Jul 11

Apartment Homesteading: Top 4 Ways to Homestead in the City!

Kitchen Herbs

Kitchen Herbs

You live in the city, and you LIKE your urban lifestyle. Yet you like the idea of being self-sufficient, eating organic produce, making homemade food, paying less for groceries, being more independent…

The basic tenets of homesteading and self-sufficiency definitely appeal to you.

I have good news for you! Even if you have NO balcony, rooftop or even patio space; there are still many urban homesteading ideas you can put into practice right now in your apartment. Let’s get started!

Top 4 Apartment Homesteading Ideas:

1. Grow your own vegetables.

Dill and Cucumbers

Dill and Cucumbers

You may not have a yard, but you can certainly start planting vegetables in pots! Otherwise known as container vegetable gardening. Even if you don’t have a balcony or patio, you can start growing veggies INDOORS. Really!

Vegetables that grow in the shade (such as lettuce, spinach, mixed greens, carrots, radishes, and certain berry varieties) are good first choices for indoor vegetable gardening.

If you have aspirations to grow larger, fruiting plants, such as peppers and tomatoes, you can use fluorescent, HID or LED grow lights to provide the necessary light for plants to grow. With a little creativity and modern technology there’s practically no limit to what you can grow indoors!

2. Plant a medicinal herb indoor garden.

Herb Garden

Herb Garden

Indoor herb gardens are an excellent choice for the urban homesteader. In terms of what they require vs. the benefits they bring, herbs may have the highest return on investment of any plant you could grow. Not only do they add delicious aromas and flavors to our dishes, most herbs have multiple beneficial medicinal qualities.

The best part is that it is actually easy to grow herbs indoors. They require less space, light and care than other edible plants. Any window with a few hours of sunshine is perfect for a window sill herb garden.

3. Compost your own food.

Compost

Compost

Long called “black gold” by gardeners for the invaluable nutrients it provides to plants, compost is something you can start making from what you are already throwing away. And now that you’ve decided to grow indoors (see idea #1), why not turn your discarded food scraps into the valuable resource that they really are?

You may not have enough room for a huge compost tumbler in your apartment, but I bet you could find room for a small kitchen composter. There are even composters available for smaller spaces, such as countertops and under sinks.

4. Ferment your own foods.

Herb Vinegar

Herb Vinegar

Ah the world of fermented foods. Do you know of their many health benefits? Do you know how easy they are to make at home?

Humans have fermented foods for thousands of years. Not only is fermentation a natural form of preservation that keeps food safe for consumption longer, it generates billions of probiotics that are highly beneficial for our intestines and digestive systems. In fact, probiotics have been proven to render dairy safe for the lactose intolerant, reduce cavities in children, protect against colon cancer, aid with IBS (inflammatory bowel syndrome), and more.

A few of the most commonly fermented foods are: Yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, wine, vinegar, aged cheese and kombucha (a delicious Japanese fizzy drink), all of which you can learn to make at home.

So there you have 4 ideas to get you started with apartment homesteading and self-sufficient living in the city. Other ideas include canning your own food, making nut butters, sprouting, making bread, and more!

Don’t get overwhelmed – start with just one thing. Arguably the most rewarding practice of urban homesteading is to start growing your own food, whether it be in a balcony- patio- or indoor vegetable garden. With the satisfaction of eating your own delicious organic produce, you will soon be inspired to learn other self-sufficient living techniques.

 

To learn more about Apartment Homesteading [http://containergardeningcenter.com/apartment-homesteading-101-indoor-vegetable-gardening/], Urban Homesteading and Indoor Gardening, sign up for the FREE Mini Course “Indoor Gardening Success” at [http://www.ContainerGardeningCenter.com].

Becky Sheldon is a container and indoor gardening expert and enthusiast who wants everybody to be able to grow their own delicious food, no matter where they live!

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Also check out our garden plants guide to get your own herb or veggie garden started today!

Jul 10

Tea Tree Oil Soap Recipe

aromatherapy treatment with lavender and lemon balm

Learn how to create various tea tree soaps below using tea tree oils.

