Guide To Raising Rabbits for Meat

Raising Rabbits for Meat

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Guide To Raising Rabbits for Meat – Many people are turning to build a sustainable lifestyle.

A sustainable lifestyle is one that can be maintained and controlled through work you do yourself and is an eco-friendly way to live in conjunction with the world.

One way to embrace a sustainable lifestyle is to grow and raise your own food sources.

Many people have taken on raising animals that can be used as a food source, including chickens, pigs, and even rabbits.

Why Raise Rabbits for Meat?

You may look at that cute little bunny and think they are so small why bother?

You will never be able to get enough meat produced to support your family.

But you would be surprised.

The rate of breeding makes rabbits one of the best sustainable meat sources you can raise.

They multiply rapidly and can, in the end, herald up to 200+ pounds of meat a year depending on your herd and the amount you breed.

It sounds like a good idea, right?

Guide To Raising Rabbits for Meat

There are a lot of things to consider when raising rabbits for meat, though.

In this guide, we are going to take a walk through the different steps you will need to take for raising rabbits for meat.

Let’s start with where and move on from there.

Raising Rabbits for Meat

Where to Raise Rabbits?

You don’t want to get in trouble with the local officials, so first and foremost you need to make sure that you can raise those rabbits on your property for meat.

You may be able to have that little fluff ball as a pet, but when you are raising it as livestock, there are a whole different set of rules.

So, take the time to investigate where you can raise your rabbits and the rules you must follow to do so.

Here are a few options for where:

Am I allowed to Raising Rabbits for Meat at My Home

As we said above, many places allow you to have a rabbit a pet, but there may be rules about raising animals for food sources.

Make sure you check with your county or city what the rules are for this aspect of rabbit rearing.

Another thing to consider is that though it may be legal for you to raise rabbits on your property for food purposes, the county or city may not permit the butchering and processing.

If you can raise rabbits for meat on your property, then the next thing to take into consideration is which breed you will want to raise and the set-up you will need to do to prep for this new venture.

Community Gardens and Farms For Raising Rabbits

If, however, if you are not able to raise the rabbits legally on your property, but still want to try your hand at rabbit raising, you may want to investigate community gardens or communal farms.

These are an area of land that has been set aside by the city to allow the people of a given neighborhood the ability to grow an urban farm and help build a sustainable communal area.

These areas will not allow for the processing and butchering of the animals which you will have to do at a third-party processor, but you will be able to raise the rabbits to that point.

Now that you have an idea where you can begin your rabbit farm, you will be ready to figure out the set-up.

If you are using a communal garden, there may already be places build so this next section is really for those that can manage a backyard set-up.

What You Need To Raising Rabbits for Meat

There is a bit of prep that you must do before you rush out to get your rabbits.

Setting up their shelter and having the things you need to make them comfortable is the first step in starting your new business.

Here are the things you will need to have for a proper rabbit raising farm.

Rabbit Hutch (male and female)

The first part of the hutch proposition of this set-up is to craft a hutch plan.

Many counties or city ordinances will require you to file a copy for approval.

This is to ensure it meets all the standards set by the city itself regarding small livestock enclosures.

The rabbit hutch is the small wooden house where your rabbits will end up spending a lot of time.

Like a chicken coop but smaller and easily moved from place to place.

There are pre-made hutches available, or you can DIY one.

To determine the right hutch set up for your rabbit farm, you will want to consider how many rabbits you are looking to raise.

The bigger the herd, the bigger the hutches.

That’s right each sex will need their own hutch (after all you don’t want them breeding when you aren’t ready).

Here are some things to consider when deciding on your hutch design:

What to do with Rabbit Waste

You will want to make sure that there are a place and a way for the poop and other waste to be removed easily from the hutch.

If you get a pre-made one, you will find a floor constructed of wire with holes and such to allow for it to escape into a tray below.

If you are building your hutch, make sure to include this in your plan.

Nursing a Rabbit

Once you have bred, you will want a place they can go after giving birth.

The nursing compartment allows for them to take care of their young away from the rest of the herd.

Just like with the waste removal system, both pre-made, and DIY versions should have this as a feature.

Climate

If you are in an area that experiences extreme temperature fluctuations, you will want to consider adding extra pieces for better climate control.

Rabbits are tough animals, but extremities of temp can cause health problems.

So, if you are in a hot climate, you may want to consider installing fans to help with the heat.

On the flip side, if you are in a climate that experiences low temps, a heater may be needed.

Rabbit Run (male and female)

You will want to build a place for your rabbits to stretch their legs and have a little hopping time.

That means attaching an enclosed pen to the hitches.

One for each sex as well, so there is no fraternizing unless you want them to.

The size of the run depends on the number of rabbits and the space you have available.

How to Protect Rabbits

Even in the city, other creatures may look at your rabbits as food and try to get to them.

So, make sure you have protection around your open enclosure – this is key.

The last thing you want is to have some other creature enjoying your rabbit before you do.

So, making sure your rabbits are protected from all sides, both ground and sky will help make your farm just a bit safer.

Bedding

You will want to lay down bedding of some sort in your run so that you can maintain a level of sanitation.

The type of bedding is up to you, but you will defiantly want one that is easy to remove and is good at absorbing the waste from these bunnies.

Inside the hutch itself, bedding is optional. That is if you have a waste removal tray. If you do not, then you will need the same qualities as the bedding for the run in the hutch. Using the same for both areas is fine.

Food/Water & Containers

If you want good quality meat, you will want to take care of your rabbits by making sure they have plenty of clean water and the right food.

Water

Water is important, and your rabbits will need a lot of it.

The bigger the herd, the more water and so making sure that the pens are fitted with a large bottle of good clean water is a must.

Rabbit Food

You are what you eat, and that means that you are what your food source eats as well.

There are a few options when it comes to feeding for your rabbits.

When you are looking for the containers, you want ones that have a tight latticework frame or even a feeder that has a sifting capability.

This is so the rabbits can’t get into the container itself and contaminate their food with waste.

By getting the right container, you will be able to decrease the risk of illness amongst the herd.

As for the food itself, you will want to utilize a nice balance of hay, fresh veggies, and pellets.

The best hay for your rabbits according to many rabbit farmers is Timothy Hay.

This should be about 80% – 90% of their overall diet.

The rest of that percentage should go to the protein-fiber pellets and fresh veggies like carrots and lettuce.

You will want to stay consistent with your feed as rabbits have very delicate tummies and you do not want to upset them.

Slaughter & Processing Rabbits For Food

If you are planning to do the whole thing, then you will need a place where you can break down the rabbits once slaughtered.

You will want this area to be stocked with the knives and implements required for the process, as well as and tools you may want to use to take the processing further (i.e., sausages).

They should have a nice flat surface, be completely sanitary, and have some sort of refrigeration close at hand.

Now you have your rabbit farm set up it is time to meet your herd.

Choosing the right breed is the next crucial part of the puzzle.

Rabbit Breeds

You cannot just pick up any old rabbit for your rabbit farm if you are looking for a good meat source.

Rabbits good for eating tend to be longer, plumper, and have more fur.

Here is a list of the best rabbit choices for your rabbit farm:

Palomino Rabbits

These rabbits can top off the scales at close to 12 pounds and are usually pale orange in color.

Palomino’ may well be the best choice for inner-city rabbit farming as they are quiet and quite docile.

Chinchilla Rabbits

The chinchilla rabbit is a super fluffy and plump breed that can be kept as a pet or as livestock.

They can weigh in at up to 12 lbs. when fully grown.

Champagne D’Argent Rabbits

This is one of those breeds that is less common to find amongst rabbit farms.

This breed goes all the way back to the 1600s and is great for its meat and has a stunning black coat as well.

Flemish Giant Rabbits

These are the largest breed that many farmers raise for meat.

These behemoths can top the scales at 20 lbs.

The fur is prized but not more than the meat.

This breed is super docile and can be great for urban areas.

New Zealand Rabbits

These rabbits come in a variety of colors and can get up to 12 lbs. in weight.

When prepared, it does have a pinkish color, and some may think it isn’t cooked, but it is fine.

There are many other rabbit breeds that are out there in the world, but these six are by far the most popular when it comes to raising rabbits for meat.

Any of these will work, but the ultimate decision comes down to how much space you have and how much meat you are looking to produce.

Once you have chosen the breed you want, you may want to do further research to ensure you are raising these animals with just the right care.

Rabbit Mating/Birth/After

Once you have everything set-up and the rabbits chosen, now it is time to think about the next few steps.

