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Rurlife.com last won the day on January 19

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  1. Are goats smart? And why is it important for goat owners to understand how goats think? We’ve had to learn to be smart, to stay one step ahead of probing muzzles and fiddling lips that find their way into food bins or out of pens. We, their handlers, know how smart goats are. But do we think goat-wise, understanding caprine minds: how they see their environment and us, how they learn, how learning can affect their future experience, and how their experience affects their health and production? To this end, researchers continue to delve into the minds of goats, how they are affected by the production environment, and how they see us and interact with us. In 2017, we have seen published results of studies into cognition, human-goat relationships, reproductive behavior and reaction to intensive conditions. Knowledge of the goats’ perspective enables us to design goat-friendly accommodation and tailor our procedures and handling techniques to reduce stress. Enjoyable, stress-free living will optimize the health and production of our animals—and us too! Learn more here.
  2. Are You A Locavore?

    Are you concerned about where your food comes from? Do you seek out fresh, seasonal, locally grown produce, meats, and other foods? Chances are you are well on your way to becoming a locavore. What is a locavore, exactly? The root of the term lies in the word “local.” It means being conscious of the distance between where food is produced and where it is consumed. A locavore is a person who strives to eat foods grown and produced within a one hundred-mile radius, though the actual distance is determined by what is realistic for you. It’s not only about distance. It’s also about economics and sustainability. Foods on North American plates may travel thousands of miles from farm to fork. Shipping foods over long distances requires more fuel for transportation (consider the air pollution), while buying products close to home supports local farmers and ranchers, builds com- munity, and helps the local economy. Buying from local farmers allows them to experiment with new varieties of fruits and vegetables better suited to the climate and local environment. Building a local market for their meats allows ranchers to raise their animals in an environmentally sound way. Buying locally ensures that foods will be fresher and more nutritious. Local produce doesn’t have to stand up to the rigors of shipping. When grown nearby, melons are allowed more time to ripen on the vine, and corn tastes sweeter when picked the day you eat it. Read the rest here
  3. This is a pretty cool idea, using the eye hook, and I bet you could do this with those "chicken blocks" you see for sale. Although it depends on how hard the molasses or whatever that holds them together is. What kind of treats do you give your birds?
  4. What Is Honeybee Dysentery?

    Beekeeping is rife with confusing terminology that can baffle even experienced beekeepers. Honey bee dysentery is a perfect example. In humans, dysentery is a contagious illness caused by bacteria that are associated with unsanitary conditions. But in honey bees, dysentery is not caused by a pathogen. Instead, it is the result of an excess amount of fecal matter in the honey bee’s gut. It’s not a disease, but simply a condition. Honey bee dysentery is a problem that colonies encounter in winter when the outdoor temperature does not allow them to fly. Waste products accumulate inside a bee until she has no choice but to empty her intestines, regardless of where she is. Sometimes she may exit for a quick flight, but because it is too cold to go far, she defecates on or near the landing board. This accumulation may be your first sign of a problem. A colony with dysentery is unpleasant for both the bees and the beekeeper. Even though the dysentery was not caused by a disease organism, a hive full of bee excrement leads to the unsanitary conditions. The bees try to clean up the mess and, in the process, they spread any pathogens that were carried within individual bees. In addition, the smell within a soiled hive may mask the scent of the pheromones that are vital to communication between bees. Learn more here.
  5. If you’re reading this article, you’ve probably watched arrows arc silently through thin air in amazement. You’ve waited in anticipation to see if they hit the mark. When a shot flies true, the thrill of the bull’s-eye is tangible even to the observer. Something ancient trails in an arrow’s wake as it glides through space. You may have pondered all the generations of people who’ve used bows, beginning with Stone Age hunters — a scene that’s played out millions of times over the ages with few changes of clothing. The romance of traditional archery grows out of this combination of thrill and history. Unfortunately, all this romantic imagery can lead archers, young and old, to believe they have to be mystics to shoot a traditional bow. The reality is that success in shooting is generally born out of hard work and perseverance, not raw talent. History backs up this idea. There were even English laws that made archery practice mandatory. In his book, The History of Archery, Theodore R. Whitman explains, “It was the difficulty in using the longbow that led various monarchs of England to issue instructions encouraging their ownership and practice.” Many kingdoms depended on archery, and none could afford poor archers. Unlike what Hollywood would have you believe, medieval England wasn’t chock-full of master archers, like Robin Hood, who could instinctively hit a flea off a dog’s back. It was full of people who needed to practice. The rest of the article can be found here.
  6. It occurred to me that some may wonder why when we post an article on here, it's only a part of it and then the reader is directed to another website. The answer is simply that it's not only good manners, but it's also the law. I forget the name of the policy or rule, (Fair Use I think ) but when posting something written and printed elsewhere, we're only allowed to post a part of the article. How much is subjective, but I try to stick to a pertinent paragraph or two that allows you to figure out if you want to read more or not. Then to see the rest you simply click the link. It's also just good manners. After all, someone took the time to write that or pay someone to write it, so by sending you there they get the web traffic they're working hard to attract as well. I go through a newsfeed or email list about every day and look for articles I think are of interest to our users, especially those that will stimulate further conversation as people critique or add their first hand experience to the conversation. By all means however, don't hesitate to post something YOU think is interesting as well! Or, if you have questions, we have a wide variety of people here with experience that can help or know how to find the right answers.
  7. Learning to notice goat symptoms is a science and an art. The science part comes to things that are quantitative, such as normal goat temperature. Other things come more into an art such as your favorite doe just giving you a look that isn’t normal for her. Those that learn to read goat symptoms will be able to catch things early, when the task of turning them back around to wellness is more likely to succeed with less time and resources than goat symptoms that are missed or not caught for several hours. Here are some common things that I watch for when I go out to my herd. If I notice a goat that is “off feed” or picking at their hay or grain, I start running questions through my head. Did she consume something toxic or get bit or stung? Is there a fever indicating infection or illness or is she hypothermic? Is something broken or bruised or causing pain? Is it metabolic such as pregnancy toxemia or ketosis? Learn more here.
  8. How To Make A Terrarium

