Now that we know what brix is and how to measure it, we’re ready to find ways to apply this knowledge. So what is an ideal brix level? Most plants show markedly improved vitality and pest resistance when their brix levels hit 12 degrees on a refractometer, although with care many can go far higher than that. Increasing Brix in Produce and Pasture Proponents … Continue reading Brix: How Do We Use It?
Brix is one of those topics that come up fairly frequently in sustainable agriculture. Simply put, brix is a measure of the sugar content of a plant or other substance. To be more specific, Brix expresses the weight of dissolved sugar as a percentage of the weight of the entire solution. Pure water has a brix of 0%. A solution of 5 grams of sugar … Continue reading Brix: What is It?
Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a unique and somewhat controversial nutrient. Linoleic acid is an essential polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acid. It necessary for the proper functioning of the human body but cannot be produced internally. It must be obtained from the diet. The word conjugated refers to the unique structure of this particular form of linoleic acid. A conjugated fatty acid has at least one … Continue reading What is Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)?
The varied livestock breeds of the world have fascinating histories and characteristics. Many country living enthusiasts have spent enjoyable hours researching their favorite breeds. One good source of information is the Breeds of Livestock site put together by Oklahoma State University. This is a handy online encyclopedia-type reference packed with facts about both popular and rare livestock breeds: Cattle. Goats. Horses. Sheep. Swine. Poultry. Exotic … Continue reading Breeds of Livestock
Did you know that cattle breeds are commonly categorized into two different subspecies? While the two subspecies can breed and produce fertile offspring, they do come from different parts of the world and have very distinctive characteristics. The species names are: Bos taurus taurus. Bos taurus indicus. Bos taurus taurus Simply put, Bos taurus taurus is the group of cattle without humps. Most of … Continue reading The Two Subspecies of Cattle
If you keep animals long enough, you will eventually become acquainted with some basic veterinary first aid. Here’s a book that can make the learning process a little smoother. Veterinary Guide for Animal Owners by C. E. Spaulding, DVM, and Jackie Clay contains information on all common farm animals: Cattle. Goats. Sheep. Horses. Pigs. Poultry. Rabbits. Dogs. Cats. Each chapter starts with tips on basic … Continue reading Veterinary Guide for Animal Owners
Are you considering getting a dairy goat? Before you get started, you might want to read this handy guide from Storey Publishing. Storey’s Guide to Raising Dairy Goats by Jerry Belanger and Sara Thomson Bredesen covers all the basics: Breeds. Purchasing goats. Housing. Fencing. Feeding. Grooming. Health. Breeding. Milking. Keeping records. Along the way, you will find helpful diagrams, schedules, recipes, and more. You will … Continue reading Storey’s Guide to Raising Dairy Goats
It’s still not too late to think about putting away some of your produce for the winter! And if you need a little help figuring out just what to do with it, allow us to recommend a classic from the Rodale folks: Stocking Up. The original edition has seen us through many a kitchen adventure. A partial list of its numerous helpful topics includes the … Continue reading Stocking Up
The body condition scoring system for goats varies widely. Both five-point and nine-point scales are in use, but the five-point scale appears to prevail and will be given here. The techniques are pretty straightforward; just remember that hair can be misleading. A hands-on evaluation is always best. Emaciated. Goat obviously weak. All bones prominent; sternum (breastbone) and backbone sharp to the touch. Noticeable space between … Continue reading Body Condition Scoring: Goats
The body condition scoring system for dairy cattle is slightly different than that commonly used for beef cattle. Scores are based on a five-point system, with 1 being emaciated and 5 being fat. To allow for more precise assessment, however, dairy cattle are typically assigned scores in 0.25 increments. Dairy cattle are scored as follows: Emaciated. Overall skin-and-bones appearance. Spinal vertebrae, pelvic bones, and ends … Continue reading Body Condition Scoring: Dairy Cattle