Connect with us

Self Sufficiency

Goats – A Homesteader’s Best Friend


In a situation where you are looking to prep for maximum self-sufficiency, you are probably considering adding livestock to your plans. Properly managed and raised, livestock can provide generations’ worth of value to your homestead. Raising goats, chickens and other livestock is an essential part of homesteading.

To get the very best ‘bang for your buck’ (no pun intended!), an animal which can provide meat and milk, and which has a relatively short gestational period, with multiple births common, is the ideal. An animal which can give both meat and milk provides all you need in the way of protein for essential survival. This is a good explanation of why your body needs protein:

“Protein is in every living cell in the body. Our bodies need protein from the foods we eat to build and maintain bones, muscles and skin. We get proteins in our diet from meat, dairy products, nuts and certain grains and beans. Proteins from meat and other animal products are complete proteins. This means they supply all of the amino acids the body can’t make on its own. Plant proteins are incomplete. You must combine them to get all of the amino acids your body needs.

It is important to get enough dietary protein. You need to eat protein every day, because your body doesn’t store it the way it stores fats or carbohydrates. The average person needs 50 to 65 grams of protein each day. This is the amount in four ounces of meat plus a cup of cottage cheese.” (via Medicine Plus)

Goat Farming

Goat Farming

Raising goats for preparedness

In my opinion, goats are the perfect stock for homesteading and prepping. They take the advantage over other options primarily due to their ability to subsist on very basic pasture and browse, unlike cows, who require significantly more grain, grass and additional forage in order to maintain optimum weight and output. While a cows will provide a greater volume of meat and milk, I believe the other disadvantages outweigh this. Cows can, and will, challenge fences for entertainment value, require a greater area for living space and shelter, and are far harder to handle for routine care.

Goats, however, are relatively easy keepers, and will be as happy and productive kept in a mostly wooded area as they will on acres of pasture. In fact, with access to woodland and browse, they will essentially ‘self-medicate’, finding plants and fauna to settle an upset rumen, or treat a parasite issue. They will, of course, require human intervention with medications if their issues become out of hand, but given the opportunity, they will often forage a solution alone.

Free The Last Stand T-ShirtFree The Last Stand T-Shirt

Under correct conditions, with adequate pasture rotation, goats require little in the way of prepping for their keep, and can be maintained fairly easily without the addition of feeds or grains. Indeed, goats are happier with access to browse – leaves, branches, other ground growing plants – than they are when presented with acres of lush grass. The barks, leaves and rough stems of the plants found growing in wooded areas take longer to digest in the rumen and therefore help them to stay warm in cold weather and stay full longer. They are straightforward in their requirements for housing; a simple three sided barn with a soft floor, which provides shelter from the wind and rain, will keep them happy. However, goats do hate to be wet and production will drop significantly if they expend their energy, shivering and trying to keeping warm.

How to Raise Goats

How to Raise Goats

Raising Goats – Breeds:

While there are breeds that are generally intended for either milk (Nigerians) or meat (Boers / Pygmys), there are those which will provide a good deal of both. Saanens and Nubians are good and popular examples of such breeds; does are heavy milk producers, providing a family with up to two gallons of milk a day, which can also be made into cheese and other dairy products, and extra bucks can be wethered (castrated, an easy at-home, two minute process) and raised for meat. The wethering process helps to keep the meat tender and reduce the ‘bucky’ taste it can otherwise have if the males are left intact. Also, bucks tend to run to more muscle than meat, making the result tougher and needing a longer cooking time.

Goat Breeds

Goat Breeds

There is a third option, but you will likely lose out in the milk department: Angoras. This adorable breed, which is of medium size (bucks are around 125-175lbs, does generally 80-100), is both a reasonably sized meat animal and an excellent fiber producer. The fiber can either be felted or spun to provide the means to make clothing and even footwear. They can be somewhat more high maintenance than dairy breeds, with greater tendencies towards parasites, particularly external ones, and if you give them access to brush and woodland while they are in coat, you’ll be picking VM (vegetable matter) out of the fiber for days.