The actual business of rabbit farming which has to do with dating, birth, and aftercare of the rabbits.

Each step of this process is important to get a good idea, and so we are going to look at each.

Mating Rabbits

The first step of successful mating is already done.

Making sure to keep the ladies and men separate until you feel the time is right.

There are, of course, other things you can do or need to know about the mating process.

  • You should always take the doe to the buck’s pad. This will decrease the chance of a flare-up over territory and make her a little more open to the bucks move.
  • Keep track of each does birthing dates for optimal fertility.
  • You will know that the deed is done when the male rabbit stiffens and falls of the female. You may think the poor guy has passed on to bunny heaven (what a way to go, right!) but he is fine and will return to normal in a few minutes.

Birth

Raising rabbits for meat is a time-consuming feat with many levels of things you need to know.

But one of the most important things to understand is what happens after the breeding.

Birthing cycle of rabbits are:

  • Rabbits take 30 days to gestate. The new mother will have a few pregnancies before learning how to care for her kits properly. This means that you may lose the first few litters before being successful with breading.
  • The big day is getting closer when you notice the momma pulling out her underbelly hair and adding it to her hole. This is done by them to ensure there is enough warmth for the kits.

After Birth Care For Rabbits

Once you have successfully mated and kept a litter, you will want to understand the aftercare system and what to expect from the other.

Here are a few key things to keep in mind:

  • You will not want to be loving all over the kits. This could interrupt the bonding process of the mother and babies and increase the chance of the mother not caring for the kits.
  • You can lightly check if they are still alive but no heavy petting or removal from the rabbit hole.
  • You may never see the mother feeding the babies, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t. In nature, it is natural or them to hide their babies and only fed them when no one is looking. In the wild, this is meant to save them from predators.
  • The mom will relax once the babies have fur and begin to hop on their own.
  • You may want to build a new hutch so that when the babies are big enough, you can move them to their own space.

Now that you have some idea of the entire process, we want to make sure you are not doing anything that will detract from all your hard work.

So, check out what not to do when raising rabbits for food.

Things to Not Do When Raising Rabbits

There are some distinctive things that you should stay away from doing regarding your rabbit farm.

Here a list of no-nos:

  • Do not use straw in the rabbit’s hole section in the hutch. Straw can carry mites, and your herd is very susceptible to these little parasites.
  • Use wood shavings as bedding only in places where newborn kits will not be present. The scent from the shavings is bad for the little one’s breathing system and can be the cause of death if not careful.
  • You want to make sure to keep the pens and hutches free of flies. So, install fly strips or rub everything down with vinegar. This is so that you can keep the flies from laying eggs in the babies and eating them.

Health Considerations for Rabbits

Rabbits, in general, are very sturdy and easy to take care of animal.

There are a few things regarding health that you need to be knowledgeable about to keep your herd as healthy as possible.

Mites

You want to raise healthy rabbits, and one of the things they are most liable to get is ear mites.

This can be combated by making sure that you keep their hutch and pen clean and with just a few preventative measures.

You can use a tincture of olive oil and tea tree oil to fend off the small fiends.

A couple of drops in each ear of each rabbit will help decrease the risk of mites being an issue for your herd.

Rabbit Hygiene

The other big thing you must do is to clean their pens and hutches weekly.

This is done by removing the rabbits (setting them up in a temp pen) and removing all bedding.

Then you need to scrap any waste off and wash the hutch down with a diluted bleach mixture.

You will want to let the hutch completely dry and air out before replacing the bedding and letting your rabbits back into the structure.

While you do this, making sure that the food and water containers are also waste-free and clean is also a task that should be done.

Pros/Cons of Raising Rabbits For Food

Raising rabbits for meat is not something that is suited for everyone.

So, understanding the pros and cons that are associated with this venture.

Let us start with the pros:

Pros of Raising Rabbits For Food

Ethical Choice

Commercially processed meat can have things pumped into the meat via the feed they feed their animals.

Then there is the treatment of the animals themselves.

If you are someone who actively opposes overcrowding in pens and unsanitary conditions, then raising your own meat is a better ethical choice for you.

You will also be able to manage what they eat and end up with a cleaner, healthier product.

Short Lifecycles

Everything happens so fast with rabbits.

The doe is always fertile, and the gestation period brief.

They wean quickly and are mature enough to slaughter quickly as well.

With this cycle, you can have plenty of meat year-round for your family plus some.

This means that though you may be intending to keep the meat, you could also have enough to make a little money as well.

Less Food Needed

Rabbits do not take as much food as other livestock you may consider for your backyard farm.

This means you can save money on free and on your groceries.

It is a win-win situation.

Simple Diets

They do not require much too feed, nor do they require a special diet either.

They are not picky.

Mostly they eat hay and some pellets with a few fresh veggies.

All of which in the end is cheap.

You can even use fresh vegetables from your garden if you have one, and that saves even more money (and just like the meat itself, allows you to control what chemicals if any, you use on it).

Rabbits are Sturdy

Rabbits can be bred and farmed anywhere, and except for a few extra considerations when it comes to extreme heat or cold, they can pretty much survive anything.

Rabbits are Quiet

Unlike chickens or even pigs, rabbits are quiet.

This makes them great for settings where your neighbors are close to your back yard.

If you make sure to keep up on the cleaning and build a pen and hutch that is safe from their escape and the entrance of predators, there should be no noise and even less fuss.

Cons of Raising Rabbits For Food

Now that you know all the good stuff, it’s time to lay some of the disadvantages on you.

Here are the main drawbacks of foraying into the world of rabbit breeding:

No Extras

Some animals that you may consider raising for meat in your back yard have extras that come with them.

We are primarily talking about any fowl that you chose.

Each of these will come with the extra gifts of egg production.

Unfortunately, with rabbits, the only by-product that you will be able to take advantage of is one you get only after the animal has met their maker and that is the fur.

Start-up Costs of of Raising Rabbits

The initial start-up cost of this venture is quite an investment.

From the rabbits themselves to the feed, you will be set back a pretty penny.

You will have to shell out cash for a hutch and run too.

All in all, the money saved on groceries may not be worth it unless you are in it for the long haul.

It will take a month or two to negate the cost of starting this new business or hobby.

More Maintenance

You will need to spend time making sure that the enclosures you built for the rabbits are cleaned regularly as well as make sure that they stay in tip-top shape.

This will take time away from other areas of your life, and though it is not an all-consuming project, you will need a lot of time, up to several hours a week to maintain the set-up and take care of your herd.

Susceptible to Predators

They are small and easily picked off by anything from birds of prey to snakes.

Knowing the predators that live in your area is essential, and by acting when building your pens, you should be able to negate this problem with little to no issues.

Third-Party Processors

If you are unable to butcher the rabbits yourself due to regulations, then you may have to deal with a third party, and this can mean an extra added cost.

This tacked-on cost could make this venture a little too costly for some, but if you are not raising a big herd, it should be easily managed.

Now that you have a few ideas of what the advantages and disadvantages of are raising rabbits for meat you may be able to more easily decide if this is a good fit for you and your family’s meat needs.

Rabbit Raising FAQs

To help you, we have also taken the time to check out some of the most commonly asked questions when it comes to raising rabbits for meat.

Here are just a few:

How Many Rabbit Does & Bucks Do I Need?

A small set-up only needs one buck, and two does to get their farm started.

This is good because a lot of city ordinances only allow for this in their regulations.

What Age Can You Slaughter Rabbits?

There are two ages that work, and this depended on the method of which you plan to cook them.

At about three months old, the rabbit should weigh between one and a half to three and a half pounds and is labeled as a fryer.

This means that this rabbit is great for frying.

If you wait until the rabbit is eight months old or 4-pound, then this is a roaster.

Either age is acceptable or will hear a different texture of meat.

How Much Does a Rabbit Cost?

When you are looking at the cost of breeds, it all depends on the type and age.

Typical good meat rabbits can range from $10 to $50 apiece.

How Much Can You sell Rabbit Meat For?

If you are looking to sell your extra meat and have processed it on-site, you can easily charge $5 – $7 per pound.

If you are dealing with a third-party processor, you may only be able to get $3 – $6 per pound.     

Now that some of the biggest questions have been answered we thought we would sum up the steps that you need to take to create your rabbitry.     

Steps to Create Your Rabbit Farm

With all that information put together, you should have a pretty solid plan for executing your rabbit farm.

Here is a breakdown of the steps to follow using the information above to help you along:

Determine how big you want your rabbit herd to be

This will play a key role in deciding how big your set-up needs to be.

