Sabtu, 30 April 2011

Can Dogs and Cats Live Together?

We make a lot of jokes about the war between the species, but the reality is that hundreds of thousands of dogs and cats live together successfully. While it is no big deal after awhile, the introductions and the first few days of dog and cat cohabitation are critical. You do not want to just let them work it out on their own.

If You Have a Dog and Are Getting a Cat
When you bring it home, the cat really needs to have its own room. Even a bathroom will work. Let the cat get settled for a day, and make sure you and other housemates spend time with it in the room. After its settled a bit, bring the dog into the room, leashed, and let it watch the cat for a bit. If you are working with just a small bathroom, put the dog on a leash and bring the cat into the main room.

Let the cat explore with the dog on the leash. When it seems like the right time, let the dog off the lease and stay right next to it as it goes to check out the cat. Give the dog treats and pet the cat, if you can. The cat may run off, and this will make the dog run after the cat. Firmly, but clearly say no and have the dog come back and sit with you. Play with the dog, and keep watching the two. You want the dog to understand that cat-chasing is not acceptable.

If You Have a Cat and Are Getting a Dog
Puppies are easiest to introduce to cats. They certainly won't hurt the cat, but then you have to be very careful that a dominant cat won't scratch the puppy. Even a goofy puppy will figure out that it should stay away from the cat pretty quickly, though, and if you can give the cat some retreat spaces like the tops of bookshelves, the cat is much more likely to jump on the bookshelf than swat the puppy.

Almost all shelters will have information about whether or not the dogs they want to find homes for have lived with cats. Even if they know nothing about the dog, there's still "the cat test". The shelter will have a small room and bring an assistant holding a cat into it. They will settle in, and then you and your prospective dog will come into the room. At first you just sit and see how the dog reacts to the cat sitting in the person's lap. Then, sometimes, the person will put the cat on a countertop or on the chair and see how the dog does. If you really want to be sure, the assistant may then put the cat on the floor, but not so close the dog will be able to reach it. You can get a pretty good read by watching how the dog reacts, and the people at the shelter will know enough dog body language to tell you if your prospective dog is cat-friendly or not.

When you bring the dog home, keep him on a leash until the cats have come out. Let him see them, but make him stay put. Let the cats come to the dog, at least close enough to smell him. Then take the leash off and watch the pair very, very closely for the first few hours. If the dog lunges or chases the cat, scold him quickly and assertively. If the dog and the cat manage to peacefully sniff each other, give the dog a treat.

The No-Dog Zone
If you have enough room in your house, assign one room to be cat-only. Put up a baby gate, or a dog gate to keep the dog out. This gives the cat or cats a place where they can snooze without getting a wet dog nose in their ear. It also gives them a place to go in case of a spat between them and the dog.

If your two pets just started living together, or if one of them is especially young, old, aggressive or shy, the cat-only room becomes even more important. Even if its a puppy that is at the disadvantage, the cats will behave better if they can get their own space. It is also okay to put food and water and a litter box in this room if there is a lot of concern about keeping the peace. Interestingly enough, this technique also works if you are having a party or a lot of house guests. Just don't close the door -- then you are turning a safety zone into confinement.

Read More... Can Dogs and Cats Live Together?

Senin, 25 April 2011

New Kitten Care -Ten Tips For Raising Your Kitten

You've picked your brand new kitten from a litter, and you're now ready to bring him home. You naturally want to give him the best possible start in life. Here are 10 tips to help him develop into a confident, affectionate adult cat who'll give you years of stress-free pleasure.

1. Make sure you're fully prepared for his arrival. Have his toys, food, litter box, scratching post and bed all ready for him. This will help him to settle in more quickly.

2. Handle him - a lot. If kittens are handled a lot when they're young, they get used to it and learn to enjoy it. As a result, they're much more likely to turn into affectionate adults that love to be cuddled and stroked. Your new kitten should always be handled gently. If you have young kids, you'll need to supervise them with Kitty at first, to make sure they don't accidentally hurt him.

3. Get him used to receiving everyday care from you. This includes grooming him, washing his face, bathing him and cleaning his ears and eyes. If he gets comfortable with all this when he's a kitten, you'll have few problems with it when he's an adult.

