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postheadericon Keeping healthy chickens is so much easier than you might have thought

Keeping healthy chickens is so much easier than you might have thought. There is such a wealth of information available that is so easy to access at the touch of a button and with the recent renewed worldwide interest, chicken keeping really is something to be experienced and the pleasure of eating fantastic tasting free range eggs laid by your own hens is not to be underestimated.

For a long time keeping chickens was not so much a hobby as a necessity, people lived on small holdings or farms, or were too remote from a store that they could not simply pop out to buy eggs. With eggs being so versatile and playing such an important role in our diet, keeping chickens was just something that you did and nobody paid much attention to it.

In these fast furious times we have moved away from taking simple pleasures in life but are gradually coming back around to realising that we have been missing out.

With intense chicken farming and the mass production of eggs needed to supply our constant demand, the industry really does not go anyway to cater for more the most basic needs of laying poultry’s welfare and this has been reflected in the quality and taste of eggs.

There is absolutely nothing to compare with the taste of organic, free range eggs laid by your own poultry. It has been shown that they contain one third less cholesterol and at least one quarter less saturated fat than caged produced hens eggs for a start.

If you are serious about keeping chickens, you will need to be able to address their specific needs but, they are very simple creatures and it only takes minimal effort on your part to keep them healthy, happy and producing tasty eggs.

The most important consideration is housing, not just the size of the coop but also where you decide to position it too. Chickens are susceptible to extremes of heat and cold so, to be able to supply adequate ventilation or heat depending on the weather is helpful. Obviously they need to be dry and protected from other elements such as wind or possibly snow. Above all, they need to feel safe from predators.

Your chickens will rely on you to provide them with the sustenance they need to produce good eggs and to enable them to maintain a healthy lifestyle. So, by giving them a balanced diet with the correct amount of proteins, vitamins and minerals this is easy to achieve.

Chicken keeping can be extremely rewarding, you have the benefits of a constant supply of fresh organic eggs that not only taste better than eggs bought from your local store with extra added health benefits, also you can be proud because you are keeping healthy chickens that are able to endlessly provide eggs for you.

Building a hen house can be simple and is great fun when you are given the correct information. They are practical, easy to assemble and will save you a fortune.

There are dozens of poultry related websites that claim to offer visitors great hen housing plans, but few sadly seem to offer little more than a single basic design. However one of the best chicken house design websites online that has been endorsed by hundreds of chicken breeders and owners worldwide so far contains a wealth of chicken data and related information that is well worth reviewing. (

postheadericon With over 43 percent of the population owning at least one domestic animal, the uk pet industry is thriving

With over 43 percent of the population owning at least one domestic animal, the UK pet industry is thriving. Indeed, from grooming parlours and gourmet feed to accessories and state-of the-art toys, it’s possible to pamper your pet beyond belief.

But, with the country firmly in the grips of a recession, it’s time to start thinking smartly when it comes to what you spend on your beloved furry friends. And, with a bit of thought, it’s easy to reduce your pet expenditure without compromising on care.

The first issue to consider when looking at ways to save money is to identify and prioritise your pet’s needs. For instance, food is obviously of utmost importance, but does Fluffy really need to eat gourmet, hand-prepared meals every day? By switching to cheaper brands – many have been found to be just as good as their expensive counterparts – you could bank hundreds of pounds each year. Bulk buying is also a great way to cut down on costs.

It may be nice to buy your pets toys, but in reality they can be expensive and unnecessary. In fact, it’s far better to interact with your pet personally and a stick for your dog, for example, is just as good as pricey plastic replica. Equally, buying clothing for your pet might seem like a good idea, but when you’re watching the pennies, it is definitely an expense you can do without.

Grooming parlous are again a nice luxury to indulge in. However they can be very costly. Therefore, invest in a good brush and some appropriate cleaning products and do it at home. That way your pet will still stay shiny and clean and you won’t be out of pocket.

Your pet’s health is undeniably important. In this respect, it doesn’t pay to skimp here. In fact, most vets will tell you that it’s vital to take your pet for regular checkups and to ensure they have all the relevant vaccinations. It may seem expensive in the short term, but taking preventative health measures now will help to avoid bigger, and much costlier, problems arising in the future.

In this respect, pet insurance is also crucial. You may think that insurance is one item you can cut out, but the experts argue it is more important to have coverage in times of recession than at any other time. However, without the right research, you could end up paying more than you need to.

