An Introduction to Heritage Breeds

An Introduction to Heritage Breeds

Thinking about starting a farm with heritage breeds? If you are new to this topic, you may enjoy An Introduction to Heritage Breeds: Saving and Raising Rare-Breed Livestock and Poultry by The Livestock Conservancy. This excellent beginner’s resource starts with the basics—defining breeds in general and heritage breeds in particular. It discusses the plight and importance of rare breeds, as well as the necessity to … Continue reading An Introduction to Heritage Breeds

Cover Crop Decision Tool

Cover Crop Decision Tool

Looking for the right cover crop? Give this Cover Crop Decision Tool from the Midwest Cover Crop Council a try. First select from one of the following states: Iowa. Illinois. Indiana. Kansas. Michigan. Minnesota. Missouri. Ohio. Ontario. Wisconsin. Then choose options that take into account your growing conditions: County (for frost/freeze date estimate). Planting and harvest dates. Drainage situation. Finally, fine-tune your choices by noting … Continue reading Cover Crop Decision Tool

Shetland Sheepdog

Shetland Sheepdog

The Shetland Sheepdog dates back to the Viking invasions of the 9th and 10th centuries. The fierce invaders who colonized the Shetland Islands brought with them small herding spitzes to tend their livestock. These dogs were ideally suited to the harsh climate of the islands, being quite hardy. In the 1470s, however, the Shetland Islands became part of Scotland. The Scottish introduced their own farm … Continue reading Shetland Sheepdog

Rottweiler

Rottweiler

As invading Roman armies traveled, they tended to leave a trail of abandoned dogs in their wake, no matter where they went. The dogs were large and mastiff-like, but they were kept to herd sheep and cattle to feed the soldiers. As the livestock was eaten up, surplus dogs were left behind. One area that became the residence of a sizeable population of abandoned Roman … Continue reading Rottweiler

Redbone Coonhound

Redbone Coonhound

Foxhounds had a long tradition in Virginia, earning a place on large plantations well before the American Revolution. However, after the war, Americans began moving westward, taking their dogs with them. In the backwoods of the South, they started to run into difficulties—foxhounds were bred to chase foxes across the land to their burrows. Many American game animals could climb trees, confusing the dogs. In … Continue reading Redbone Coonhound

Pointer

Pointer

Sometime after 1650, a new kind of dog came into being all across Europe. This dog was the result of mixing various breeds of foxhound, bloodhound, greyhound, and setting spaniel types. Its original purpose was to partner with greyhounds in chasing down hares. The new dog went ahead of the hunters to sniff out the quarry. On finding the game, it froze in a crouching … Continue reading Pointer

Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever

Water dogs have been important to Canadian fishermen since the 1600s. Dogs were used for everything from retrieving nets to towing boats. Short-haired dogs were preferred, as their coats did not collect ice, but few other specifications were viewed as important. Depending on where they were from, Canadian dogs were referred to as Newfoundlands, Labradors, or St. John’s Dogs. Because the Canadian water dogs also … Continue reading Labrador Retriever

Kuvasz

Kuvasz

The Kuvasz is an ancient flock guardian breed hailing from Hungary. Experts have long debated how this dog originated. One common theory in past was that the Kuvasz was a close relative of the Komondor, which in turn was thought to have been introduced by the Magyars. But two pieces of archaeological evidence refute this opinion: Ancient remains of the Komondor connects it with the … Continue reading Kuvasz