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
Many a dog lover has watched a good Border Collie at work and gone home with a passion for herding. But if you haven’t grown up with working stockdogs, training one for the first time can seem daunting. While no book can replace experience as a way to master the nuances of handling livestock, with or without a dog, Stockdog Savvy by husband-and-wife team Jeanne … Continue reading Stockdog Savvy
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?
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
Horned livestock can be spectacular to look at. The spread of a Texas longhorn is an impressive sight, and there is something appealing in the curled horns of an old-fashioned sheep breed. But are horns practical? Not surprisingly, there are both advantages and disadvantages to leaving the horns on your livestock. Let’s take a look. Pros Predator protection. The primary purpose of horns is … Continue reading Pros and Cons of Horned Livestock
TDN is short for total digestible nutrients. Many writers have criticized the term as being somewhat confusing, since TDN does not measure all types of nutrients, but rather the energy contained in a given feed. TDN estimates are used for swine and horses but are most common in the ruminant world. Other methods of evaluating feed values are generally preferred for non-ruminants. How TDN … Continue reading What is TDN?
Thinking about raising livestock this year? Do you have a watering system planned? If not, or if you want to improve an existing system, this is one book you must read: Waterers and Watering Systems: A Handbook for Livestock Producers and Landowners from K-State. This free PDF download is packed with pros, cons, and design considerations for a number of water sources, power sources, and … Continue reading Waterers and Watering Systems
You undoubtedly know that cattle, sheep, and goats are considered ruminants, that they have multiple stomachs, and that they chew their cuds as part of the digestive process. Well, that’s just the simplified version of what is actually going on. Rumination is an incredibly sophisticated process. Here’s a little more information: The animal swallows a mouthful of grass or other plant matter. Very little chewing … Continue reading How Does Rumination Work?
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