Therefore, when choosing your pet insurance, make sure it is the right one for your circumstances. There are thousands of insurance deals available: a quick internet search will help you to find the most appropriate ones. And remember, it’s better to pay out a few pounds a month on an insurance policy, than it is to have to spend thousands for an operation or surgical procedure.

postheadericon By domesticating the dog we have slowly and drastically changed their everyday lifestyle in terms of the way they eat and exercise

By domesticating the dog we have slowly and drastically changed their everyday lifestyle in terms of the way they eat and exercise.  Just as in us humans the lack of physical activity, departure from nature, more reliance on chemicals, synthetic nutrients, and processed foods has made it difficult for our dogs to maintain a healthy body.  In general the amount of calories they need from their natural environment has decreased which means we have to figure out how to supply them with all the nutrients they need to maintain a healthy body from less food.  Unfortunately this is happening as the dog food industry is using more food processing, packaging, and storage techniques that are depleting many of the nutrients that are dogs need.  It would be optimum to return to natural, fresh and raw foods that are dogs are genetically prone to but in most instances this is just not feasible. Most of us do not even do it for our own diets so we cannot expect to do it for our dogs. This dictates that for your dog’s best possible health, it is necessary to provide nutrients via dog supplements.

Just as in our choice of whether we eat natural whole fresh food or processed prepared food, we have a choice in the type of supplements we use in provide needed dog vitamins and nutrients.  There are natural vitamin supplements and synthetic supplements. The latter are manufactured in laboratories from bio-chemical processes that produce the same molecules and organic substances found in nature.

Natural vitamins on the other hand are derived from food sources. This underlying fact is crucial in the effectiveness of the vitamin supplement. Vitamins are a critical element of the essential body metabolism that supports life. They do not act alone but in conjunction with other nutrients that occur in their natural food environment.  Much of this interaction is still not understood. There actually could still be nutrients and vitamins that have not even been identified in this complex molecular structures. Therefore as the synthetic vitamins are chemically the same as natural vitamins and can supply any basic deficiency in the body for that vitamin your dog does not get any of the whole food catalytic processes which initiates the body’s chemical reactions or enables it to proceed under different conditions.

In addition synthetic supplements are usually packaged with filler which can contain preservatives, starches, glutens, coloring, or other additives.  Vitamins obtained through natural whole foods are “packaged”  by being bonded to proteins, carbohydrates, and bioflavonoids.  This is also why it is suggested that if you provide dog vitamins in supplement form you do so with their normal diet. This could supply the necessary other natural enzymes  that are needed by your dog’s body to effectively absorb the maximum benefit of the vitamins.

The following gives both natural food and herbal sources for the 13 identified vitamins:

Vitamin A

(Animal sources  contain significant more  than other sources)

animal livers, fish liver oil, apricots, asparagus, beet greens, broccoli, cantaloupe, carrots, collards, kale, kelp, dulse, garlic, mustard greens, papayas, peaches, pumpkin, red peppers, spinach, spirulina, sweet potatoes, swiss chard, turnip greens, yellow squash, egg yolks

alfalfa, borage leaf, burdock root, cayenne, chickweed, dandelion greens, eyebright, fennel seed, hops, horsetail, lemongrass, mullein, nettle, oat straw, paprika, parsley, peppermint, plantain, raspberry leaf, red clover, rose hips, sage, uva ursi, violet leaves, watercress, yellow dock

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)

brown rice, chia seeds, egg yolks, legumes, wheat germ, whole grains, rice bran, pork, liver, fish, yeast, dried beans, peas, peanuts, poultry, soybeans

asparagus, brewer’s yeast, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, dulse, kelp, oatmeal, plums, dried prunes, spirulina, watercress

alfalfa, bladderwrack, burdock root, catnip. cayenne, chamomile, chickweed, eyebright, fennel seed, fenugreek, hops, nettle, oat straw, parsley, peppermint, raspberry leaf, clover, rose hips, sage, yarrow, yellow dock

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

cheese, chia seeds, egg yolks, fish, legumes, meat, milk, poultry, spinach, whole grains, yogurt

asparagus, avocados, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, currants, dulse, kelp, mushrooms, nuts, watercress

alfalfa, bladderwrack, burdock root, catnip. cayenne, chamomile, chickweed, dandelion greens, eyebright, fennel seed, fenugreek, ginseng, hops, horsetail, mullein, nettle, oat straw, parsley, peppermint, raspberry leaf, red clover, rose hips, sage, yellow dock

Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

asparagus, beef liver,  brewer’s yeast, broccoli, carrots, chia seeds,  cheese, corn flour, dates, eggs, fish,  kelp, milk, peanuts, pork, peanuts, tomatoes, wheat germ

alfalfa, burdock root, catnip. cayenne, chamomile, chickweed, dandelion leaf, eyebright, fennel seed,  hops, licorice, mullein, nettle, oat straw, parsley, peppermint, raspberry leaf, red clover, rose hips, slippery elm, yellow dock

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)

beef,  brewer’s yeast, chia seeds, eggs, kidney, legumes, saltwater fish, liver, nuts, torula yeast, mushrooms, pork, whole rye flour, whole wheat

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)

brewer’s yeast, chia seeds, carrots, chicken, eggs, fish, meat, peas, spinach, sunflower seeds, walnuts,  wheat germ

avocado, bananas, broccoli, brown rice, cabbage, cantaloupe, corn, dulse, plantains, potatoes, rice bran, soybeans, tempeh, whole grains

alfalfa, catnip, oat straw

Vitamin B7 (Biotin)

Brewer’s yeast, chia seeds , cooked egg yolks, meat, milk, poultry, saltwater fish, soybeans, whole grains

Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid)

Asparagus, barley, beef, bran, brewer’s yeast, brown rice, cheese, chia seeds,  chicken, dates, green leafy vegetables, lamb, legumes, lentils, liver, milk, mushrooms, oranges, split peas, pork, root vegetables, salmon, tuna, wheat germ, whole grains, whole wheat

Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin)

Brewer’s yeast, chia seeds,  clams, eggs, herring,  kidney, liver, mackerel, milk, dairy products, seafood

Dulse, kelp, kombu, nori, soybeans, soy products

alfalfa, bladderwrack, hops

Vitamin C (Asorbic acid)

Asparagus, avocados, beet greens, black  currants, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cantaloupe, collards, dulse, grapefruit, kale, kelp. lemons, mangos, mustard greens, onions, oranges, papayas, green peas, sweet peppers, persimmons, pineapple, radishes, rose hips, spinach, strawberries, swiss chard, tomatoes, turnip greens, watercress

alfalfa, burdock root, cayenne, chickweed, eyebright, fennel seed, fenugreek, hops, horsetail, mullein, nettle, oat straw, paprika, parsley, pine needle, plantain, peppermint, raspberry  leaf, red clover, rose hips, sage, skullcap, violet leafs, yarrow, yellow dock

Vitamin D (Cholecalciferol Ergocalciferol)

butter, cheese, cod liver oil, eggs, fatty saltwater fish, fish liver oils, halibut, kelp, liver, milk, oatmeal, salmon, sardines,  sweet potatoes, tuna, yogurt,.

alfalfa, dandelion leaf, horsetail. nettle, parsley

Vitamin E (Tocopherols Tocotrienols)

Brown rice, dulse, eggs, kelp, milk, oatmeal, soybeans, sweet potatoes, wheat germ, watercress, corn, nuts, legumes, flaxseed, spinach, seeds, asparagus, vegetable oils

Alfalfa, bladderwrack, dandelion, dong quai, nettle, oat straw, raspberry leaf, rose hips

Vitamin K (Phylloquinone Menaquinones)

asparagus, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, egg yolks, leaf lettuce, liver, kelp, oatmeal, oats, rye, safflower oil, spinach, soybeans, wheat, yogurt

Alfalfa, green tea, nettle, oat straw, shepherd’s purse

postheadericon People say that the way one dresses says a lot about him/her

People say that the way one dresses says a lot about him/her. While we generally limit this to adults, parents have gone the extra mile to ensure that their babies are in vogue with the current trends. I am not saying that you can expect to see babies with 2 piece bikinis on the beach. What I am trying to say is that there is a whole fashion industry associated with baby clothing in the offing. It has been facing a tremendous boom, with many parents suddenly getting conscious about their baby’s image.

To start off with, there are many ‘departments of clothing’, when it comes to infant clothing. You have designer wear, organic wear, fun clothing, general everyday wear so on and so forth. Depending on what you are looking for, you can shortlist your options.

If you are a guy with cash to spend, you can head to your nearest designer baby clothing showroom. Designer baby clothing has risen to fame in the recent past, with many celebrities purchasing custom made designer clothes for their babies. The fad has spread throughout the market. Every parent now wants his/her kid to be the new star in town and this high demand has sparked a manufacturing spree among the designers. More focus is being given to this branch of clothing and it is sure to keep rising in terms of popularity, keeping in mind the current situation.

