pet and livestock first aid
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.
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?
Being prepared for canine emergencies.
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.
Get rid of poison ivy plants in your yard by following these instructions. Just don’t forget to protect your skin to avoid the effects of this rash-causing rascal.
Check what products and companies use animal testing with PETA’s “Be Nice to Bunnies” iPhone app.
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.
The Department of Natural Resources seeks to fine a family for possession of prohibited swine.
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.
Boy! Did I learn my lesson when I left our young pullets out back with our trusted dogs. I'll never do that again.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In an era of increasing volatility of the weather and climate, we need new coping skills. Preparedness is an important factor in dealing with bad weather events.
HealthyCoat offers high quality and a highly digestible source of Omega 3 & 6 essential fatty acids, Vitamin E and Lecithin, fortified with Niacin, Biotin and Vitamin B12.
Promote AIDS awareness, not just on World AIDS Day, but every day!
Odyssey Day embarked from Washington D.C. a few weeks ago as a nationwide effort to encourage and promote the use of petroleum-free fuel. The day is sponsored by the Department of Energy's Clean Cities, which has helped reduce petroleum use by almost more than 2 billion gallons so far.
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.
Tackling the GMO issue is a priority for food activists, but there are a number of perspectives on how to go about it. The Great GMO Debate will help you decide how and who should inform consumers about what biotech ingredients are lurking in their food.
Rachel gets a scare with Daisy the goat - is it bottle jaw or something else? A trip to the vet provides some lessons.
Fleas and ticks can bring severe itching, allergic reactions, discomfort, and even serious diseases (such as lyme disease) to your pets, so it’s important to protect your pets from them. However, studies have found that many common flea and tick control/treatment products aren’t just toxic to those bugs; they can actually poison your pets, as well. Find out which ingredients and products to avoid, and some safer alternatives to use.
Harrisons’ Pet Products Recover: A Complete Nutritional Formula is for sick or injured animals.
Dogs can perform a variety of useful tasks on farms and rural properties, but can cause problems if they stray.
Read dozens of reports of reader's homesteading adventures.
During a quiet, pre-dawn moment, an owl hoots softly. Is this connected with the bounty of mice and a big harvest?
Learn what to expect when you get to the sale barn.
Ready to start your first garden? To guarantee success with your first garden, stick with Barbara Pleasant's list of easy to grow vegetables. She has advice on when and what to plant for the first time gardener. Good luck on your first garden!
Branded as smarter capitalism, the Petition for a Green Recovery seeks a new kind of environmental policy to green America. Using financial incentives, this idea plans to create a marketplace that takes into account environmental and social costs while increasing the green jobs sector.
Timidity nearly doomed Johnny to a life sentence in the rescue kennel until one determined family saw through his issues to the dog he was meant to be.
In the event of a disaster, what would happen to your pet?
Cam is mourning the loss of his beloved dog Morgan.
How to select and find the right pet for you. Non professional guidelines.
An innovative partnership of bicycle advocates and a bike-friendly attorney aims to reduce crashes in South Carolina.
Through all of the tears and the heartbreak, I have found that having a pet makes us more human. Please why everyone should have at least one best friend that is furry.
With a well-designed dog pack, you can take your dog to the farmer's market and your pet won't mind helping you carry a few groceries.
A spray bar and squeegee for washing your pets, all in one tool!
ECO360 Trust produces sustainable T-shirts made from 100% recycled PET plastic water bottles. ECO360 Trust is a campaign of the non-profit Institute for Sustainable Communication.
There are many ways that each of us can lessen our unhealthy dependence on filthy fuels. You can do so in every area of your life, from choices you make regarding your house and home improvements, to food, transportation, and other consumer choices.
Fostering can help overcome an unexpected side effect of life in a rescue kennel---obesity.
Coping with SARDS (sudden acquired retinal degeneration) in dogs and practical ways to help a blind dog.
"The Rabbit-Raising Problem Solver" by Karen Patry will answer your questions about rabbit housing, feeding, behavior, health care, breeding and kindling.
As tick and flea season approaches, Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence won’t be dousing her dog, Rug, in flea medicine or attaching a flea collar because she knows that these can be harmful—both for Rug and for her. Flea collars often contain tetrachlorvinphos (TCVP) or propoxur, which can jeopardize Rug’s immune system and leave damaging lifelong effects.
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.
The Farmers’ Almanac is a blend of useful information, entertainment and fascinating lore.
Learn how to calculate best planting times for fall harvested crops.
Tour will highlight food and farming systems in Italy’s northern piedmont region.
Hand milking and the ease of doing so, always lends itself to many questions. I try to answer some of the most commonly asked questions in this post.
Squeezable packets eliminate the need to measure.