All the major brands selling natural and wellness products, have introduce the products containing tea tree oil. The customer preference for natural products have made it an important ingredient in cosmetic and medicinal products requiring antiseptic, anti fungal and anti inflammatory products.

So what exactly is tea tree oil? It is obtained from steam distillation of melaleuca alternifolia tree found in New South Wales, Australia. It was used by Australian Bundjalung aborigines to treat skin conditions by crushing the leaves and using pulp over affected area.

British Explorers used the leaves for making tea from where it got its name. It was only in 1920 when Dr. Arthur Penfold, researched its antiseptic properties and it came in lime light. The use of it as an antiseptic never really grew till the Second World War; however with advent of synthetic antiseptic it lost its important. Only in 1980’s and 1990’s with consumers preferring natural product it has bounce back.

Uses of Tea Tree Oil:

•Antibacterial: Recent studies in London and West Australia have found that it can be used to counter hospital super bug , Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) , this bug infect people having depressed immune system or post- operative infection. This infection to most of conventional antibiotics other than Vancomycin. The tea tree oil is a powerful alternative.

•Antiseptic: It is an excellent antiseptic can be used for cuts, acne, insect bites, infected wounds, lice, diaper rash, sunburn etc.

•Anti inflammatory: It can be used for hemorrhoids, arthritis, sprain and gout

•Analgesic: It can be used for relief from pain

•Anti Fungal: It also has Anti Fungal function which can take care of athlete’s foot , onychomycosis(Infection of the nails) ,albicans, jock itch, thrush, ringworm and eczema

•Household: It can be used as a disinfectant or deodorizer for washing diapers, treat household plants.

•Personal care: Toothpaste and mouth wash with tea tree oil are available. Adding few drops to regular toothpaste or mouth wash is good for teeth and gum. However, it is recommended to avoid swallowing it.

As tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic, antibacterial and anti fungal, its soap that heals bruises, cuts and other skin condition like dermatitis, acne and psoriasis. Soap, shampoo containing it is increasing being used for healthy living. One can add 2 teaspoon to any liquid soap gentle olive oil based to make it antiseptic. Liquid soaps, body wash and wipes are also available containing tea tree oil.

The tea tree soaps available in stores contain tea tree oil, glycerin, sorbitol with a vegetable soap base. These soaps have natural purifying, antibacterial properties help soothe blemished skin and natural deodorant. The soap has deep cleanses action on skin; it refreshes and stimulate skin and remove dead skin cells. The tea tree oil is suitable for all kind of skin.

Tea Tree Soap

To make tree tea oil soap at home, you need the following ingredients:

  • •2 cup glycerin soap base
  • •2 Table spoon Tea Tree oil

Melt glycerin base in a double boiler, blend with the oil and pour in a mold. Glycerin is gentle to the skin and is also a moisturizer. It also does not need lye and fat. Only precaution is to keep heat as low as possible to avoid it getting beaded or mushy appearance. After it is done pack in plastic container to keep glycerin from attracting moisture.

Tea Tree Lavender Soap

Another recipe to make 2 lb of Tea tree oil and lavender oil soap requires:

  • •24 oz Olive oil
  • •8 oz Palm kernel oil (25%)
  • •4.38 oz Lye (6% superfat)
  • •8.8 oz of goat milk **
  • •1 oz lavender essential oil
  • •5 oz tea tree oil
  • •2 tbsp lavender powder
  • •2 tbsp oat meal powder

** Lavender tea, Oatmeal milk, soy milk may be substituted for goat milk

  1. Freeze the goat milk or its substitute in a container.
  2. Add Lye very slowly to goat milk and keep stirring.
  3. Prevent container from getting too hot.
  4. Once mixed cool the mixture and add slowly Palm Kernel oil (It should be melted)
  5. Add lavender oil and the oil followed by lavender powder and Oat meal powder.
  6. Add Olive oil mix the solution and pour in a mould.

