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Why Goats Are The Perfect Livestock For Your Sustainable Farm

Goats on the homestead may be the perfect livestock regardless of the size of the parcel you own or are leasing to create a sustainable farm. If living in a “right to farm” state, you may even be able to keep a pygmy or dwarf goat in a suburban backyard.

Goats On The Homestead: The Perfect Livestock For Your Farm

Even though Nigerian dwarf goat and pygmy goats are small in size, they are still enormous weed eaters. Any chore you can take off the daily “to do” list on the homestead is a time, energy, and money saver! Whether you decide to pen or free-range you goats, pygmy and dwarfs should be easier to keep contained than their standard-size peers because they cannot jump as high and would have to be able to climb up and out of their enclosure.

Goats On The Homestead: The Perfect Livestock For Your Farm | Goats On The Homestead
Goats can share the same living space as miniature donkeys and ponies when a patient and calm introduction occurs between the various breeds of livestock. Introduce the animals at a graduated pace over the course of several days if planning to free-range them together or if they will share space in a single barn.

Both breeds are known to be so docile they are rarely ever de-budded (horn removed) when place in petting zoos. Children of lower elementary school age often keep goats for their 4-H projects. Teaching children homesteading skills should begin at a young age, another reason small stature goats can be of value on the sustainable farm.

Weaver Leather Livestock Brahma Webb Goat Halter, BrownWeaver Leather Livestock Brahma Webb Goat Halter, Brown Weaver Leather Livestock Brahma Webb Goat Halter, Brown

  • Stylish show halter blends well with the color of the goat
  • Solid chain lead with snap allows for quick and easy attachment to a pen or gate
  • Brahma Webb material is weather resistant and easily wipes or rinses clean

At least 4-H programs now allow several classes other than market for goats – meaning the animals do not have to be slaughtered and are returned to their youthful owners. In some areas “Kids Raising Kids” allow for an early introduction to learning goat care through 4-H programs. Specialized partnership projects between older 4-H and FFA members with children with disabilities also now exist and permit goats as project animals.

More than 200 different breeds of goats are currently in existence. Although some are bred solely for meat or milk production due to their natural attributes for either, female goats from all breeds can be milked and meat can be harvested from each breed as well.

Goat milk is far sweeter than cow’s milk and is often regarded as being more acceptable to folks who suffer from lactose intolerance problems.

Nigerian Dwarf Goats

These small dairy goats on the homestead are capable of producing up to one-half gallon of deliciously sweet milk in a single day. You won’t be able to get as much milk from a dwarf as is possible with a standard-size goat, but the investment in a dwarf goat both from a purchase and maintenance standpoint.

Both Nigerian dwarf goats and pygmy goats originated in Africa and can live for up to 15 years, on average. They also typically weigh between 50 and 100 pounds once they reach maturity around two years old. Wethers, or castrated male goats, and billy goats – intact males tend to weigh slightly more than doelings (young female) or nanny goats – mature female.

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Pygmy Goats

This breed of meat goat is often praised for its docile personality and sturdy body that basically resembles a barrel. The small stature meat goats will not produce as much protein as a standard-size goat, but again, the space a pygmy goat will require to roam, be housed, and the amount of feed required during the winter are substantially less than larger goats. Basically, you get a good bang for your buck while raising your beef and dairy products.

Pygmy goats can earn their keep in weed-eating and breeding sale even if you never plan to butcher the cute little things. The price for Nigerian dwarf and goats and pygmy goats varies depending upon location and time of year, but they each typically sell for between $85 and $125 each. Goats on the homestead usually give birth to a single kid in their first litter, but in all subsequent litters twins (sometimes triplets) are typically born. They are known to be a very fertile breed.

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  • Comes with a case,it is convenient for carring.
  • Rotate button which helps blade pressure can be adjusted for different thickness.
  • The powerful motor is quiet and low vibration ,suitable for every livestock by changing the shearing head (not included).

