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If you’ve ever visited the countryside, you know the joy of having animals on the farm that you can take care of. In the city, you’ll never see a cow except for on a milk carton and the same applies to other farm animals. The obvious reason for this is that larger breeds of farm animals need a specific environment to live in; so the city’s pollution and noise are a big no-no. Luckily, you can keep a few kinds of farm animals at your city home. While it does depend on your area’s jurisdiction, these animals pose the least problems.

Chickens

I’ve already written about the basics of how you can raise chickens from chicks and then move them into a coop. Chickens are also very quiet (not talking about roosters!) so you won’t get in trouble with the neighbors either. Not only will you be raising home-bred chickens that taste better, you’ll also get fresh eggs at home. You can choose to sell these products to your neighbors or consume them yourself. Moreover, they also provide high-quality manure that works well as fertilizer or an addition to compost. You can choose from a variety of breeds, based on whether you’re raising them for the eggs or meat.

Quail

For city dwellers, quail are the best farm animal to keep if you have minimal space. Though they mature a little slowly, you will find that they’re much more fun to keep than chickens. When 24 weeks old, quail begin to lay eggs so if you want to grow some chicks, you’ll require an incubator. While the bird itself tastes delicious, their eggs are too; you can raise a fine amount selling quail eggs.

Ducks

If you can handle their sometimes-aggressive attitude and loud quacking, I recommend that you raise ducks. Now, most people don’t consider duck meat and eggs to be a delicacy, but they are expensive from their ordinary chicken-based counterparts.

Therefore, whether you have a taste for duck eggs, want to make some extra money on the side, or simply think ducks are adorable; you have your answer. You’ll find that a few rare species can even lay almost as many eggs as a chicken, which would be a score. You’ll need more space for these ducks, not to mention a small pool, but other than that you’ll be fine.

Pygmy Goats

Enough about the birds, you want a herd, don’t you? Pygmy goats aren’t just your ordinary petting zoo animal, but they make great urban farm companions as well. Although they don’t serve as a large source of meat and milk, you can’t underestimate certain breeds like Nigerian Dwarfs.

If you’re interested in drinking fresh organic milk, you’ll be happy to know that they can produce up to a liter of milk every day, as long as you feed them good quality produce. However, if you are not interested in keeping them for their meat, there is always the option of having them as pets that produce manure that is rich in nitrogen.

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Beekeeping And The Benefits of Honey

For many cultures over the centuries, honey has been a premium natural sweetener with amazing uses. With its natural properties and unique taste, it’s no wonder its benefits are unimaginable and impressive. Honey is a very beneficial food for our health & body – like immune system, skin, hair and even nails. Let’s take a look at some undeniable benefits of honey

Skin

Thanks to raw honey with its antibacterial and antioxidants properties, it can treat your body of skin problems and irritations such as:

  • Burns and Wounds: Where you experience burns (including sunburns), honey can be applied to the affected area to soothe and relieve the sting. With its antibacterial properties, honey heals wounds and burns effectively.
  • Acne and Spots: Honey acts as a cleansing agent with its antibacterial and antiseptic properties by absorbing the impurities from the skin causing acne and thereby treating the skin from acne and spots.
  • Aging& Wrinkles: Honey helps treat wrinkles and ageing on the skin. As a natural humectant, it moisturizes the top layer of the skin leaving the skin moisturized and refreshed which reduces wrinkles and slows down ageing. You can treat your body with a honey bath or mask.
Hair

For a healthy hair, honey has been categorized as the all-natural moisturizing product that can be used to treat dry hair. Combined with natural oils like coconut oil or olive oil to create a mixture for hair conditioning; it helps straighten the hair, remove dandruff and enrich the hair cuticles to prevent hair loss or thinning.

Health

To avoid and control the risk of diabetes or heart problem, consider adding honey to your diet. Honey as an antioxidant helps protect the heart as studies have shown that polyphenols in honey can reduce the risk of a cardiac arrest. Also, honey while consumed as a replacement for sugar helps reduce diabetes risk.

Excited about the benefits of honey, right? Well, there’s more to it as you can gain more than honey from beekeeping.

Beekeeping is the concept of “bee-farming” for profit in terms of honey, wax and great pollination – if you’re a fruit farmer or grower of berries, almonds or nuts; honey bees can help keep your plants healthy, as it is reported that 30% of the world’s most common food crops require honeybees.

A Quick Outline to Beekeeping

Learn about Beekeeping

Beekeeping is a different ball game to animal farming. Quite relaxing as it doesn’t require you changing water and food trays, cleaning the keep and faeces because bees do all their work themselves like the saying “Busy as a Bee”. However, beekeeping can be a tasking and patient work because it needs strategic management.

Where you’ve decided to start beekeeping, it’s best to learn and familiarize yourself with beekeeping, knowing the right set of beehives and supplies through guide books, research and joining a beekeeping community or association around you.

Order your Bees and Supplies

This is you being serious about being a beekeeper and you’ve armed yourself with enough knowledge but practice they say makes perfect. Choose the type of beehive you’ll like if you plan to set up a beekeeping in your backyard which will serve as a man-made hive for your bees. Langstroth(standard beehive for years) and top-bar hives are the most common types of beehives which are good to maintain the bee colony and for easy collection of honey.

Supplies of beekeeping consist of a hive, smoker, proper clothing (including hood&gloves), extracting equipment, hive tool and gears which shouldn’t cost much and a package of bees. Interestingly, bees can be ordered and delivered by mail, that’s right! You can also choose to get your bees from another beekeeper who can put you through.You can either order a “package bee and a queen” which is a set of bees that’s ordered with a grown queen or a “nuc colony” which is a more established set of bees with a queen that’s started laying brood.

Start Beekeeping

The European Honeybee “Apis Mellifera” is the common species kept in America with North America having 4,000 species; so beekeeping requires management which is influenced by the bee type, climate and beehive. The best time to start beekeeping is in the Spring because it’s the swarm season when bees get busy and you want to get your bees ready. Ensure to provide your bees accessibility to flowers, water and a good sunny view for them to survive. Also, build a high fence for easy and raised flight for the bees and to protect your neighbours. Always ensure your bees are doing fine, with periodic checks.

Harvesting Honey

I bet you didn’t know that 22, 700 bees are required to fill a jar of honey and the queen bee produces between 100,000 to 200,000 bees over the year, Impressive, right? A colony of bees can produce 60 to 100 pounds of honey per year so it takes patience, constant learning and management to a successful beekeeping. As a new beginner, it will take the following year before you can start gaining profits in terms of honey.

To harvest honey, you need to:

  • Wear protective clothing, avoid perfumes or cologne which can attract bees around you.
  • Carry the smoker to keep the bees calm but use sparingly so as not to affect the flavour of the honey.
  • Remove the supers from the beehive and gently brush off attached bees
  • Remove honey from the comb with extractor (centrifuge or spinner) by uncapping the wax from the combs and strain honey with a strainer to avoid excess wax
  • Keep honey in a bucket to settle for 2-3 days allowing foreign object rise to the top for easy removal.
  • Skim off the foam on top of the honey and keep in jars.

Voila, you’ve successfully kept bees and harvested honey!


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  • The Business GalThe Business Gal
    Yes, the point of building a homestead is to be self-sufficient, healthier and live a good life that we can be proud of. And yes, somewhere along the way, I want it to be more of a business – making money from the land too. What can I say? My husband and I are also …