It will also help you estimate the overall costs of this venture.

Plan out the rabbit facilities

This is when you either choose your pre-made set-up or build your own hutch and run.

Apply for any legal permits you need

You want to make sure that you do everything on the up and up, so getting the proper permission and following the guidelines set by your city or county will help you do just that.

Build your rabbit farm

Now that you have the right permission, you can start the process of building out your farm.

Prep the space

The buildings and runs set up you will want to make sure you have the food and water system set up as well as any bedding laid that you want.

Buy Your Bunnies

Now that your rabbit farm space is set up, you can head down to the local breeders of whatever breed you chose and pick up your herd.

Set up a schedule

Once your herd is settling in, you will want to begin crafting the correct feed schedule for you and your little furry livestock.

Breed them

Female rabbits are always fertile, so that is why you need to separate pen structures.

Once you are ready for your chores to change, you can begin to let them mingle.

If you decided on having more than one, make you may want to keep track of who your buck is breeding with so that you can keep a close eye on who the male has the best results with.

Once the does are pregnant, you will know exactly when they are getting ready to have the babies as they will start pulling out hair and making a nest with it.

The kits will be born naked and blind and will not be seen really until they are completely weaned from their mother.

You can still check them to make sure they have survived just be cautious.

The babies are easily susceptible to bacteria, so make sure you do everything you can to minimize contact.

Also, do not be worried if you lose a few of the kits.

It is common for does to lose most or their entire first few litters.

Decide on the endgame

You will want to decide who you will be sent to slaughter and what you intend to do with them.

The perfect time to do this is between 3-4 months.

Then all you must do is keep repeating step seven through nine to your heart’s content.

Guide to Raising Rabbits

This is a big venture to undertake in the beginning and may not be well suited for everyone.

Those that do take on the chore of raising rabbits for meat will have to pay close attention to the cost, requirements, and all the other stuff that comes with building a small backyard rabbit farm.

Before diving in, ask yourself if you are ready for the commitment and if all the hoops you must jump through before you can get started are worth it.

These are all questions and considerations that you must answer for yourself.

We just hope that with this comprehensive guide about raising rabbits for meat, you now feel better equipped to make the right decision.

This decision is one that will have you regret-free and saving money on your groceries.

Maybe even making a little money raising rabbits for meat too!

Everything you need to Know about Pygmy Goats

Everything you need to Know about Pygmy Goats

Pygmy Goats

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We humans, love pets and adore them a lot irrespective of their type. If you are thinking of having a unique pet that is small and friendly, pygmy goats are one of the most viable options.

These goats can turn out to be a perfect pet for anyone who can take care and put an effort to raise them.

Pygmy goats are a hardy but docile breed, very much capable of adapting to varying climates.

They need reasonable shelter and care.

In addition, they provide you with the milk rich in high-fat content.

These little bundles of joy offer never-ending fun as they are adorable and love to play.

In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss everything you need to know about the pygmy goats, including how to raise and train them. 

Pygmy Goats

Origin of Pygmy Goats

The breed originated from the Cameron Valley, West Africa.

It is one of the most productive and hardiest goat breeds.

Apart from offering meat and milk, these goats serve as a great pet as they are responsive, cooperative, and lovely companions.

Hence, pygmy goats are highly suitable for commercial purposes and as pets.

Pygmy Goats Characteristics

Pygmy goats offer a wide range of characteristics, including their adaptability.

They are considered as an asset in various aspects.

This breed provides great resilience when it comes to the climate and environment.

Being one of the smallest goats, they range between 15 to 20 inches in their height.

The average weight of a pygmy goat may range from 40 to 50 pounds.

Their physical structure is compact and is less refined in appearance.

These goats have different colors, patterns, and shades.

Their coats are medium long and straight.

The density of their coats depends on the weather and climate.

Moreover, adult males have beards while this feature lacks in female pygmies. 

Apart from being the most lovable pet, these goats are also known for their highly nutritious milk production.

On average, a pygmy goat tends to produce one to two liters of milk depending on the age of the female breed.

Although the milk comprises of 4.5% to 11% of butterfat, the milking period is relatively short.

They continue to produce milk for almost 4 to 6 months after giving birth to a baby.

These goats are non-seasonal breeders and can give birth to their young ones during practically any time of the year.

They attain puberty after 4 to 5 months of their birth.

However, it is advisable to breed them after they reach the age of 9 to 10 months.

Finally, the average lifespan of pygmy goats is 10-15 years.

Size of Pygmy Goats

Pygmy goats look like dwarfs, as they have short legs and a stocky body.

The limbs are relatively short as compared to the body length.

The salient appearance features include a broad forehead, short horns, erect ears, a small nose, and rounded muzzle.

The male goats are slightly different in appearance due to the presence of a long beard.

As a whole, this breed looks adorable and friendly.

Feeding Pygmy Goats

Just like other breeds, pygmy goats are ruminant animals.

They stay healthy and productive if appropriately fed.

When feeding these goats, you need to consider their age, sex, and individual circumstance.

Typically, pygmy goats are less demanding when it comes to their food.

They can feed on simply green grasses, corn, and other types of grains.

It would be great if you offer them a natural grazing area.

However, don’t stop to feed them hay to improve their digestion.

Besides, you can also feed them with supplementary feeds.

But make sure to offer a balanced amount of protein, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium.

Proper Housing For Your Pygmy Goats

In order to keep your pygmy goat safe and healthy, you need to provide it with proper goat housing.

A clean and cozy environment can help to protect these goats from seasonal or viral diseases.

If you have plenty of space, make a fence around a reasonable area with plenty of grass.

During summer, it is essential to provide them good shade if there aren’t enough trees around.

The goat house should have adequate set up for drainage.

Whether Pygmy Goats are a Good Pets

No doubt, Pygmy goats are good pets in most of the cases.

The reason for this is the fact that they are friendly, easy to handle, social, and love to play.

They can also be trained, just like any other pet.

Moreover, they are the best companions for the kids and elderly alike.

When it comes to feeding, they don’t eat anything that falls on the ground.

Hence, you need to use a specific utensil for them to feed and make sure they drop less while eating.

As a whole, pygmy goats serve as the best pet if you know how to take care of them and give them due attention.

Taking care of your Pygmy Goat

When you own a pygmy goat or want to have one, the first thing to consider is knowing what it takes to raise it as a pet.

You need to focus on a wide range of aspects, including housing, feeding, cleaning, and other similar factors.

Here are some of the essential things to pay attention to when raising a pygmy goat as a pet:

Pygmy Goat Shed

  • Make a shed that is 10ft by 10ft, offering a spacious area for the goat to sit and sleep
  • It should be properly ventilated
  • It must have a heating facility during winters
  • The floor must have spaces for the urine to drop down and keep the area dry
  • Make fences around the shed
  • Keep them safe and offer the necessary protection against predator attacks

Feeding Schedule for a Pygmy Goat

  • A natural diet like grass and small plants provide the best nutrition
  • Supplementary hay also serves the purpose well when fresh fonder isn’t available
  • Pygmy goats love fruits and vegetable
  • They need Vitamin A and Vitamin D. Hence, make sure to use such foods that offer these vitamins
  • Offer a quarter cup of grains every day
  • Pygmies love to graze in the open fields, allow them to graze freely in a small patch of land having lush green grass
  • The feeding requirement of pygmy goats is less than other goats. Hence, avoid overfeeding them

Maintaining your Pygmy’s Health

  • Get the Pygmy goats dropping tested twice a year for the worms
  • Check regularly for lice infection
  • Trim the hooves after 3 to 4 weeks
  • Provide yellow mineral lick
  • Regular vaccinations

Breeding Pygmy Goats

  • The Pygmy goats reach sexual maturity too early, almost at the age of 4 months
  • Avoid breeding them early
  • Keep them away from bucks for at least a year
  • The gestation period takes approximately 5 months.
  • Pygmy goats give birth to 2-4 kids after every 9 to 12 months
  • Consult a veterinarian for an authentic breeding advice

How to Raise Pygmy Goats

Raising pygmy goats as pets and for farming purposes is quite popular these days.

People love them due to their small size and unique body structure.

Besides their attractive appearance, they are friendly too.

There are different opinions about raising a pygmy goat, which depends on the purpose for which you are going to raise it.

Things to Consider When Raising Pygmy Goats

Before starting raising a pygmy goat, it is essential to keep a few things in mind.

