Category: Livestock

What Animals and a Barn Offer to Permaculture Design

The Importance of Animals in Permaculture Landscapes Our agrarian past reminds us that farming without animals is like trying to drive a car without gasoline. While crop rotations, cover crops and periodically maintaining the land fallow were some strategies our grandparents used for keeping the farm productive, the dairy cow, the flock of chickens, and the few hogs were the guarantee of the continued fertility of the fields. When done […]

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The Importance of Pasture: How to take Advantage of What Animals Bring to the Farm

While barns are important on any farm, keeping animals on pasture is almost always the better option. Pasture raised animals are usually much healthier and the meat and other animal based food products they offer come with much more nutrients when those animals are raised in a natural setting. From a humanist and ethical standpoint, animals that are allowed to live outside for the majority of their lives are much […]

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The Perks of Raising Chickens

For many people who have grown interested in gaining a certain sense of autonomy through taking responsibility for growing a part of their own food, a simple backyard garden or even a container garden on your window will is considered a good place to start. Making the leap from growing tomatoes and peppers to raising a small flock of chickens, however, is a step that not everyone is ready to […]

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Silvopasture: A Sustainable Way to Raise Large Livestock

Every year millions of acres of forest are cut down to make room for ever-growing herds of livestock. Our industrial diet is centered on the consumption of meat. The combination of these two issues brings us face to face with a serious problem. We are destroying our forests and some of the most pristine ecosystems on earth just so that we can enjoy a nightly steak. What if we could […]

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How Sustainable Are Chickens?

Chickens are amazing animals: laying an egg almost every day just so I can dip my toast in that deep orange yolk. Chickens are a gateway animal that most people start with on the journey to becoming more sustainable. Chickens are so flexible in the way they are raised and fed. This makes them the perfect starter livestock. There’s a chicken for every person. With so many breeds to choose […]

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Raising Rabbits: My Source of Manure

I love raising rabbits, mainly because of rabbit pellets also known as rabbit manure. When people ask me why I raise rabbits they expect me to say meat, pets or fur. When I say manure I really surprise them. I do love my rabbits and I love their meat, but rabbit pellets are invaluable. If you work on a small homestead rabbits might be a great livestock option. I first […]

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Early Morning Cow Routines

Every morning the first thing we do is look after our animals. The cow routines are particularly involved. The cows stay in the cattle yard overnight, and in the morning their manure is collected for the biodigester (to make biogas). It is shovelled into several buckets, to make up the 30kg we need every day. The cows are then fed and the milkers are milked. After eating and being milked, […]

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Are Goats as Communicative with Humans as Dogs?

Are Goats as Communicative with Humans as Dogs?

A new research study says goats interactive capabilities with humans are as good as that of other domesticated animals such as dogs and horses. Researchers observed that, goats try to communicate with humans by gazing at them when confronted with a challenge which they cannot tackle by themselves and also their response change depending on the person’s behaviour. Domestication has molded the cognition and behavioural capabilities of animals such as […]

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Making Biogas is Easy

Methane is a versatile, sustainable gas that can be used to perform everyday tasks like heating water and cooking food with surprising simplicity. Unfortunately producing it and using it at home may seem messy, but below we have a simple DIY instruction on making a biogas digester. All grazing animals have bacteria that are needed for creating methane in their guts, with cows being the most efficient creators of the […]

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Stroking Your Way To Higher Milk Yield

A new research study in Germany says, regular stroking of calves not only improves the animal-human relationship but also induces a weight gain in calves, which in turn results in higher milk yield later in life. A healthy relationship between cattle and caretakers is very crucial not only for ethical reasons, but also for animal welfare and productivity. Quality relationship brings in reduced stress responses during routine management practices, increases […]

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Cut Your Chickens Feed Bill by Fermenting

Fermentation is nothing new to most of us. We’ve either used it with our surpluses for natural food preservation, or we’ve taken advantage of the probiotics, those beneficial bacteria, that fermenting something creates. As health-promoting element of our diet, its importance is not up for debate; as a part of industrialized lifestyle, its absence has now been recognized as a serious flaw in the system.

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Cattle and Water Use

For years now I have been seeing posts and hearing comments from students about the enormous amount of (drinking) water used by cattle. Studies propose that it takes 12,000 gallons to produce 1 pound of beef (or 100,000 liters to produce 1 kilogram, see this article). These studies however are based on cattle consuming hay and grain. Do cattle consume hay or grain in their natural environment? No. It is […]

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