Category: Livestock

Leaf-Silage as a Nutritious and Climate-Resilient Feed for Ruminants

By Shana Hanson Most livestock want to eat woody plants. Cattle, sheep and goats in Europe were historically wintered on abundant, tannin-rich forages; farmers dried tree leaves for sheep and goats, and ensiled leaves (stored anaerobically to ferment), or sometimes cooked or steeped dried leaves, for cattle and hogs. From 6,000 years ago until horse-drawn

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Modern, Time-Efficient Fencing Options

By Jacki Martinez Perkins, MOFGA’s Organic Dairy and Livestock Specialist At MOFGA’s 2023 Farmer to Farmer Conference we hosted a session about new fencing technology and how it is being implemented in rotational grazing systems in the Northeast. Dan Smith, who has worked with the dairy industry for decades, secured funding through the Northeast Dairy

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Why Would We Bother to Trim Hooves?

By Jacki Martinez Perkins, MOFGA’s Organic Dairy and Livestock Specialist The knowledge base for all farming endeavors needs to be extensive, but one major difference we see between livestock production and crop production is the year-round care and maintenance of a key source of revenue: the livestock themselves. Good quality feed and water keep them

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Farm Equipment for Livestock

By Jacki Martinez Perkins, MOFGA’s Organic Dairy and Livestock Specialist Getting into livestock production can be an uphill battle. Choosing equipment is one of the more anxiety-inducing processes. My parents (a dairy farmer and a sole-practitioner large animal veterinarian) often found themselves in situations where they had little to no help from others, and so

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Preserving Pasture

By Jacki Martinez Perkins Fencing In the life of an organic livestock farmer summer brings one never-ending task: fencing. The winter frosts heave most posts loose of their moorings, the deer disregard the works of mankind in their quest for forage, and mother nature herself eats away at even the stoutest of materials. All this

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Where’s the Beef? Insights on Meat Processing in Maine

By Jacki Martinez Perkins, MOFGA’s Organic Dairy and Livestock Specialist At MOFGA’s Farmer to Farmer Conference held in November 2022, Trey Gilbert of Herring Brothers Meats spoke with attendees about the demand for in-state slaughter, why they chose to be USDA- and organic-inspected, and what it has meant for their business. Gone are the days

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Pondering the Porcine Predicament

By Jacki Martinez Perkins, MOFGA’s Organic Dairy and Livestock Specialist The production of pork in Maine looks very different from other parts of the country. Being geographically distant from slaughterhouses with high capacity throughput as well as grain sources requires most local producers to manage their hogs creatively. Additionally, raising livestock capable of eating a

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What’s the Deal with Ducks?

By Jacki Martinez Perkins Chickens are a popular addition to homesteads due to their efficiency and easy maintenance. Ducks can be another enjoyable option for many reasons. Their personalities are far less aggressive than chickens, their management considerations differ and, because of a difference in proteins, some individuals who cannot digest chicken eggs are able

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Musings on Dairy Goats for Milk and Agritourism

By Jacki Martinez Perkins Spring and summer keep the world awash in new life and possibility. One of the cuter examples of this comes in the form of goat kids. These precocious little jumping beans often elicit laughter and curses in equal measure. While their dams are often more pacific in nature, they still require

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