These include the knowledge about the behavior, habits, and temperament of these goats.

This is necessary to offer your goat a suitable and highly favorable environment.

No one wants an unhappy pet; hence, you need to make sure that you are well prepared to bring a pygmy goat to your home.

For this purpose, you must know about the typical characteristics of this breed.

If these specifications match with the facilities you can provide, pygmy goats can serve as the best pet you ever had.

Pygmy Goat Mood and Temperament

Just like any other pet, pygmy goats may have their distinctive personality and behavior traits.

Hence, they require some specific treatment.

However, as a whole, these goats are typically friendly and behave well while in the company of humans and other animals.

Most of these goats are docile and congenial; especially, female pygmy goats are of good nature.

They will turn out to be a perfect pet for you when you pick them during the early months of their lives.

They will adapt to the environment without any issue.

One thing you should keep in mind about the behavior and mood of pygmy goats is their intolerance towards getting wet.

Hence, if you want them to be happy and behave well, try to keep them dry.

 Sharing Pygmy Goat’s Emotions

Usually, the pygmy goats are responsive, friendly, and gentle to humans.

What they usually demand is attention and love.

However, some owners do claim that pygmy goats are not good at showing their feelings.

This suggests that they are good at hiding their feelings.

On the contrary, they appear to be very loud when showing their displeasure and demanding something.

Pygmy goats as pets are faithful and loyal, which suggests that they would serve as a good companion.

Pygmy’s Daily Activities

Generally, pygmy goats love to play, and they spend a lot of time running and jumping.

Especially, baby pygmy goats are simply unstoppable once they are active.

This means you need to provide enough clearance at your home for such activities.

Young pygmy goats are in the habit of having mock fights, yet they are occasional, and things settle down after a few minutes.

Besides, feeding them properly, it is equally essential to give them a proper environment that helps to stimulate their growth and physical abilities.

Give them enough space for running, jumping, and climbing over small heights.

Some owners suggest that pygmy goats may get bored easily.

Hence, you need to offer them new and interesting playing facilities.

 Know how to Feed a Goat

If you are looking forward to raising a pygmy goat, it is highly recommended to learn how to feed them.

Although this breed isn’t choosey about the food, you must offer them nutritious food depending on their daily needs.

The feed for pygmy goats is relatively different from that of other commercial goats.

It is possible to supplement the regular goat chow, but fresh grass is the most desirable food for these goats.

Don’t offer alfalfa hay regularly, as this diet may result in urinary calculi.

To build an affectionate relationship with your pygmy goat, it would be better to welcome it with a handful of grains two to three times a day.

It would also be appropriate to offer fruits and vegetables as treats.

It is beneficial to feed them goat mix not more than twice a day for better growth.

Since pygmies have a tendency to get obese, it is necessary to control this issue by providing them with a moderate feed.

Make sure to keep them away from poisonous and allergic herbs and plants such as Japanese yew, azaleas, laburnum, and rhododendrons.

In addition, don’t feed them with food wastes or leftovers from other farm animals.

This means you should always provide them with a fresh and adequate amount of food and fresh water.

 Proper Shelter for a Goat

In farm settings, providing a perfect shelter for a pygmy isn’t an issue, as this breed loves the company of other animals.

However, when you are raising a pygmy goat as a pet, you need to pay much attention to the proper housing.

Usually, pygmies need a simple housing setup.

They will be more than happy if you offer them an easy-to-build three-sided enclosure.

The house should be well ventilated and provide a nice cozy place for the goat to sit and relax.

Besides, try to build a secure and robust enclosure for the pygmies, as they love to jump around.

It will not only offer required protection against the predators but also prevent their escape during the night.

Moreover, pygmies love to sleep in relatively higher places.

Therefore, it would be better to build their house slightly above the ground.

Make sure to keep it dry and clean.

Don’t forget to put something in the house that your pygmy loves to play with.

It will help your pygmy goat to build a connection with the housing.

Tips for Raising Pygmy Goats

No doubt, pygmies are amazing pets, and if you consider raising them, it won’t be a difficult task altogether.

Hence, if you think that you can take care of them and provide them with all the essentials, go ahead and bring one to your home.

Tips t0 raising a pygmy goat as your pet:

  • Before considering raising pygmies as a pet, it would be appropriate to consult the livestock regulations of your state or county
  • Since bucks smell horrible, don’t consider them raising as pets. On the contrary, female pygmies are more appropriate for this purpose
  • Disbudding is a great option in order to avoid getting your pet hurt if you are raising two or more of them
  • You also need to trim the hoofs regularly after every 3 to 5 weeks
  • Don’t forget to vaccinate them timely and take them to vet regularly
  • Regular worming tests are also necessary for the pygmy goats
  • Try to buy pygmy babies from a registered breeder

Is it Possible to House Train a Pygmy Goat?

House training a pygmy goat is easy and hassle-free.

The process is similar to that you follow while training other goats.

In fact, these goats are so loving and adorable, that it is actually fun to train them. 

Besides potty and urinating training, you can also train pygmy goats to restrict their movement in a particular area of the house.

It is also possible to train them to stop biting, chewing, and eating such things other than food, especially clothes.

Learning Abilities of Pigmy Goat

If you have a pigmy goat and want to train it, the first thing that may come to your mind is to what extent you can train your goat.

In fact, you can train your pygmy for several things.

For instance, it is possible to teach your pygmy to come back up on command and heel like a dog.

You can also train your goat to pull a cart or wagon and to carry some load.

Teaching it good manners while living in a camp may also prove handy.

Here are a few other learning abilities of a pygmy goat and tips to train them properly.

Training Pygmy Goat to Develop Good Habits

Apart from teaching tricks, you can also train your pygmy goat to learn good habits.

Although some traits and characteristics of pygmy goats may turn out to be destructive, you can alter them by merely training your goat.

Especially when goat tends to jump over the furniture and ruin your cozy sofas, you can teach them not to jump over any of these things.

Similarly, chewing pillows and curtains is another issue that you may face when raising pygmy goat as a pet.

You can also resolve this issue by teaching the goat how to behave.

To accomplish the task of teaching good habits and eliminating the bad ones, the first thing you need is to establish a strong bond with your pet.

In addition, you also need to make the environment more suitable for the pet.

This is because the inability to eradicate some of these bad habits of your pygmy would stress you out within a few weeks of raising it as your pet.

Moreover, chances are also there that the pet could hurt itself or cause damage to your household or other elements of your property.

You can train your pygmy goat not to misbehave by giving it an alternate way to utilize its energy.

Spend some good time with it in the outdoors and allow the goat to stretch its legs.

Try to feed the goat after regular intervals. In addition, offer it gourmet treats when it performs well and obeys your orders.

House Training a Pygmy Goat

House training is essential, as it includes some basic elements like urinating and outdoor potty training.

These are the two of the most critical parts of any house training when you are raising a four-legged pet.

This is because, with this type of training, you can ensure the required cleaning and sanitation conditions in your home.

Normally, goats are wise and intelligent creatures, as they can perform numerous tasks when trained.

This also applies to potty training and urinating habits.

However, you can’t train a goat overnight, as it requires some time, patience, lots of affection.

Pygmy goats love to be treated like a kid. They tap or scratch their ears when they perform a trick or obey your order.

What you need to do is appreciate your pet every time it does something right.

Besides, you also need to reward the goat with a handful of grains.

Tricks to Teach a Pygmy Goats

In order to teach new and interesting tricks to your pygmy, you need to focus on its habits.

It is necessary to take a young pygmy of at least 3 to 4 months old if you want to teach it different tricks.

At this age, the goat will learn more quickly and remember all the ticks for an extended time.

Before training your goat, it is essential to analyze whether you have the time and patience to accomplish it.

Moreover, you also need to consider whether you have got the patience and tolerance to train your pygmy.

Ticks that you can teach to your pygmy goat:

Targeting and Cue Sticks

One of the easiest ways to train your goat is to start with a cue stick.

A cue stick has a tiny tip on its end, similar to a magic wand.

It may have different colors, but a black stick with a white tip is the most appropriate one.

The idea behind the white tip is to draw the attention of your pet pygmy goat and allow it to focus on the movement of the stick.

With this prop, you can direct your pet to go in a particular direction or perform an action.

To familiarize the goat with this stick, allow it to touch the wand’s tip with its nose.

This procedure helps in different types of training, but it works perfectly well when you are teaching a particular trick to your goat.

Also, you can use your index finger, but a cue stick will keep you at a reasonable distance from the goat.

