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Countryside Contributor

Guest contributors stop by from time to time to share insight into their homesteading practices. Take a minute and learn something new from one of our Countryside guest contributors.
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Articles by Countryside Contributor

Dexter Cattle – The Ideal Family Cow
September 21, 2020 · · Cattle

Homesteading is about simplicity, self reliance, and doing as much as you can with as little as possible, always with an eye on the bottom line.

So when it comes to considering large livestock, selecting an animal species or specific breed that provides multiple benefits should be the goal.

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Heritage Sheep Breeds: Shave ‘Em to Save ‘Em
September 15, 2020 · · Sheep

Heritage sheep are rare, but their wool is special. The Livestock Conservancy’s new Shave ‘Em to Save ‘Em project is focusing fiber artists on using rare breed wool and yarns to draw attention to their unusual and fine qualities.

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Is Your Livestock Barn at Risk for Fire?

No one wants to see their barn wrapped in flames. But that’s exactly what occurred at one of the oldest dairy farms in New York, when firefighters from 15 departments responded to the scene.

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Are Rams Dangerous? Not With Proper Management.
September 3, 2020 · · Sheep

Many people who are interested in keeping sheep hesitate because they have heard that rams are dangerous and hard to keep. So, are rams dangerous?

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When Limping is Not a Sign of Sheep Foot Rot
August 14, 2020 · · Sheep

Don’t you just love how sheep keep teaching us what we never knew we needed to know? The past lambing season was one in which I got an advanced education in “Sheep Feet 101.”

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How to Build A-Frame Pig Shelters
August 8, 2020 · · Pigs

We have found that our A-frame pig shelters are the best protection for our pigs when raising pigs on pasture. Whether farrowing outdoors or just providing shelter to your adult pigs, some of the important things to consider are shape, space, dryness, and function.

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3 Dog Sleeping Positions: What They Mean

We all love to watch our dogs sleep — from tiny twitches to full-out sprints, their adorable mannerisms can bring a ton of joy. But have you ever wondered about dog sleeping positions and what your dogs might be signaling by their naptime postures?

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Black Currants: America’s Delicious Forbidden Fruit
August 1, 2020 · · Growing

Black currants are easy-to-grow, requiring very little care, which was perfect for us! One spring, we were buying baby fruit trees at our local nursery and were excited about starting a small orchard on our 10-acre homestead.

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Mullein, Not Just a Common Weed
July 31, 2020 · · Growing

You will find mullein, a woolly-leafed, tall-stemmed biannual, along roadsides, in meadows, and riparian corridors throughout the United States and Canada.

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DIY Rotel-Style Tomatoes and Fish House Relish

Do you ever end up with so many tomatoes that you start running out of ideas of what to use them for? Worry no more!

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You Can Be a Watering Expert
June 29, 2020 · · Cattle

Each species presents their own unique challenges when it comes to keeping them happy and healthy, but there’s one thing they all have in common — the dependence on fresh, clean water.

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How to Add Calcium to Soil
June 21, 2020 · · Growing

Ensuring your soils have an adequate level of available calcium should be an essential part of your field fertilization practices for several reasons. Here’s why and how to add calcium to soil on your homestead.

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Diagnosing and Treating Hardware Disease in Cattle
June 15, 2020 · · Cattle

Cattle occasionally swallow foreign material such as pieces of wire chopped up by a baler. Hardware disease in cattle occurs when a sharp object penetrates the gut lining and damages some other organ or creates peritonitis (infection within the abdomen).

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Growing Sweet Basil: Don’t Let Good Basil Go Bad
June 7, 2020 · · Growing

Do you have any experience growing sweet basil? I’ve had a lot of success in growing herbs outdoors, but growing basil has always been our most successful crop.

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DIY Yellow Jacket Trap

Imagine it’s noontime on the farm and your family is ready to enjoy a great lunch outside. The plates are full and the view is postcard gorgeous. But, oh no! They are back!

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