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The Thrifty Homesteader by Thriftyhomesteader - 4h ago

Caseous Lymphadenitis, usually called CL, is the most common cause of skin abscesses. CL is highly contagious because it can infect goats through unbroken skin. CL is unique in that it most commonly affects lymph nodes in the neck. The only way to know if a goat has CL is to have a vet aspirate the contents of the swollen area and culture it to see if it is positive for CL. It is a good idea to isolate a goat with an abscess. If the abscess bursts, the pus that drains from the wound will be highly contagious if it is CL. Once a goat is diagnosed with CL, it is positive forever, and it could have internal abscesses. A blood test for CL is also available.

CL Vaccine

Although a vaccine is available for CL, it is only used in herds that already have an outbreak of the disease, and it is only given to goats that are not already infected. Once a goat is vaccinated it will test positive, which means that testing becomes a worthless tool in determining which goats are actually infected.

Injection Abscesses

It is very common for goats to develop an abscess at the site of an injection, whether for medication or vaccination, so it is helpful to make a note of the location of the injection. More than a few goat owners have panicked when finding one of those abscesses, worried that the goat has CL. Injection-site abscesses should not be disturbed, and they will go away within a couple of weeks on their own.

They can look really dreadful, however, so some breeders who show their goats will give vaccines and other injections under the armpit of a goat that they know will be shown in the near future so that there won’t be a big bump over the goat’s ribs where everyone can see it.

Other causes of abscesses

A salivary cyst is one of the abscesses most commonly confused with CL because it occurs on the head in the same general area as the lymph nodes. Not every swollen spot on a goat is an abscess. It could be something as simple as a bee sting or ant bites.

Swelling around the lips and cheeks may be due to the goat eating thorny bushes or other plants that caused a minor injury to the skin. The loss of a tooth may cause swelling around the mouth.

Goats can also get goiters on the thyroid just like humans who are deficient in iodine, and this will cause swelling in the neck. Bottle jaw, caused by parasites, is another cause of swelling under the jaw.

This is an excerpt from the second edition of Raising Goats Naturally by Deborah Niemann.

The post Abscesses and CL in Goats appeared first on The Thrifty Homesteader.

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Once upon a time, I said I would never have pigs or geese. Well, you know my stance on pigs turned around 180 degrees. Today I’m a huge advocate of having pigs on the homestead, and especially American Guinea Hogs. But what about geese? Until I received a review copy of Kirsten Lie-Nielsen’s new book, The Modern Homesteader’s Guide to Keeping Geese, I didn’t realize I had never written about geese on here! I changed my opinion of geese at least 12 or 13 years ago. Sadly I had bought into the notion that geese are mean and attack people. Luckily I learned fairly quickly that it was a myth.

Since I love raising heritage breeds, I bought Buff Geese, which are on The Livestock Conservancy’s Conservation Priority List. I bought them from a hatchery that had a limit of only four, so I had to fill in the order with white Embden Geese. Luckily I wound up with two breeding pairs of the Buff, but breeding did not go well. Because we have a pond, the geese were free ranging, and whenever the females would set, they wound wind up as someone’s dinner. The Embdens also wound up as dinner, so we ultimately had only a flock of males, and today we are down to a single male that lives with our ducks. After reading Kirsten’s book, however, I am thinking that I want to order more goslings in the spring.

Why raise geese?

Goose meat is delicious, although because of the down, plucking them is quite a challenge. The first time my husband butchered a goose, it took him several hours to pluck the bird. In fact, I sent one of my children out to the barn to be sure he hadn’t accidentally cut himself and bled to death because I couldn’t imagine why it was taking so long. When he finally walked into the house, we all burst into laughter because he was covered with down from head to toe. He looked like he had just been on the losing end of a big pillow fight! Because I wanted to use the down, I had told him to dry pluck the goose, which added to the challenge. But using the down is another reason to have geese.

Some people use geese as weeders, as they love to eat grass and weeds. However, they also love a lot of the things we do, such as lettuce, so you can’t just let them have free range in the garden. (Wish I’d have read this book before we got our first geese!) Kirsten says geese are great at weeding “apple orchards, vineyards, strawberry patches, raspberry and blackberry patches, small lawn areas, tobacco fields, potato fields, garlic or onion patches, many herbs, depending on the goose, evergreen trees, including Christmas tree farms.”

Most breeds of geese are not great egg layers. They really just lay enough to reproduce. However, if you don’t want goslings, you can eat the eggs. One goose egg weighs as much as three large chicken eggs, so you have an omelet with just one egg.

