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The Super-Low-Maintenance Livestock That’s Easier Than Chickens And More Fun Than Rabbits …

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Whether you’re introducing poultry to your backyard farm for the first time, or adding to an existing operation that features chickens or other birds, ducks will not disappoint.

Ducks are excellent foragers who will find more than half their diet in your garden if allowed, cutting down your feed costs and helping with pest control. Some breeds are robust egg layers, producing 100-300 eggs per year. They are generally healthy and easy to care for, with few issues specific to domestication. Lastly, ducks are just plain fun to have around, with their silly waddle, quacking and tendency to splash around.

Whether your backyard is rural or more suburban, ducks will likely fit in. Among the meat-producing animals, ducks are second only to rabbits for ease of care. They can provide a great project for a young farmer, or someone who can only devote part-time hours to livestock management. With some helpful advice, almost anyone can have a good year with ducks, and there is a wealth of advice to be found. I’ve been fortunate to have a flock at a near neighbor’s house this year, and enjoyed the fruits of her labors. However, every year of success comes with its lessons. Here are some of the best tips learned for raising your first flock of backyard ducks:

1. Choose the breed that works for you

The Super-Low-Maintenance Livestock That's Easier Than Chickens And More Fun Than Rabbits ...

Image source: Pixabay.com

If you’re considering ducks, you’ve no doubt begun your breed research and learned that some breeds are better egg producers, while others are better for meat production.

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Many commercial ducks are flightless, but some will need wings clipped. Some breeds are noisier than others, and may be less cooperative with the needs of the neighbors. Do your research.

2. Learn about sheds and shelter

Because ducks have different roosting habits than chickens, they do not need elaborate housing. A well-enclosed shed with bedding and a raised platform provide the ducks with a place to hide, sleep safely, and lay. You will need to change bedding very frequently to keep ducks clean. Ready access to fenced forage will allow the ducks plenty of food and activity during the day; rotate the fenced yard bi-weekly or the ducks will turn it to mud.

3. Don’t forget water

All ducks need a reliable source of clean water, which is likely going to mean some kind of waterer and maybe a pool, trough or pond for bathing. Many backyard duck farmers use kiddie pools in their yard for the ducks during the day, and drain them at night. However, it is very important to watch young ducks with access to deeper water. They can tire when swimming and drown without proper supervision.

4. Watch for signs of bullying

You may be toying with the idea of getting a variety of ducks for your various needs. This can work out fine, with careful introduction of the birds and monitoring to ensure that larger birds are not bullying the smaller birds. This can be a problem with ducks of all one breed, as well, especially if you introduce new adults into an established flock. If you notice signs of bullying (feathers being plucked out, sores, listlessness, etc.) you may need to consider separating or selling some of your ducks.

5. Protect your eggs

The Super-Low-Maintenance Livestock That's Easier Than Chickens And More Fun Than Rabbits ...

Image source: Pixabay.com

Your shed or coop is more than just a shelter for your ducks; it will keep pests away from your eggs.

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If you don’t want your eggs stolen, install wire mesh over any openings to discourage rats and other pests from invading.

6. Use clean killing

When it’s time to butcher birds, clean killing with an axe or hatchet is generally the preferred method. To prevent the duck from flapping around during placement, insert its head into a cone or bag with hole cut out, so only the head and neck are exposed and it cannot flap its wings. This will help you with a humane and controlled cut.

7. Understand that backyard ducks are not grocery store ducks

Don’t automatically assume your ducks will be fatty when cooked. When roasting a whole hand-raised duck, assess the fat content of the meat before beginning. If it is less fatty, like turkey or chicken, inject butter beneath the skin or baste the duck with fat to keep skin crisp.

In short, ducks are a great way to get your feet wet with poultry. If you’re a little timid, find some of the great resources available, like, “Storey’s Guide to Raising Ducks,” or introduce yourself to a neighbor with ducks. Before you know it, you’ll be enjoying the satisfaction of providing your family with food raised at home, and any earlier uncertainties will be, well, like water off a duck’s back.

Have you ever raised ducks? What advice would you add? Share it in the section below:

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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

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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?

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Delicious Sauerkraut Recipe Every Homesteader Should Know

Why Make Sauerkraut?

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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.

Ingredients:

  • 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!

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Self Sufficiency

9 SPRING VEGETABLES FOR YOUR GARDEN

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

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.

Eggplant

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

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

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.

Pea

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.

Carrot

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.

Radish

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

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.

Asparagus

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!

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