry #187 — to clarify regulation of genetically altered animals.
It's hard to shop responsibly sometimes, especially for meat. There are so many different label claims that it's hard to remember which are meaningful and which are just fluff. Here's a handy reference card that will give more power to your purchases.
The Center to Expose and Close Animal Factories employs a strong legal background to take on industrial agriculture. Learn about their plan to clean up the business for good.
Jenna Woginrich discusses the more difficult aspects of homesteading, and why it's worth it anyway.
There are a lot of changes we'd like to see made to our food system this year. Add your own.
So, yes, I have become a lover of goats (and ducks have won me over, too). But the truth is, I can’t wait to eat the boys.
Loading cattle isn't fun, but it doesn't have to be (too) difficult
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my short time of being a goat herder, it’s that at breeding time, the goats are in charge.
Dyan writes about the changing season at Bittersweet Farm, and introduces us to the newest member of the flock, a black sheep named Little Man.
Suggestions for the interior of your chicken house, including; feed storage, access to nest boxes, dividing the chicken-living area, and making a loft for storing bedding material.
One week after moving our chickens, there now stands a chicken “duck and cover” shelter for them to dive under in the event of a hawk attack. It’s not perfect as a strategy, and the hawk may still get a chicken or two. But these magnificent birds crave a greater measure of freedom than they have in their chicken tractors, and I aim to see that they get it.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Dyan Redick divides her time differently these days, Before Milking and After Milking, in the wake of spring births on her Maine dairy farm.
As mama hens, is there ever really a time when we don’t worry about our little chicks?
The cold, hard facts about how Annie Warmke, goat herder extraordinnaire, found her calling in a barn with Eleonore Rigby and her two tiny kids.
Our guest blogger is positively enchanted by the convenience, not to mention the benefits, of keeping worms in the garden.
We folded down the back seats in our Subaru wagon, lined the whole back area with a heavy tarp and a thick layer of straw, and headed down to Nash's Delta Farm to catch us some ducks.
Becky Venn of Alpacas of Wintercreek explains why these gentle critters make great livestock.
The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy (ALBC) will be celebrating 35 years of success at their annual conference on November 9-10 in Cary, N.C. Whether you’re a hard core farmer or backyard hobbyist, the conference is sure to have something to ruffle your tail feathers.
Learn what a typical family homestead in the late 19th century produced: The diversity and efficiency is surprising and inspiring information for any modern homesteader! This is Part Three of a four-part series on the author's work to discover the history of her farm.
Learn what a typical Kansas family homestead in the late 19th century produced: The diversity and efficiency of their farm sales is surprising and inspiring information for any modern homesteader! This is Part Three of a four-part series on the author's work to discover the history of her farm.
An aging goose gains a family.
Check out these photos of some of the animal attendees at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR.
With the increase in small-scale farming activities, people are looking not only at backyard poultry but also into raising backyard livestock. This post is about Mary Jane Phifer’s experience with Irish Dexter cattle, a small-sized dual-purpose.
Here are three easy observations you can make every day to see how your animals are performing. Use them to constantly adjust your grazing program, instead of “flying blind” until sale day or weighing. They can help you adjust paddock size or give supplemental nutrients.
In Part One of this post, Jan Dohner explained how the different livestock guard dog breeds were developed and introduces us to their differences in style of work, temperament and other behaviors. In parts two and three, we take a brief look at some of the more common LGD breeds available in North America.
Raising dairy goats has benefits that extend beyond fresh milk and cheese.
Cow manure is a key indicator of bovine health and well being. After milk, it is the most valuable thing your cows will produce. Micro-dairy expert Steve Judge explains why it pays to get comfortable with cow manure.
Cowpies are a valuable source of clues about your herd's health and productivity. A quick look at manure consistency in the pasture can help you manage for peak profit.
Experienced LGD owners can easily come up with a list of myths, misconceptions, and misinformation about their dogs. A quick glance at various LGD forums, email lists, or Facebook pages will reveal that these misconceptions are not only widespread but they are also responsible for the majority of problems new LGD owners find themselves in.
Selecting a good potential guardian llama, bringing him home, and introducing him to your stock.
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.