With the help of a cue stick, you can easily teach the ‘targeting’ trick.

When the goat tries to approach the tip of the stick, you can divert it to any other target or area.

This would help to divert the attention to any other thing that you want the goat to focus on.

For instance, you can teach a goat to open the door with this method.

Just ask you goat to touch the sick and then say ‘touch’.

After this, say open the door, which is the cue word that your goat would remember and act accordingly when you say it.

After some time, the goat will memorize the cue word, and you don’t have to use the cue stick for this purpose.

Teaching your Pygmy to Respond to its Name

This is the first thing that you may try to teach your goat.

Typically, pets learn to respond to their names quickly.

By just saying the name of your goat every time you talk to it is the simplest way to teach your goat its name.

Especially, calling your goat by its name is essential when you are offering it the treat.

It would help your goat to remember its name much quickly.

This is because the goats or any other pet relate their name to the food you offer to them.

Hence, goats respond to their name instantly when you call them.

If you haven’t named your goat yet, you can try a few simple things.

First, you need to give it a name that doesn’t rhyme with any other words that you use for the training.

For instance, if you use names like “Snow”, it would be confusing for the pet, as it rhymes with the word “no”.

On the other hand, a strong name like “Jazzy” is much better than a soft name such as “John”.

The reason for this type of selection is the ability of an animal to learn the harder sounding names much quickly.

In this way, other words won’t blend in with your goat’s name.

This rule also applies if you have more than one pet goat.

Try to give them such names that are different and easy to distinguish.

This would help the goats to respond to their own name, rather than responding to you on call when communicating with another goat.

Leash Training a Pygmy Goat

Leash training is relatively tough, especially when you have a doe fed goat.

Hence, make it sure that you are dealing with a bottle-fed goat.

Basic tips to offer leash training to your goat:

  • The younger your goat, the better it would be to start the training
  • Work one goat at a time if you are training a bunch of goats
  • Allow them to bond with you instead of having a connection with other goats
  • Divide your training into different short sessions by choosing different times
  • Be patient, loving and kind while training your goats
  • Use a soft brush to offer a soothing brushing session before and after the session. It will help the goat to develop a relationship with you and show confidence when in your company
  • Tapping and moving fingers on the head and back will make your goat comfortable and relaxed. It gives them the required feeling of motherly grooming and affection.
  • Be slightly firm when teaching your goat. However, don’t be too strict or choke your goat when teaching the leashing trick

Pygmy Goat Guide

After going through this extensive pygmy goat guide, you are now in a position to buy this animal and raise it as a pet.

Although pygmy goats serve as great pets, it is essential to make sure that you have the patience to deal with these animals.

This is because these pets require regular attention and care.

Just like any other pet, you need to train a pygmy goat to learn different tricks and obey your orders.

Similarly, by spending some time with the pygmy goat, you also create a connection and strong bond, which would help you to enjoy the companionship of your pet.

Before buying a pygmy goat, it is recommended that you must check the veterinary regulations for your state or county.

If there are no strict regulation or legal hurdles, buying a pygmy goat would be a perfect option.

Especially, kids and the elderly love the company of a pet, and if it is a pygmy goat, the level of fun and enjoyment would definitely be at another level.

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Need a Personal Protection Dog – Here Are the 5 Best Breeds

What are the Best Personal Protection Dog Breeds

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Best Personal Protection Dog – Anything can happen at any time in today’s world, which is why people must be vigilant about their personal safety and the safety of their family.

Whether you’re relaxing at home or out for a walk, a personal protection dog is a great way to keep you out of harm’s way and to give you peace knowing you’re safe.

Don’t mistake these dogs for ones that only guard the front door or the gate.

They are smart, and with proper training, can defend their owners from virtually any threat.

What are the Best Personal Protection Dog Breeds

If you’ve thought about a personal protection dog before, or are intrigued by this article, let’s look at the top 5 dog breeds from which to choose should you decide to take the next step for your safety.

What are the Best Personal Protection Dog Breeds
What are the Best Personal Protection Dog Breeds

German Shepherd

The German Shepherd was originally bred to be a herding dog.

The German Shepherd is easily trained and views protection as its purpose.

While these dogs look fierce, they’re extremely loving and loyal, which makes them the perfect companion animal for people and agencies who need protection.

German Shepherds get along well with children and aren’t afraid to fight to defend their ‘family’ without giving up.

Rottweiler Guard Dog
Rottweiler Guard Dog

If you’re in the market for a loyal, hard-working protection dog that follows commands and bonds with you and your family, you can’t do much better than a German Shepherd.

Rottweiler

The Rottweiler is a stout, muscular dog that has incredible strength for its size.

Like the German Shepherd, this animal is bred for protection, which makes it highly sought after for people and agencies that need its service.

The Rottweiler is both loyal and affectionate but won’t hesitate to defend and protect with everything it has when faced with a threat.

Because of its intelligence and defensive capabilities, agencies like the FBI and police forces often choose the Rottweiler.

Rottweilers, like the German Shepherd, have the advantage of scaring off potential threats because of its intimidating looks.

Dutch Shepherd

The Dutch Shepherd is a lean, muscular animal that wards off threats simply due to its intimidating appearance.

This animal, like the others on our list, is highly intelligent and easily trainable to follow commands.

This dog is very loyal to its adoptive family and loving but also won’t hesitate to jump into action to protect them when needed.

The Dutch Shepherd likes to be active and loves to play, which makes it a good dog for a family with kids.

Belgian Tervuren Protection Dog
Belgian Tervuren Protection Dog

Belgian Tervuren

This animal is distinctive because of its long mane, and it’s been bred to offer protection mainly in cold climate areas.

If you live in a warmer climate, however, you can shave them down to keep them cool.

Like the German Shepherd, the Tervuren is also bred to be a herding animal, so protection comes naturally.

Belgian Malinois Guard Dog
Belgian Malinois Guard Dog

The Belgian Tervuren has a high IQ, follows commands, and loves to please their masters.

Belgian Malinois

The last dog on our list, the Belgian Malinois, is a popular breed often chosen by military police, FBI, and police forces.

The Belgian Malinois needs a lot of activity due to its high energy, so make sure you give it plenty of playtime if you choose this breed.

The Belgian Malinois is very affectionate and will fight to the end to protect its family.

What is a Livestock Guardian Dog? Here’s What You Need to Know

How To Care For Your Protection Dog

If you want your protection dog to be effective, you have to make sure they’re always in tip-top shape, and the best way to do that is to properly care for them.

Unlike the average household pet dog, your protection dog needs a little more attention to keep their joints healthy and to keep them in good physical condition.

First thing to do to Care for Your VIP Protection Dog:

Talk to your vet about the specific breed you have and see what they recommend to keep their joints healthy and their weight down.

Some experts recommend discouraging your dog from jumping on and off furniture, and in and out of the car to avoid wear and tear on their joints, and instead use a ramp if needed.

Exercise is essential for keeping your dog in the best shape, so make sure your dog gets plenty of walks, but be careful not to overexert them in hot weather.

Experts recommend that you keep your dog in great physical and mental shape by engaging in play designed to keep your dog’s mind sharp.

You can design games to stimulate your dog’s brain like search games where your dog has to seek out treat-filled toys.

Also, man dogs enjoy obstacle courses, so make use of them if they’re nearby to keep your dog alert and in good shape.

If your dog enjoys a good chase, playing fetch with a ball in the backyard is a great way to entertain them and give them a good workout in the process.

Nutrition for Your Dog

Good nutrition is essential to keeping your dog healthy and its weight low.

Check with your vet and find out what they recommend when it comes to food and feeding frequency.

Find high-quality food that’s high in nutritional value and doesn’t have a lot of filler.

Consider feeding your dog several small meals during the day rather than one or two large ones.

Many tend to overdo it with treats, which makes their dogs put on weight, so incorporate them sparingly into the dog’s diet to keep them lean and healthy.

If you’re thinking about getting a dog to protect your home and family, you can’t go wrong with any of the animals on this list.

All of them are highly intelligent, loving, but fierce when the time calls for it.

And if that weren’t enough, they all make excellent additions to the family.

6 Fun Outdoor Activities To Do With Your Dog

Fun Outdoor Activities To Do With Your Dog

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Fun outdoor activities to do with your dog – It’s important to regularly arrange outdoor activities to go on with your dog to keep them healthy and fit, but also to give them some fun entertainment.

You don’t want to keep your dog cooped up in the house or apartment all day long.

