Some years are worse than others for yellow jackets. I've read and been told that dry years are worse, and that seems true. Supposedly they are beneficial insects because they prey on pests, but they aren't too beneficial when they sting me and my family, our livestock, and feast on my honeybees. This is especially bad in the fall, when I can see them overwhelming any defense the bees mount to steal their winter stores of honey and pollen, and carry away their larval young and developed adults. They will even kill the queen. The trick is to act against the yellow jackets and not the bees. This is what works for me.
I consider one of the major drawbacks to homesteading to be losing the ability to take vacations, attend weddings, and other fun things away from the farm. I know people who burn out on homesteading because of this or never take the plunge into this lifestyle because they aren't willing to give them up. I am unwilling to give them up. You can homestead and still get vacations, though it is more work and you're likely not going to be able to take spontaneous trips. We take at least one family 10-day trip a year. Here is how we make it happen.
Our two Clydesdale colts joined our farm in October 2016 when Duncan was just weaned at five months and Clyde a little older at almost seven months. They came from a responsible breeder in Canada and were almost as tall as our mature saddle horses (14-15 hh), though they had funny proportions: long legs, relatively short necks, and ribs that met their hips. They were (and still are) SWEET SWEET SWEET! Even though they are easy to tell apart, they are a well matched pair because of their body types and sizes. They’ll both mature at about 17 hh (around six feet tall where their mane transitions to their back). Their feet may reasonably be expected to reach twelve inches wide.
I have a lot of Swedish, Scottish, and English ancestry. I didn’t grow up eating Swedish food that I know of, but I have found some delicious recipes. One of my favorites is for Swedish pancakes. They are sort of like crepes, but I like them better. They are so good plain or with a variety of toppings. I’m not sure how authentic this recipe is, but I am sure it is delicious. (I’ll have to add pictures later.) Umm, just writing about them makes me want them for breakfast tomorrow!
Let me start with a disclaimer: I am not a veterinarian and I am not an expert shepherdess. However, I have been keeping sheep for a little while and will gladly share what I do to help keep them healthy. I find it interesting to see what others do. Keep in mind that management techniques may also vary based on the type of sheep you keep and the climate in which they live. Here is what I currently use as my plan of care.
Let me say right off that I am not an expert on sheep and my experience is limited to dairy sheep at this point in time. If you are thinking about getting livestock and considering sheep, especially if your thinking of dairy sheep, hopefully this is a good simple introduction.
If I had to pick one specie of livestock to keep, I would be torn between dairy cows and sheep. Goats are great and kids are the best babies. However, there's something about sheep I really like. However, it's about finding the right fit for you.
Yes, Tess is holding a chicken upside down. And, she's answering the judge's questions about the chicken's vent (butt). This nice buff Orpington lays nice creamy eggs. When she gets old, she'd be destined for the pot to make amazing broth. I don't remember what happened to this particular girl, but she was a pretty nice hen as most Orpingtons are.
We like to order a variety of heirloom and exotic laying chickens. Some of them we can't get sexed (one gender or the other), but only come straight run, which is both males and females. We don't want to keep the roosters as long as the hens as they don't lay, end up fighting, and aren't as good to eat when they get older. My husband usually takes the kids to do the deed. One of the times my husband and children went to dispatch the roosters, they encountered one now known as the spaghetti western chicken. Don't read on if you're faint of heart as this is about killing chickens and I don't sugar coat anything.
Wife to Brandon, mother to Tess and Liam, farmer, entrepreneur, cook & baker, nurse, and accountant who loves to try new things, travel, and work toward greater self-reliance.