Shorter length and smaller kid friendly hand loop makes it easier for children to handle their four-legged friends
Not being a fan of frozen or canned carrots, I began to wonder how to store carrots under straw for winter to enjoy organic carrots throughout the winter. Living in Central Oregon where beach sand is not at the hand, I gathered garden straw from a local farmer. It is important that you know that straw for the garden has not come from crops treated with herbicides to control broad-leafed weeds.
No juice extractor? No problem! This easy method for making fresh, delicious apple juice will have you sipping in no time.
Why we adopt rescue dogs.
Michael Johnathon is a folksinger, songwriter, author and playwright. He also created and hosts the weekly national broadcast of the WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour, heard on over 509 public radio stations, American Forces Radio network in 173 nations. In this blog, Michael muses on discovering the joys of folk music and songwriting.
Adult dogs need a little help to compete with pups in the adoption game. A spa date with a groomer or in your own back yard can give that older shelter dog more than a shiny coat. It can open the door to a new life.
Organic Architect's Eric Corey Freed shows designers what green really means during Dining by Design, a charity event featuring tabletop installations in New York.
One of the newest apps for green car owners is Cleaner and Greener Fuels, which locates refueling stations for alternative fuel vehicles.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and West Missouri farmer Bryce Oates discusses why his family works so hard—both on and off of the farm—to practice subsistence farming.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel of Dog Island Farm covers the essentials of how to can safely.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and West Missouri farmer Bryce Oates shares his approach to improving soil health and preparing a soil microbe brew.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Dyan Redick considers how inextricably the lives of farmers and fishermen are intertwined in her coastal Maine town.
Sometimes even HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel of Dog Island Farm needs a reminder why she puts up with the goat feed, the chicken poop, the cat puke, and the never-ending mud. Here's a hint: It involves good food.
Facing massive snow drifts, HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Maine dairy farmer Dyan Redick forges a new path to her barn and finds inspiration in the process.
Tips on how to dispose of pet waste properly for National Dog Day!
Keep your pet safe by learning the dangers posed by certain flea- and tick-control products.
The benefits of adopting a pet. And the sadness that occurs when they die.
Our experiments with an Alaskan small log mill attached to our chainsaw had variable results making planks from downed trees.
Making Music on the Front Porch ... let's define what the musical Front Porch is.
Treat your cat to fresh spring herbs when you whip up this healthy homemade kitty food.
Try this expert advice to keep goats from getting out of the pasture.
Raising endangered livestock, such as Mulefoot hogs, is good for the farmer as well as the future of heritage breeds.
Last spring, I decided to raise my own free-range turkey for Thanksgiving. Here’s how that project turned out.
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.
In some circumstances, fruit pulp can be a good food for livestock. Here are a few examples of how it can be used.
It's true, under the right circumstances, livestock grazing does help build healthy soil. Here's how it works.
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.
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.
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.
Help keep cages and water sources clean with Solway Feeder's horizontal watering nipples.
Our Facebook fans gave us feedback on how to keep livestock water from freezing when the weather gets cold. Read their innovative tips to keep your own water warm.
The experience of growing one's first garden is a thrill one will never forget.
Summer intern Megan describes her first time gardening at MOTHER EARTH NEWS, planting cucumbers for the first time and watering the office garden.
People took a stand against one of the largest multi-national oil companies in the world and resolved to fight back against Shell’s plans to annihilate the Sacred Headwaters. And we were successful. After 5 years of incredible campaigning, community organizing, hard-hitting ads, protests and a storm of media coverage, Shell agreed to forfeit its tenures in the Sacred Headwaters and public pressure catalyzed the government of British Columbia to ban all further oil and gas development in the region.
Learn about advertising-induced fear of an innocuous, food-grade substance, vinegar. Plus, get interesting information about vinegar being used for bioremediation of extremely dangerous chemicals.
How one rural county without animal control regulations or a public pet shelter is working to make a better community for all residents — both humans and their companions.
A few hundred protestors from across the country arrived at the White House last month, the culmination of the two-week GMO Right2Know March that began in New York City on October 1. (Congratulations all you brave marchers - my feet ache just thinkin
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Bryce shares 5 things to consider before starting a farmstead—not the least of which being winter.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Rachel, of Dog Island Farm, argues in favor of her favorite chicken breed, the Buckeye.
Coming back to agriculture and the farming life, I think every farmer should spend time as a fisherperson. If that were the case, I have a hard time believing Industrial Agriculture would have ever taken its foothold. Manure runs downhill as they say
Folksinger Michael Johnathon is on tour nationwide. Visit his homepage: www.MichaelJohnathon.com
The Farm Aid concert is a chance for us to shine a spotlight on these people who work every day to put good food on our tables.