Are geese aggressive?

Kirsten address this question on page 3 of her book — “Geese closely raised around people are not aggressive. They are some of the most affectionate and dedicated animals you can keep.” However, geese can be intimidating to strangers. I always tell people to just flap their wings (arms) to show the geese they are bigger, and the geese back off immediately. Some breeds are more aggressive than others, but attacks on humans are rare.

The only beef I have about Kirsten’s book is that she has a whole chapter on “guard geese,” which is a term that is very misleading, but it’s become quite popular online in recent years. As I said, we lost all of our mama geese to predators when they were setting. We also lost ganders to predators before we put woven wire fencing around our pond. Geese are loud and try to be intimidating, but they have no way to defend themselves, and they certainly have no way to “guard” any other livestock. The term that people should be using it “watch goose” because they are great at alerting you when something is amiss, but then it’s up to you to deal with it. Some people might find it confusing that she has a chapter on predators, so she does cover the topic fully, but the two chapters seem to be contradictory.

Want a copy of The Modern Homesteader’s Guide to Keeping Geese?

Kirsten’s book is an excellent resource. She gives you tons of information on feeding, housing, health, and even how to keep your neighbors happy. In addition to sending me a review copy, New Society Publishers also agreed to send a copy to one of our readers in the United States! Follow the directions below to enter.

Be sure to use your real name when leaving a comment so we can match it up with your entry in case you win. And if you leave a comment, don’t forget to click on the Rafflecopter entry stating that you left a comment because the winner is chosen randomly by Rafflecopter. You’ll have 3 days to respond if you win or we will draw another winner. Make sure to check back on the website when we announce the winner and check your spam folder so you won’t miss our email! To give everyone a chance to win, each person can only win once every 6 months.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

This post contains an Amazon affiliate link. This means that if you purchase something after clicking on a link, Thrifty Homesteader will make a small percentage while you still pay exactly the same amount as you otherwise would. This is one way that we are able to continue providing you with free content, such as this article.

The post Who wants to raise geese on the homestead? appeared first on The Thrifty Homesteader.

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Foraging for fruit is not going to save the world, but it’s an act that can help make us better people. It enriches lives, gets us out of doors, and ignites our curiosity. It connects us with subtle shifts in the seasons and brings us closer to the people and animals who share wild and settled spaces with us… – Sara Bir, author of The Fruit Forager’s Companion

Simply delightful. That’s how I would describe Sara Bir’s depictions in The Fruit Forager’s Companion of her walks to hunt for fruit in her neighborhood. After moving away to the West Coast and vowing never to return to her hometown in southeast Ohio, Bir writes about how she gained a new appreciation for her hometown after she moved back there with her husband and young daughter and began exploring the town with a new perspective. By going on walks, she began to notice fruit-laden trees and bushes, learned how to identify and forage from them, and to create delicious concoctions from her foraged treasures.

I’ve heard of more and more people growing food forests in their backyards or communities. This book made me realize it may not be necessary to plant all different types of fruit trees and bushes in your own yard. If you’re willing to get outdoors, pay attention, and be patient, Bir explains how easy it can be to find fruit in the world around you.

She invites readers to learn to look for fruit and explains what to do when they find it. The book includes Bir’s thoughts about respecting the areas in which you forage as well as the people who own land on which you want to pick fruit, safety precautions, a list of recommended tools, and a checklist for foraging.

There is also a section about how to use the book once you return to your kitchen with your newly harvested handfuls or bucketfuls of fruit. This includes information about preserving fruit – pros and cons of freezing, canning, fermentation, and dehydrating as well as which method works best for different types of fruit. Bir also includes a list of cooking tools and utensils, advice about containers to use for storing your culinary creations, and a really helpful section comparing different sweeteners (e.g., granulated sugar, organic sugar, brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, molasses, sorghum molasses, and agave nectar) and fats (e.g., butter, coconut oil, olive oil, etc.) and explaining which work best with different fruits.

Part II of the book “The Fruits and How to Use Them” is the bulk of the book. This section covers 40+ fruits including many lesser-known fruits such as aronia/chokeberries, currants, gooseberries, ground cherries, hackberries, juniper, loquats, rose hips, serviceberries, and spicebush.

For each fruit, Bir includes a bit of history about the fruit, information about its geographic availability, harvesting and storage tips, and generally one to three recipes. The book includes many recipes unlike any I’ve seen before. A few examples include hackberry milk, loquat ambrosia, mayhaw juice and jelly, pawpaw gelato, persimmon pudding, pomegranate molasses, sumac-ade, autumn olive fruit leather, gooseberry fool, and roasted maple blueberries. All in all, I’d recommend this book to anyone – from novice fruit foragers to seasoned jam makers and creative chefs to anyone who wants to learn about the history of different fruits.