    Originally popularized during the Victorian era in the form of the Wardian case, today, terrariums and bottle gardens are making a big comeback. It’s easy to make a gorgeous mini-garden out of any clear container. An old fish bowl, cookie jar, giant brandy snifter, or wide mouthed bottle will make a fine indoor garden. If you are using an old aquarium, test it for leaks first; they can be fixed with silicone sealant to make it watertight. Just a hint: Planting is easier if you have chosen a wide mouthed container! Read more about how to make one here.
  9. New York Farm Show Begins

    SYRACUSE, N.Y. — New York Farm Show is the premier indoor farm show in the Northeast, packed with new and practical equipment, services and products for today’s farmer. The show features over 400 exhibitors covering more than 300,000 square feet in five buildings of exhibits. The 35th annual show promises to be bigger and better than ever. Show hours 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Visit the New York Farm Show for the best access to products, services and information to keep you up to date with the latest innovations in the agriculture industry. You’ll find hundreds of exhibits to serve and assist you with your everyday needs on the farm. Learn, compare and shop all at one location – the New York Farm Show. The Show is in Syracuse, NY at the NYS Fairgrounds. It’s easily accessible from Canada by taking highway 401 to the Thousand Island Bridge to Interstate Route 81 south into Syracuse. When you arrive in the Syracuse area follow the signs to the State Fairgrounds. The site is only 125 miles from Kingston. The latest technologies and equipment will be showcased at the show. Seminars and presentations are free to the visitors. Visit our website (www.newyorkfarmshow.com) to see a full list of details and new products. Visit the beef industry display and presentation featuring all aspects of the beef industry in one location. Forestry Management workshops and Agriculture Safety workshops will also be available. Visit the Arts & Homes building where visitors can view and purchase toys from the toy show. Friday evening the Robert Watson Memorial Toy Auction bidding will start at 5:00 p.m. New York Farm Show is open to the public. Complimentary – Free tickets are available to you free from your Northeast Equipment Dealers or by writing to New York Farm show, P.O. Box 3470, Syracuse, NY 13220. Included a self-addressed stamped envelope with your request by February 15. Admission is $ 5.00 at the door and children under 18 are free. Free parking and bus shuttles are available. For additional information visit our official website at www.newyorkfarmshow.com. New York Farm Show is co-sponsored by the Northeast Equipment Dealers Association and American Agriculturist Magazine.
  10. "Saving The Old Chicken House"

    This was a really nice job they did!
  11. A Guide To Common Duck Diseases

    To see what each of these looks like and what yo can do about it, go here.
  12. What's Right With Sustainable Ranching

    See the rest here.