All of us farmers,large and small, are a big part of the engine that drives the economy
of rural communities, rural counties and rural states.This year, we are learning a lot about what happens when that engine sputters.
After months of waiting, worrying and hoping, the clouds finally arrived here at Yellabird Farm last week and brought us the long-sought gift of good rain. It was a great two days of slow and soaking moisture that the cracked soil guzzled up...
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.
The emotional realities of butchering and processing your own livestock.
How I use baking soda to treat my ram that is prone to bloat.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Do you employ a livestock guardian to protect your flock or herd? We want to hear about it!
Jenna has three new sheep on the homestead and she's already learning a lot.
This is a short video that shows some of the major highlights on the homestead during the month of February.
Share your snapshots of MOTHER EARTH NEWS topics by joining our community Flickr page.
Talking about the recent past week where we got several items crossed off the Spring to-do list and managed to have some fun while doing it complete with pictures to illustrate the good times.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Pennsylvania homesteading mama Michelle shares a few strategies and suggestions for healthier school lunches.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and West Missourian Bryce Oates explains how he and his family survive summer on the farm. Two words: swimming pool.
After a completely miserable potato harvest this year we’ve decided to pull them out of the ground and do them in boxes made out of pallets. That way we can use weedblock under them to eliminate the whole bindweed issue. So today, the boxes went up.
A recipe for sourdough starter.
How to Schedule your Planting by the Moon
The morning started off with a decent lecture on poultry operation, production, and marketing. After a midday break, lectures resumed, this time being led by a different fellow, on the subject of free-range, humane certified broiler production. I won
HOMEGROWN.org introduces Find Good Food, a new page that includes national and state-by-state resources for locating family farmed eats near you. Read it! Share it! Add to it! Make it your own—and help make it even better.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Maine dairy farmer Dyan Redick discovers a kindred soul in E. B. White when she reads the essay Memorandum, from his 1944 collection, 'One Man's Meat.'
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Bryce Oates sings the praises of mixed-species perennial pastures for in-between seasons—even if they don't fully alleviate the need for watching and waiting.
None of these items' primary use is for gardening or livestock keeping but here we are using them all the time. So here's my list of items that you should keep around if you are an avid gardener or own livestock.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Rachel shares the basics of landscape design.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Dyan recalls how the seasons affected her childhood and how they guide her activities now on her Maine dairy farm.
How to make your own homemade deodorant that really works!
The flowers weren't just there to be pretty. They provided a long blooming source of forage for our bees and the native pollinators.
Rachel describes how to turn her heirloom corn crop into beautiful blue corn tortillas!
Let’s break down the soap-making process and start scrubbin’ with homemade bars!
Earth Days, a poignant, 2009 Sundance Film Fesitval success, will premier on Facebook April 11, and on the PBS Network April 19.
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.
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.
H1N1, or swine flu, didn't have to be the epidemic it is today. Are factory farms to blame?
Advice from a sustainable farming expert on how to get started with livestock on a small piece of land.
Lyanda Haupt talks about the challenges and rewards of protecting her chickens and garden from local wildlife.
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.
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.
There are some goats you don't want, no matter if the price is right. In this case, the goat was free.
Since we began raising rabbits on our homestead, the phrase "breeding like rabbits" has taken on a whole new meaning to us. The sad fact is that domesticated rabbits don't "breed like rabbits." Here are a few tips that will help you make breeding more efficient and less stressful.
My journey and some of the challenges I experienced with the farm-to-table method. The struggles I faced while raising meat in order to eat more ethically and sustainably.
West Missouri farmer Bryce Oates explains why he has a problem with putting farmers, among others, on pedestals.
Just how many eggs can a chicken lay? The answer depends on several factors. Learn which choices you make can affect your hens’ egg production.
Check out these photos of some of the animals that attended the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR.
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.
We know why we love heritage breed livestock, but why do you?
The best low cost (semi-reliable) options for getting animals and plants onto your homestead!
The peaceful tranquility of farm life is often more or less controlled chaos, especially during the busy spring season!
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.
Farmers sure have their own way of talking — from the cadre of names for animals to the meaning of "shit," we'll explore and unravel some of the greater and lesser known sayings in Old Time Farm Talk.
Livestock guardian dogs are renowned for their protective instincts. They have been bred for thousands of years to be aware, work independently and to protect their charges at all costs. But do they also break up fights between quarreling livestock?
Wintering pigs outside is both fun and rewarding, if you plan accordingly. The most important aspect for pigs wintering outside is that they have adequate shelter and protection from the weather and cold. Water and proper forage, even during cold months, are also important.
Keep your pets from licking off herbal ointments by adding a pinch of cayenne.