That or you’ll lose the entire fleece because you have to ‘field shear’ it from the goat who is irretrievably stuck in thorn bushes, deep in the woods. Ask me how I know this. However, in conditions designed to preserve their fiber, the Angora goat is spectacularly efficient at producing volumes of fiber which can then be washed, carded and spun for use in a variety of clothing and household items.

baby goat

baby goat

Gestation for goats is between 145-151 days, and the large breeds tend to be mono- estrus, meaning that they cycle, or come into season, during a fixed period, usually late summer through early-mid winter. Good quality stock will milk right through the next breeding, only drying up briefly during the last 30-45 days of pregnancy. With proper planning, and a large enough herd, milk can be ‘on tap’ all year. Does with good bloodlines and proven hardiness should be chosen, and preferably two bucks from unrelated lines. Having just one buck puts all your eggs in one basket, and I am a huge proponent of never having just one breeding male, be it chickens, goats or cattle.

report this ad

Twice now I have found myself losing a male to sickness or a predator, and been left trying to source a good quality breeding male in short order. It almost always happens when season is about to start, when prices are highest. In a non-survival situation this is irritating and expensive, and if you were in a time where travel and internet connection was not possible, it would be even worse. So plan ahead for those annoying occurrences. Also, while line-breeding isn’t the end of the world, and can even be beneficial in some circumstances, you will eventually see a decline in the quality of your milkers if you ‘wind it too tight’ for too long.

goats milk

goats milk

Therefore, having a couple of diversely bred bucks is helpful in the long term. Bear in mind that while registered stock is usually preferable, in a prepping situation, papers are worthless. Rather, for these means, choose heavy milkers, paying close attention to the dairy scores on their pedigrees. Herds who have participated in the DHIR or milk testing program through the ADGA (American Dairy Goat Association) will give you a good idea of the does’ production capacity. There is a significant and noticeable difference among various qualities of blood line as it regards milk production, and you will do well to do your research before purchasing.

raising goats

raising goats

Never skimp on the quality of your buck. Many believe that the dairy capacity of a doe passes down to her buck kids, and thus he passes it to his offspring as he breeds your does. He is the greater majority of your herd, and must be chosen carefully for the traits you wish to see in your herd – in this case, excellent mammary capacity in the dam, and a good size stature in order to produce kids which will give a good amount of meat. Goats tend to kid easily, with minimal assistance from human beings.

Single kids are more usually seen in first pregnancies, with twins and triplets being fairly common afterwards. Quads and quints are less usual, but are seen. In my experience they are mostly seen at 3am when you’re half asleep and you only brought three towels to the barn. You’re not a seasoned goat keeper until you’ve had to strip off your jacket and / or shirt to catch a bonus baby in!

baby goats

baby goats

While goats are pretty self-sufficient, there are a handful of medications you should probably have on hand in their very own prep box. A simple teat dip, to keep the milking process sanitary and to prevent ingress of bacteria into the udder, can be made with a mixture of water, rubbing alcohol and tea tree oil. To your box, also consider adding LA200 and PenG (antibiotics), ‘Today’ and ‘Tomorrow’ (mastitis treatments), BoSe (selenium supplement), Maalox (for upset rumens), C&D antitoxin (in case of plant poisoning or enterotoxemia), activated charcoal and Vitamin B complex. There are many other things that you would have in a perfect world, but these are simply the things I would have as a bare minimum.

But for all this to work, for the goats to fit into your prepping plans and to add real value to them, as opposed to creating more work, it is imperative to buy quality stock. Low quality animals may come with existing illnesses that cause them to have problems kidding, produce weak kids, bring sickness onto your property, or even transmit illness to your family through the meat or milk. Responsible breeders usually test for common illnesses such as CAE, CL and Johnes, and keep reliable records of antibiotics given and other medical issues. By reviewing all this before you purchase, you will give yourself the very best chance of having a thriving farmstead to add to your prepping arsenal.

Read more from Katy at Poppy Creek Farm!

Originally posted on June 10, 2014 @ 2:13 PM



Suggested Videos

This Article Was Found On Read the Original Article

Continue Reading

Self Sufficiency

NYC Adds Nearly 4,000 People Who Never Tested Positive To Coronavirus Death Tolls

New York City added nearly 4,000 people who never tested positive for the coronavirus to its death toll Tuesday, bringing coronavirus-related deaths in the city to around 10,000 people.

