Showing posts with label Donkeys on the Farm. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Donkeys on the Farm. Show all posts

What are Donkeys Good For?

Donkeys are good for a homestead for many reasons! Easy to care and multipurpose! Some uses for donkeys you may know about, but some you may not. Could donkeys be useful on your homestead? #donkeys #homesteader #donkeycare

Due to the overwhelming response to my donkey posts I've decided to move them all to a new site all for themselves.

You can find this article and many others about donkeys here

Sorry for any inconvenience.

Rain Rot in Horses and other Livestock Free Herbal Recipe!

Sorry for the inconvenience but this recipe has moved to 

Donkey Training Needs

Donkeys need a certain amount of training to be handled easy and safely. Donkey Training needs tips and resource links!

Due to the overwhelming response to my donkey information post I've decided to give donkeys a site all their own.
You can find this article and others here 

Sorry for the inconvenience. I hope you enjoy the new site

DIY Hay Feeder : A Cheap and Easy Way to Stop hay waste!

When I decided to add a couple of horses to the farm I needed to start feeding round bales. It's just too expensive to feed square all the time. When you have a fairly large herd of donkeys, sheep, goats, llamas or horses saving on the winter hay bill is a big deal!

DIY Hay Feeder! Reduce waste and Save money on hay!

So my husband (the Bald Man) came up with an awesome DIY hay feeder that drastically reduced waste and kept the hay nice and dry!

So check out our DIY Hay Feeders!

DIY Hay Feeder! Reduce wasted hay and save money!

It cost us less than $65 each to make these. Keeps the hay dry. It's sturdy!
It keeps them from pulling so much hay on the ground and pooping on it. Now the barn stays cleaner with the bales not being inside plus there's more room for everyone if someones being a bit grumpy and trying to hoard the hay!

The hog panel cut into and placed at the bottom front keeps the hay back nicely, no one steps in and they can just lean in and eat.
Wish we had thought of this last year!! But oh well, I had lots of mulch hay!

The materials used: cattle panel over the top, 4 posts to steady the sides, tarp over the top, pallets to sit the hay on and help keep it from getting wet and moldy, a modified hog panel tied across the front to hold the pulled out hay in.
This is really going to also cut down on my chore time without having to constantly shovel up wasted poop hay! As well as save us money!

Since they like to stand, eat and poop in front of the hay for hours the Bald Man does have to use the tractor to scoop up the manure. Actually again, this saves me time hauling manure out of the barn or stalls to the compost pile.

These DIY hay feeders have worked really well for Donkeys, sheep, llamas and our horses. It works ok for some goats, but with goats being such jerks, for the most part, they jumped over the hog panel, climbed over the hay, pooping and peeing on it as they did. So the biggest hay wasters of all time figured out how to ruin this too! Its no wonder I no longer have goats! 🤣

Rescue Donkey Works

And On another note...
This is Shani. Just brought her in last night. Her owners were divorcing and just needed her gone. Sad circumstances have left her a little neglected.Rescue donkeys placed in good homes

She's a little thin, needs her hooves trimmed and needs deworming as well as her vaccinations.
She is a nice donkey though. Someone loved her one time because she's Halter and lead trained well.
She's the prettiest sorrel I've seen on a donkey. She's the largest donkey here so I sure am glad we got those DIY hay feeders made up! 
I think she will be impressive once I get her in shape and in good health! She'll be evaluated with small livestock and tested with dogs to see her potential as a livestock guardian. Then she'll be placed in an appropriate farm home. 

If you've been thinking about getting a donkey for your farm check out my Donkey Care Primer ebook. Its everything you should know before you bring home a donkey!

Everything you need to know before you bring home a donkey! Donkey care basics!

Wondering what all you can do with a donkey beside have it guard? You can go to Donkeys On the Farm to learn more about what I've used mine for and other care tips too! 

Thanks for stopping by and checking out our DIY Hay feeders! I hope they can help you stop hay waste and save money on hay like they have for us!

Other places you can find us!