4. Safely introduce him to the everyday things that will form part of his world as soon as possible. This may include other people, kids, other pets, travelling in your car, boarding at your sister's house when you go on holiday etc. etc. Doing this will turn him into a confident, happy, adaptable adult.

5. Play with him and talk to him every day. Bored kittens and cats often seek amusement in activities that you won't be too keen on, such as destroying the furniture. Playing with your kitten will build your relationship with him and help to prevent boredom.

6. Feed him a wide selection of foods that are suitable for kittens. This gets him used to a varied diet, and reduces the risk of him becoming a gourmet cuisine snob who'll only eat fresh wild salmon caught in the Scottish Highlands...

7. Gently and calmly set boundaries. Kittens are like kids - they'll push their luck to see how much they can get away with. Common naughty kitten behavior includes scratching, biting, jumping on the kitchen worktops, scratching the furniture and abseiling the curtains. If your kitten is being naughty, stop him, say "no" (don't shout) and move him away from the scene of his crime. It's much easier to train a new kitten to be good than an adult cat, so setting the boundaries whilst he's young can save you years of frustration in the future.

8. Don't give in to vocal blackmail. Some kittens try to get what they want by meowing non-stop. If you keep giving in to this, your kitten will turn into a very vocal adult cat who'll drive you nuts with his constant noisy demands.

9. Keep him safe. Nasty frights - for example falling down the toilet, being tormented by a kid or having a dog bark in his face - will have a negative impact on him. The more unpleasant experiences he has as a kitten, the more likely he is to become a nervous, mistrusting adult.
10. Accept that your new kitten is a baby with loads of energy. Whilst you can discourage him from acts of willful destruction, you'll need to accept that your house is unlikely to survive completely unscathed. But hey, he's worth it!

Read More... New Kitten Care -Ten Tips For Raising Your Kitten

Rabu, 20 April 2011

Birds - The Golden Eagle

The golden eagle is one of the largest birds of prey; the bald eagle and the California Condor are the only ones that are larger. This bird lives in the western Northern Hemisphere flying over prairies, tundra, barren areas, and in hilly mountain regions. Golden Eagles do not congregate in large numbers; they are solitary birds and will fly alone for the winter.

The Golden Eagle has a large hooked bill, and it is dark brown all over, but has a green sheen on its head. Its wings and tail are very long and broad, which can be seen when it's flying high in the air. The Golden Eagle is sometimes mistaken for a Buzzard when it is high in sky, but once the long wings and the head come into focus, it will be obvious that it is an eagle
Prey for the Golden Eagle consists of many animals. While it can attack large prey like cranes and domestic livestock, it tends to eat smaller animals like rabbits, hares, squirrels and prairie dogs. A Golden Eagle needs a huge territory of around 3,000 acres to fly over and hunt. When it finds prey, it will soar from the sky at speeds of 150km/h striking the prey with its sharp talons. 
Spotting its prey while high in the air is not a problem for the Golden Eagle, it has keen eyesight that allows it to see small animals such as mice or lizards. The Golden Eagle catches most of its prey on the ground; however, it sometimes catches birds while they are in flight. The eagle cannot attack a large animal; when it finds a large animal such as a deer, it will only eat it as carrion.

The Golden Eagle population decreased during the nineteenth century because farmers shot them. In the 1960s, the Golden Eagle, along with other birds, were affected by dangerous chemicals. A number of animals in the Golden Eagle's habitat ate one the chemical called DDT, which had been sprayed onto plants, and since the Golden Eagle was on the top of the food chain, it greatly affected them. Today, Golden Eagles remain protected by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and possession of any body part or a feather could lead to a fine or even up to 10 years in prison.

Golden Eagles live throughout the Northern Hemisphere. When identifying a golden eagle, look for an all over brown color and a hooked bill so that you do not confused it with a Buzzard when they're flying. Golden Eagles are also one of the few birds that have legs feathered all the way to their toes. It is also one of the largest birds of prey, and with binoculars, you can spot them flying in prairies, and tundra areas. Although DDT greatly affected the Golden Eagles, they have since increased in population, and there are plenty still around today.