The city decided to add 3,700 people to its death tolls, who they “presumed” to have died from the virus, according to a report from The New York Times. The additions increased the death toll in the U.S. by 17%, according to the Times report, and included people who were suffering from symptoms of the virus, such as intense coughing and a fever.

The report stated that Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio decided over the weekend to change the way the city is counting deaths.

“In the heat of battle, our primary focus has been on saving lives,” de Blasio press secretary Freddi Goldstein told the Times.“As soon as the issue was raised, the mayor immediately moved to release the data.”

The post New York City added nearly 4,000 people who never tested positive for the coronavirus to its death toll appeared first on Daily Caller

This Article Was Originally Posted On Read the Original Article here

Continue Reading

Self Sufficiency

How To Make Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut In A Mason Jar

The thing about homesteading is you get to create your own ingredient right from scratch! Cheese, yogurt, butter and now sauerkraut, a delightfully sour and crunchy ingredient you can use on your meals — or consume by itself — while on a homestead, or while facing this health crisis!

This homemade sauerkraut is a great meal because it has a long shelf life. You can either make plain sauerkraut or mix it with herbs and spices. In this tutorial let us make Lacto-fermented sauerkraut that preserves all the good probiotics in a jar, good for your guts.

So how to make sauerkraut in a mason jar?

RELATED: How To Make Buttermilk On Your Homestead

Delicious Sauerkraut Recipe Every Homesteader Should Know

Why Make Sauerkraut?


Not only does sauerkraut spoil a long time, but it is also a meal in itself, and it is also easy to make! You don’t need to be an expert cook, all you need to do is follow these simple steps.

So let us get started. Here are the steps in making sauerkraut in a mason jar.


  • 1 head of cabbage or 2 1/2 lbs cabbage
  • 1 tablespoon of salt

Tools Needed:

  • knife
  • bowl
  • mason jar
  • smaller jar
  • rubber band

Step 1: Wash & Clean the Tools & Ingredients

Wash all the equipment and utensils you need. Wash your hands too.

You don’t want to mix your sauerkraut with bad bacteria, anything that is going to make you sick.

Next, remove the faded leaves from your cabbage. Cut off the roots and the parts that don’t seem fresh.

Step 2: Cut the Cabbage Into Quarters & Slice Into Strips

Cut your cabbage into quarters and remove the core. Then, slice it into strips.

Step 3: Place in a Bowl & Sprinkle With Salt

Put the stripped cabbage into a bowl. Sprinkle the cabbage with 1 tablespoon of salt.

TIP: Use canning salt or sea salt. Iodized salt will make it taste different and may not ferment the cabbage.

RELATED: Homemade Yogurt Recipe

Step 4: Massage the Cabbage

Massage the cabbage for five minutes or more to get the juice out.

TIP: You’ll know it’s ready when you see a bit of juice at the bottom of the bowl and will look similar to coleslaw.

Step 5: Press Cabbage Into the Mason Jar

Add the cabbage to the mason jar gradually. Press it in hard to allow the juice to come out. Do this every time you add about a handful of cabbage.

IMPORTANT: Food should be covered by the liquid to promote fermentation. Add any excess liquid from the bowl to the jar.

Step 6: Press a Smaller Jar Into the Mason Jar

You want to squeeze every ounce of that juice from the cabbage. To do this place the mason jar in a bowl and get a smaller jar.

Fill it with water or marble to make it heavy. Press it into the bigger mason jar. Allow any juices to rise to the surface.

Step 7: Cover the Jars With Cloth & Tie With Rubber Band

Leave the small jar on. To keep your jars clean from annoying insects and irritating debris, cover your jars with a clean cloth. Then, use a rubber band to tie the cloth and the jars together, putting them in place.

Step 8: Set Aside & Check Daily

Set it aside in a cool dry place, away from direct sunlight. Check the water level daily. It should always be above the cabbage.

Step 9: Taste Your Sauerkraut & Keep at Cool Temperatures

Homemade Sauerkraut Cumin Juniper | How To Make Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut In A Mason Jar

After about five days, you can taste your sauerkraut. If the taste is to your liking, tightly cover it with the lid and store in the fridge or cellar.

NOTE: If after five days it’s still not your desired taste, leave it for a few more days. This will allow the fermentation process to continue.