Free-Ranging Goats

Free-Ranging Goats | Goats On The HomesteadFree-Ranging Goats | Goats On The Homestead
Our first goat was trained to free-range after just a few days tied out on a chain and being taken on leashed walks around the homestead to learn her boundaries.

The small goats on the homestead require significant less housing and grazing space – and cost a whole lot less to winter over than standard-size goats. Many a farmer over the centuries has lamented over goat housing woes. The medium-sized livestock is notoriously difficult to keep inside a fence…any fence.

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  • Comes with a case,it is convenient for carring.
  • Rotate button which helps blade pressure can be adjusted for different thickness.
  • The powerful motor is quiet and low vibration ,suitable for every livestock by changing the shearing head (not included).

In a concerted effort to maximize the benefits of having goats on our large homestead and to curtail the common frustrations so often associated with keeping goats, I decided to free-range our herd. Fellow homesteading and rural friends that have also raised goats thought I was completely nuts – at first.

Free-Ranging Goats | Goats On The HomesteadFree-Ranging Goats | Goats On The Homestead
Train just one goat at a time to free-range to avoid the herd running off for greener pastures the first chance they get. The process seems to work more smoothly when the first two goats taught to free-range will be a breeding pair.

Shockingly, the process of teaching goats to free range went both quickly and quite easily. I started with just one goat, a 3-year-old female. We kept her on a long chain for just two days to allow her to get acclimated to her new home, before putting her on a lead strap and going for walks to learn her territory.

Pearl, a pygmy goat, bonded with my female blue heeler almost immediately – another thing seasoned goat keepers said would never happen. On day three I let Pearl off the lead strap and allowed her to roam about supervised, with Jovie.

The goat and dog played and romped and ran along behind me during 4-wheeler rides. Although Pearl still has not become taken with Jovie’s brother, Ruger, the dogs and the free-range herd of goats get along just fine.

Initially, the horses and mini donkeys did not know what to make of Pearl and refused to intermingle in the barn – but that too soon subsided after the massive horses realized the tiny goat was not a threat.

Even though I care for the most bull-headed mare on the planet, no kicking, biting, or any other bad behavior ever occurred between her herd and the pygmy goat.

Once the first goat was comfortably free-ranging, we purchased her a mate and embarked upon the process all over again. The second time was even simpler.

“Not Negan,” a dwarf billy goat, was only kept on a chain for 24 hours – it was abundantly clear Pearl was in charge and he was going to follow her everywhere and never leave her side. Be prepared for the pungent “Billy Goat Musk” smell, apparently, the mating prowess scent emitted by billy goats is not at all diminished due to size!

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Goat Care Tips

  • Goats are ruminant livestock – like cows. Contrary to common belief, cows do not have four stomachs but four chambers in their stomach – like goats, sheep, deer, and elk – among a handful of other animals but wild and domestic. The ruminant is one of the stomach chambers and when it gets out of whack, bloat occurs and must be treated quickly or a painful death could result. Drenching small goats with a 1 to 1 ratio of a mineral oil and baking soda – with a few drops of peppermint essential oil thrown in should break up the thick gas bubble rather quickly. Standing the goat up on its hind legs and gently rubbing the sides of its stomach should help produce the needed belching or flatulence.
  • Dwarf and pygmy goats should eat up to 2 and a half pounds of hay or forage materials per day to get the nutrients they need and keep their stomach balance in check.
  • Goats should be wormed about four times per year.
  • Goat hooves must be trimmed regularly to prevent a painful and potentially debilitating deformation and rot from occurring. A farrier can perform the service for a nominal fee or you could quite easily learn how to properly trim and buy the needed file from a local agricultural supply store for around $25.
  • Goat fencing could be comprised of upturned pallets with either barbed-wire or high-tensile wire woven in between the slats – or just the wire firmly mounted to T-posts. Electric fencing is another option but is not always durable enough to deter a goat from running through it or hooking it with horns to pull it down.

Living Traditions Homestead shows a video of the best dairy goats for homesteading:

What do you think about having goats on the homestead? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Up Next: Why Are Goats The Best Animal To Have On Your Farm

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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?

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.

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!

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

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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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