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We’ve read, listened to, and watched countless books, podcasts, and YouTube channels over the years that have helped shape our homestead goals. We’ve tested (way too many) different homestead tools and we love sharing what works best. Below are our favorites and we hope you enjoy them too.
The Small-Scale Poultry Flock by Harvey Ussery is really your one-stop-shop for raising chickens yourself.
This is the second edition which contains so much lived experience wisdom along with practical how-to’s and blueprint plans for coops.
A comprehensive look at sheep, The Sheep Book: A Handbook for the Modern Shepherd is a great overview for newbies.
Whether your new to sheep or a veteran, this book covers all the topics and is a great one to keep on hand year round.
While we may not agree with every recommendation, we appreciate all viewpoints.
permaculture/land & homestead development
No homestead read list is complete without Dirt to Soil by Gabe Brown.
His story is a simple yet profound journey to what we care about most – working with the land to produce abundance.
This book is one I love to gift friends for their introduction to permaculture.
We’ve followed Angela at Axe and Root Homestead for years and her new book, The Sustainable Homestead, doesn’t disappoint.
Permaculture is our goal for our land and she provides practical and proven advice on how to plan your homestead to work with nature to produce abundance.
I learned dandelions are a sign of poor soil which was news to me!
The best introduction to small-scale farming and how to actually make it work.
Joel Salatin knocks it out of the park again with his book, You Can Farm.
We don’t want to waste any animal that gives its life for us. So I’ve been researching how to preserve hides by tanning.
Leatherworking and Tanning by Lynn Huggins-Cooper gives a fascinating history of leatherworking and tanning while also providing modern day tips on old trades.
I’m intrigued now by brain tanning.
We are focusing our endeavors on raising animals that can help us make our own clothes and home necessities.
Sheep and alpacas are of a real interest to us and Raising Animals for Fiber by Chris McLaughlin was a real eye opener. I’m really sold on alpacas now.
Curious as to what Natural Flavors are on every single pre-packaged item you buy at the grocery store?
Learn about it straight from the horse’s mouth in The Dorito Effect by Mark Schatzker.
If you’re already avoiding toxic seed oils, here’s you next stepping stone to better health.
Glyphosate. Sprayed on many crops that leaches into the water supply so it’s difficult to avoid.
Hear the tale of why glyphosate is so deadly and how large corporations get away with poisoning our food and water.
For years I’ve attempted to master bread making to no avail. Recipes seemed complicated and I couldn’t get bread to rise properly.
Enter Flour Water Salt Yeast by Ken Forkish. I almost didn’t believe breadmaking could be so simple until I put these recipes to the test.
If you want a good fundamental book on breadmaking, look no further.
Without sound money, civilization falls. Every downward spiral can be linked back to the debasement of currency.
Written by a friend from right here in Wyoming, Bitcoin and Beef is the best intro to Bitcoin for those familiar with agriculture and the best intro to Beef for Bitcoiners.
The Fed – what is it? how did it come to be? how has it helped to ruin our currency?
The Creature from Jekyll Island is a riveting tale of how most issues we experience in the world are directly tied back to The Fed and the debasement of the dollar.
Considered the foundational book on sound money, The Bitcoin Standard has been the turning point for many in their understanding of what money actually is and how it works.
This is my favorite, short read for any newbies interested in sound money.
The Bullish Case for Bitcoin is easy to read, clear and understandable and perfect for anyone questioning how to fix our continual currency debasement.
The Modern Homesteading Podcast is a great resource for the beginner and experienced alike.
These short pods pack a whole lotta info into bite-sized pieces for our convenience.
If you’ve not heard of Greg Judy before, have I got an amazing surprise.
His YouTube channel is so open and transparent leading to so much wonderful learning on rotational grazing and sheep. But the topics don’t stop there!
The Wyoming Food Coalition shares fantastic speaker series on how-to’s in Wyoming’s harsh climate on their YouTube channel.
My Digital Farm Podcast is a fantastic source (and my first real introduction) to all things marketing for agriculture.
Corinna Bench’s pods are chock full of fantastic information you can’t afford to miss out on if you’re trying to make a profit from your homestead.
Bella Figura – The Tradition of Living Beautifully is an absolute vibe. Dolores Alfieri-Taranto brings the stories of men and women and their ancestral homes and how that impacts everyday life.
This is a podcast that just makes you feel good to listen to. It’s like a warm cup of coffee on a cold winter day.
Learning more about the state I now call home has been important to us.
Wyoming My 307 Podcast is a great resource for those new to Wyoming straight from a native Wyomingite.
Need to weigh kids or lambs but don’t want to spend a crazy amount on a scale? Here’s your perfect tool.
This postal scale is easy to use and move and worked great for weighing our kids as they grew.
When the kids became larger we put them in a bucket on top of the scale to weigh them more easily.
Great for providing energy during cold winter storms or after kidding for does, this molasses packs a punch.
5 gallons will be enough to last you and your animals quite a while if you’re using it to spice up feed or provide an energy boost in their water.
Our goats wear collars and we send our kids to new homes with collars.
