I have known Leigh Tate-in the blogger sense-for almost a decade. She was writing about her homesteading work on 5 Acres & A Dream back when I was yakking about our old farm on my now defunct blog, The Midlife Farmwife. She was gracious enough to follow me over to this, my new blog, three years ago.
Most of the homesteading-prepper world knows of Leigh and her husband Dan's hard work on their place in the foothills of Southern Appalachia, but if you do not, be sure to check them out.
Now, about that book...
The Prepper's Livestock Handbook is 221 pages of well researched, well lived information for homesteaders, preppers, and small farm owners at any stage of their venture. With ten extremely well organized chapters and a resource listing in the back of 181 (!) resources for additional online education/videos/or equipment purchase, this information loaded book packs a huge wallop for it's modest price of $15.95. It is the perfect jumping off spot for those toying with the idea of self-sufficiency or those with just a handful of chickens or rabbits, while also serving as a solid touchstone for homesteaders like myself already knee deep into small farm livestock care.
Honestly, I have been caring for livestock for over 25 years and still, there was a vast amount of new- to-me-information in this book, most especially the sections on times past food preservation which details techniques like liming and water glassing eggs. This book has earned a front and forward place in my own resource library.
Tate's book contains three content pages illustrating the depth of subject material covered. Within these the author not only covers all the basics such as feeding, sheltering, butchering, but reminds the reader of their own obligation to check local county rules and regulations in those regards. I especially appreciated the veterinary care portions which focus on problem prevention, not just treatment.
Additionally, rather than utilizing information dump paragraphs, she regularly uses easy to read charts to share large amounts of statistics or animal characteristics. This allows the book to flow easily from one page to the next and makes it easier for the reader to find that information again when needed.
The author's strength is this book however, is not limited to organization. Within each chapter she discusses pros and cons, such as when discussing livestock flooring options, and provides the information needed to make informed decisions appropriate for the readers' specific circumstances and budget. Anecdotally, she shares both the successes and failures she has personally experienced rather than acting as the inaccessible expert. She is a real homesteader/prepper like so many of us, and her honest insights are what will help future generations of this lifestyle, succeed.
The Prepper's Livestock Handbook is not Tate's first venture into publication of the lessons gleaned while working their homestead, as she has been sharing tips and techniques for many years. Her work includes traditional print books as well as several e-books all of which can be found on her blog 5 Acres & A Dream. You can also order this book directly through Amazon or Barnes and Noble