The things you need to know in order to have a high hatch rate when incubating duck eggs. Plus, how to build "the best" homemade incubator.

The same principles that apply to hatching chicken eggs can be applied to duck eggs. With the last batch of 18 duck eggs I incubated, 12 hatched, 1 died sometime in the last week of incubation for unknown reasons, and 5 were clear eggs. I didn’t candle the eggs, so I didn’t remove the clear eggs. This was a 66% hatch rate. A 50% hatch rate is considered very good.

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Why you need to use a strip cup when you're milking and how to make your own. This DIY strip cup is cheap and easy to put together.

In the first few streams of milk, any abnormalities such as blood or clots will be detected. The first few streams of milk contain the most bacteria and dirt. That’s why you need to use a strip cup.

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Goat hoof care is a task you sign up for when you bring home cute baby goats. Goat hoof care begins early in life and is a regular part of a maintaining a healthy herd. You have some time before the kids are big enough to need an actual hoof trim, but getting them use to having the hoof touched and examined early, will make it easier when necessary.

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The ADGA's policies for naming your dairy goat are a bit more strict than the AGA's, so those are the ones we are going to discuss.

How hard can naming your dairy goat possibly be? Well, if you are planning on registering your goat with the ADGA (American Dairy Goat Association) it might be a bit harder than you think. The American Goat Association (AGA) has rules of it’s own, but ADGA’s policies for naming your dairy goat are a bit more strict, so those are the ones we are going to discuss.

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If you plan to raise ducks on your homestead, it is important to choose a duck breed that best suits your particular needs.

Over the years ducks have been bred for different purposes, primarily meat production and egg production. If you plan to raise ducks on your homestead, it is important to choose a duck breed that best suits your particular needs. All domesticated duck breeds originated from the mallard. The male mallard has a couple of curled tail feathers, called sex feathers. No other non-domesticated ducks have these sex feathers.

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Animal enrichment is activities that create a more stimulating environment for the animals and elicit some of their natural behaviors.

Today you are getting Zoologist Jessica instead of Homesteader Jessica. For those of you that don’t know, I went to school for zoology, but decided that I didn’t want to live in a city, which is what led me to farming. One important aspect of animal care they taught me about in college was animal enrichment and how important it is to an animals health and overall well-being.

Animal enrichment is activities that create a more stimulating environment for the animals and elicit some of their natural behaviors such as exploration, foraging, locomotion, social interaction, manipulating objects, or simply playing.

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The herbal powders I give my goats sift through the feed and end up uneaten at the bottom of the dishes. That's why I started making herbal goat treats.

One of the things I don’t love about the herbal supplement powders I provide to my goats is that they often sift through the feed and end up an uneaten powder at the bottom of the dishes. My goats love when I made herbal balls for them, but I don’t want to have to make them for the daily supplements, like the Kop-Sel. I’ve been making the herbal balls weekly when I give them DWorm, but it seemed like there must be an easier way. Like maybe in some sort of goat treat.

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Summer, along with its oppressive heat and humidity, has arrived. Some of the best stuff on the homestead happens in summer (like the arrival of ducklings and a garden that’s starting to produce), but summer comes with struggles as well. Get summer tips for the garden, your livestock, and even tips for staying cool while you cook.

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