how to shear a sheep

How to Shear a Sheep with Best Tips for Beginners

It’s important to learn how to sheer a sheep properly. Not only do the sheep need it to survive through the summer heat, but the resulting wool could be a good source of income for the farm. Sheep farmers with high-quality wool breeds such as Merino and Rambouillet should consider selling their wool.  Make no mistake about it; sheep shearing is hard work. No matter how skilled you are at shearing sheep, the entire process … Read more

Ouessant sheep

Ouessant Sheep ~ Small Sheep for Your Farm

Ouessant sheep, known by many other names, including Ushant, Mouton d’Ouessant, and Breton Island Dwarf, is a dwarf sheep breed originating from the Ile d’Ouessant, which is a small island just off the coast of Brittany, France. The Ouessant sheep are believed to be one of the smallest sheep breeds in the world. They were only found on the island of Ouessant until the early 20th century. This breed of sheep is now found almost … Read more

cheviot sheep

Cheviot Sheep ~ What to Know About this Sheep Breed for Wool

There’s a hardy breed of white-faced sheep known for their tenacity, alertness, friendliness, and, best of all, their wool and meat production. The Cheviot sheep is a sheep breed like no other. Not only does it have a host of distinctive characteristics, but it also looks quite different from any other sheep breed. The first thing you will notice about the North Country Cheviot sheep is that it has ears that stand out straight like … Read more

columbia sheep

Columbia Sheep ~ Excellent for Wool Production and More

Sheep breeders the world over raise sheep for different purposes. Some do so for meat production, others for milk, and many do it for wool production. The Columbia sheep are bred specifically for their wool production capabilities. That isn’t to say that the sheep don’t produce excellent meat. Sheep bred for wool or milk are also often bred for their meat production. The meat from the Columbia sheep is not only lean and soft but … Read more

ongole cattle

Ongole Cattle ~ Everything You Need to Know

There are few beef cattle breeds so resilient and disease-resistant as Ongole cattle. This hardy breed is mostly found in India and comes from the Ongole region. It’s also often referred to as the Nellore breed. That’s mostly because Ongole Taluk is a division of a district once part of the Nellore district. It is, however, now part of the Guntur district, a part of Andhra Pradesh. Ongole cattle are so popular in India that … Read more

how cold can chickens tolerate

How Cold Can Chickens Tolerate? How to Keep them Warm in Winter

Technically speaking, chickens are cold-hardy animals that can tolerate temperatures just below freezing. However, just because they are cold-hardy doesn’t mean they don’t get cold. Learning how cold is too cold for chickens will help you learn how to keep your chickens warm in winter. As a chicken owner in an area that sees harsh freezing temperatures during winter, you must learn how to keep your chickens warm through the colder temperatures. In some cases, … Read more

how long do chickens live

How Long Do Chickens Live Naturally? What Affects a Chicken’s Lifespan

How long do chickens live? How long do chickens live naturally? Remember, many farmers use them for meat. Which are the best breeds, and what can you do to improve a chicken’s lifespan? These are all questions that any aspiring backyard chicken keeper would reasonably ask themselves and any experts around them. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, there are about 1,600 different breeds of chicken worldwide. Each of these breeds … Read more

blue silkie chicken

Blue Silkie Chicken ~ Fluffy Chickens for Your Homestead

Silkie chickens, like the Blue Silkie chicken, are some of the world’s favorite pet chickens. This is mostly because they are fluffy and adorable. As one of a few chicken breeds with feathers all over their bodies, they are covered in feathers from head to toe. Blue Silkies are sought-after because they have unique blue and lavender feathers. Their feathers are soft, look like fur, and feel like satin or silk. The American Bantam Association … Read more

pine shavings for chickens

Pine Shavings for Chickens ~ Yay or Nay?

Keeping your flock’s health in mind, learn about pine shavings for chickens along with less toxic alternatives. While pine wood shavings do work as chicken coop material for insulation, you may want to consider other options such as sand. The problem with using pine shavings is the abietic acid from pine resin which can damage lung cells in chickens. Chickens are exposed to abietic acid through inhalation. They will also inhale the fine dust from … Read more

what do you need to pick prickly pear

How to Harvest Prickly Pear and What to Do With Them

Learn how to harvest prickly pear safely. I live in Tucson, Arizona, and have at least 30 prickly pear cactus plants on my property. We lost a few to a record-breaking drought a few years back. Aside from that, we have done nothing to maintain them and enjoy the harvest of prickly pears each year.  We moved to Tucson when my son was in second grade. The first full week of school, in August, his … Read more