From Piglets to Bacon- Part 2, by Animal House

This is my story, as a retired grandmother of raising small livestock and our experience of going from piglets to bacon. In part one, I shared about preparing the pen, selecting the piglets, and basically getting them set up and situated in their new space. But after that, it was time for them to grow. Growing the Piglets When the girls were young, we fed them twice a day. They got a varying mixture of healthy non-GMO swine pellets, soy meal, fresh eggs, and hot oats on cold days, any table scraps that the rabbits and chickens didn’t get, and …




From Piglets to Bacon- Part 1, by Animal House

This article is about growing piglets, slaughtering, and butchering hogs. It covers everything we did from start to finish concerning piglets to bacon! Why a Retired Grandmother Raises Small Livestock But first, it is important to understand why in the world a retired grandmother would want to raise small livestock. While this article is not about the bad stuff in commercial pork products, I want to list the reasons why I make the effort to raise my own small livestock. Just for starters, “…synthetic preservatives are added to 70 percent of all factory farmed meat and poultry to prevent spoilage, …




Letter: Help with Livestock Dogs Viewed as Pets by the County

Hello, We moved to the American Redoubt, prompted by Gods providence and the knowledge we learned from your organization. Our ranch and homestead is rural, and we raise cattle/sheep/hogs/etc, but our most important livestock are our livestock guardian dogs. We are surrounded on all sides by national forest and you can imagine what this means in regards to predators. Our dogs are the most integral and loved part of the ranch and what we do. They are well behaved, not aggressive and patrol our property how it comes naturally to them. Neighbors Recently we’ve ran into some issues with our …




Homestead Design from a Practical, Tactical, Agricultural Survival Perspective, by C.F

Let’s talk about practical, tactical, and agricultural survival principles and details that pertain to developing land in a way that will facilitate agricultural productivity, sustainability, and security. Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field; and afterwards build thine house. Prov. 24:27. Assessing the Land The Land First of all, we are likely to be constrained by property boundaries. Therefore, in selecting property, what are our priorities? Not everyone has the same priorities, and priorities change as the world around us changes. For example, a property that is perfectly usable today may become untenable if …




Letter Re: Cats Moving into the Neighborhood

Hugh, In response to the comment about cats moving into the neighborhood: be grateful. The Lyme spirochete has been around for millions of years. Lyme disease started to explode in the 1970’s and 1980’s, which is when the national spay-neuter programs got started, and the population of outdoor cats dropped like a rock. I remember as a child in the 1950’s seeing kittens running around outdoors in the summer. In the last thirty years, except for my own protected outdoor cat colony, I’ve seen only one outdoor kitten. The ticks that carry Lyme have a two year life cycle. The …




The Editors’ Preps for the Week of June 12th, 2017

To be prepared for a crisis, every prepper must establish goals and make long-term and short-term plans. Steadily, we work on meeting our prepping goals. In this column, the SurvivalBlog editors share their planned prep activities for the coming week. These range from healthcare and gear purchases to gardening, property improvements, and food storage. This is something akin to our Retreat Owner Profiles, but written incrementally and in detail, throughout the year. We also welcome you to share your planned activities for increasing personal preparedness in the coming week. (Leave a Comment with your project details.) Let’s keep busy and …




The Editors’ Preps for the Week of May 29th, 2017

To be prepared for a crisis, every prepper must establish goals and make long-term and short-term plans. Steadily, we work on meeting our prepping goals. In this column, the SurvivalBlog editors will share their planned prep activities for the coming week, ranging from healthcare and purchases to property improvements and food storage. We also welcome you to share your planned activities for increasing personal preparedness in the coming week in the Comments. Let’s keep busy and be ready! JWR Dear SurvivalBlog Readers, This week, the weather is expected to be warm and sunny. Finally, summer  has arrived to the northern portion of …




Letter Re: Equestrian Survival – Part 4

Hugh, The author of this submission Part 4, recommends “saddle soap” be applied to bridles and all leather tack components. Based on 30+ years of equestrian training and almost daily use of leather tack use, I can say without reservation that the absolute worst product to use on leather of any type is saddle soap! Saddle soap contains alkaloids that strip the natural oils and any other oil compounds applied to leather goods of any type during manufacture and/or in the tanning process. If you’ve ever looked at old or antique leather holsters, tack, or saddles and observed many small …




Equestrian Survival For Bugging Out, Recon, Rescue, Projection of Force, or Hunting- Part 4, by R.M.