Read More... Birds - The Golden Eagle

Jumat, 15 April 2011

Teacup Kittens - The World's Smallest Kitten

Not all cats advertised as miniature are teacup kittens. Be aware that the standard size female cat will weight about 11 to 14 pounds. The standard size male cat will weight about 12 to 17 pounds. A teacup size female cat will weight about 3 to 6.5 pounds and the teacup size male will weight about 3 to 7.5 pounds. This is a good rule-of-thumb to keep in mind when shopping for a teacup. Some unscrupulous breeders will try to sell you a cat under ten pounds as a teacup when that weight falls within the normal weight range for a standard cat. When shopping for a teacup do not be fooled by a breeder that will try to sell you a runt or tell you that any cat less than ten pounds is a miniature.

Teacup kittens come in a variety of breeds. These cats are bred to be small by inbreeding. The smallest cat of one breed is mated with the smallest cat of another breed progressively in each generation and with each mating a miniature or teacup cat is born. The result of this type of breeding results in dwarfism. There are two forms of dwarfism where teacups and other miniature animals are concerned and they are achondroplastic where the dominant gene will, through mutation, affect the hormones that control bone growth, and the primordial which occurs naturally. At this point let's cover the most common breeds of miniature (teacup) cats.

The most popular of the teacup kittens is the combination of Persian and Exotic. The MiniPer, a combination of Persians and Exotics was developed in California by Cher Simmitt. The MiniPers are primordial dwarves and their bodies are proportionate in every way except that they are smaller than the standard Persian and Exotic. The MiniPaws are a hybrid and carry the genes of both the achondroplastic and primordial dwarfism. They are small in proportion and have shortened legs thus, causing the legs to be somewhat deformed. They are a good example of the mutation of the dominant gene and its affect on the hormones that control bone growth. .

The Napoleon was developed intentionally by mating a Munchkin with a Persian. They have long coats and beautiful big eyes much like the Persian. The Napoleon is the newest of the teacup breeds.

The Lambkin was developed by cross breeding a Munchkin with a Selkirk Rex. They are called Lambkin because of their soft curly coats that resemble the coat of a lamb. Most of the miniature or teacup kittens are cross breeds of Persians and Exotics and are the most popular and sought after of all of the miniature breeds.

Many people want the teacups because they're cute and resemble kittens. They are easy to hold and carry and most of them are lap cats. However, be forewarned, they may be kittens when you buy them but like all other cats they grow up and lose their kittenish ways. They are after all, cats and cats do not stay kittens forever.

Read More... Teacup Kittens - The World's Smallest Kitten

Selasa, 12 April 2011

How to Feed and Care for Orphaned Kittens

Over the last 15 years, I have raised nine orphaned kittens. Four of them were two weeks old when their mother was killed; three others were only hours old when their mother died; two more kittens fell out of the nest in our barn when they were only a day old.
Raising motherless kittens is not a difficult process, but it does require patience, time and plenty of TLC.

Here are some tips to help you raise your orphaned kittens:

1. Make a nest.
Normally, a mother cat spends many hours a day in the nest with her kittens, which helps her babies stay warm. Keeping the kittens warm is important because if they're not warm enough, they won't want to eat, and in fact, all of their bodily functions will slow down.

To keep your orphaned kittens warm, make a nest in a small box and line it with towels or old t-shirts or sweatshirts to help the babies conserve their body heat. Put a towel over the box to keep out the light. Female cats choose nests that are dark. If you don't have a heat lamp, use a small 40-watt desk lamp and place it several feet above the box to help keep the kittens warm.
If the box is big enough, you can also use a jug or another large container filled with hot water to keep the babies warm. Place the jug in the box and then make a nest with towels beside it. Refill the jug when it cools off. You can use a quart jar as a "hot water bottle" too except that a quart jar cools off very quickly.

2. Use an eyedropper or a syringe to feed the kittens.

The first time I raised orphaned kittens, I discovered that the small nursing bottles available at vet clinics were too big. The kittens couldn't get their mouths around the nipples. So, at first, for newborn kittens, I used an eyedropper. As the kittens grew bigger, a syringe worked very well, the kind of syringe for giving injections (without the needle of course!). I started out with the 3 cc size and used larger syringes when the kittens grew bigger. The tip of a syringe is about the size of a cat's nipple, and my kittens eventually sucked hard enough on the end of the syringe to draw the plunger down by themselves. Check with your vet clinic to see if any used syringes are available or to see if you can buy new syringes from the clinic.

