Homestead Living and Livestock

Practical skills for modern homesteading, sustainable agriculture, and self-sufficient urban or country living.

Is This Breed a Livestock Guard Dog?

By Jan Dohner

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.

The Best Guard Dog for Your Homestead

By Barbara Pleasant

Find the best guard dog for your homestead with these training tips and advice on guard dog breeds. Originally published as “Choosing and Training a Watchdog” in the April/May 2006 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Selecting a Working Livestock Guard Dog Puppy

By Jan Dohner

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.

Farm Dogs: Guarding, Herding and Helping

By Elizabeth Barnes, DVM

Learn how to train and care for farm dogs to help with herding and guarding. Originally published as "Working Like a Dog" in the June/July 1998 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.


Small-Scale Haying on the Homestead

By Cindy Dayton

Small plots of forage can be harvested for animal feed on the homestead, without the use of expensive haying equipment.

Learning to Homeschool on the Homestead

By Kat Ludlam, Willow Creek Farm

Having a homestead offers so many opportunities for kids to learn in real-life, hands-on ways, while building the family unity.

Chicken Behavior: The Dust Bath

By Fala Burnette, Wolf Branch Homestead

The dust bath is an important part of chicken behavior. Learn why it is so valuable to their well-being, and how to make your own dust-bath mixture for them!

Chicken Behavioral Problems

By Anna Twitto

Learn how to protect your flock from an often overlooked challenge, and that’s mediating disputes between members of your flock.

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