If you are the normal (by normal, I mean a non-celebrity, typical American household kind of guy) parent, you might want to consider purchasing organic clothing. Organic clothing is the safest option for your baby, because it is made of 0% pesticide cotton, which means that your baby’s skin is absolutely safe, and also that you are doing your bit to help conserve the environment. Organic clothing might not be as expensive or stylish as designer wear, but is definitely safer for your baby.

You should also try buying fun clothes for your baby. For example, try getting a shirt that has a good saying or a good joke on it, which might also prove to be a positive kind of influence on your baby. It might seem a little odd, but getting fun clothes can be really good for your infant. Always get colorful clothes because it always sets the mood. Drowsy colors are a no-no. But don’t go too much out of the way and do something like buying an orange shirt and purple trousers. That’s not exactly what I had in mind.
So baby clothing is definitely something serious. It is essential that you get your baby the right clothes, because the clothes that your baby wears speak a lot about your baby. You can dress up your baby either elegant, or cute, or go the designer way. Either ways, baby clothing is no laughing matter and requires the proper and undivided attention of parents.

postheadericon For as long as i can remember, clay based cat litter was the standard

For as long as I can remember, clay based cat litter was the standard. Clay based cat litter was always inexpensive and reasonably effective. The trick was to keep the nasty bits scooped out and change the litter at a reasonable interval. When to change the litter was fairly easy to figure out since the clay would absorb only so much urine. Several cats I have had the pleasure to own over the years were not shy about telling when they thought it was time to clean the litter box.

Prior to the introduction of clay cat litter, owners of inside cats relied on a wide variety of materials. Shredded newspaper, sand, and even plain dirt served the purpose but had some obvious drawbacks. None of these materials was very absorbent and needed to be changed often. As any owner of an inside cat will tell you, controlling the inevitable order from the cat box was difficult.

As with most product inventions and improvements, the inventor was responding to a need. The introduction of what came to be commonly known as kitty litter was not much different. Introduced in the late nineteen forties, clay based cat litter changed the way people, and cats, thought about controlling cat waste. Compared to other soil types, the composition of clay soil makes it naturally absorbent. In its natural state, clay has a very high moisture content, sometimes to the point of saturation. Now this hardly sounds like a substance that would make a great filler for the cat box.

What makes clay based cat litters work is what happens between the time the clay is collected and when it lands in the litter box. Raw clay would be dried, usually in a hot kiln. The process of kiln drying and baking is used in the production of clay pottery and the drying of milled timber. Baking the clay removes a significant amount of moisture. As water is removed from the clay, the volume shrinks and what remains is a substance that is once again capable to absorbing moisture. Its as simple as that and an entire industry sprang up around that one simple fact.

So for almost fifty years, clay based cat litter ruled the cat box. Along the way, attempts were made to add odor control ingredients, including aftermarket products. Since cat urine would turn mildly acidic over time, many folks would combine simple baking soda with the clay litter. The baking soda acted to change the Ph of the urine, neutralizing the acid and reducing odor. Other aftermarket products used combinations of various chemicals, including perfumes and odor neutralizers. These products were easy to use and were just sprinkled into the litter.

Just as we thought the science of cat litter had reached its zenith, along comes scoopable litter. It clumped, it lumped and turned the undesirable chore of cleaning the cat box into something almost bearable. Loaded with deodorizers, this unique product remained in granulated state until being used by the cat. The granules adhere to the urine and feces, encapsulating it in a clump. Using a common litter scoop, the waste is easily removed, leaving the clean litter behind.

The convenience of scoopable cat litter does come with a price. While clay based litter is relatively inexpensive, some brands of scoopable litter can be pricey. The added expense is mitigated somewhat since less scoopable litter is needed to keep the litter pan clean. Still, there are some cat owners who are concerned about the chemicals used to in the production of scoopable cat litter.

In response to some of those concerns, a market has sprung up for scoopable cat litter that uses natural enzymes to control odor. New brands of natural litter stress the low dust and absence of strong chemical deodorizers. Clay is a very rugged substance and will not break down.

Without clay as a base, producers of natural cat litter advertise their products as biodegradable and even flushable. While filling the local sewer system with used cat litter would not be my first disposal choice, it is nice to know that it will breakdown naturally.