Courtesy of ArticlesBase

Looking for a way to transform your lifestyle into a healthier one? We have some quick ways to get started as well as tips on implementing more difficult yet more rewarding health transitions into your life in our Healthy Living article.

Jun 11

Raising Baby Ducks – Joyful Activity For Kids And Family

DucklingRaising baby ducks is indeed, a powerful pastime and really entertaining pursuit for your lovely kids, because the kids get amused by touching, seeing, looking the ducks. When these ducks go around at different locations, the children also prefer to chase them, the children begin moving, taking part in and viewing these ducks and significantly really feel happy. Little doubt, this has a positive psychological impact on the minds of your children.

The ducks lend a couple of significant senses towards the children, because they neither make any hue and cry, they softly increase their voice while sitting, standing and moving which communicate the message to the kids that they should talk with a reduced voice, without any hue and cry. The ducks are soft bodied like the sponge so by sensation these ducks, kids feel very pleased. This communicates the message to the elders they ought to give a gentle method towards the youthful kids.

Actually raising the ducks for your kids is not an uphill task, it can easily be managed, yet it’s a greater positive impact on the minds of one’s kids. So by no means compromise to boost the ducks at your house, enabling your kids to perform with the ducks and stay happy within their every day lives.

Nevertheless, an important factor that should be followed is the fact that you are required to consider to look after any assault from the pet cats or canines. These child ducks also required to be elevated in an environment that should neither be warm nor cold.

Soon after they hatch, they need to be kept inside a heat temperature at about 90 degree throughout the winter season period. As soon as you feel temperature is dropping, you lower the temperature by nearly 5 degrees after each week until it reaches a point where the baby ducks would start growing their feathers.

Ducks choose to consume their diet plan in a moist form, thus before feeding the ducks combine water in what ever you feed towards the ducks. Mixing drinking water, using the feed proves helpful on two counts: they get their food in addition to drinking water. The common feed for duck is like, bugs, greens, and meal worms.

Ducks are naturally suited within their all-natural environment. But the reality is that as a pet duck owner you have to be very accountable whilst raising your pet duck.

 

Are you looking for more tips on raising ducklings? If you think you still need guidance on where to start, consulting existing duck owners and farmers will certainly be a big help. If you would like to learn more about raising ducks correctly, Click Here

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Mar 11

Hunting Edible Weeds

Mallow Flower

Mallow Flower

Some people call them wild plants. Some call them weeds. And some people call them names I can’t repeat. However, many weeds are actually quite edible and very nutritious. Best of all, they’re free.

Not all of us can have vegetable gardens. I do have a small garden, but as my interest in foraging for edible plants has grown, I’ve researched many edible weeds and have even found some of them growing in my own backyard. I’ve eaten chickweed which I consider to be delicious fresh out of the yard. It’s a real treat to find this green plant during late winter and early spring when a lot of fresh greens aren’t always readily available. I’ve also harvested dandelions, purslane, and lambsquarters from my yard. Some of these are good raw and some are better cooked. Some, like dandelion greens, need to be harvested when they are young in order to avoid bitterness. When very young, dandelion leaves are good both raw or cooked. The dandelion flowers have a honey-like taste and can add both flavor and color to salads or as a garnish. Additionally, a variety of herbs make a delicious addition to soups.

Dandelion

Dandelion

Many weeds are generally considered to be edible and non-poisonous and this is only a partial list. Remember that as with any plant or food, some people may be allergic or have a reaction. Always identify and sample only a very small amount of any wild plant before you decide to make a meal of it.