These outdoor activities will keep your dog happy and tire your dog out so that he or she stays out of trouble when back at home.

The best part is, these outdoor activities are great for your health and fitness, too.

Being outdoors and in nature are linked to happiness, as fresh air is known for being a great natural mood-booster.

Not every activity is dog-friendly, but plenty of fun outdoor activities are dog-friendly and some are even more fun when you bring a dog.

Fun Outdoor Activities To Do With Your Dog
Fun Outdoor Activities To Do With Your Dog

Fun Outdoor Activities To Do With Your Dog

Below are 6 of the best outdoor activities to do with your dog.

Hiking

Hiking is one of the best outdoor activities for physical fitness and sight-seeing.

Hiking is one of the best ways to see some of the most beautiful views in your area, and to get a great workout in as well.

Dogs love hiking because it’s great exercise and they get to spend time with you.

Most hiking trails have rest stops where you can hang out with your dog, enjoy the view – and don’t forget to feed your dog some food and water at these rest stops, too.

Boating

Most dogs are comfortable on a boat, or can be trained to ride on a boat safely.

It’s common knowledge that dogs love to stick their head out of the window of a moving car, because they love watching the world go by with the fresh air whipping onto their face.

Boating is a similar luxury for a dog, since they get to have that same feeling they get in a car, except they don’t have to roll down a window.

If you want to go boating with your dog, be sure to test the waters and make sure your dog is comfortable on a boat.

If your dog loves boating, it will become one of your favorite outdoor activities to do with your dog.

Beaches

If your dog loves swimming in the ocean, a beach day is a great outdoor activity.

You can both get some much-needed sunlight and both of you can swim.

Swimming is a great form of exercise for your dog because it’s low-impact and safe.

Pack a blanket and a picnic with dog treats and your own snacks.

Fill the day with an easy combo of swimming and relaxing on shore.

For added fun, pack a ball or Frisbee to toss around with your dog on the beach.

Camping

It’s nice to bring your dog on a camping trip, especially since it will make you feel safer.

A dog can act as a protector on a camping trip, and most campers agree that they feel more at ease camping in rural areas when they bring their dog.

Typically, camping involves some hiking to get to the camping spot, which is great since it gives you and your dog some exercise.

Once you set up your tent, you can fire up your portable grill and keep your dog warm by a fire.

Camping with you dog

Farmer’s Market

When you’re walking through a local farmer’s market, sampling new foods and shopping for produce, why not bring your dog?

Many vendors even have puppy bowls for thirsty dogs, and some vendors will even feed your dog a treat.

If your dog is friendly, it’s a great way to interact with people.

If you’re single, your dog could be the ice-breaker you need to talk to an attractive person you spot at the market.

Dog Park

The dog park is a great place to interact with other dog-owners, while your dog gets to play with other dogs.

At a dog park, you as the dog owner can make new friends in your area, and your dog gets to run free if it’s an off-leash dog park.

Your area should have some off-leash dog parks, as most neighborhoods do.

Make sure to bring a ball to play fetch with your dog, and bring some dog treats so that when you’re ready to leave the park, your dog will come to you.

Without a dog treat bribe, it might be difficult to convince your dog to leave!

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Horse Grooming and DIY Farrier – All You Need to Know

Horse Grooming and DIY Farrier All You Need to Know

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Horse Grooming and DIY Farrier – Proper horse grooming is essential. Without regular grooming, your horse can be vulnerable to numerous health problems, especially hoof-related.

There are certain things to keep in mind before grooming your horse.

Horses are large animals.

You have to have full control over him, even when he is superbly trained.

Remember that a sudden and unfamiliar noise can startle him and make him dash out.

Therefore, it’s critical to keep yourself calm and your actions predictable.

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Horse Grooming and DIY Farrier All You Need to Know
Horse Grooming and DIY Farrier All You Need to Know

Before Horse Grooming

Before you start grooming, ensure the:

Halter is in position.

Two cross ties are in place.

Without cross ties, grooming the horse in his stable can be dangerous.

His movements can crush you against walls and other objects.

Installing cross ties is a requirement before you start grooming.

How to groom a horse

Check the horse’s eyes, ears, and mouth for any irregularities.

Check for bumps or scratches over his body.

Slide your hand over his hooves, one at a time, to confirm they are well.

Clean the hooves to remove any foreign matter.

The hoof area is an integral part of the horse’s body since the accumulation of debris here can lead to hoof infection, which can maim a horse.

Brush and clean the main and tail to eliminate dried mud, burrs, and other debris.

Use combs to untangle them to give them a well-groomed look.

Before riding your horse, you should brush him to be sure there isn’t debris where you will place the saddle.

If someone isn’t riding the horse every day, you can skip some of the care procedures.

How to Groom a Horse

There are two main elements to grooming a horse:

  1. Brushing the coat
  2. Cleaning the hooves

There is no right or wrong order to groom your horse.

However, it is a good idea to get into a routine and always do the process the same way, either feet or grooming first, so the horse can anticipate what you are going to do.

Start with your horse secured in cross ties that are attached to the halter.

This ensures that the horse cannot flick one way or the other, plus it frees up both of your hands to work with the grooming.

If you are trying to both groom and hold the horse, you are likely going to find this much more difficult, and there is a greater chance of injury.

With the horse secured, start either on the grooming or on the hooves, whichever you prefer.

Cleaning Horse hooves
Cleaning Horse hooves

Cleaning the hooves

Many owners prefer to start by cleaning the hooves.

Then your horse can relax and enjoy the rest of the routine.

To correctly position yourself, stand next to the horse’s left front shoulder, just to the front of the body.

Run your hand, the hand you don’t normally hold the pick in, down the front of the leg until you reach the hoof.

Most horses that have had their feet cleaned will pick up their foot, but if they don’t, gently press your shoulder and upper body against the outside of the shoulder, which will slightly move the horse off balance.

He or she will shift weight to the other front foot.

When this happens, pick the left foot up, bending the leg as it would naturally bend back toward the center of the horse’s body.

Hold the hoof firmly in your hand.

Use the pick to remove all the debris.

Be very careful not to dig into the frog, which is the soft, triangular-shaped center part of the hoof.

This area can be very sensitive.

Repeat this process with the other hoof until completed.

Be sure to give a treat to the horse after the first hoof and then after you finished the second.

This helps him know he’s doing a great job.

Having a farrier tool kit would be essential as well.

Grooming a horse

When grooming equine, you can either start with the mane or the tail.

If the horse is dirty, muddy or has a winter coat, start with the curry comb and groom the entire body using gentle, circular shaped motions that follow the direction of hair growth.

Work from the neck to the chest, over the shoulders, down the back of the sides and the legs.

Remember, the curry comb is not flexible.

Be sure to be very gentle on the sides and down the legs.

If your horse is flinching and twitching away, switch to the dandy brush over the sensitive areas.

After the curry comb, follow the same pattern with the dandy brush.

This will flick away all the dust and dead hair.

Follow-up with the body brush for a shiny, sleek look.

Then gently use the body brush on the face, but not near the eyes.

You can use a wet soft cloth or sponge to clean around the eyes and inside the nostrils.

Be sure to rinse it out after each use.

Again, being predictable and gentle with your horses will calm them.

Having the proper grooming supplies will help you to groom them faster and more thoroughly.

Horse Grooming Supplies

When you have the right horse grooming supplies, it makes maintaining your horses much easier and more effective.

These are our favorite grooming products.

Oster Equine Care Series 7-Piece Grooming Kit

This is a particularly great set.

It’s very inexpensive for all the brushes and the quality and long life you will get from them.

Something misleading about this set is the 7th piece is the bag, not an additional brush.

Still, for the price, you can’t beat it.

This horse grooming kit has everything you need for grooming, detangling and cleaning the hooves.

It comes with:

  • Grooming brush (stiff)
  • Finishing brush (soft)
  • Brush for the mane and tail
  • Comb for the mane and tail
  • Curry comb (coarse)
  • Pick for hooves

These are really all the brushes you will need to brush and groom your horse.

The bag is nice but we don’t use it.

Maybe if we traveled for horse shows we would.

We keep everything in a small bucket.

This way we can easily access whatever we need.

It also makes it easy to rinse out and store for air drying.

We don’t rinse them after every use, but it helps to have clean supplies when grooming a horse.

Our horses love when we brush them.

Great value for the price.

Wahl Professional Animal Equine Sweat Scraper

Depending on the season, your horse might benefit from a sweat scraper.