Want to win a copy of ‘The Fruit Forager’s Companion”?

In addition to sending me a copy of the book to review, Chelsea Green Publishing has agreed to send a copy to one of our readers in the United States! Follow the directions below to enter.

Be sure to use your real name when leaving a comment so we can match it up with your entry in case you win. And if you leave a comment, don’t forget to click on the Rafflecopter entry stating that you left a comment because the winner is chosen randomly by Rafflecopter. You’ll have 3 days to respond if you win or we will draw another winner. Make sure to check back on the website when we announce the winner and check your spam folder so you won’t miss our email! To give everyone a chance to win, each person can only win once every 6 months.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Janie Hynson is a beginning homesteader in North Carolina. She works in public health and sustainable agriculture and is interested in how health can be improved through homesteading.

This post contains an affiliate link. This means that if you purchase something after clicking on a link, Thrifty Homesteader will make a small percentage while you still pay exactly the same amount as you otherwise would. This is one way that we are able to continue providing you with free content, such as this article.

The post Foraging for Fruit in your Everyday Life appeared first on The Thrifty Homesteader.

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The Thrifty Homesteader by Thriftyhomesteader - 2M ago

My love of spaghetti squash is one reason I garden. Until recently you never saw it in grocery stores. Thankfully it is gaining in popularity, and I can buy it at the store if we run out of homegrown. It looks like a typical winter squash at first glance, but when you cook it, you discover that it is quite different from butternut, acorn, and all the rest. Instead of having creamy flesh, it’s stringy! But that’s a good thing because it’s also tender and delicious. And it is not as sweet as other winter squash varieties.

I’ve been eating spaghetti squash ever since I was a child, but until the last few years, it was simply buttered with salt and pepper — lots of black pepper! And I loved it. The idea of pretending it was pasta seemed just plain weird to me. However, I eventually decided to try it with a “spaghetti” sauce — and I loved it! This is one of my favorite “fast food” recipes!

For those days when you really do not have time to cook, this recipe is a lifesaver. And I almost feel guilty calling it a recipe, but according to the definition of “assembling food,” I suppose this qualifies.

I just cut the squash in half and bake it, then brown some ground pork in a skillet and add a jar of pasta sauce, either homemade or store-bought. And voila! You’re done!

You can place the squash cut side down on the baking pan with a little water. You can cover it with a lid — or not. Or you can put the squash in the pan with the cut side up, if you want it slightly roasted with a few browned bits of “spaghetti.” You can do it however you want. It’s very forgiving, so don’t make this hard.

 

Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
    Servings4 people
    Prep Time5 minutes
    Cook Time15 minutes
    Passive Time45 minutes
    Ingredients
    Instructions
    1. Cut spaghetti squash in half and place in 375 degree oven and bake for 45 minutes or until a fork can easily pull the spaghetti strands out of the skin.
    2. Brown ground beef or pork in a tablespoon of lard until browned throughout.
    3. Add a jar of pasta sauce to the ground meat when cooked.
    4. When the squash is done, use a fork to loosen the flesh, then top with sauce.
    Recipe Notes

    If you have two small squash, each person can have their own half, but if the squash is large, place the two halves on a serving platter and let people scoop out their serving.

    The post Stuffed Spaghetti Squash appeared first on The Thrifty Homesteader.

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    Although you can use goat meat in place of beef or pork in your usual recipes, I don’t really like to do that. When I eat chili, for example, I expect it to taste like pork. If it tastes like goat, I just don’t like it. I greatly prefer recipes that come from parts of the world where people eat goat regularly. And it makes sense that they would have figured out which spices and cooking methods work best to complement the goat flavor.

    This recipe, which is included in both editions of Raising Goats Naturally, became a fast favorite! The garam masala spice blend is the key. You can find it online through my affiliate link or at most local stores. If you can’t find it locally and don’t want to wait for it arrive from an online order, you can mix up cardamon, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, black pepper, and coriander. If you’re missing one of those spices, you can still make a very tasty dish with the remaining spices.

    If you don’t have your own homemade goat milk yogurt, you can substitute plain store-bought yogurt. When traveling, I’ve had this with sheep yogurt, and it’s delicious.

