I was very thrilled to be asked by Molly at Ulysses Press to review Leigh Tate's latest book, Preppers Livestock Handbook. No one has officially asked for my opinion before - they usually get it, whether they asked for it or not! While the book has been reviewed by many, more adept than I at this reviewing stuff, here's my two-cents-worth.
Let me start off by saying how much easier my start in homesteading would have been, had I had this book on my shelf. Over the years - usually after the fact - I have amassed a hodge-podge of reference materials, covering everything from chicken breeds to bee-keeping, to housing, to fencing, to first aid. While many are perfectly good books, they are usually rather...over-written. You have to wade through a lot of text that impedes getting to the point - that nugget of information you need NOW.
Preppers Livestock Handbook is, in true Leigh Tate style, well-researched, well-organized, well-written, and concise. It has, in one manageable volume, everything one needs when planning the best homestead set up for their circumstances. I am quite impressed by the range of subjects covered and by the fact that the pertinent information - the boots-on-the-ground stuff - has been pared down to easily give you what you need to know to make good, informed decisions.
As a long-time follower of Leigh and Dan, and their great blog, 5 Acres and a Dream, I am not surprised that this is such a great book. And, while all of the information on different breeds, their pros and cons, care and considerations, is a terrific resource, the part of the book that really resonated with me was Chapter 10 - Keeping Things Manageable. This chapter is worth its weight in gold. When you are first realizing your dream of a lifetime (which is what it is to most of us), it is so easy to get carried away. Not only does this put a great strain on the homesteading newcomer, but it puts an unnecessary burden on your budget and often, as in my case, causes losses that need not have been lost.
No matter how long you've been homesteading, this book gives the reader a new, fresh look at their homestead. Once again, Leigh has it the nail on the head.