Posts Tagged ‘birds’

postheadericon Protecting Your Farm with Good Bio-Security Practices

Bio-security is something every farmer or rancher should be aware of. It doesn’t matter if you have 6 pet chickens or 60 breeding birds, 5 head of cattle and 3 pigs. Protecting all of these animals is a priority. The key to keeping them safe is to use common sense and follow good bio-security practices.

 

redbarnblueskies.com Goat Kids Playing Red Barn Blue Skies

 

Ways in Which Disease is Spread

By knowing how diseases are transmitted, you can lessen the chances that your animals will contract any of them.

  • Just like people, healthy animals can become ill from sick ones. The usual methods are contaminated feed or water and actual physical contact. Dead or dying animals need to be removed immediately from common areas.
  • People can be carriers and bring disease home with them. They then spread the germs around unknowingly. It is easy to become contaminated on your person, clothing and shoes, feedbags and even your vehicle.

 

Photo of Julie's green muck boots at redbarnblueskies.com

 

Prevention is Key

Apply basic bio-security measures to every type of animal – whether domestic pet or livestock. It is less expensive and much easier to stop the spread of disease to begin with, than it is to fight it once it’s taken hold. After your animals have been exposed, it is already much harder to play catch up and you may still lose some of your livestock.

  • Good bio-security practices should become a part of your everyday routine. Any employees or visitors to your farm should be made aware of and asked to follow your rules. If at all possible, refrain from outsiders interacting with your livestock. For those deemed necessary visits, disposable clothing and footwear is a simple and useful precaution.
  • Overcrowding is something many people overlook. When you have too many animals in too small of an area, your risk for disease and illness skyrockets. Stressed animals are weakened and more susceptible to anything floating around.
  • Stay aware of local issues. Be sure you know what is happening in areas your animals may travel. This will include your dogs as well as the bull you’re loaning out for breeding. If you are told of any illness or issues, keep them home until it is resolved.

 

Red Barn Blue Skies Pig behind Fence

 

  • A simple precaution that is invaluable is to quarantine new animals. This is also good practice for any of your current animals who may be acting a little off or showing some signs of sickness. Any animals returning home from elsewhere such as a show or that prized bull who went visiting the neighbors should also do a little time in isolation. By keeping them from immediately contacting your healthy livestock, you can stop any disease from spreading if they have become carriers. A thirty-day quarantine is the widely accepted standard for this preventative measure for most animals.
  • Feed contamination can be easily prevented by keeping your feed covered, dry and free of mold. Rodents can’t ruin what they can’t reach.
  • Many other domestic animals and wildlife can be carriers of disease without showing visible symptoms. Keep contact to a minimum. This includes wild birds interacting with your poultry.

 

redbarnblueskies.com hand sanitizer bio-security

 

The Power of Clean

The number one weapon in the bio-security battle is cleanliness. Regular disinfection and having everything neat and orderly is a huge step towards fighting disease and illness on your farm.

  • All equipment needs to be cleaned regularly and disinfected when possible.
  • Regular cleaning is a necessity with ongoing manure and waste removal.
  • Always wash well before and after any contact with all animals. You must avoid the cross-contamination between healthy and sick livestock. Work with any ill or quarantined animals last in order to not carry germs or disease to the healthy ones.
  • Have your own special clothing and shoes to use when working with your animals at home. Don’t wear these clothes away from home and don’t wear your “town clothes” to the barn.

 

redbarnblueskies.com Pair of Oxen for bio-security article

 

Good Bio-Security Practices Should Become a Way of Life

The better educated you become regarding good bio-security habits, the better armed you will be in fighting the onset of disease. Stay on top of learning what illnesses are common or currently making the rounds for your particular livestock and the area where you live.

By taking precautions to keep your animals healthy, you are ultimately protecting the health and safety of you, your family and possibly your livelihood.

postheadericon Still Kicking and Clucking

It’s Alive….

After a way too long hiatus, I’m back. In a way, a lot has changed and nothing has changed – if that makes sense. It will take me some time and many posts to bring you up to snuff. I appreciate you all still being here.

I am looking forward to getting back into the swing of things and sharing our little world again with you lovely people. I’ve missed you!

Here’s a clue on what I’m still doing….

postheadericon The Defense Rests

In the case of The Hubby vs.THE CHICKENS, the defense offers this photographic evidence and then the defense rests:

 

She states:  “My husband is very supportive of my chicken obsession.  He helps me out and encourages me in growing our endeavor.  But, he tells the guys that he is just indulging his crazy wife.  He says that he puts up with the feathered fiends to appease me and doesn’t have anything to do with any of the birds.  I don’t understand why he doesn’t want anyone to know that he buys them treats. He enjoys being out with them almost as much as I do and has his favorites in the flock.”
He replies:  “Uh, no comment.  I need to go feed my chickens.”
 
