5 Best ‘How To’ Posts of 2013

The Most Popular ‘How To’ Posts of 2013

One of the biggest reasons I started blogging about homesteading and ‘self sufficiency’ was to share the nitty gritty, do-it-yourself, down-to-earth kind of information that is so helpful on the homestead. I know that I had a hard time finding detailed instructions on how to do some of these things when I first started. So I learned a lot by trial and error and I wanted to share those experiences with anyone searching for helpful instructions. So here are the five most read posts on my blog from 2013. I hope you find them helpful too!

 

Butchering a Black Broiler chicken

#1 – How to Butcher a Chicken

It’s overwhelming to see how many people have read my tutorial on processing chickens at home. This is by far the most read post on my blog. And to think I was a little worried that people would leave when they saw blood! This is about as real as it gets on our homestead and raising our own chickens for meat and eggs was one of the biggest reasons we moved to a rural/agricultural property in 2010. I remember helping my Dad butcher chickens when I was a kid on the farm, and that was very helpful when I started processing my own chickens. But if you didn’t have the chance to dress a chicken when you were knee high to a grasshopper, maybe this post will guide you through the process.

 

Cornish X Broilers ready for processing.

Cornish X Broilers ready for processing.

#2 – Raising Meat Chickens

Many people are interested in raising their own chickens for meat, and this post is proof! I wanted to discuss the experiences I’ve had raising Cornish X  and dual purpose breeds for the table. At the time that I wrote the post, I felt that the Cornish X was definitely the best bird for meat, but since then I’ve realized that some things are more important to me than getting the biggest, meatiest bird to the table in a jiffy. I updated the post recently to share my thoughts after reading about the inhumane treatment of chicks in some hatcheries. But we all have to decide for ourselves what is most important to us in raising our livestock. I’ll let you be the judge.

 

Homemade cottage cheese...yum!

Homemade cottage cheese…yum!

#3 – Cottage Cheese – Made From Sour Milk

It isn’t too often that we have milk go sour before we use it up on our homestead. However, when it does happen, I like to use that sour milk up instead of throwing it out! When I heard that you can use sour milk to make cottage cheese, I had to try it. Apparently a lot of other people are interested in leaning how to do this too. If you haven’t tried this, check out my post and you’ll see just how easy it is to prevent waste in your kitchen.

 

Apron full of eggs

 

#4 – How to Get More Eggs from Your Laying Hens

It’s no surprise that people are interested in getting the best egg production from their hens. Keeping a flock of laying hens has been a great experience for our family and many other homesteaders are doing the same. But when egg production slows down and you don’t have enough eggs to pay for the feed, it’s time to look at the cause. Is it possible to amp up production? Or are your hens getting past their prime? Here are my suggestions for getting the best production from your flock.

 

IMG_7176

Raw milk from a local farmer…mmmm!

#5 – Sour Milk – Don’t Toss it Out!

I guess a lot of people are looking for ways to use up sour milk. Besides making cottage cheese, there are some other uses for that milk that has passed its expiration date. Don’t waste it…use it up!

 

Red barn with Quilt Square
Bonus Post! Can You Make a Living on a Small Farm?

This post came in just shy of making it on the Top 5 List…so I’ll just share it with you here! Many folks are interested in quitting their jobs to move to the country and starting a rural business. Can you make a living on a small farm? Don’t get caught up in the dream without looking at the realities of this lifestyle change.

 

I hope that each of you has a wonderful New Year! Stay safe if you are heading out to celebrate New Year’s Eve tonight!

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