Compassionate people without a county animal shelter organize a non-profit group to help low-income families keep their pets during hard times and to support Good Samaritans who take in abandoned pets
My first blog for MOTHER EARTH NEWS takes me back to a time when I didn't know I had a love of gardening. One of my first gardening experiences came during an unlikely encounter with my curmudgeon grandfather.
Find out how to feed rabbit babies using a goat's milk-based formula.
Alexander Goldberg’s first blog post, introducing himself, his chickens and his concerns for rare and endangered breeds of poultry. Alexander talks about poultry shows, his work with 4H and support for the Livestock Conservancy.
Tomatoes are the gray area of canning. They're not quite acidic enough to just straight can like fruit but the right amount of added acid can keep you from having to pressure can them. Here are the basics on canning tomatoes.
Worrying about keeping up with Justin's chores while trying to maintain my 8-5 day job was a losing battle.
I am the Flock-Tender here on HOMEGROWN.org. I am keeping a chronicle of my experiences learning, living, and growing a homegrown lifestyle fresh out of college. Am I doing this life right?
How-To Build a Hoop House; a collection of resources for growers.
Rachel and her husband committed to a year without groceries, and they made it! She shares her experiences in local food in this post.
Drought is hard on us out here in Farm Country. But drought in the midst of boiling hot summer is amongst the worst conditions I can imagine.
Hugelkultur is nothing more than making raised garden beds filled with rotten wood. This makes for raised garden beds loaded with organic material, nutrients, air pockets for the roots of what you plant, etc.
One thing I know for sure is that many in the local farm and food scene are working through the same issue. We are numbers people in search of numbers. We aren’t crazy unscientific loons like our industrial brothers and sisters think we are.
This fall, while the chickens were still living with the goats, we had decided to fence off the leg and seed it with pasture seed. I wasn't sure if we should seed it for the chickens or for the goats. After doing some research we ended up going with
Clearly the NACE considers “useless” degrees to be ones in which pay is low and availability of jobs is scarce. However, shouldn’t measuring the usefulness of an education take into account the actual benefits bestowed upon the person doing the study
We wanted to write up a post about asparagus to explain how farmers look at the crop, but also as a sort of apology to our customers. We have spent many hours in the field and on the phone seeking farmers with an existing asparagus supply. We had 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.
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.
An aging goose gains a family.
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.
Jenna Woginrich discusses the more difficult aspects of homesteading, and why it's worth it anyway.
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.
There are a lot of changes we'd like to see made to our food system this year. Add your own.
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.
Loading cattle isn't fun, but it doesn't have to be (too) difficult
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.
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.
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.
Our guest blogger is positively enchanted by the convenience, not to mention the benefits, of keeping worms in the garden.
Can I use a Great Dane as a LGD? Or a St. Bernard? How about a heeler and Golden crossbred? Being a LGD is not a job you can train any other breed to perform. LGDs are a specialized group of breeds.
Lindsay Fernandez-Salvador explains the best ways to use animal manure while organic farming.
An anecdote that illustrates a few of the realities of farm life and raising livestock.
As farmers, we know the importance of creating a milking environment that is clean and healthy for the animals. In Part 2 of Making Clean Raw Milk, we outline the steps needed to milk your cow or goat in a manner that keeps it clean.
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.
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.
Check out these photos of some of the animal attendees at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR.
Becky Venn of Alpacas of Wintercreek explains why these gentle critters make great livestock.
Meat, eggs and dairy from grass-fed animals provide superior nutrition. Join our nutrition testing program for proof you can use.
How big of a priority are good animal handling facilities?
Rabbits are a fabulously healthful, economical and ecologically sound source of meat, and they don’t have to be kept in hanging cages. Rabbits can be raised on pasture to produce food for your family while improving the quality of your land.
Cover crops are grown between planting seasons as a way to give back to the soil what cultivation takes from it. And cover crops aren’t just for large-scale growers—they can help you get the most out of your backyard vegetable garden too!
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.
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.
As antibiotic resistant infections become more prevalent due to antibiotic use in livestock, health advocates turn to the White House for action.
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.
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.
The EPA is now defining a CAFO (formerly confined animal feeding operation) as a Country Animal Feeding Operation.
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.
A beginner farmer learns about taking on the responsibility of raising animals.
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?
The accumulation and storage of hay is an essential summer task.
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.
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.
This week of my Polyface Farm summer internship included a forestry lesson from Joel Salatin, installing my first fence, and the introduction of Polyface’s new guardian dog puppy, Cody!
Animal Husbandry tent experiences from Day 1 of 2011 Mother Earth News Fair.
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
How and why we chose to have a livestock guardian dog and what they are like.
Soy is currently the leading source of protein in most animal diets, but mealworms offer a more efficient and sustainable alternative.
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.
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.”
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.