Category Archives: In the Barnyard

Your homestead dog

Jackie Clay-Atkinson

I’ve had dogs on my various homesteads for more than 50 years now and wouldn’t think of having a dog-free homestead. My dogs have been wonders, having warned me against prowlers and rattlesnakes, run off bears, coyotes, wolves, hawks, and foxes. They’ve helped herd cattle and goats, told me when we had company, pulled sleds, played with my children, helped me hunt birds and rabbits, and killed varmints like ground squirrels and gophers. Heck, they have even brought in firewood! But most of all, a good dog gives us companionship and undying friendship. They’ll cheer you up with their antics and lick away your tears, expecting nothing in return.

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Tanning sheepskins

By Lacey Jean

“I would sleep on this. And wear it! I would bring it everywhere!” one cherub-cheeked youngster exclaimed as he pressed his face into the sheepskins hanging in my farmers market booth. Others stroked the tightly woven curls of wool and plunged hands deep into its fibers. Kids just get it. They don’t need to be told how to use sheepskins. At one time, I had my own sheepskin awakening at a market when I asked the vendor what I could use it for. Her eyes lit up as she said, “Well…”

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Why not add a dairy goat to your homestead?

By Jackie Clay-Atkinson

With grocery store milk prices climbing up to more than $4 a gallon, a lot of folks wish they had a milk cow. But cows require a large pasture and substantial barn. They also eat a lot, which means buying large amounts of hay and grain throughout the year. Then there’s the problem of getting them bred every year. Artificial insemination is definitely possible, but timing and even noticing your cow’s heat period is often challenging, resulting in a cow that doesn’t get bred. And hauling the cow to visit a bull requires a trailer and experience getting the cow into the trailer. No wonder so few homesteaders have cows!

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Keeping dairy goats

By Karen M. House

Back in the early nineties, my husband and I started thinking about getting dairy goats. We were looking at the likelihood that things in the United States would soon go south, and at the time we had three children. We thought having a source of dairy products would be a good idea on our little homestead. That way, we would have milk and cheese for calcium and protein, to supplement the vegetables we could grow in a garden.

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