You can now enjoy your sauerkraut in a mason jar. Enjoy its goodness! You can use it as a side dish or mix it with your favorite sandwich.

Things to Remember in Making Sauerkraut

  • Store away from direct sunlight and drafts.
  • Colder weather will make the process longer. Spring is the best time to make them since the warmth helps activate the fermentation.
  • Always make sure that the cabbage is below the water level during the entire fermentation process.
  • If the water level decreases during the fermentation process, you can make a brine and add it.

Let us watch this video from Kristina Seleshanko on how to make delicious Lacto-fermented sauerkraut in a mason jar!

So there you have it! Making Lacto-fermented sauerkraut in a mason jar is as easy as slicing the cabbage into strips. Remember that as long it remains unopened, your sauerkraut can last for months. Best of all, you can partner this sauerkraut in many recipes.

What do you think of this homemade recipe? Share your best sauerkraut recipe in the comments section below!

Fellow homesteaders, do you want to help others learn from your journey by becoming one of our original contributors? Write for us!


Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook!



Suggested Videos

This Article Was Found On Read the Original Article

Continue Reading

Self Sufficiency


Having plants in the house will bring peace to people. Having a little garden with vegetables is even better! You can grow these vegetables in your backyard garden easily as well!

RELATED: Microgreens Growing Guide

In this article:

  1. Tomato
  2. Eggplant
  3. Beet
  4. Spinach
  5. Pea
  6. Carrot
  7. Radish
  8. Cauliflower
  9. Asparagus

Growing veggies in your garden will give you an opportunity to understand what you eat and value it more. Early spring is when most vegetables are being planted. Keep reading to learn about 9 spring vegetables that anyone can grow in their garden!


Tomato is the most popular garden vegetable in the States! There are different varieties to choose from. Tomatoes need to be planted in early spring because they won’t survive a frost.

Because tomatoes are consumed daily, try adding them to your garden! They’re not difficult to grow either.


Eggplants are known to have low-calorie, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Plus, they are delicious! So why not plant them in your garden?

Eggplants shouldn’t be planted too early because they won’t be able to survive a frost. So you could consult an expert in your area before you plant your eggplants.


Beets are known to be a superfood for its various health benefits. They’re easier to grow in the garden, usually around late March or early April.

If the weather is always cool, beets will keep getting bigger and bigger. Once the weather starts to warm up, you’ll need to harvest them, or they’ll go to waste.


Spinach is a delicious early spring veggie, and it’s also very beneficial for health. And it’s not difficult to grow spinach in your garden!

Spinach needs cold weather to grow. Getting spinach to grow is easy, but keeping it growing will require some extra care.


Peas are usually planted in late April. Peas will die in freezing temperatures, but they also won’t survive the heat either. So make sure you plant your peas in early spring.

Peas are widely used in many different ways, and there are different types of peas. The soil you’ll be planting your peas should be suitable for them, so make sure you ask while buying seeds.


There are different types of carrots, but regardless of their size and color, it’s a fact that carrots are both delicious and rich in vitamins.

They’re root vegetables, so with proper sun and watering, they can be picked up as baby carrots as well.


A radish is an excellent option for beginners because it doesn’t require too much care. Radish is easy to harvest.

Radish grows fast, so it’s better to keep an eye on it after a few weeks. Radish usually is grown pest-free, but there’s always the chance of unwanted guests, so watch out for worms. Radish can be eaten raw or can be added to garnish recipes.


Cauliflower isn’t the easiest vegetable to grow at home, but it is very popular.

Cauliflower grows better in colder weather, so before you plant it, consider the climate of your garden. Cauliflower can be eaten raw or cooked, and it is known to be very beneficial for health.


Freshly picked, tender asparagus is very delicious!

Asparagus plants get more productive with each harvest, and mature asparagus harvest can last for months! Make sure you plant them at the correct time, or else they might go to waste.

All the vegetables listed above are great for your healthy diet, and it’s fun to watch them grow. So don’t miss out on the opportunity to grow your own veggies and eat healthy this spring!

So tell us which veggies will you be growing this spring? Tell us in the comments section!




Suggested Videos

This Article Was Found On Read the Original Article

Continue Reading