Are meat rabbits easy to raise? Yes! Raising rabbits for meat requires just a few basic supplies and routine care. Meat rabbits are an excellent animal to teach you about a life of animal husbandry. According to RabbitBreeders.us, a single commercial doe can produce offspring to yield 300 # of meat per year! Rabbits have excellent feed conversion rates, low startup costs, healthy meat and don't require much space. We'll walk you through rabbit hutches, watering and feeding, which breeds make the best meat rabbits and basic rabbit care. Let's get started! [Read more…]
What are the best laying hens? The answer will vary, depending on your needs. First, ask yourself some basic questions: What is your purpose for getting chickens? Do you primarily want a good source of eggs? If so, how many eggs do you want in a week? What egg color do you want? Will your chickens be more like pets than working livestock? Do you want a dual purpose breed so that you get a little meat? [Read more…]
Sniffly, sneezy, achy? Surrounded by respiratory ailments of one kind or another? Never fear, help is on the way! This time of year it seems that almost everyone is sick, but there are simple ways to reduce the risk of illness in your household and speed healing if you do get sick. Here are 10 tips for natural flu prevention and treatment. [Read more…]
The spirit of Vincent Van Gogh visited my squash patch! Lest you think I have been sniffing the catnip, look at this squash! When we found this, we gazed at it in wonder. The intricate pattern is definitely not random. Did my artistic son sneak into the garden and prank me with this complex artwork? The vibrantly colored red Kuri squash looks as if someone took a teeny tiny woodburning tool and painstakingly etched a wonderful pattern just into the outer skin of the fruit, leaving the inner layer of the hull intact. When we found a second one, we knew this was not a prank. We posted a photo and a wise Common Sense Home reader told us that this was caused by a disease, the papaya ringspot virus, also known as papaya mosaic virus.
Say WHAT?! What is that and what is it doing in my Northeast Wisconsin garden? (We certainly don't have papayas nearby.) I had to do some research, which I'll share here with you. [Read more…]
Why did the chicken cross the road? To get to the pile of interesting scraps on the other side of the road, of course! Commercial producers feed a highly controlled diet to their birds, and there are good reasons for that. Backyard hobbyists and homesteaders love to give treats to their girls. We'll talk about what to feed chickens and what not to feed chickens to keep your flock happy and healthy. [Read more…]