These are perfect and come with a bell. The fun colors add to the allure of the collars.
The clasps are not so secure as to not come loose if the goats get hung up on something.
When kidding in the winter, it’s imperative to keep kids warm to prevent frostbite and death.
Once again, heat lamps can be dangerous and finicky.
These heated pads worked great for keeping the kids warm and they automatically snuggled up on them
Are your goats and sheep wasting your precious hay? Of course they are!
This slow feed hay net has been perfect for keeping our animals from gorging and wasting hay on the ground.
It’s easy to use and also provides some entertainment for your hooved friends.
Not a fun task, but a necessary one is hoof trimming.
These trimmers are easy to use and make quick work of your herd’s hooves.
Easily one of the best purchases we’ve made so far when it comes to chickens.
Grandpa’s Feeder takes the guesswork out of feeding your chickens, makes it easier for sitters while you’re away, and keeps out the varmints.
Check out this blog post for more details.
While the Grandpa’s Feeder helps to reduce feed for mice, they’re still around and our cats can’t keep up with all of them.
The most humane and easily disposed of way of dispensing with mice are these instant kill rodent zappers.
The battery lasts an insane amount of time and they’ve been super effective for us.
In the winter, it can be tough keeping up with frozen waterers. While chickens can eat snow, we of course want to make sure they have access to clean and unfrozen water.
The Heated Poultry Waterer from Premier 1 is perfect and really came in handy for our chickens during winter.
Just unplug it in the warmer months and it works year-round for your chickens.
A huge quality of life purchase was our automatic door for our chicken coop.
It uses a solar panel to run and and a photo sensor to know when to open and close.
It’s heavy duty to keep predators out of your coop without you having to open and close the coop every day.
There are many ways to incubate eggs for hatching, but we went the Nurture Right 360 route and couldn’t be happier.
This incubator comes with straightforward instructions, a light for candling, and easy trackers for days left, temperature, and humidity.
If you’re looking to increase your flock (chickens, guineas, turkeys, etc.) then look no further than the Nurture Right 360.
We started out using heat lamps and 2/3 broke quickly and there’s always the risk of a fire. Plus, heat lamps are difficult to adjust so that the chicks aren’t too cold or overheating.
Enter the brooder heating plate. This mimics a mother hen and is easy to adjust. Plus no fire risk!
Chicks have a tendency to knock over everything in their brooder or knock bedding into their food containers.
These feeders disallow chicks from scratching the feed everywhere and are sturdy enough to not fall over.
So far we’ve loved these!
Chicks, of course, need water in shallow containers so they don’t fall in and drown.
These no-fuss, screw-on waterers are perfect for our chicks and will be for yours as well.
If you have a large number of chicks then you’ll want to go with a larger waterer.
This 1 gallon plastic waterer is perfect for your larger flock-to-be.
LGDs (guard dogs)
Trying to find healthier dog treats for training a pup can be daunting.
These dog treats are the best option I’ve found (unless you want to make your own homemade dog treats).
We cut ours up into smaller dime sized pieces to extend the supply.
While Juno is still in training as an LGD, sometimes she needs to be tethered to acquaint her with her charges and to allow them free reign around her.
This 20 ft cable runner has been the only tether that she hasn’t been able to chew through or break.
When we first got Juno as a 12 week old puppy, we wanted her to feel safe and secure at night. This crate was perfect for her and even fit her as she grows.
It’s great for hauling other types of animals as well, if need be.
To cover Juno’s crate and protect her from rain, snow, and wind, this crate cover was perfect EXCEPT in very high Wyoming winds.
We used bricks to weigh it down since it’s just held together with velcro.
Besides that shortcoming, it’s been great!
The not so fun part of having a dog (for us or the dog) is trimming nails. There’s also trepidation with making sure you don’t cut too short!
These trimmers have a safety guard to prevent you from overcutting. Easy to use!
When our mousecatchers aren’t snacking on their kill outside, they’re being fed raw meat on these fantastic raised bowls.
Easy to clean (dishwasher safe) and they are solid enough to not be knocked over or moved around the floor or countertop.
If there’s one thing our cats love, it’s warmth. They seek it out on windowsills and seed grow mats.
So the next best option was to provide them with self-warming pads that are washable. They love them!
Cats prefer drinking moving water so this water fountain is a prize.
It’s easy to dissemble and clean and makes for a lovely white noise as if you have a waterfall in your house.
It does require charcoal water filters that need to be changed every so often.
These are the water filters to use in your cat’s water fountain.
When you have multiple cats and the ground freezes (for 6 months out of the year sometimes) a good litter box is the a huge help.
The Litter Robot has been a lifesaver especially when we used to live in an apartment.
Easy to use and it beats scooping poop daily.
We started out with a $10 one wheeled wheelbarrow. And while that was extremely helpful at the time, we had to upgrade to a Gorilla Cart as the projects became more heavy duty.
This thing is a dream come true for anyone working outdoors.
Making compost tea and you hate wasting the compost when it’s easily reusable?
Well this Made in America Tea Bag is perfect for reusing compost materials and keep things tidier.