  • Lambsquarters (Chenopodium album) – relative of garden spinach but even more nutritious
  • Chickweed (Stellaria media) – can be eaten fresh or cooked
  • Mallow (Malva neglecta) – leaves, stems, flowers and fruits are edible
  • Purslane (Portulaca oleracea) – likes hot, wet weather
  • Curly Dock (Rumex crispus) – widespread and abundant in North America
  • Wood Sorrel (Oxalis stricta) – leaves resemble a shamrock, tart-tasting
  • Field Mustard (Brassica rapa) – widespread, nutritious, pungent
  • Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata) – reported to be among the most nutritious leafy greens
  • Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) – a bitter green that needs to be harvested at a specific time
  • Shepherd’s Purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris) – loves moisture, fertile soil, and cold weather
Field Mustard

Field Mustard

There are many other edible weeds. But in order to safely harvest and eat any weed, you need to follow some strict guidelines:

  1. Only harvest weeds that you can positively identify and know to be edible. Remember that many edible weeds have non-edible and even poisonous parts. Field guides are available to help identify weeds.
  2. Avoid picking weeds close to roads where they can absorb exhaust fumes and runoff.
  3. Don’t harvest weeds in industrial areas or in areas contaminated by animal feces or heavily contaminated with bird droppings.
  4. Don’t pick weeds from yards treated with pesticides or herbicides.
  5. If you have a medical condition or take medication, consult a medical professional about the safety of any wild plants you may want to eat.

For additional information: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/complete-guide-to-edible-wild-plants-department-of-the-army/1100872996?ean=9781602396920

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Feb 11

What Is Spoon Butter And How Do You Use It?

Wooden SpoonsCaring for wood kitchen utensils or old wood ware (often called treen) might seem like a simple task. A lot of people do nothing to their old wooden items. But as wood ages, it dries out and can crack or warp. If you have old or collectible wooden items such as spoons, bowls, and cutting boards, caring for them with spoon butter can help prolong their usefulness as well as their good looks.

Many recipes for spoon butter contain mineral oil. I don’t like to use petroleum-based products on items used to prepare or store food. However, most other oils can become rancid over time. Another option for making spoon butter is coconut oil mixed with beeswax. Coconut oil is stable, doesn’t turn rancid quickly, and is readily available. It is also a solid at room temperature. A ratio of one part beeswax to three parts coconut oil seems to work well.

It is usually fairly easy to find bars of beeswax, but these can be difficult to cut into the proper portions. Beeswax is also available in pearls which are easier to use and melt more quickly than the bars.

To prepare the spoon butter, put the three parts of coconut oil into a quart jar and add the beeswax on top of that. Place the jar in a saucepan with an inch or two of water in the bottom of the pan. Bring to a simmer over low/medium heat. Let the mixture melt, stirring occasionally, until all the beeswax has melted. Turn off the heat and allow the mixture to cool and solidify. To store, put a lid on the jar and place in a cool cupboard until ready to use. The mixture will keep for some time when stored in a cool location.

My favorite all-purpose item to have around the house is pure coconut oil! It's great for spoon butter.

My favorite all-purpose item to have around the house is pure coconut oil! It’s great for spoon butter.

To apply the spoon butter, make sure the wood surfaces are very clean and completely dry. Using your hands or a clean, lint-free cloth, apply a generous amount of the butter working it in over the entire surface of the wood. Let this sit overnight in order to soak in deeply. The following day, use another lint-free cloth to buff off the residual oil. The result should be a satiny smooth surface that is not greasy. Reapply the butter whenever you notice your wood utensils and boards becoming too dry.

Tip: Because the coconut oil is solid at room temperature, it may take some experimentation to get the measurements of your mixture right. It’s easiest to measure the coconut oil by warming it to the consistency of a thick liquid.

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Jan 31

Guide to Raising Sheep – Simple and Straightforward Tips to Know Before You Raise Sheep

Ewe Lamb

Ewe Lamb

This is a simple and straightforward guide to raising sheep.

Animal Care

Sheep need fresh water, plenty of grass, and lots of open space to move about. Sheep also need to be vaccinated to protect them from diseases. They also need shelter to keep them from getting wet especially in cold and humid weather. They also need protection from natural predators such as foxes and wolves.

Merino Sheep

Merino Sheep

Breeding and selecting sheep

For lambing needs, the Corriedale and Columbia breeds are good choices. Dorper and Hampshire breeds are chosen for the best meat. While for wool, Merino is still the breed of choice of producers.

Aside from a guide to raising sheep, a beginning sheep farmer also need equipment and expert help when starting their flock. A list of equipment needed include: shearing, tagging, fencing, and cleaning equipment as well as other barnyard tools.

