I was so excited when The Backyard Homestead: Guide to Raising Farm Animals arrived a few weeks ago and hoped it would be as good as I thought it would be. I wasn’t disappointed in the least bit. This book is such a great reference guide that I believe and will highly recommend that every homesteader have it in their reference library.
The chapters are pretty straight forward:
- Introducing Backyard Farm Animals
- How Many Animals Can You Keep
- Ducks & Geese
- Honey Bees
- Dairy Cows & Beef Cattle
I love it though because its clean and simple so I can quickly grab it and get the information that I need to know out of it. They also utilize dark orange title pages for each chapter which makes it a cinch to find the chapter you need without referencing the Table of Contents constantly.
Each chapter covers all the information you need to go from Point A) not knowing anything about the animal to Point B) successfully keeping them alive and producing. So for milk producing animals that also includes detailed information on breeding, kidding and milking. The one thing that it does not cover which I was somewhat disappointed in discovering was the actual processing of the animals for meat. Each section for processing encourages you to pick up the corresponding Storey Guide for that animal.
This still isn’t a deal breaker for us though because that information is readily available online and can be printed off easily. Really I probably would do that anyways because I wouldn’t want to ruin the book in the messy process of butchering and processing an animal.
The day after we got this book I found myself racing into the house with a comatose rabbit and racing through it looking for help. I was able to quickly find out that she was in shock from sunstroke and how to help her cool off as quickly as possible. While she didn’t make it I was so grateful to have known what to do to try to save her. We also started freezing ice coolers for the remaining doe and she has made it successfully through our extremely hot Georgia summer.
When I found out I could go milk some crazy meat goats I also got to see this book in action. I had everything with me that I needed to successfully milk a goat and knew what I was supposed to do…..oh yes except a willing partner haha. No fault to the book on that one though.
As in first book, The Backyard Homestead, the pages are full of charts and drawings to help you make the best decisions for your backyard homestead. I absolutely love that this series is written specifically for backyards because it really brings that angle to everything to help you make the best decisions for your property as possible.
I know you all will enjoy it and I look forward to hearing your thoughts if you add this great book to your library soon!
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