The Hearty Homestead


The Importance of Electrolytes for Calves

Learn all about electrolyte supplements and why and when you should give them to your calves.  

Raising calves is an enjoyable experience. But, it also requires attention to detail. Feeding an electrolyte supplement to stay ahead of health challenges should be a standard practice for bottle-fed calves.

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White Chocolate Strawberry Trifle - Recipe

Photo credit: Tristan Peirce

Spring Fling  It’s time again for that short-lived but passionate love affair with local strawberries.

Of spring’s fleeting culinary pleasures – asparagus, fiddleheads, morels, rhubarb – strawberries are perhaps the most ephemeral of them all. If, like me, you only eat local fresh strawberries when in season, then you know just how short and sweet the season is. And it’s not just the season that flies by, once picked we’ve got about 16 ½ minutes to get them home and into our mouths before they begin to liquefy. Best to eat as you pick, with a can of whipped cream in a holster, perhaps?

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The Values of Older Chickens

When chickens become older hard choices will need to be made as to their futures. Chickens begin to slow down egg production between 2-3 years of age. For some it’s an easy choice to cull older less productive birds. Either prepping them for the stew pot or turning them into homemade stalk. Others, elect to re-home them to other chicken enthusiasts. While both are valid options, my desired choice is to allow older chickens to simply retire here, on our farm and choose their new part-time jobs. 

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Raising Fiber Goats 101

Raising Fiber Goats 

If you own a cashmere sweater, you can thank a goat. When most people think of fiber animals the sheep is probably the first that comes to mind. And it’s true that with more than 1000 distinct sheep breeds worldwide, it’s easy to see how sheep dominate the world of fiber.

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Goat Kid Milk Replacer 101

How To Select A Milk Replacer For Your Baby Goats

Milk replacer is vital to keeping your goat kids healthy and growing. However, selecting and feeding the right milk replacer can be a daunting task. But with the right background information, you can feel confident you’re choosing what’s best for your goats.

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Feeding Baking Soda to Your Goats

Baking soda can be a useful addition to your goat’s diet. It can aid in digestion issues and help to prevent bloat; a sometimes deadly condition caused by overeating, or eating the wrong food.

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Foraging for Food on the Homestead

Search Party; Gathering and Feasting on the Homestead’s Wild Bounty

It’s spring, and throughout most of North America parks and woodlands are busting out all over with new life – some of it quite delicious. Assemble a gang of sharp-eyed friends armed with sharp paring knives, satchels and a trusty edible plant field guide and head on out into the woods or even just around the edges of the homestead, to forage for dinner…then feast!

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Re-Purpose Your Eggshells

Eggstreme Eggshell Make-Over

Okay, I get it, you’re here on this page, you’re a Manna Pro Hearty Homesteader. You’re crafty and resourceful; you already reduce, reuse, and recycle, and 99.9% of you already re-purpose your eggshells. Still, on the off chance that you don’t know all the fun things you can do with eggshells, I’ve put together a list. With any luck you might find your new favorite eggshell re-do right here!

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A Guide To Small Goat Breeds

Your Guide to Small Breed Goats

I believe whole heartedly that anyone should be able to enjoy a farm experience if they have the desire. Homesteading should not be reserved only to people who can afford large pieces of property. 

Farm animals, if raised correctly, and this is the key, (proper fencing, regular bedding changes, and not overpopulating the space) could theoretically be kept on even the smallest of yards.

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Common Chicken Idioms

Foghorn Leghorn is a classic example of being "Cocky"

Keeping chickens has been an endeavor of great rewards for our family.  From the cute chirping hatch-lings up to our laying hens, who are fully of personality, we have learned so much.  Surprisingly, one of the things we have enjoyed learning the most are all the sayings people use so commonly that are directly related to keeping chickens.  I had been using many of these chicken idioms for years in other contexts off the farm; only to find myself chuckling at 6:30am when letting the ladies out of the coop.  The first one that really hit me was the saying “cooped up”. Here I only thought that applied to the feeling I got after spending several days trapped in the house being “mother hen” during a snowstorm with 2 little boys. 

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