We’ve used it multiple times and love its ease of use.
Starting my first garden has been daunting especially when our house is cold and heated only by a wood burning furnace.
These seed mats were perfect for keeping my seedlings warm and I had a near perfect germination record.
If you have a cat, they’ll find these and love them as well.
In my venture to grow mealworms, I’ve needed a way to track temperature and humidity
This Thermometer/Hygrometer has worked well for my needs in letting me know that, of course, Wyoming is quite arid and I need to fix a humidity issue.
I’ve used it many other situations as well to gauge temperature and humidity for other projects.
My Honda CRV has hauled goats 4 times and pigs once and it’s benefited greatly from a good tarp.
It doubles as a way to cover pallet shelters from rain and wind and to cover bales of alfalfa to prevent mold.
We have an older used side by side that’s had some issues that come with age and use.
One way we keep in tip top shape is by using a trickle charger to keep the batter maintained between use and especially in the winter with long stretches of little use.
Bonus points, it’ll work with your car as well.
This beautiful knife is the perfect size for my hand and cuts smoothly.
I wrapped mine with royal blue paracord.
The Izula knife slices easily through feed bag string when I open them the wrong way every single time.
I did not anticipate how much dirt (and mud in the winter) we’d track into the house.
When going out multiple times a day, the dirt really starts to pile up and it’s hard to keep up.
Enter the best rug I’ve yet to own. We use the 3×5 at our exterior doors and it traps all the mess for easy clean-up.
If you’re on well water and have a sediment filter, this strap wrench gets the job done to change it out.
Plus, because it’s adjustable, it’s useful for all sorts of projects around the house.
Coming in and out multiple times a day unfortunately leads to bugs (dang pesky flies) getting inside frequently.
This zapper with a removable and washable tray has been extremely helpful in keeping flying pests out of the house.
We just turn it on at night so it’s more effective with the lighting.
It is quite loud when it nabs a pest so beware!
Ken Forkish recommends this container in his book Flour Water Salt Yeast and I absolutely love it.
It’s large enough for all of his recipes and allows the bread enough room to rise without overflow.
I highly recommend this container if you’re looking to bake bread in larger quantities.
If you’ve ever burnt yourself taking hot pans out of the oven, you’re gonna want these babies.
These Oven Mitts go to my elbows and are good up to 464 degrees.
I feel much safer lifting dutch ovens out of the oven after bread finishes baking.
You could use a breadmaking machine or you could go with a multi-purpose tool like a Dutch Oven.
I’ve baked multiple loaves in ours and the 4.3 quart is the perfect size for a nicely rounded loaf.
Bonus points if you love the blue like I do.
The best proofing baskets are these 9 inch banneton bowls. They even come with a bread scraper tool.
They help to perfectly shape the bread before baking.
While the banneton bowls come with a bread scraper, I opted for this ergonomic, multipurpose scraper.
It also functions as a ruler with measurements etched on the side.
Proper water temperature is paramount when baking bread that will rise properly.
The best tool for me so far has been this digital meat thermometer. Useful for all sorts of projects besides just breadmaking.
Silicone baking mats are perfect for any cooking or baking job.
These are specifically designed to make baking round bread loaves easier and they actually work!
To make jerky, you need to dehydrate beef. You can use a box and the sun, your oven, or a lovely dehydrator that takes the guess-work out of the process for you.
We’ve used our Excalibur for years for jerky to fruit and love it. It’s easy to use and handle everything we throw at it.
When outside working there are times when you’ll want to protect your hands.
These Wells Lamont leather, lightweight gloves are perfect. They provide the perfect amount of protection for your hands while not being hot winter gloves.
My favorite winter Muck Boots are much too hot for summer, so these Muckster II boots are perfect!
They’re about mid calf length which is much more cooling than below the knee boots and the neoprene rolls down even further.
Super comfy, cool, and waterproof!
As a Southerner to Wyoming, I had some adjusting to do when it comes to the freezing temperatures.
These thermal, fleece lined long johns did the trick. I have multiple colors now and continue to to want more.
Perfect for layering under your outer windbreak layers.
I could not survive winter without this Carhartt insulated bib. It’s a life saver!
Super heavy duty and so warm, it keeps the Wyoming wind and chill to a minimum.
Another absolute must have for Wyoming winters! This jacket is amazingly soft, durable, and warm.
I did get mine as a factory second on the Carhartt website, but those aren’t always available.
Bibs and jackets are all well and good except when wind can make it down your clothes because your neck is exposed.
A good ole scarf and granny knot take care of errant wind.
I love this pattern!
I wore Walmart, uninsulated rain boots in the Wyoming winter until I couldn’t handle my toes freezing.
Enter the amazing Muck Boot. I chose the Arctic Sport and my feet have never felt better.
I purchased my pair used on eBay so check there first!
Another absolute winner in keeping me warm. The gloves I initially purchased could not hold up to the snow and cold and left me miserable outside.
The Kinco waterproof gloves are unbelievably warm and waterproof. The wax is easy to apply to waterproof the gloves.
What you lose in dexterity you make up in actually being able to use your hands outside in the winter.