A word of caution: Whether you're feeding with an eyedropper or a syringe, be careful to give only a few drops at a time. My veterinarian told me that if the kittens were given too much formula at once (more than they could swallow), they might inhale it. Inhaling formula will make your kittens much more susceptible to pneumonia.

Along the way, I have also discovered that it is best to feed the kittens as much as they want to eat. They will settle down and sleep until the next feeding if they are getting enough to eat. Tiny kittens will start out taking maybe 1 CC at a time. As they grow bigger, they will eat around 12 CCs at a time (usually in several different helpings).

Kittens learn very quickly that food comes from the syringe you hold in your hand. If you are having trouble getting them to take the formula from the syringe, let nuzzle in the palm of your hand for a few seconds or let them suck on your fingers. Then introduce the syringe and let them suck on it while you very slowly press the plunger down.

3. Feed the kittens KMR or kitty formula that you have mixed yourself.

KMR, the canned cat milk replacer, is available at most vet clinics in either a premixed or dry form. It is specifically formulated for kittens to provide all the nutrients they need. Follow the directions on the label. The amount to feed is determined by body weight. My newborn kittens weighed three ounces each, and for the first several days, they only needed a half an eyedropper of KMR at a time.

My vet clinic also gave me a recipe for "kitten formula." After the first can of KMR, this is what all of my kittens have been raised on.

Here is the recipe for Kitten Formula
1 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon white corn syrup
1 egg yolk
a pinch of salt
Mix in a blender and mix it up far enough in advance so the bubbles will have time to dissipate.
Warm over medium heat. Heat the formula so it feels slightly warm to the touch. All of my kittens have refused to swallow the formula if it was too cold or too warm. The same was true for KMR.

4. Feed your kittens on a regular schedule three times a day.

Mother cats nurse their kittens every couple of hours. The veterinarian I consulted cautioned me not to feed them that often. "They won't eat well and you'll get frustrated and they'll get frustrated and it will be harder on everybody," he said. He was right. Feeding the kittens three times per day worked out very well.

5. Groom your kittens with a warm, wet washcloth and help them to empty their bladders and their bowels.

Young kittens are unable to empty their bladders or move their bowels, so you'll have to help them. Use a warm, wet washcloth and wipe under their tails until they have emptied their bladders and/or moved their bowels. Be prepared to use as many as four washcloths for each kitten. If they only have to empty their bladders, you won't need that many. If they have to empty their bowels, look out -- it could get messy! Smaller washcloths that you can wring out with one hand while you hold onto a squirming kitten with the other work best. I put the washcloths in a pail of warm water and put the pail where I can reach it easily.

Young kittens also do not know how to groom themselves, and after a day or two of eating kitten formula, they become sticky from the formula that inevitably dribbles down their chins. From time to time, use a warm, wet washcloth to wipe off the formula, but be careful not to get the kittens TOO wet or it will be hard for them to stay warm.

6. Provide a litter pan when they're four weeks old.

Cats have a strong instinct to use material that they can scratch around in when they have to empty their bladders and move their bowels. By the time the kittens are four weeks old, they will already be thinking in this direction and providing them with a litter pan will help them get the idea. You might still have to assist them with a washcloth for a while, but it won't be long before they are using the litter pan.

Kitty litter in an aluminum pie plate works well to start out. As the kittens grow bigger, use a bigger container for a litter box.

7. Start feeding solid food when the kittens are about six weeks old.

Kittens that are raised by their mothers probably will start eating sooner than six weeks, but you will be able to provide more milk than their mothers would have available.

When your kittens have gotten their teeth, you can begin feeding them solid food. If you want to feed dry food, a good quality kitten chow will work fine. Kitten chow has all of the nutrients and protein that they need to keep growing. Kitten chow also is made in tiny kitten-bite-sized pieces. To tempt their appetites and to give them a "treat," you can also try a little canned kitty food. Be sure to provide fresh water for your kittens to drink, as well. And until the kittens are eating solid food regularly, supplement their caloric intake with kitten formula. By this time, you won't have to feed them with a syringe. You can put the formula into a small saucer, and once they discover where it is and what it is, they will drink by themselves.