Sheep Herd

Sheep Herd

Styles of managing sheep are also important in a guide to raising sheep:

1) Early lambing – lambing in January to February and selling lambs in early summer.

2) Late lambing – April to May. Production costs are lower but lambs will be sold cheaper.

3) Accelerated lambing – ewes lamb several times a year. Production is increased with this style of lambing. It however needs careful management and the right breed of sheep to pull off.

Sheep in Winter

Sheep in Winter

A farmer also needs to know the most desirable sheep characteristics in a guide to raising sheep:

1) Out-of-season breeding – out of season breeding will increase the value of your product since it generally means you and only a select few will be able to offer the market with the product at that time.

2) Multiple births – ewes that give birth several times a year increases production, and naturally your profit.

3) Early sexual maturity – ewes that sexually mature early means they give birth early. Faster lamb production, and generally increased production.

4) Desirable carcasses – lambs that give good carcasses when slaughtered are desirable and bought at higher prices.

Cozy Spring Lamb

Cozy Spring Lamb

Last but not the least, a guide to raising sheep also needs a glossary of common terms used:

1) Crutching – shearing the hind part of a sheep to prevent fly-strike

2) Crimp – the natural wave formation of wool. The closer the crimps, the finer the wool.

3) Micron – used in measuring wool; the equivalent of one millionth of a metre.

4) Ringing – removing a circle of wool around the pizzle of a male sheep.

5) Tupping – mating of sheep; can also be understood as mating season

6) Wigging – removing wool from around a sheep’s eyes to prevent wool-blindness

Happy Field of Sheep

Happy Field of Sheep

 

Are you looking for more guide to raising sheep? Separate yourself from the usual sheep owners who are prone to common mistakes. If you would like to learn more tips on caring for sheep and how to raise sheep correctly, please visit: http://www.howtoraisesheep.com

Don’t forget to claim your FREE “12 Tip About Raising Sheep – What You Need To Know Before You Start” eReport!

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Jan 31

Breeding Sheep – A Beginner’s Guide Before You Start Raising Sheep

Baby Lamb

Baby Lamb

Sheep husbandry or breeding sheep is the act of breeding and raising domestic sheep for the purpose of harvesting its milk, wool, or meat. The top sheep producing countries in the world are: Australia, New Zealand, Iran, United Kingdom, Turkey, Syria, India, Spain, Sudan, and Pakistan. These countries have the most favorable climate and environment for breeding sheep which is why they are the top producers of sheep in the world. If you are planning to become a sheep breeder, the environment and climate where you are in must closely resemble those of the countries listed above in order to be successful.

Sheep breed well in dry but cool places. They must have plenty of room to move and enough grass to graze in. Sheep need plenty of water and sufficient shelter from the elements (i.e. rain, winter). Newborn sheep should be vaccinated immediately, with booster shots given every 6 weeks for the next 3 months, and then every 6 months thereafter. Sheep also need protection from predators. Adequate fencing can take care of this. Other farmers also make use of sheepdogs to help them guard and keep the sheep on specific land. Breeding sheep can be both a fun and rewarding experience, but can also be stressful and hard.

If you are breeding sheep for wool, Merino and Corriedale sheep are the breeds of choice. For milk, the Assaf and Awassi breeds are known to produce the best and largest volume of milk among other breeds. While for meat, Dorper and Hampshire breeds are your best bet.

In addition to their basic needs, sheep need lots of attention and care. They need plenty of exercise especially if you are raising them for meat (this is so that they will not accumulate more fat than meat). Most farmers also cut the sheep’s tails (this is called docking) to keep the sheep hygienic (droppings sticks to its tails and wool). Periodic worming is also a must, as is other preventive vaccinations such as those for tetanus and enterotoxemia (overeating disease). Farmers should also take extra care that their sheep do not develop foot rot, a fungus infection that develops when the sheep stands too long in wet mud. Breeding sheep will also often require that the farmer be in attendance when a ewe is in labor. Supplementary food like hale and bay may also be needed if grass starts to run out in their grazing ground.