    If you’ve never seen white sweet potatoes before, you may think that there is some kind of mistake here. But nope, those are Hannah sweet potatoes, which we peeled, but they have a brown skin. Japanese sweet potatoes also have white flesh, but they have red skin. You can also find sweet potatoes with purple flesh and skin. We’ve used every type of sweet potato that we could find, and they all work great with this recipe. However, the Hannahs are my favorite.

    This recipe is gluten-free and paleo.

    This post contains affiliate links. This means that if you purchase something after clicking on a link, Thrifty Homesteader will earn a commission while you still pay exactly the same amount as you otherwise would. This is one way that we are able to continue providing you with free content, such as this article.

    Indian Goat and Sweet Potatoes
    Servings4 people
    Ingredients
    Instructions
    1. Chop the sweet potatoes into 1-inch cubes. Put them into a 2-quart pot and cover them with water. Boil the sweet potatoes for 20 minutes or until a fork inserted into a cube breaks it in half easily.
    2. Chop the onion and begin browning it in oil. Add the ground goat, salt, coriander, and garam masala. Stir the meat frequently to prevent burning until it is cooked thoroughly. Add the cooked sweet potatoes to the pan, and stir the cubes into the meat mixture.
    3. In a bowl, mix together the yogurt, lemon juice, and garlic.
    4. To serve, put the meat and sweet potato mixture on a plate and drizzle it with the yogurt sauce.

    The post Indian Goat and Sweet Potatoes appeared first on The Thrifty Homesteader.

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    It’s unfortunate that 80% of Americans think that their personal care products, such as skin care products, have been tested and approved for safety by the government. They have not. And you know all of those claims to make you look younger in 60 days? Those don’t have to be backed by research either. In addition, skin care products can contain more than a thousand different chemicals that have been banned in Europe because they are linked to cancer, hormone disruption, infertility, learning disabilities, and more. But if parabens are found in 90% of US skin care products and shampoos, what can you do — especially when parabens are just ONE of the 1000+ harmful ingredients!

    Totally natural and inexpensive

    In my book, EcoThrifty: Cheaper, Greener Choices for a Happier, Healthier Life, I talked about the simple, food-quality substances that you could use on your skin. For example, baking soda makes a great exfoliator for your face. I’ve been using it since the 1990s.

    Oils, waxes, and butters are the base ingredients of homemade soaps, creams, lotions, and moisturizers. Household basics like sugar, salt, and baking soda are also used to make safe and effective products. Learn about different ecothrifty skin care products you can make using these ingredients in the following posts:

    Oils – Although all of the oils used in ecothrifty personal care products are food oils—not petroleum based—every oil sold in the grocery store is not necessarily good for your skin. Each oil has a different acid composition and unique properties. For example, some are more moisturizing; others work better in soaps. Learn about eight different oils in this post.

    Waxes and butters – Waxes are another popular ingredient in skin care products and, unlike oils, they last a long time. Butters are usually used in body butters and scrubs, while oils are the main ingredient in soap recipes. In this post, learn about the different types of waxes and butters.

    Creams and moisturizers – Creating a cream or moisturizer that works for you is really a matter of figuring out which oils and butters have the properties that suit your skin type (dry, normal/combination, or oily). In this post, learn about the different ingredient options for creams and moisturizers and how to make a body butter. Here’s another recipe for peppermint body butter.

    Body scrubs – In this post, learn how to make different body scrubs including a shea butter sugar scrub, a light sugar scrub, a salt scrub, and other options for exfoliating your skin. Here’s another homemade peppermint sugar scrub recipe.

    Natural alternatives to deodorant – In spite of claims that underarm antiperspirant is harmful to health, it is still used because we think we need it. In this post, learn about natural alternatives to deodorant.

    Soap – Homemade soap can be specifically formulated for hand washing, bathing and showering, and for washing your face, and problematic ingredients for those with allergies can be left out. Learn how to make your own soap in my online soapmaking class. You can make enough soap in less than an hour to last you a year. But if you don’t want to make it yourself, you can find a local soapmaker and buy soap from them. Just be sure they do not use “fragrance” oils, which contain toxins.
    Totally organic
    If you just can’t bring yourself to use baking soda and olive oil, but you want something totally organic, MiEssence is the company I’d suggest, especially if you are skeptical of US organic standards. MiEssence is an Australian company that uses food-grade ingredients, and their products are certified organic not only by the USDA, but also the European Union and the Australian government. They are not cheap, but they have a loyalty program for regular customers, and you can get free shipping, as well as discounts of up to 40%. (They also have the best probiotic I’ve ever used.)
    Safer option that performs great
    Commercial skin care and cosmetics – If you really want a commercial skin care option, the best performing one that does not compromise on safety is Beautycounter. It’s also a good option for cosmetics, which I don’t make because it’s just about impossible to do so using ingredients available to the average person. Most of the totally natural options do not perform well and there are no cheap natural options. Cheap cosmetics use toxic chemicals, which is why they are cheap, although some high end products use the same cheap ingredients. If you want to know more about why I love Beautycounter, click here.
    Sunscreen – Those of us living on farms and growing even some our own foods cannot help but spend a fair amount of time outside exposed to the sun. There is a big difference between the various sunscreens on the market as well as how they are used. Although you can buy zinc oxide and add it to lotion to make your own sunscreen, it’s tough to figure out the SPF without some trial and error, and error in this case could be painful. Learn more about safer sunscreen.

