To shorten up a bit on cows and get a few more sheep, would make the farm work much lighter. Just as much money in it, too.
- Reprinted from The Almanack of 1910
Beef calves born in January, February, and March are more desirable then those dropped later in the Spring. It is the early freshening cows that provide most milk for their young calves; and the latter have the necessary maturity to take advantage of pasture grazing.
- From The Almanack of 1960
When raising a limited number of cattle on a small plot of land, it is more economically feasible to consider artificial insemination to breed your cows instead of housing a bull on your land. this way, it is possible to use a high quality bull without having to maintain a bull.
Horses need a large exercise area, such as a corral or pasture. they also need natural or man-made shelter from the elements, both hot and cold. this can vary from a stand of trees, to a 3-sided shed, to a complete stable with box stalls. A man-made shelter should be clean and well ventilated with no drafts. Minimum space requirements are 10 to 12 feet both width and length, a minimum of 8 feet tall, and a door at least 4 feet wide and 8 feet tall.
Have your veterinarian check your horse's teeth at least once a year. the teeth may need to be floated (filed) due to uneven wear from grinding motions used while eating.
Forage, such as grass hay, is the basis of a sound sheep production program. It may be necessary, at certain times during the production cycle, to provide supplemental feeds such as grains. Low quality forage will usually need to be supplemented with energy and protein feeds.
Sheep require vaccinations against serious disease problems in your local area and from insect pests that are found almost everywhere. A few disease problems you may want to familiarize yourself with when raising sheep include enterotoxemia, or overeating disease, contagious ecthyma, or sore mouth disease and urinary calculi. With these diseases, as with many others, prevention provides the earliest and cheapest method of disease and parasite control. Clean sheds, feed and water troughs leave disease or parasites little chance to get started. Good nutrition is essential for health. Observation can help detect signs of sickness. Call your veterinarian when you think that the problem may be beyond your control.
Shade is extremely important to sheep in the hot summer months. Lambs will not properly gain weight without protection from the heat. A cover, such as a tarp will aid in maximum ventilation. the shade can serve a dual purpose by also providing shelter. When it is constructed so that two or three sides can be closed, it will provide more then adequate protection from sudden rain or windstorms.
Don't try to produce pastures on poor land without fertilizer (limestone, nitrogen, phosphate and potash). Start with a soil map (available from local Soil Conservation Services Office). then, have the soil thoroughly tested for any minerals and trace elements that may be lacking. According to the testing results, apply sufficient amounts of fertilizer and any other minerals to get to the desired levels.
A mower is one of the pasture’s best friends. Mowing pays three ways: getting off weeds and brush, clipping what the animals don't want keeps it tender and making hay from the good, extra grasses and legumes.
Buy a weaned pig weighing about 40 pounds, eight weeks old. the hog should have already been wormed. If you are raising swine for eating purposes only, then purchased male pigs should already be castrated, and now referred to as a barrow.