Top bar hive modifications, turkey traps, and gourmet potatoes are just a few of the topics covered in the past week of blogging we've been up to. Homesteading healthcare and a new virtual book club round off the week with several reader comments.
Smithfield's hog farms produce a lot of meat and make a lot of money, but at what cost? Can we continue to look the other way as they pollute waters, abuse animals and terrorize their neighbors?
Rachel gets a scare with Daisy the goat - is it bottle jaw or something else? A trip to the vet provides some lessons.
A beginner farmer learns about taking on the responsibility of raising animals.
The accumulation and storage of hay is an essential summer task.
How and why we chose to have a livestock guardian dog and what they are like.
In this section you will find stories of real farmers across the country that made it work. You'll find their story, how they did it and who helped them. We hope these stories will inspire and educate new farmers, as well as land owners and community members to become involved in the new agrarian movement. A growing trust.
A permaculture-based, 2,000-acre farm in Northern California integrates grassfed livestock with orchard farming.
It has been fifteen months since heritage breed hog farmer Mark Baker sued the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to stop the implementation of an invasive species order (ISO). The swine ISO supposedly targeted feral swine but could be applied to any domestic pig not raised in confinement. Baker has yet to have his day in court and it is still not settled when his trial will take place. It is common for lawsuits like this to turn into wars of attrition; the state has virtually unlimited resources while the farmers are bled of theirs over the course of the litigation.
Dairyman Nick Snelgar reflects on the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health certification process and bagging hay for winter on his UK dairy farm.
So, what makes a flock of poultry sustainable? What is standard-bred poultry? If you purchase chicks from a hatchery, are they true to the breed? Why does every hatchery sell Rhode Island Reds and they all look different? Why do the Cornish Cross meat chickens have so many problems? Raising standard poultry is the only true way to improve the sustainability of quality local food while preserving the strength of Heritage poultry.
I am loving my time spent at the Mother Earth News Fair in Puyallup, Washington thus far. There are tons of great and interesting people to meet, delicious food, fun and information-packed lectures and demonstrations, and, best of all, adorable anima
Animal Husbandry tent experiences from Day 1 of 2011 Mother Earth News Fair.
As antibiotic resistant infections become more prevalent due to antibiotic use in livestock, health advocates turn to the White House for action.
The Department of Natural Resources seeks to fine a family for possession of prohibited swine.
This gift set of four farm-themed board books features illustrations that tell the story of a day in the life of each of four animals: chickens, goats, cows and pigs.
The results of our latest nutrition tests show that eggs from hens raised on pasture (true free-range eggs) exceed commercially raised eggs in vitamin D content.
Intensive grazing management can answer questions regarding field carrying capacity, how much forage your animals need each day and how to manage what you have. Pizza, anyone?
Raising chicks is easy as long as you pay attention to their needs for food, water, and housing. It also helps to learn their language.
Wendy Albright remembers visiting her grandparent's farm where practicing organic living was the preferred way of life; they exercised natural crop cultivation, gathered fresh chicken eggs, canned both vegetables and meat and the term "eating like a thrasher" became a reality.
The place I call home these days is The FarmSchool, a fertile 180-acre strip of ridge top in Athol, where 15 student-farmers are spending a year learning the ins and outs of growing food, managing forests, and raising animals for meat. I arrived at the farm in October, just as the leaves were reaching their peak brilliance. The Farm School — which offers three-day programs for schoolchildren, a summer camp, a full-time middle school, and the apprenticeship program I’m in — takes us through all seasons of farming, weaving together class work and on-farm training.
A few months back I heard a comment on an NPR radio program that really caught my attention. The program was about the local food movement and at one point the guest on the show said, “Now remember - just because it’s local doesn’t necessarily mean it has a smaller carbon footprint. That Argentinian apple that was shipped on a barge with thousands of tons of other apples may actually have required less fuel per apple than the apple than came from a few hundred miles away in the back on a farmer’s pickup.”
Jenna Woginrich writes about the beauty of Cold Antler Farm, a small homestead that she shares with Pig, her rabbits Benjamin and Doe and several chickens. Taking care of her animals on cold winter nights is a challenge for Woginrich, but one she gladly accepts armed with a water bottle and affection. Woginrich's modest barn provides shelter for her animals and a useful space to feel at home.