    This post contains affiliate links. This means that if you purchase something after clicking on a link, Thrifty Homesteader will earn a commission while you still pay exactly the same amount as you otherwise would. This is one way that we are able to continue providing you with free content, such as this article.

    The post Cheaper, Greener, Safer Skin Care Options appeared first on The Thrifty Homesteader.

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    Aren’t we always looking for ways to simplify life and cut back on weeknight stress? I’m convinced after reading Fix, Freeze, Feast: Stock your Freezer with Ready-to-Cook Meals, 2nd Edition, that bulk cooking and freezing meals is a great way to maximize time and still have nutritious, tasty meals. But bulk cooking is certainly not a new concept, particularly for homesteaders.

    You’ve likely seen plenty of cookbooks about bulk cooking but what really stands out about this book is the use of healthy ingredients and the recipes look really delicious! In fact, there are many meatless/plant-based, globally inspired, and gluten free recipes in this book. The authors of the book, Kati Neville and Lindsay Ahrens, formerly owned meal preparation businesses and developed this cookbook by adapting their tried and true, long-tested recipes.

    The more than 200 recipes included in this book can be prepared right up until they are ready to be cooked, so that all you need to do is thaw and cook them. Some of the recipes can even go straight from the freezer into the slow cooker, oven, or skillet without needing to be thawed. Here’s a photo (right) showing what’s included with each recipe.

    The authors explain how preparing food to be frozen is different than cooking a meal you are going to eat right away. Some ingredients simply don’t taste good or hold up well when frozen so they provide a list of the best and worst foods for freezing. Each recipe also includes its recommended freezing shelf life.

    There are also really helpful tips for how to:

    • develop a shopping list for bulk cooking,
    • prepare your kitchen and ingredients to be most efficient,
    • label and store meals in your freezer (including the best containers for freezing),
    • avoid food-borne illness and other issues when preparing, freezing, and thawing meals,
    • correct cooking mistakes,
    • adapt your own recipes once you’ve become experienced cooking with the Fix, Freeze, Feast method,
    • form cooking clubs or co-ops to share the costs, time, and fun of bulk cooking, and
    • share make-ahead meals with others in your community.

    Recipes are divided into the following categories: chicken main dishes; beef main dishes; pork main dishes; veggie and seafood mains, sides, and soups; sauces, marinades, and flavored butters; and breakfast, snacks, and sweets. Some of the recipes I’d like to try first are a beef and bow tie soup, smoked gouda and ham strata, apples and cheddar with pecan crumble (a side dish or a dessert), breakfast burritos, and lemon-lavender butter cookies.

    Want to win a copy of ‘Fix, Freeze, Feast”?

    In addition to sending me a copy of the new edition to review, Storey Publishing has agreed to give a copy to one of our readers in the United States! Follow the directions below to enter.

    Be sure to use your real name when leaving a comment so we can match it up with your entry in case you win. And if you leave a comment, don’t forget to click on the Rafflecopter entry stating that you left a comment because the winner is chosen randomly by Rafflecopter. You’ll have 3 days to respond if you win or we will draw another winner. Make sure to check back on the website when we announce the winner and check your spam folder so you won’t miss our email! To give everyone a chance to win, each person can only win once every 6 months.
    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Janie Hynson is a beginning homesteader in North Carolina. She works in public health and sustainable agriculture and is interested in how health can be improved through homesteading.

    This post contains an affiliate link. This means that if you purchase something after clicking on a link, Thrifty Homesteader will make a small percentage while you still pay exactly the same amount as you otherwise would. This is one way that we are able to continue providing you with free content, such as this article.

    The post Bulk cooking and freezing meals appeared first on The Thrifty Homesteader.

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