For a horse to cool down, his sweat has to evaporate. In some climates, especially when it’s hot and humid, it takes a lot longer to evaporate.

You can use the sweat scrapper to help remove excess moisture.

It will help your horse to cool down faster.

Oster A5 Turbo 2-Speed Professional Animal Clipper

These pet grooming clippers work well for horses, dogs, and most any other animals you have.

The heavy-duty motor makes it fast and easy to groom your horse.

There are two speeds, and it’s easy to switch from one to the other.

This set comes with everything you need, including a 12′ cord, #10 blade, lubricating blade oil, clipper grease, a cleaning brush, and carbon brush replacements.

The only negative is it weighs just under two pounds, so it’s a bit heavy if you are working on your animals for a long time.

If you have a lot of animals to clip, the Andis ProClip AGC2 2-Speed Detachable Blade Clipper does a quality job as well and is a little bit quieter and lighter at 17.5 ounces.

Chlorhexidine solution (2%)

It’s important to have this on hand for horse wound care.

This also works for dogs.

When you put it on the wound, it works up to two days.

Chlorhexidine works against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, including strep, staph, listeria, E. coli, and yeast.

Be sure to follow the directions on the bottle to dilute it properly.

Something we do is premix it and keep it handy in small bottle.

Vestil BTL-RC-8 Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE) Round Squeeze Dispensing Bottle with Removable Red Cap, 8 oz Capacity so we have it when we need it.

Absorbine Veterinary Liniment Gel

We’ve also keep on hand this horse liniment for sore muscles.

We use it regularly for our older horse.

Just be sure to wear gloves when applying it to your horses.

Take the time to clean your brushes and combs so when you groom your horse the items will be clean.

You need to ensure that your horse’s nose and eyes are clean and healthy and wiping these down with a damp sponge is very important.

By you grooming your horse every day you are not only bonding with them but also helping to check them over.

You can tell if there are any lumps and bumps and maybe if they are showing signs of un-comfort.

If you are concerned, then you should speak to your vet who can check the horse out more thoroughly.

If you spend the time to get to know your horse by horse grooming, then they will respond with kindness and love.

Horses should be groomed daily if at all possible.

If you are riding, it is important to groom both before and after every ride, paying careful attention to the feet.

A well-groomed horse is a healthy horse.

Both you and he will feel better for a good grooming.

Farrier Tools to Care for Your Horse’s Hoofs

If you are a horse owner or enjoy working with horses and grooming your horse, then you may have entertained the idea of learning how to maintain a horse’s hoofs.

It can seem like quite an intimidating task, especially since the health of the hoof is imperative to the overall soundness of the animal.

With the right farrier tools, any task can be accomplished with relative ease.

The first step is collecting a number of suitable supplies that will help you perform basic maintenance tasks.

Experienced farriers have a veritable arsenal of expensive tools and accessories at their disposal.

There is no need for you to develop a similar collection unless you are planning to take on all shoeing and hoof maintenance tasks yourself.

You also might need to expand your collection if you plan to become a professional farrier.

The list we have compiled here is meant to guide you through the process of acquiring the basic tools of the trade.

Each item has been carefully reviewed for its durability, functionality and effectiveness.

Most items on the list are economically priced.

We went this direction with the understanding that these tools would be used by the horse owner who will only be responsible for incidental maintenance or for those who are simply wanting to learn more about being a farrier.

Accordingly, you can pick up all five of these tools without breaking the bank.

What you’ll have in the end is a basic farrier tool kit that will let you take care of routine hoof maintenance.

The result is a healthier, happier horse.

You also may find that many of these tools can be used on other hoofed animals like goats and pigs.

Farrier Tools to Care for Your Horse

Farrier Rasps:

Nicholson Farrier Rasp File, American Pattern, Rasp Cut, Rectangular, 14″ Length

This sturdy, extra-large rasp is tough enough to take on any job.

It’s suitable for use on draft horses, but it can be just as useful when dealing with Shetlands, pigs and goats.

You may feel that it’s a bit heavy, but that weight is actually to the benefit of this rasp.

You won’t have to use a great deal of force to get the job done.

The Nicholson Farrier Rasp File is designed to slough away excess hoof material.

With the American pattern on the rasp, it’s built to work with aggression.

On one side of the tool are rasp-cut teeth.

A density of six teeth per row instead of the usual five makes every job quicker and cleaner.

On the other side of the tool, you’ll find coarse grade American-pattern teeth for filing.

This will produce a rough finish that may need to be polished with a finer grit file.

This rasp is fitted with a cushion grip on the tip and handle for maximum comfort and utility.

Given the roughness of the rasp and the size of the overall tool, even large jobs can be finished quickly and with ease.

As farrier tools go, this one is essential.

You may find that it helps you with other tasks around the house too.

People have used this particular rasp with woodworking projects and for making bows.

Chances are good that you’ll find inventive ways to use this durable tool.

Farrier Stand

Hoofjack Standard Hoof Jack Stand

Anyone who has ever tried to shoe a horse or simply maintain their horse’s hoofs between visits from the farrier knows what a challenge this chore can be.

Skilled farriers can often go about their tasks without using a hoof stand, but one of these useful tools always comes in handy eventually.

The Hoofjack Standard Hoof Jack Stand is in many ways the best such appliance on the market today.

Hoofjack is a brand from the Equine Innovations, Inc. company.

They’ve been around since 2000 when a longtime farrier by the name of Kevin Keeler decided that there must be a better, safer, more comfortable way to work with horses.

In fact, his innovation came about as a result of an injury he received while working with a horse one day.

The horse collapsed, and Keeler was injured in the fall.

He devoted himself to developing a way to safely support a horse’s hoof while it was being worked on.

The result was the Hoofjack Jack Stand.

Over years of development, Keeler refined his design until he had a system that supported the horse’s front and hind legs.

The farrier no longer had to assume the weight of the horse, and the horse was more comfortable overall.

Several versions of the Hoofjack are now on the market, but the Standard is the one that is most often recommended.

Priced at about $200, this hoof stand accommodates anything from a pony up to a small draft horse.

The sturdy base is constructed of linear polyethylene, and it is covered by a three-year warranty against horse damage.

Two strong magnets are attached to the base so that tools like the rasp and nippers will always be within reach.

The comfortable cradle safely holds the horse’s leg, keeping him calm and comfortable.

For just a slight expenditure, it can be vastly easier for anyone to maintain their horse’s hoofs.

Farrier Nippers

Diamond 14D 14-Inch Hoof Nipper

The hoof nipper is an essential part of any farrier’s tool kit.

Of course, you don’t have to be a farrier in order to safely and effectively trim your horse’s hoofs.

That’s exactly what this offering from Diamond Farrier Co. is all about.

This powerful yet economical set of nippers is designed to do the heavy work for you.

It’s likely that you’ll need to use both hands to wield this tool.

It’s weight and 14-inch length ensure that.

You will definitely want to use your Hoofjack Jack Stand while using the nipper on your horse.

The main use for the nipper is for the removal of excess wall.

Most farriers will start at the heel, working their way toward the toe.

Then, they begin at the other side of the heel, once again working their way around to the toe.

If your horse is showing signs of overgrown bars, exfoliating sole or shedding frog, then these nippers may be used for these tasks as well.

One word of caution: Always nip away slightly less than you believe is necessary.

You can go back over the area with a rasp to smooth it later.

The Diamond 14D 14-Inch Hoof Nipper is made using only high-quality steel for maximum strength and durability.

Both the jaws and handles are heat treated, and cutting edges are hardened, honed and ground to produce the most effective cutting tool for the price.

The plastic-coated handles provide excellent grip.

These nippers are built to withstand regular use over the course of several years.

Hoof Knife

Swiss Hoof Knife 8″ Farrier Tools Wooden Handle Premium Instruments UPGRADED PATTERN

This hoof knife manufactured by Premium Instruments features quality craftsmanship that will help this tool survive for a long life.

AISI 420 German stainless steel is used to fashion the blade, and the tool has been built to comply with the CE-Quality mark, ISO 9001 and other recognized standards of quality.

The finish is highly polished so that the blade more easily resists corrosion for even better durability and performance.

With a carefully shaped wooden handle, this knife is comfortable and ergonomic.

The oval-shaped cutting surface guarantees a precision trim of sole tissue every time.

Those who are confident and comfortable with the use of the hoof knife will be able to use it to sculpt the bars, trim frog that is shedding and for exfoliating the sole.

The quality and durability of the Swiss Hoof Knife will serve you well, and become an indispensable part of your collection of tools.