You are welcome to check out Homestead and Horses Pinterest boards. 
You can often find updates on our Facebook page Gods Blessing Farm
and more pictures and updates on our Instagram Homesteaders Journey  

Hope Y'all have a Happy & Blessed Week!

**ALL photos you see are from my actual Homestead. I do not need to use purchased stock photos. What you see on my blog is REAL! 

Things to know about Donkeys

Due to the overwhelming interest in my donkey post I've decided to give them a site all for themselves. 
You can find this post and others here

Sorry for any inconvenience

Creating Farm Businesses

From homestead to small subsistence farm and now to the farm business.
Our wild ride in different homesteading/farming ventures has been a blast of successes and crushing times of utter defeats! 
Now this new year,  as I've stated in other posts, brings more changes and it feels so overwhelming but totally exciting.
For 2017 Gods Blessing Farm is now Gods Blessing Farm LLC. 

The milking donkey herd is getting bigger and the donkey milk soap business is a major undertaking. You can try some out yourself here Donkey Milk Soap
Check out my board for some soap making business ideas if its a business you are thinking about!  Soap Making Business

The Ever Changing Homestead 

For this to get bigger other things must get smaller. Management of time has never been more critical. So there will be No other dairy animal projects and no additional poultry projects.
To be honest, Over the years I'm realizing that my gardening and poultry efforts are ...
Well.... A bit too large! 
Ok much too large!!! 2 people do not need to raise over 80 goslings a year with no intent to sell them!
And 2 people do not need the huge and extensive amounts of food I grow in my garden.

So these things get much smaller and some things will get eliminated.
Other dairy animals I wanted, unfortunately, there's no time for me to dedicate there. The donkey milk is superior in skin care and I can't digest other milk like donkey milk so the focus has to be on what keeps me healthy and makes the best product. 

I'll raise about half of the grain corn and veggies that I raised last year and the more difficult things to grow, like things that aren't right for this climate but I've learned hacks to grow them anyways, will not be planted. 
I love my gardens and growing but I got to refocus on what most important. The ever-changing goals of the homesteader! 

I will only incubate some quail next fall for replacements but all other hatchings will be left to the birds themselves. Thankfully my Pilgrim geese and Muscovy ducks are excellent mothers and need no help from me!
My poultry efforts will be very very tiny.

I feel good that we reached an amazing goal of growing over 90% of our own foods here. This year that will be a smaller number. I'm good with that and looking forward to local sourcing from other farmers what I've decided to no longer grow. 
I feel the need to move on to other farm goals and challenges. I feel like these challenges have been put in from of me for a reason and I need to pursue them. 

Check out my Pilgrim goose post here though. Best goos ever! The Pilgrim Goose

The Meishan Pig Business 

My husbands' farm challenges and goals with the Meishans have also grown and changed somewhat. The Meishan offers opportunities that the American Guinea hogs could not offer. 
Having to be given the opportunity to preserve these extremely rare, diverse genetics and get them into the hands of other farmers is a huge undertaking. 
When I saw my husbands breeding schedule for the 2017 Meishans it was terrifying at first look!! 
The Meishans are a big part of the farm business. They are such wonderful pigs that I don't even mind having half our farm be a *pig farm*! 

He's put a lot of work into them. If you would like to learn more he has a great youtube channel where you can see them in action.. or lack of action! Meishan sleep a lot!

They are mostly my husbands' responsibility and as the Meishans get bigger other stuff he does must get smaller. It's all about balance and dedication to the opportunity given.  

There's much to be organized, much to be built and expanded and certainly, much to be learned with these new farm ventures we believe the Lord has led us too. 
It's a new day.... 
God is Good 

Starting a homestead soap business

We have much going on for the coming 2017!
The Meishans and Donkeys are certainly taking over here!

And I'm super excited about my new Etsy shop! check it out in the link below!

Donkey Milk Soap

Our first batches of donkey milk soap sold out quickly! And more is curing and being made as fast as we can! 
As a professional licensed Esthetician, it thrills me to be able to work with such amazing natural skin care ingredient!!   
As a farmer, I'm blessed that I have the ability to produce this milk myself so I know first hand that the donkeys the milk is taken from are loved and fed the best natural foods. And my milking donkeys are chemical free! 