You can buy a lance head and boot at Cotswoldsport to make your lance. Bamboo is a good staff to use, but other woods work. Your ability to control the lance can be influenced; it’s the weight. I don’t really know western gear. I was trained in the European tradition– German, Austrian, and English styles. So I use that kind of gear. Saddle, cinch, stirrups, bridle with snaffle and bit (eggbut/something soft on the mouth). Know your horse’s teeth. If they need to be floated, do it. All western bits look too hard on the mouth to me. You might …




Letter Re: Equestrian Survival For Bugging Out

Howdy, I enjoyed reading Equestrian Survival For Bugging Out, Recon, Rescue, Projection of Force, or Hunting- Part 1, by R.M. and am looking forward to the remaining part(s). If you’re serious about such you might want to find, download, print, read, study, and learn the info in FM 3-05.213 (FM 31-27) Special Forces Use of Pack Animals My Dad was raised in West Texas in the 1920’s-40’s. This was long before rural electrification and other such luxuries. He cowboyed for his boyhood friend’s Dad for several years as a pre-teen and teenager. Dad and his friend, R.L., did it the …




Equestrian Survival For Bugging Out, Recon, Rescue, Projection of Force, or Hunting- Part 3, by R.M.

It also pays to have practiced riding bare back. If you have to run, you may not have time to saddle up and will be fortunate enough to grab your rig. It’s like riding at a trot without posting. You will sit full on the back where the saddle would be, back straight up, allowing the body to become one with the horse’s up and down motion. Moving to the canter or full gallop is easier. Your body must be fluid with the horse. Running away, then collecting yourself, and returning on foot to take back gear might work and …




Equestrian Survival For Bugging Out, Recon, Rescue, Projection of Force, or Hunting- Part 2, by R.M.

Figure Out How Much Weight Your Horse Can Handle If things head south, and you think you might have to use your horse under stress at some point in the near future, keep his weight right and work his chest. A firm horse is one you can rely upon. Using a soft horse for a strenuous endeavor is not fair to the horse and is a safety hazard to you. Every horse is different. A horse with bad conformation (bone structure) can’t have much expected of him; a swayback isn’t a long distance choice. You have to have a good …




Equestrian Survival For Bugging Out, Recon, Rescue, Projection of Force, or Hunting- Part 1, by R.M.

Assess Your Horse’s Capabilities and Temperament We all love to think of our horses as part of the family. Some might love their horses. Let me begin by saying that before you do an overnight or longer trip away from all the comforts of home, you need to honestly assess your horse’s capabilities and temperament. Temperament is key here. I am careful to choose the horse for the job. I prefer traveling far with my dog as well. He is a great scout, level headed, and loves to ride. He often hunts for himself, but I always bring food for …




Letter Re: Donkeys as Pack Animals

HJL, Good info from B.W. We also have donkeys, miniature donkeys. They make excellent pets and fine companions on the trail. We hike and even camp with ours, as well as string them along with their packs behind our mules on trail rides. When introduced properly, they get along fine with the family/farm dogs. We have found their personalities to be very similar to dogs, and they will even lay their head in your lap for attention. Donkeys also make excellent property alarm systems. Our little pair will begin braying at the approach of a car or truck long before …




Donkeys As Pack Animals For Survival And Recreation- Part 2, by B.W.

We are fortunate to have a mother donkey and two of her offspring from subsequent years who are both females (jennys). We have had the younger ones since they were foals and have hiked with them and their mother since they were four or five months old. The mother was always on a lead, but the younger one were both on lead and off lead. By doing this we trained the younger ones to keep up with us off lead when we are in wide open spaces. As a result of this, we can hike in the state forests on …