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Small-Scale Livestock Farming: A Grass-Based Approach for Health, Sustainability, and Profit Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC; 1st edition (January 10, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580171621
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580171625
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #62,859 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“…the quintessential primer for rural families who want to take a step toward independence and increase their earnings…"

  (Acres USA)

From the Back Cover

Starting a small-scale livestock farm? First, you need this book!

Yes, you can have a prosperous farm and achieve the lifestyle of your dreams -- and farming expert Carol Ekarius will show you how. Small farms can pay big dividends, Ekarius explains, but hard work alone isn't enough: Success demands knowledge and effective management.

Ekarius's natural, organic approach to livestock management produces healthier animals, reduces feed and healthcare costs, and maximizes your profit. Through case studies of successful farmers, nitty-gritty details on every facet of livestock farming, and fascinating insights for working with nature instead of against it, you'll learn to make your farm thrive.

Small-Scale Livestock Farming will help you:

* Determine what you want from your farming life (even if your farm is simply a few backyard animals)

* Choose suitable livestock

* Understand housing, fencing, and feeding needs of livestock

* Learn about reproducing stock and caring for your animals' health

* Investigate conventional and cutting-edge market strategies

* Create a complete financial and biological farm plan

* Make decisions that are good for you, for your animals, and for your land


More About the Author

Carol Ekarius is the author of Storey's Illustrated Guide to Poultry Breeds, Pocketful of Poultry, and several books on small-scale farming. Carol and her husband live with their many critters in Hartsel, Colorado.

Customer Reviews

I especially liked the list of resource information.
T. Blizzard
I would highly recommend this book to anyone considering getting livestock for themselves or for profit.
Gamer
This is an excellent book that was very informative and well researched.
M. Rangwala

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

253 of 261 people found the following review helpful By theresa springer on June 14, 2001
Format: Paperback
"No one plans to fail. Yet so many people, particularly in the agriculture, fail at what they try to do. Beginning farmer and third-generation family farmers often suffer from the same types of failures, and those failures usually lead to jobs in town."
We Springers are fifth generation Colorado ranchers. We are trying desperately not to go belly up. We want a sixth generation to know the joys of watching a calf come into this world, drink the product from a cow they milked, smell alfalfa in bloom, herd the cattle to summer pasture and sleep sound after a hard day of solid work Yet, we no longer have a home place. We are living off leases; we are displaced ranchers.
We have been muddling along going to seminars (a little disjointed) trying to find out how to stay in this industry. This book put it all together, what we know, what we learned and what we are learning. It put a lot of things in focus for us. We had thought of the beginning farmers as green horns; horning in on our way of life. This sounds a bit corny but I think they might just save us: Save America from corporate agriculture. Our land will be healthier and so will the population that lives off of it.
I believe for the beginner this book is a must. We, multi-generation ranchers have our own language-chickens go on strike, (stop laying), breachy cows (ones that jump fences), in heat (estrus cycle)-that don't make apparent sense. Yet, Carol spells it all out for them. She gives a general heads up about normal health problems, giving examples that range for the simple cure to a bit more technical maneuvers. She further dabbles in alternative health practices. The book lays the ground work for understanding resource books like the Stockman's Handbook.
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63 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Amanda Noble on July 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is worth its weight in gold! This is a comprehensive guide to farming with livestock using a natural, logical approach. It is an indispensible tool for those just starting out, yet also provides valuable information for the seasoned farmer. In this book you will find numerous case studies of farmers successfully using a natural,grass based approach. The section on grass farming basics offers helpful guidelines on pasture management, and rotational grazing. The animal husbandry section provides a wealth of information in an easy to understand format. Even though I have had livestock for 15 years, I still learned a great deal from this book. I found the sections on marketing your farm products and farm planning extremely helpful, including ideas for converting a currently unprofitable farm into an integrated thriving entity. The numerous tables and worksheets are easy to understand and are a great help with financial planning and monitoring. If you have always wanted to farm, or if you want your current farm to be profitable, then this is the book!
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73 of 78 people found the following review helpful By C. William Anderson @theseinspire VINE VOICE on May 16, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found the discussion on grass farming and pasturing methods to be first rate advice. Many livestock farmer wannabe's don't realize that they are, or should be, first considered as grass farmers who harvest their crop with animals instead of tractors.
Other welcome advice or comments were:
Her advice to think long and hard before investing in exotics is wise. In many occasions, she is correct when she states it was a pyramid scheme to make the first entrants rich but later followers left holding the bag.
Still, at least some discussion on exotic farming costs and likely returns could have been included for those who persist in such enterprises.
Further, the interviews with other small-scale farmers wasw, by and large, helpful.
How could this book become a five-star?
A - Include photographs of the topics and methods discussed.
B - Include a section of rabbit farming
C - Provide more detail specific to livestock housing, breeding and management practices. The scarcity of information in this section was a disappointment.
D - Prune out some of the new-age, holistic information.
E - Add further real-life examples of income/expense worksheets. Those that are included are a GREAT help.
All in all this is a terrific book in the mode of back-to-the-land books of the 70s, but a bit more mature and business-oriented. Shuttleworth (Mother Earth News) and Belanger (Countryside & Small Stock Journal) would be proud to know this author. I, as publisher of Living Among Nature Daringly am grateful to have purchased this book through Amazon.[com]
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Chere Heyermann on August 15, 2000
Format: Paperback
A great overview and in depth book on the topic of Livestock Farming. Several key sections lead the reader to areas of interest. Starting out to accomplish a dream? This book highlights important issues to consider. I found the appendix and examples to be just what I needed to get a broader look at what is possible. Do not pass this book up if you want a single resource for Animal Husbandry, Marketing, Planning and very importantly...Calculations/Equations which guide you through decision making processes.
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118 of 137 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 1, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was looking for a substantial book about small-scale livestock farming, and instead I was treated to a very basic introduction to agriculture. This book would make a great high school agriculture text, but beyond that it falls short of providing any real, useful, institutional knowledge that I was looking for. For example, in the book the author reviews basic high biology concepts such as the water cycle, the food chain, and the energy pyramid. She also reminds readers how to round up or round down. And if that were not insulting enough, she then informs readers that to be a successful farmer, you must dress like a farmer; "clean bib overalls and a straw hat, or a plaid shirt, jeans, and a cowboy hat." Give me a break. Again, if you want a simplistic, new age, farming book of little practical use by an author who has less than a decade of farming experience, this book is for you. If you want a no-frills, no-fluff, useful, dirt under your nails, John Deere farmer kind of a book, I would look elsewhere and I would suggest Gene Logsdon's The Contrary Farmer.
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