Combating Sheep Flock Parasites – Part 2, by Mike V.

(Continued from Part 1. This concludes the article.) The test is performed with the freshest stool you can get. You can corral the animal, get your gloves on and get in the rectum to get some pellets out, or any number of less stressful ways to get your sample. I just walk into the field and walk behind the sheep or lamb I want a sample from. They routinely walk away and I follow them until they get a little antsy and they will give you what you need in short order. You are not trying to spook them, just …




Combating Sheep Flock Parasites – Part 1, by Mike V.

My mother went back to school to be a social worker, and she did a project which was quite interesting. She taped (remember cassette tapes?) one of our dinner conversations and then played it back to us when her project was over. I do not remember what her point was but I do remember that three planes flew over the house and two trains went by and none of us skipped a beat with the conversation. We lived in the flight path of one of the largest airports in the world and the train tracks were right next door. I …




Lessons Learned From Going Rural – Part 2, by Animal House

(Continued from Part 1. This concludes the article.) The Septic Tank The age and condition of the septic system is important to know. The older the septic the stronger the chance of having trouble; which is something you don’t ever want to experience. The size of the septic depends on how many bathrooms, the number of people living in the home and how new the kitchen is; meaning is there a dishwasher, garbage disposal, automatic ice makers, etc. If you don’t know when the septic was last serviced, go by these fabled words: when in doubt, pump it out! It …




Preparedness and Homesteading as a Middle-Aged Woman, by P.B.

This is what I know, but I am no expert.  This is what I do and I am sometimes successful….most times half successful. I know about preparing for emergencies and learning to homestead.  I live a small homesteading life with my husband of almost 27 years while working a full-time medical job and caring for my sister who is wheelchair-bound and completely dependent.  We raise turkeys for meat as well as meat and laying chickens. I was inspired back in the 1970s by the television show The Waltons.  Living a simpler, self-sufficient life seemed the best.  Surrounded by a large family …




Raising Beef on a Small Homestead – Part 2, by K.R.

(Continued from Part 1. This concludes the article.) Transportation We started out not owning a trailer. We bought calves from someone who would deliver, borrowed trailers to purchase hay, and used a mobile butcher who killed and quartered the animals on site. I think it is possible to limp along in this manner for a while until one figures out whether or not beef production is going to be a permanent thing. We have since purchased a new Maverick stock trailer (from Quality Trailer Sales of Boise, Idaho), which seemed the best quality for the price. We bought a new …




Raising Beef on a Small Homestead – Part 1, by K.R.

Raising beef cattle may be outside the comfort zone of many Survival Blog readers, but it doesn’t need to be. At least that is what my wife and I found out. Doing so on a small, manageable scale has significantly upgraded our level of land management, food preparation, and enjoyment. Now we can’t imaging our high altitude (6,500 feet) American Redoubt retreat without full freezers of steaks, roasts, and burgers, all the nutritious compost we could ever hope for, and our two Highland cows roaming our mountainous 20 acres. Many might say that, “I’ve never raised livestock and want to …




Spring Update, by Animal House

Hello Survivalblog friends! This is just a brief spring update of what’s going on the farm. Every year I replace 1/3 of our chickens with new chicks ordered from the hatchery. This is usually 25 chicks. I change the breed each year so I can tell how old the chickens are and cull the useless eaters. Last year I added Rhode Island Reds and this year I ordered Barred Rocks. Both breeds are very hardy and lay large brown eggs. I have some older buffs which are ready for harvesting at the end of summer. I also incubator-hatch ornamental silkie …




Thoughts on an Amish Auction and Preparedness, by 3AD Scout

Previously, in my August, 2020 SurvivalBlog article titled Going Old School,  I discussed how when we prep by having a primary and back-up, I stated that one back-up should be old school or vintage to accommodate loss of electric and other technology in a prolonged (years) event. Practicing what I “preach” I sometimes attend Amish auctions for non-electric and off-grid equipment and supplies. Recently I spent a Saturday at an auction where the property of an Amish Wheel Wright and buggy maker was up for sale. My first observation was “English” (non-Amish) buyers were the minority. So, if you go …




Oral History: A Child of the Great Depression – Part 2

(Continued, from Part 1.) The Principal of Dinuba High School, Walter Hellbaum, came up recruiting at UC Berkeley, because Howard Page, his Agriculture and ROTC teacher–who was another Army reserve officer–had been recalled to active duty.  Daddy was a good fit for a position at Dinuba High School because he was qualified to teach both Agriculture and ROTC classes. But then a more experienced Agriculture teacher came along. So my father ended up teaching Math, Science, Spanish, and he led the Junior ROTC program. Daddy moved our family to Dinuba in 1940. We first lived in a modest two-bedroom rental …




Introduction to Beekeeping – Part 3, by K. in Tennessee

(Continued from Part 2. This concludes the article.) V – The Bees Apis milifera is the Latin name we’ve given the bug we call the “Honeybee”. Not to be confused with the bumble bees, wood bees, sweat bees, and other pollinators we share this planet with. It is a specific breed and different than the other small bees you come across in your environment. It took me several years before I could visually discern the difference, and there are even differences within the types of honeybees. Much like dog breeding, it is becoming a whole additional avenue in the hobby. …




Introduction to Beekeeping – Part 2, by K. in Tennessee

(Continued from Part 1. ) III – The Hive The Beehive is the home you provide for the bees. It is supposed to make your task of managing the hive easier, while giving the bees what they want for a home. This is where you show your mettle and what you have learned. If the bees don’t like your home, don’t worry, they’ll just leave! The signs are all there if you know how to read them (an experienced mentor can help immensely). There are several styles of hives out there. Top Bar and Langstroth hives are the most common …




Introduction to Beekeeping – Part 1, by K. in Tennessee

I – Introduction I started researching beekeeping as a hobby for several years before I got my first bees, mostly due to life’s circumstances. Once I settled down and had a piece of land to call home, I was able to get some bees and find it rather enjoyable. It’s quite unlike any other hobby, not the same as gardening, or NASCAR. Keeping wild animals in a wooden box isn’t for everyone. It has challenged me and I’ve learned a lot, and that’s what I find alluring – the more I learn about it, the less I know. Beekeeping has …




Healthy Livestock for Self-Sufficiency, by Brad N.

The term sustainability has been defined as “the ability to provide for today, without taking away from tomorrow”. Most of our modern agricultural practices today are anything but sustainable. Our selfishness and get rich quick mentality leave many producers making choices that benefit in the short term, but are actually causing long term damage to both our land and our livestock. In a TEOTWAWKI situation the livestock owner who has been using good management decisions will have little trouble adapting. Those whose management is based on short term success and follow the advice of those who are selling the “magic …




Small-Scale Hay Making, by Oregon Bill

This is my simple experiment on small-time hay making.  Small fields of grass can be valuable even if they aren’t worth the effort to mow and bale.  We only have a few acres of pasture – enough for a few sheep or goats year-round or for a 2-year-old steer for three months.  With so little pasture, it doesn’t make sense to invest in a large mower or bailer, and we wanted to see how feasible it would be to and put up the hay by hand.  The amount of hay is worth gathering, and the cutting improves the health of …




A Cowgirl’s Night Out, by Avalanche Lily

On a moonless night, a few nights ago, I was concerned about the safety of our newborn calf, so I decided to camp out with our cows and horses.  In doing so, I learned a few things about both livestock behavior and my night vision. To begin, this past Friday morning, I went out to feed the animals and saw that my Matriarch cow had not shown up.  I called and called and called her.  I heard her mooing at a low volume.  I went looking for her and found her on the edge of the woods next to the …