8. Be prepared to be surprised and amazed.

Kittens grow very quickly, and on some days, you will think they are growing right before your very eyes.

Kittens get their eyes open when they're about 10 days old.

They will start purring when they are as young as 6 days old.

Kittens will start other "kitty behaviors" such as shaking their heads, attempting to groom and lifting a hind food to scratch behind their ears when they are between two to three weeks old.
Young kittens will sometimes get the hiccups (!) while you are feeding them.
Young kittens are like baby humans, in a way. Their days consist of eating, sleeping and emptying their bowels and bladders. After the kittens have gotten enough to eat and have had their bodily functions taken care of, when you put them back in the "nest," they will sleep or rest quietly until you are ready to feed them again. If they are restless and crying and meowing, they might need a little more to eat, or they might have to empty their bladders or move their bowels, or they might feel cold.

As the kittens grow older, they will be awake for longer periods of time and will eventually start playing with each other.

By the time the kittens are four weeks old, you will most likely have to move them into a bigger box, if not sooner, because the first one will be too small and they will know how to get out on their own!

Read More... How to Feed and Care for Orphaned Kittens

Sabtu, 09 April 2011

Thinking of Raising Baby Ducks? What You Need to Know

Raising baby ducks is a fun task, usually a little delicate the younger the ducklings are but the difficulty of taking care of them gradually lifts when they grow older.
After artificial incubating of 28 days, the ducklings now need a brooding spot. The brooding spot is a place with good conditions so that the baby ducks will live. It can be a corner of the barn or in the garage, as long as the area is well ventilated-not directly exposed to wind, and well lighted. The usual brooding nest is a cardboard box that is enough to house all the baby ducklings. It must be enclosed in a cage to prevent entry for predators, even dogs and cats.

The brooding spot is then kept dry by the beddings which is usually made up of hay. Wet spots on the beddings should be replaced. Do not use moldy or dusty beddings because they might affect the young ducks negatively.

The temperature of the brooding area should also be kept warm-warm not hot. This can be done with a single 50-watt reflector bulb for about 10 to 20 ducklings. A 50 to 100 incandescent bulb can also be used in heating. The important thing is to position the bulb at the right distance in the brooding area so that the ducklings can move towards it if they feel cold or away from it when they feel hot. In raising baby ducks for commercial purposes, more bulbs or with higher wattages are used.

Another important element in raising baby ducks is the food. They cannot digest whole grains yet so don't feed them with rice or corn. Don't give them bird seed and dry bread too. They may be fed with finely chopped fruits and vegetables. You may catch small worms for them too. 
Unmedicated chick or duck starter can be fed to them too. A special water dispenser should also be used so that a water height is maintained; so that the ducklings can drink without drowning if they jumped onto it.

Note that raising baby ducks can also be done in a contained environment, like an incubating system where the temperature, humidity and air can be easily adjusted, especially when they are 2-3 weeks old only.
Read More... Thinking of Raising Baby Ducks? What You Need to Know

Kamis, 07 April 2011

The Golden Eagle Facts and Info

This Beautiful Golden Eagle eagle is named for its golden brown plumage, with head and nape feathers are a little slightly lighter, golden color. The golden eagle is between 26-33 inches in height, the eagle has a wingspan of 78 inches (over 7 feet long) and weighs 3.2 to 6.4 kg. Adults have a bill which is a bit smaller and darker than that of other eagle, which include the bald eagle. The immature golden eagle's in flight can be recognised from the immature bald eagle by the presence of distinct white patches on the under-wing and by a large white tail with dark band. 
The most notable field mark at any age distinguishing these two eagles, should you be in a position to see it, is the presence of feathers on the legs of golden eagles all the way down to the toes while the bald eagle has a considerable amount of the leg showing. Its favored prey food include rodents, birds, rabbits, and reptiles, as well as carrion. They have also been known to take small sheep and other small farm animals.