 

Are you looking for more tips on breeding sheep? Separate yourself from the usual sheep owners who are prone to common mistakes. If you would like to learn more tips on caring for sheep and how to raise sheep correctly, please visit: http://www.howtoraisesheep.com

Don’t forget to claim your FREE “12 Tip About Raising Sheep – What You Need To Know Before You Start” eReport!

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Jan 31

Feeding Sheep The Right Way – Nutritional Needs For Raising Healthy Sheep

Sheep grazing 2Today we will talk about the proper nutrition for your sheep. Sheep get most of their nutritional needs from the following in no particular order:

– Hay
– Silage
– Grains
– Pasture

Hay is a good source of food for feeding sheep especially when pasture is readily available. This usually happens when the weather is not suitable for grazing or the animals are just kept in a barn for a period of time. Hay may come in different forms but experts agree that if you are to feed hay to your sheep delineate the type of hay you will feed them Mixed hay composed of grass, legumes and other herbaceous plants like second-cutting or mixed grass types are cheaper when your sheep are under gestation period. You must reserve the higher quality type of hay like Alfalfa hay for lactating ewes since it promotes better milk production and contains a high concentration of protein and calcium. Be sure that your hay stack is free from mold and must.

Silage is a succulent variety of fodder for sheep. It is composed mainly of plant material from corn, oats and others and kept in a silo covered by plastic. Its moisture content is high and a good source nutrient for your sheep. The lactic acid that builds up during its production serves as a preservative for your stock supply. In feeding sheep, do not serve frozen or moldy silage to your flock and throw away those that do not pass your quality inspection.

Grains are used for supplemental nutrition in the whole diet plan of your sheep herd. Corn, soybean as well as oat, sorghum and wheat are used extensively for grain feeding. As a meal replacement each type of grain has its nutritional value at the top of the chain are corns and soybean. To help you choose which grain is best for you try to figure in the costs of each grain choice and from there you can make an assessment.

Pasture is the main and staple source of food for your sheep. Having a good supply of pasture in fact is enough to meet the needs of your sheep with respect to their nutritional requirements. The ideal pasture would be composed of leafy vegetation no more than six inches tall. Over seeding clover during winter on your pasture will ensure that the forage in your area is sufficient come grazing season. When you start feeding sheep or grazing you will notice that not all areas have enough pasture to graze on.

All these available food sources should be supplemented with minerals and salts so that your sheep flock will have better performance in late pregnancy.

 

Are you looking for more tips on feeding sheep? Separate yourself from the usual sheep owners who are prone to common mistakes. If you would like to learn more tips on caring for sheep and how to raise sheep correctly, please visit: http://www.howtoraisesheep.com

Don’t forget to claim your FREE “12 Tip About Raising Sheep – What You Need To Know Before You Start” eReport!

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Jan 31

How to Raise Sheep – 5 Things to Consider and What You Need to Know When Raising Sheep

curious little lamb on green grassBefore anyone can start raising sheep, they first have to know for what purpose they would like to raise sheep. Would it be for wool? Meat? Milk? Most farmers settle on only one as specific breeds are often specialized in their uses. While there are breeds that are good for dual or cross purposes, they often don’t produce the best wool, meat, or milk of their kind. A beginning sheep farmer learning how to raise sheep must also be prepared for the many hardships he will go through. As a farmer grows in experience, raising sheep will get easier and more manageable.

5 Things to consider when learning how to raise sheep:

Land – how much land is available to you? As a general rule an acre is good for about 3-5 sheep or ewes.

Shelter – a barn that can house your flock to protect them from the cold in winter or extreme heat in dry season is needed. Farmers are advised to set aside an average of 15 square feet per ewe.

Market – how do you plan to sell your product? Do you have readily available buyers or do you plan to make use of cooperatives? It is important that you know your market and study how you can earn and increase your market’s potential.

