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

What is a Landrace Breed?

What is a Landrace Breed?

A landrace is a group of genetically related animals unique to a given geographical area. Landraces come about over time as animals within the area interbreed for many generations with relatively little outside influence. The fact that all of the animals within the population descend from the same set of ancestors, whether those ancestors came from one source or many, creates a certain level of … Continue reading What is a Landrace Breed?

Milk Production in Beef Cattle

Milk Production in Beef Cattle

If you have been searching for the right beef cattle breed for your new farm, you undoubtedly have come across plenty of promotional literature published by breed organizations. This material usually includes long lists of the benefits of the breed in question, such as calving ease, rapid weight gain, or meat tenderness. One characteristic commonly touted is a cow’s milk production. This may give you … Continue reading Milk Production in Beef Cattle

What are Scurs

What are Scurs?

Scurs are horny growths that give some livestock owners concern.  When a scurred animal is young, it may look for all the world like it will grow up to have horns.  Fortunately, this is not the case. Cattle, sheep, and goats can all develop scurs.  In goats, however, scurs are actually true horns that have been damaged in a bad disbudding job.  In cattle and … Continue reading What are Scurs?

Get Ready for October 2016

Get Ready for October 2016

October is just around the corner! Are you ready to start a business, explore nature, and live by faith? Start and run your own small farm business. Find out how livestock are upgraded. Explore options for super-small-scale farms. Identify the wildflowers and grasses of Kansas. Love God with all your mind. Save money on seeds. See the stars. Understand the importance of the 100th meridian … Continue reading Get Ready for October 2016

The Changing Face of American Agriculture: Part 3

The Changing Face of American Agriculture: Part 3

High Tech Many involved in agriculture, commercial or entrepreneurial, feel that technology will shape the future. The Internet continues to evolve into the driving force in agriculture. Cutting-edge agripreneurs rely on the Internet to market their produce, but even commodity markets are coming to accept this technology as the norm. Buying beef cattle through video auctions streamed online is a common practice nowadays. Likewise, QR … Continue reading The Changing Face of American Agriculture: Part 3

Get Ready for September 2016

Get Ready for September 2016

Are you ready for fall?  Spend a little time watching the birds, caring for the animals, and stocking the pantry. Invest in a dog owner’s home veterinary handbook. Feed your backyard birds. Discover why people built round barns. Stock up for the winter. Learn about pH. Weigh the pros and cons of draft animals. Explore the K-State weather data library. Open up the breeding toolbox. … Continue reading Get Ready for September 2016

Get Ready for August 2016

Get Ready for August 2016

Even when the afternoons are too hot for outdoor work, you can still make the most of the time with research and planning. Spend some time studying business, marketing, nutrition, animal health, and more. Consider new ways to direct market your beef. Find out how reproduction and animal health are related. Discover 96 horse breeds of North America. Build a sustainable business. Learn what kobe … Continue reading Get Ready for August 2016

The Breeding Toolbox: Crossbreeding

The Breeding Toolbox: Crossbreeding

Crossbreeding is the final tool in the breeding toolbox.  The term crossbreeding in its strictest sense refers to mating two purebred animals of different breeds together.  This strict use of the word is typically preferred among pet breeders, but in the livestock realm crossbreeding is sometimes used to cover a wide array of breeding systems involving planned crosses between breeds.  This includes breeding rotations involving … Continue reading The Breeding Toolbox: Crossbreeding

The Breeding Toolbox: Linecrossing

The Breeding Toolbox: Linecrossing

Linecrossing is the practice of mating animals that are of the same breed, but from different lines (bloodlines are established by the process of linebreeding).  Some breeders call this process outcrossing.  However, since some producers use outcrossing to refer to crossbreeding, we have chosen the term linecrossing for clarity. Going back to our imaginary horses again, Tumbleweed is a good example of linecrossing.  Even though … Continue reading The Breeding Toolbox: Linecrossing