The defense rests..

postheadericon Chasing Chickens

Well, it’s been so long since I’ve posted that I pretty much had to learn how to do it all over again!  Life has kept us very busy here at MoonCat Farms since I last checked in many moons ago.  There’s too much to cover in one post so I’ll just start fresh with one of my favorite and frankly, most time-consuming interests. My chooks…

Mr. MoonCat’s parents call them their “grands”.  When they come up for a visit, they enjoy helping me with the little feathered fiends.  In fact we’re looking forward to a visit next month when I will be enlisting their help in vaccinating the flock and accomplishing a few other chores that seem to need a few willing extra hands.  Plus, we just have fun playing with the birds and spending time outside.  The chickens reward their “grands” by sending them back to Arizona with a bunch of beautiful farm fresh eggs!

 

Rudy Roo – Barred Plymouth Rock

Rudy Roo is called a Barred Plymouth Rock or just a Barred Rock.  He runs with my laying flock of mostly Rhode Island Red hens and a few girls of questionable parentage.  He’s a very gentle bird that takes great care of his girls and is pleasant for us to be around.  (His neck shouldn’t look all fuzzy like that, he’s been sticking his head through the fence to reach the rosebush and messed up his feathers. I will be putting up more chicken wire soon, as Mr. MoonCat accused me of trying to strangle poor Rudy!)

 

“I’ll Be Back…”   Iowa Blue hen

This little gal giving us all the stink-eye is an Iowa Blue hen.  She’s a smallish bird that lays a small creamy colored egg.  They are a personable breed that is enjoyable to be around and as you can tell by the up close and personal photo, very nosy!  (BTW, they aren’t blue..just those Iowa people coming up with a name for their birds… 🙂

 

Boo – Blue Andalusian rooster

This pretty guy is one of my favorite boys here at MoonCat Farms.  He is Boo, a Blue Andalusian rooster which comes from Andalusia, Spain.  Blue Andalusians actually show up in three color variations:  Blue, Black and Splash.  They are all the same bird, they just carry the blue gene differently.  I will do a post on each of the breeds I am raising and go a little more into the colors then.

 

The fluffy butts in the photo above belong to my lovely Giant Blue Cochins.  That is one of the two roosters with his head up while the others were pigging out on a pumpkin. They lay medium-sized brown eggs, but not in large quantities.  In spite of this and in all honesty, because they are so darn cute, they came to MoonCat Farms with a purpose – to sit on and hatch the eggs of the Blue Andalusians.  Andalusians are notorious for NOT sitting on their own eggs while Cochins are notorious for being broody and wanting to spend their time raising chicks – instead of laying eggs!  It’s a perfect match :)If you haven’t noticed yet, I have a bit of a theme with the BLUE chickens.  This has become quite the endeavor and I am truly hooked on my birds.  I look forward to sharing more about this journey with you.

 

postheadericon Sunday Selections

Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps a singing bird will come.
– Chinese proverb
Happy World Forestry Day

postheadericon What I See Wednesday

Mr. MoonCat’s new Honeysuckle & my old Lavender
Our new “resident” Hawk
4 year old Cyclamen

Xena – Warrior Princess
Mom’s Geranium

postheadericon Spring Sights

It is starting to look like Spring around here.  The wild thing is that both the lavender and the Lion’s Ear (or Tail) both decided to start blooming at the beginning of February – I am just now getting around to showing the photos of the two of them..

I couldn’t believe how early they both got started, or the fact that they actually survived the move last fall.  I wasn’t very optimistic for many of my plants since the move was so rushed and haphazard.

We’re starting to get many more of these pretty little guys coming by the feeders.  My birdseed bill is starting to get pretty high as they keep bringing more of their friends.  The photo below isn’t a great shot, I just liked how I caught him mid-flight with his wings on the downstroke.

This Celtic design birdbath was a Happy Black Friday gift to myself.  I’d been wanting a new birdbath for quite a while and handn’t found one that I really, really liked.  We were wandering around Lowe’s at about 7am on Black Friday (ticked because we’d missed out on the TV at stinking Walmart..) and out in the garden section we ran upon this little beauty.  At $39.00 I should have bought two!

The birds love it.  It is a pain to clean as it’s very heavy and in two pieces, but it’s worth watching the little feathered fiends splash around and have a good old time.

The birds are getting friendlier all the time as they have discovered I am the mysterious being that refills the bird feeders – daily.  They used to all leave the yard when I’d walk out.  Now they sit about two feet from me, chirping to each other and at me to “Hurry up!”

And finally….THIS is what I see when I am outside looking in.  Little furry faces that really, really want to be after those birds.


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