Another goal for 2017 is My herb gardens will also be expanding as I find the need for more of my own medicinal herbs and I want to grow more herbs for the soap line. Herbs and Donkey milk do work so well together! Of course, lard from our Meishan pigs is another farm product raised here. A lard hog is such a wonderful thing for a soap business!

Having a soap business side hustle can be a great way to bring in extra cash to the homestead!
Especially when I grow SO much of the things that go into my soaps!

To find out more about Meishan pigs (best homestead niche hog ever!) check out the breeders association Why Meishan Pigs?  and one of our previous post on the hog here Make mine Meishan

Of course, I have info on milking donkeys here on our blog like this one Milking Donkey

Check out my soap making business board on Pinterest too! Soap Making Business Tips
And this board on Donkey milk Benefits Donkey Milk Soap Info Board

Here's a board for Herb garden Ideas too! Herb Garden Plans and Tips
Good quality herbs are hard to find and expensive. Many are stale by the time they get to you and their effectiveness isn't very good. Growing your own herbs is so easy!

If I do honey soap we have our own honey and beeswax, my egg white facial soap is made from our own eggs. 

As you can see my cost for a bar of soap is very low and we get the benefits of having these other homegrown products!

If you're interested in milking donkey on your own farm a good place to start is with my ebook Donkey Care Primer which can provide you with info you need to know before you bring home a donkey! 

As always thankful to God for the wonderful opportunities he has put in front of us! All the glory is His!  

Thankful for 2016 and praying for a good 2017

Homesteading for sustainability and for profit

It's been a lovely year. I might even say it's been the best year yet on the farm!
The discovery of donkey milk and how well donkeys fit in on our farm and with my personality has been a huge blessing!
Learning how they think and how to train them keeps me on my toes! They are never boring!

You can check out my Donkey milk board to read more Donkey Milk Benefits
I'm getting a better handle on what and how much I need to grow to feed us all year in our four-season gardens. I grow WAY too much food in my gardens and I have years of food preserved.
Next year will be a very different gardening year than the last few years have been! And I'm looking forward to it!
Check out one of my favorite Pinterest boards for veggie garden plans and Ideas
It was actually 2015 when the meishans entered the picture. But in this year of 2016 is when we were able to add the 2 rarest lines of Meishan in America.. The USDA line and the Illinois line. By the grace of God, we were able to acquire the last of these pigs from those 2 centers. 
Never before available to the public, if managed properly the genetic diversity this brings to the table is outstanding! 
The Meishan has a chance of being an amazing opportunity for small farmers looking to raise nondestructive, quite, productive, gourmet meat and lard hogs.
Also, for those of us who tire of the slow growth rates of most heritage breeds the Meishan grows much faster!  
If there is a pleasant pig that exists it's this breed!
For more info on them go here Meishan Pigs

or watch this informative video on, Does the Meishan fit your farm?

My Muscovies are still champion baby raisers! 

And we raised over 80 goslings this year.
I had some surprises along the way but overall the geese were wildly successful.
To cut back on the workload and the breeding pens needed. I'll only be raising Pilgrims next year. The Chinese will remain though for their superior egg laying ability. We love goose eggs!
To learn more about the best homestead goose check out my previous post here!
Also this year the addition of the quail has been wonderful! And we added a few more bantam chickens for summer eggs. 
Our plans for dairy sheep were once again put out due to having to up the donkeys because of my health needs for donkey milk and allergy to sheep milk if I don't have donkey milk but we still plan to raise some meat lambs!
The Lord has lead us where he wants us to be. Our farm has developed into something I never dreamed it could. 
It's a praise to GOD in every way. The failures and disappointments have been learning tools to help prepare us. The joys and successes have been amazing and we are grateful!
We will certainly be praying for guidance as we enter the new year to come.
Thank you, Jesus, 🙂 could not have done any of this without your guidance.  

Homemade Horse Fly Repellent and healing salve

Sorry for the inconvenience but this recipe has moved to 

Fly Repellent Recipe