Category: Livestock

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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What Do We Do with All the Poo?

By Jacki Martinez Perkins As farmers we all acknowledge the benefits and challenges of manure application and storage. Poorly handled manure can create challenges to food safety and water quality in the form of unwanted bacteria and pathogens, and increased fly populations. However, well-managed manure and pasture systems that maximize our natural ecosystems can greatly

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Considerations for Building a Homestead

By Jacki M. Perkins The face of production farming has changed drastically in the last 100 years. We have moved away from growing our own food and have relied on others to provide for us. There has, however, been a growing interest, driven by global circumstances, in re-learning the art of the homestead. The majority

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Strategies for Handling a Hay Shortage

By Jacki Perkins As I am writing this, winter deepens and spring is still a far off dream, and the effects of last summer’s drought will begin to be felt. For anyone buying hay last season, it was a study in budgeting: both for pocketbooks and rations. Short of selling livestock to anyone with enough

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Pasture-Based Livestock Profitability

By Holli Cederholm In Bowdoinham, Maine, farmers Abby Sadauckas and Jake Galle of Apple Creek Farm raise a diverse mix of grass-based, certified organic livestock for eggs and meat, as well as value-added bone broths and pate, sold year-round at local farmers’ markets and a handful of retail outlets. Aspects of holistic management have informed

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Cleaning, Grading and Hatching Eggs

By Diane Schivera, MAT Revised June 2017 Introduction Many natural barriers help prevent bacteria from entering eggs. The “bloom” or “cuticle,” a gelatinous covering that dries after the egg emerges from the hen, helps seal the pores in the shell, reducing moisture loss and bacterial penetration. The many egg membranes also help prevent the passage

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MOFGAs Contributions to the Maine Livestock Industry

Diane Schivera has been involved for more than 20 years with the livestock industry in Maine. Photo by Gary Dunn By Diane Schivera, M.A.T. MOFGA Organic Livestock Specialist When I began working for MOFGA in 1998, we certified one goat and 27 cow dairies; and five beef, six lamb, two wool, five egg, three broiler and two turkey

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Meeting Notes from 2016

By Diane Schivera, M.A.T. This is my annual wrap-up of meetings I attended in 2016, beginning with the 20th annual Northeast Pasture Consortium (NEPC) meeting held in Maine at the Harraseeket Inn in Freeport. It was very exciting to have the meeting in Maine for the first time in its history. The meeting sessions included

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