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livestock

in Blog, Chickens, Farming, Livestock, Prepping, Sheep

Winter is Coming-8 Tips for preparing your farm for winter

This past storm that blew into the desert may have come and gone, but  we can be sure another one is coming with even colder temperatures.  It’s easy for us desert rats to forget how harsh the winters here are after the extreme heat and sunshine of the summer.  Sure it’s not a Vermont winter, but it can still be tough on both farmer and farm animal. Batten down the hatches While ‘batten down the hatches’ is an old shipman’s phrase referring to covering grated openings in the ship’s deck (hatches) with a tarp secured by wooden strips (battens) to…

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in Blog, Livestock, Sheep

How to Shear a Sheep

Nobody shears sheep in the High Desert where we live.  Well at least nobody I could find.  And the summer’s are excruciating so when I first got sheep, they HAD to be sheared.  I decided, like so many other things, that I could just do it myself.  Well, let me tell you, shearing sheep is NOT easy, but it can be done. What you need to shear a sheep Muscle It takes a lot of muscle to hold the sheep and maneuver it around so the very first thing you need is muscle.  If you only have a few sheep…

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in Blog, Farming, Livestock, Published in Daily Press

Handling the Summer Heat

Heat Coping Strategies For You and Your Animals Yikes!  It’s 85 degrees at 7:00am and it’s not even officially summer yet. There are many things I like about living in the desert, but summer is not on the list.  It wasn’t so bad back when I spent my days inside an air conditioned home, but now I am outside most of the day working with animals, mucking pens, pulling weeds or, if I am inside, I am hovering over a hot stove cooking caramel or jam to sell (which is delicious by the way). Heat Coping Strategies For Your Animals…

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in Blog, Chickens, Livestock, Poultry, Published in Daily Press

Basics of Incubating eggs

As soon as the weather begins to warm, chickens across the world begin to think of hatching eggs and raising baby chicks.  But they’re not the only ones.  Spring also begins humans thinking about hatching eggs and raising baby chicks.  Of course the way we do it isn’t nearly as natural and our success rates vary.  Still, with practice and knowledge we can get just about as good.  Human success rates for incubating eggs is about 80% while hens are at 90%.  Not bad. Incubating eggs Out at Flip Flop Ranch, incubating eggs is one of the biggest parts of…

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in Blog, Farmlife, Livestock

Who turned the thermostat to hell?

Yes, the past week has been hellish temperatures.  Sunday hit a high of 115 degrees of drenching, sweaty humidity and it has only slightly come down since then.  Fortunately this misery is very uncommon.  Last summer we only had a handful of days above 100 degrees and only slightly above 100.  While we retreat inside to the inefficient coolness of the swamp cooler, it’s the poor animals that really have to deal with the heat. Heat is really hard on animals and it shows in weight loss, lower milk production, problems breeding and even death.  We happily didn’t lose any…

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