Life and the History of these eagle's

The golden eagle is a long-lived bird, with a life span believed to be around 30 years or even more. It is also known that a pair of eagle's mate for life and defends a large selected territory against other golden eagles to protect there young from starving. Both the male and female help in building the nest, occasionally in a tree but more often on a cliff ledge, commonly with the protection of an overhanging tree or rock so they have shelter. The nest is made of large sticks and branches and often contains aromatic leaves which may serve to deter insects and other small pests. Since the same nest may be used and added to almost every year, So as you can imagine theses nests can become very large due to the birds adding to them.
The birds nest usually of 1 or 2 sometimes but rarely 3 eggs which hatch after an incubation period of 34-45 days. Eaglets fledge in 65-75 days. The male provides some help with incubation, but he is the major food provider during incubation and chick rearing. Young reach sexual maturity and obtain adult coloration in most cases at around 5 years of age.

Habitat is very Important

The golden eagle is seen worldwide throughout the Northern Hemisphere. Golden eagles are typically associated with the large plains of the western United States, and are fairly common in our western states, Alaska and western Canada. Never abundant in the eastern U. S., this species is now virtually extirpated as a breeding bird east of the Mississippi River. Golden eagles once nested at no more than a few or so sites in the Adirondacks of New York, in Maine and in New Hampshire. They are believed to still nest in large numbers in eastern Canada and they are also protected here, as evidenced by hundreds of golden eagles appearing during the fall and spring migrations in the eastern U. S. Preferred habitats include generally open areas, mountains, grasslands, and deserts. The golden eagle feeds primarily on live mammals such as ground squirrels and rabbits, and other small animals found in their preferred upland habitats. In winter they will feed on carrion and waterfowl in the east.


Golden eagles have been protected in the United States since 1963. During the 1950's, an estimated 20,000 eagles were destroyed by ranchers and farmers, particularly sheep farmers who perceived them to be a major threat to there livestock. In the north eastern states, remnant populations declined drastically to almost distinction. Although sightings occur every year in New York, most are during migration. A nest was built in the winter of 1992-93 by a wintering pair in southeastern New York, but has never been used as the pair departs every spring to return the next fall. The reasons for the decline of this species in the east are not clear. Various factors seem to be involved, including shooting, accidental trapping, human disturbance at nest sites, posishing, loss of essential open hunting habitat due to succession and fire control, and possibly pesticide contamination (especially by DDT).and also construction and building works.

Hacking, a technique used successfully in New York to restore the bald eagle, has been considered for golden eagle's, but has not been pursued due to the uncertainty of why golden eagles disappeared from New York and whether these conditions still remain. Tracking of golden eagle's is being conducted in a few south eastern states during the 1990's and latter and at least three pair's has nested in there in recent years.

Read More... The Golden Eagle Facts and Info

Selasa, 05 April 2011

The Steller's Sea Eagle

The Steller's sea eagle is an impressive sight to see, weighing up to 20 pounds with a wingspan of 7 - 8 ft. The females are about a third larger than the males, this is true for virtually all birds of prey. This bird is actually the closest relative to the American bald eagle, although much larger. They have a giant beak that gives this bird a very distinct look. They are all brown until about age 3 when their plumage starts to change color. They get white patches on there shoulder, and legs, and their beak turns more orange. They are fully mature at the age of 5, which is average for most eagles.

These eagles are found along the north east coast of Russia and mainly feed on fish. During the winter these birds will migrate to Japan. These birds run into a big problem there because the local fisheries have depleted the waters and there are not a lot of fish. Just like bald eagles, these birds are know to scavenge and feed on carrion. The Steller's sea eagles are feeding on the remains of deer that have been shot by hunters. The problem with this is these deer and other mammals have been shot with led shot. Led shot is toxic to birds of prey and it is even a problem in the United States with the California condor. Led shot was at one point the fourth leading mortality factors for bald eagles.

Not a whole lot is known of the Steller's sea eagle. Its range is so limited that they are considered one of the rarest raptors in the world. They are not an endangered species, there just has never been a high population of these birds. I have heard different statistics, but to be conservative there is roughly five to ten thousand of these raptors in the wild. I have worked with one of these amazing birds for about 3 years now and it is an incredible raptor to handle.

Read More... The Steller's Sea Eagle