Machinery, equipment, labor – these are things you need to maintain and raise your flock. For starters, you need fencing, cleaning, tagging and shearing equipment. You’ll need barn hands if your flock is larger than what you can manage. You also need guard or sheep dogs if you will be letting your flock graze on open land.

Capital – you cannot start raising sheep if you do not have the necessary capital to buy the equipment, and the sheep necessary to start a flock.

You also need to learn flock management styles if you want to learn how to raise sheep. There are 4 styles of flock management. Range band, farm flocks, specialized flocks, hobby flocks. Range band flocks are for those with a large number of sheep (usually 1,000-1,500 ewes) kept in pasture in either open or fenced land with a large acreage. Because of the large number of sheep, range band flocks subsist purely on pasture alone, as it is economically not feasible to spend for extra feed or hay to the sheep. Farm flocks are smaller bands of sheep kept on a smaller area than range band flocks. It is more manageable and feeding can be supplemented by hay and other grains. Hobby flocks are started by hobbyist or by farmers wanting to preserve breeds which are slowly dying out. Hobby flocks can also be started to provide for specialty products such as wool for hand spinners. Those starting out in learning how to raise sheep often start with a hobby flock before expanding to farm flock size.

 

Are you looking for more tips on how to raise sheep? Separate yourself from the usual sheep owners who are prone to common mistakes. If you would like to learn more tips on caring for sheep and how to raise sheep correctly, please visit: http://www.howtoraisesheep.com

Don’t forget to claim your FREE “12 Tip About Raising Sheep – What You Need To Know Before You Start” eReport!

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Jan 31

Raising Sheep for Wool – All You Need To Know

Merino Sheep

Merino Sheep

Raising sheep for wool was the major income source for sheep breeding in the early 1900s. But as the value of wool as a commodity started to decline, farmers and breeders adapted, raising sheep for wool specifically for niche marketing. Fleeces sold to specialty markets or hand spinners will fetch more as opposed to being sold commercially. A pound of fleece can bring as much as $15 compared to just 75 cents in the local market. Cooperatives also help in adding value to a producer’s wool. Small quantities of wool can also be made into custom yarn, blanket, or cloth.

Hand spinners desire high quality wool the most. A producer who wants to produce high quality type takes extra care in feeding, housing, grooming, and raising the sheep. Farmers often skirt fleeces in fleecing wool. Skirting is the process of removing undesirable parts of the fleece. Parts removed include this type: belly, coarse, cotted, stained, tags, and short.

In raising sheep for wool, most farmers often use covers to keep the fleece from getting dirty. This also protects the fleece from the sun’s ultraviolet rays, which causes fading and damage. Wool also grows more under covers and generally softer than wool that grew without covers. The covers have to be changed periodically to keep the sheep well ventilated and clean. An entire industry of producing sheep covers has sprung up because of this. Regular sheep covers are made of nylon.

Aside from raising sheep for wool that produces excellent fleece, a producer must also be proficient at shearing. Shearing is the process of cutting off the woolen fleece of a sheep. A fleece’s quality is determined by wool classing; a process wherein wool of similar grade and quality are grouped and sold together to increase its value. It must also be cleaned, called scouring, removing grease and dirt from the fleece. It can be immersed in warm water, or can be cleaned with detergents and alkali.

A wool’s quality is very important in raising sheep for wool. Factors that affect a it’s quality include: color, crimp, fiber diameter, staple strength and yield. Of these factors, fiber diameter is the most important. The finer it is, the better its price will be. Merino type (generally agreed upon to be one of the best wool in the market) grows about 3-5 inches in length and is very fine (12-24 microns). In general, the smaller it is in microns, the better it is. Those types which are finer than 25 microns are used for clothing while coarser wools are made into rugs and outerwear.

 

Are you looking for more tips on raising sheep for wool? Separate yourself from the usual sheep owners who are prone to common mistakes. If you would like to learn more tips on caring for sheep and how to raise sheep correctly, please visit: http://www.howtoraisesheep.com

Don’t forget to claim your FREE “12 Tip About Raising Sheep – What You Need To Know Before You Start” eReport!

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