Category Archives: In the Barnyard

These six easy tips will help protect your dog’s health

By Krista Lawson

Pull into the driveway of any rural farm or homestead and you are bound to be greeted by a dog or two. Dogs become an integral part of many homesteads as livestock and property guardians or hunting dogs. Living in rural areas, we value our dogs for companionship as well. They often become part of the family. Keeping our homestead dogs healthy, and finding minor issues before they become major problems is important.… Read the rest

Off to a good start — newborn goats and the first days of life

By Donna Insco

Baby animals born on the farm are a rite of spring, and few things are more appealing than young goat kids cavorting in the fields. But the road to healthy newborns actually starts the fall before.

I start preparing for spring kids the first day of August by doing two things: I make my final decision on which female kids to keep as replacement does, and I remove the buck from all contact with the rest of the herd.… Read the rest

Jersey Giants: The triple-purpose chicken

By Patrice Lewis

We’ve raised chickens for years, both for eggs and meat. Getting eggs from chickens is easy. Getting meat … well, not so much. No matter how many times you hear about various breeds being touted as “dual purpose” — good for eggs and meat — the meat part is likely to be disappointing. The bird that goes in your freezer is likely to be about the size of a skinny “rubber chicken” rather than the fat roasters you see on the rotisserie at Costco.… Read the rest

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!… Read the rest

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.… Read the rest

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.… Read the rest

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.… Read the rest