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Homesteading is all about self reliance. What’s more self-reliant than being able to make your own clothing? While most people think you need a huge pasture to raise sheep, you can still make it happen on a smaller homestead.

Wool is the biggest benefit to raising sheep. This is awesome if you want to make your own clothing and do it in a way that’s animal-friendly. Some people also raise sheep for meat, although this is more sustainable if you have a larger homestead and flock.

Not sure if sheep are for you? Here are a few essentials you’ll need to start a flock.

Food, water, and shelter

Ensure you have a shelter for your sheep to live in. A three-wall shed would be ideal, and it will need to be kept inside a gated paddock. You don’t want your sheep running amok!

Always have ample water available for your sheep. A low trough should work perfectly. For food, remember that sheep are grazers. If you don’t have a huge pasture, you’ll need to constantly supply them with grass hay. Depending on your vet’s recommendation, you might need to feed the sheep grains to balance their diet.

Health and hygiene

Like any animal on the homestead, sheep need to live in a clean home. Regularly clean the sheep pen. Rake out old hay and any moist spots. The rule of thumb is if it’s stinky or looks dirty, clean it! Failure to clean regularly increases your sheep’s chance for disease.

Keep in mind that sheep can get sick. It’s especially important to worm your sheep regularly. Consult your vet to find a dewormer and worming schedule that are right for you.

The biggest hygiene concern with sheep is grooming. And I’m not just talking about their woolen coat, either. You’ll need to trim their hooves and check their gums and eyes regularly.

Of course, sheep shearing is a crucial part of homesteading with sheep. If you want wool from your sheep, you’ll need to shear them. You’ll typically shear once a year. Shearing is a very physical process that can be difficult. If you have trouble with shearing, call in a pro. They’ll get you a better quality fleece and it’s less hassle for your sheep.

The bottom line

Many people think sheep are for large farms, but they can be right at home on a smaller homestead, too. Remember to run through this checklist before purchasing sheep to make sure you’re ready. They’re a great addition to the homestead and can supply years of soft, luxurious fleece.

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How to Get Rid of Puffiness and Bags Under the Eyes

Puffiness and bags under the eyes can leave your face looking tired, drawn and older than your years. Lack of sleep, water retention, hay fever and other allergens are the most common causes, although genetics and age may play a part for some people. Getting plenty of sleep is the first step to reducing eye bags, but this may not be enough to eliminate them completely. Whatever the cause and contributing factors, there are several ways to get rid of puffiness and bags under the eyes.

Reduce Fluid Retention

Fluid retention can lead to puffiness in different areas of the body, including the ankles, fingers and under the eyes. Sometimes the result of excess salt in the body, fluid retention can be reduced by cutting down on salty foods, and drinking more water will help flush the excess salt from your body. Many women experience a worsening of water retention around the time of their period, so it’s important to reduce your salt intake in the week running up to your period. Another way to help prevent puffy eyes caused by water retention is to use extra pillows under your head, as this allows fluid to drain away from your eyes more easily.

Drain the Sinuses

Hay fever and other allergies can cause fluid to build up in the sinuses and around the eyes. Draining the sinuses can help to reduce congestion and alleviate eye bags. Acupressure and facial massage techniques can be extremely effective in draining the sinuses. For a simple sinus drainage, gently press one of your fingers around the lower bone of your eye socket, starting from the outer corner of your eye and working toward your nose. Next, press along the upper eye socket until you reach the outer corner of your eye again. Repeat the process as many times as necessary to relieve sinus congestion.

Cool the Eye Area

Cooling down the area around your eyes helps to shrink eye bags and reduce puffiness. Slices of cucumber, raw potato, cold spoons and cool tea bags can all be useful for reducing puffy eyes. Alternatively, you can place wet cotton pads in the refrigerator and leave them overnight. The next morning, use them as cold compresses; simply lie back for five minutes with the compresses on your eyes, then splash your eyes with cool water. Cooling eye masks and gel packs can also be extremely effective in reducing puffiness.

Switch to an Eye Serum

Eye gels can make puffiness and eye bags worse, as they often have a high water content, which can increase fluid retention under the eyes. Many eye creams can be too heavy for the delicate skin around the eye area and can lead to sagging or baggy skin. Eye serums, which are much lighter than creams, can keep the skin around your eyes hydrated without overloading your skin with excess water or heavy creams. Eye serums may be more expensive than regular eye creams, but the results are often worth the extra cost.

Puffiness and bags around the eyes can be caused by a number of different factors, including allergies, water retention and lack of sleep. Cutting down on salt, draining your sinuses, cooling the eye area and switching to an eye serum can all help to prevent eye bags. Ensuring adequate sleep is another important factor in the prevention of puffy eyes. If all else fails, a good concealer can be used to cover your eye bags.

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