Farrier Apron

Tough-1 Deluxe Farrier Apron

Priced at about $50, this entry-level farrier apron is the perfect addition to your tool kit.

It’s tough enough to protect your legs from a recalcitrant horse, but still lightweight enough to be comfortable to wear.

The waist and both legs on the Tough-1 apron are adjustable, so it is possible for men and women of virtually all sizes to wear them.

A sturdy knife pocket on the right leg keeps important tools always within easy reach.

On the left leg is a magnet for holding horseshoe nails and other small, metal accessories.

The material is mainly thick suede leather, and the knees are reinforced with fleece.

Leg adjusters are heavy-duty, chrome-plated clasps.

This apron is of adequate quality and durability for anyone who plans occasional maintenance of their horse’s hoofs.

It also works for people who have an interest in becoming a farrier and aren’t ready to invest in a more costly or even customized apron yet.

Doing anything with your horse’s hoofs without protecting at least your lower body is not recommended.

This Tough-1 apron is definitely up to the task of ensuring that your foray into horse hoof care does not result in an injury.

Complete Essential Farrier Tools Kits - Tools For the Professional Farrier
Complete Essential Farrier Tools Kits – Tools For the Professional Farrier

Complete Essential Farrier Tools Kits – Tools For the Professional Farrier

If you own a horse, then you know how critical it is to ensure hoof health.

One of the best ways you can do this is by getting a farrier tool kit and learning how to use it.

These tools enables you to maintain your horse’s hoofs without having to call the farrier.

And make it apart of your horse grooming routine.

You will likely still need to rely on the farrier for shoeing, since none of the kits that we review here includes all of the tools of the trade.

Nonetheless, you’ll appreciate having the ability to better care for your horse.

Farriers also may want to consider adding one of these kits to their everyday supplies.

Each one contains several useful tools and a convenient case to make transportation straightforward.

These kits are compact enough to travel with you if you’re spending several days on the trail.

They fit easily into saddlebags and knapsacks for on-the-go requirements.

With these tools within reach, you’ll be able to handle problems as they arise.

Horse Farrier Tool Kit

Thisfive-piece set covers all of the basics for those who want to maintain their horse’s hoofs between visits from the farrier.

Each tool is constructed from vanadium steel.

The addition of vanadium to steel is essential for added strength, which means that this is a durable set of farrier tools.

This particular kit is ideal and would make a great deal for someone who wants all of the basic tools of the trade.

This kit includes nippers, which are essential for trimming the hoof wall so that it is the correct length.

The nail pullers are specifically design to grip nail heads to make them easier to remove from the shoe crease.

Also included in the kit are two hoof knives, one that is oval and another that is curved.

The clinch block can be used for nail setting while the clinch cutter, which looks like an undersized hatchet, is used to get rid of excess nail points.

  • Hoof knife
  • Shoe Puller
  • Hoof nipper
  • Rasp and Rasp Handle
  • Roll-up Farrier kit bag with pockets and Velcro(R) closures Handles can come in assorted colors

Each item in this kit conforms to CE, ISO 9001 and FDA standards.

They are collected into a nice bag, which can easily be folded and includes a sturdy nylon handle and tie for convenient transport.

You’ll have just about everything you need for basic shoeing and grooming with this kit.

11 Piece Farrier’s Tool Kit Set

  1. Horse Hoof Nippers
  2. Clincher Tester Knife
  3. Rasp
  4. Chisel
  5. Shears
  6. Floats
  7. Equine Dental
  8. Fold Up Case

This deluxe set has just about everything you can imagine needing to provide basic care to your horse.

It includes a hoof tester, which is essential equipment for probing the horse’s hoof for painful areas.

You’ll also find a farrier’s rasp in the kit.

This tool can be used by farriers or riders who discover a rough edge on a hoof in the midst of a ride.

Back at the stable, the rasp can be used for a multitude of chores.

Keeping the horse’s hoofs level and even is the most important one.

The included chisel is perhaps more useful to the farrier than it is to the horse owner, as this tool typically is used to widen nail holes or remove embedded nails.

Another tool in this kit that is best wielded by a professional is the float.

Horse teeth grow without stopping.

Usually, their teeth wear down naturally through eating, but sometimes a sharp edge will develop.

That sharp edge may make it difficult for your horse to eat.

She also may have a difficult time taking a bit.

The troublesome tooth or teeth can be filed down with a chisel-like tool called a float.

Precision and knowledge are required to do this job.

In other words, it’s not something you want to attempt without having undergone the necessary training.

Another important tool, the bot knife, is included in the kit.

This useful implement makes it easier to remove bot fly eggs from the legs, knees and chest of the horse.

This deluxe set from comes in a handsome, roll-up kit that can be taken anywhere.

The quality of the tools makes the price worthwhile.

Pro Rider Complete Farrier Tool Kit with Carrying Case Kit

A convenient bag holds eleven tools that are essential to the farrier’s trade.

This set from Pro Rider includes essentials like a hoof tester, nippers, rasp and a farrier’s knife…and much more.

Unlike the other kits listed here, this one includes a farrier’s nailing hammer.

This implement typically is used to punch holes through the hoof.

Claws on the opposite side of the hammer’s head allow the farrier to wring off any nail tips that come through the horse’s hoof.

These farrier tools kits provide you with all of the basics that you need in a quality case.

Secure loops in the carrying case keep everything from shifting around.

You’ll always know where everything is, and be able to access each tool quickly.

Solid construction and a good reputation are yet more reasons why you might want to choose this kit to add to your personal collection.

With easy grip handles and ergonomic shaping, you’ll find that these tools are among the easiest you have ever used.

Taking care of a horse can seem like a daunting responsibility, but it certainly helps to have the right tools.

Any of these kits could provide you with the basics that you need to provide your horse with ongoing hoof care.

If you are a farrier, then you will appreciate the durable nature of these tools as well as the quality of the carrying cases.

You will want to have one of these farrier tools kits always at hand whether you are a farrier or just want to take care of your horse between shoeing.

Farrier Links and Resources

Search for the Perfect Horse

Reining, cutting, roping, barrel racing, western pleasure, team penning and more.

Free photo ads for all judged and timed event western performance horses for sale at Search for the Perfect Horse.

Don’t limit your market when selling your horse – reach All competitors from the show pen to the rodeo arena.

HorseTrailDirectory.com

Horse trails and campgrounds throughout North America (and some outside NA). Use riders’ ratings of trails and camps and get local weather forecasts to help plan your trip.

Horse Directory

A human-edited links directory for horse and horse related websites.

Horse & Barn – Classifieds:

Sale Horses, Stallions at Stud, Horse Farm and Farrier Items

Quick Canopies

Horse and Livestock Run In Sheds, Agriculture Storage Sheds

Farrier Terminology

There is a rich glossary of terminology used throughout the farrier world.

Having a firm grasp of these terms can allow the enthusiast to better understand the trade.

Listed below are some of the more common terms found in articles, at professional events, and within the conversations of trainers, farriers, vets, and horse owners.

This list provides just an overview of the vocabulary used to describe the hoof of a horse, and is by no means comprehensive.

Action: The way in which a horse moves during various gaits.

Bar: The section found on the bottom of the hoof and on the sides of the frog where the hoof turns inward.

Boxy Hooves: Slender, vertical hooves with a narrow frog and a heel that is closed. Also known as a clubbed foot.

Brushing Boots: An instrument used to guard a horse’s leg from injuries related to brushing.

Brushing: A situation where the horse’s hoof or shoe collides with the inner part of its opposite leg, typically near the fetlock joint. This is often caused by poor conformation or action.

Bulbs: The two circular bulges at the rear of the hoof.

Cast: A term referring to a horse loosing a shoe, usually by accident; for example, “the horse cast a shoe last week.”

Cannon Bone: A bone found above a horse’s fetlock, in both the fore and hind legs. Also known as the shank bone.

Club Foot: An alternative term for Boxy Hooves.

Coffin Bone: The bone of the horse closest to the ground. It is surrounded by the hoof capsule.

Conformation: The correctness of a horse’s physical structure, including bone and muscular structure, as well as body proportions.

Coronet: The section of the hoof immediately above the hornlike growth; the part where hoof growth takes place.

Cracked Heel: A condition where the hoof is inflamed, with cracked skin and pus discharge.

Deep Going: Ground that is soft and wet, causing the hooves to sink in.

Dropped Sole: The downward movement of the front of the coffin bone within the hoof as a result of laminitis.

Farrier: A craftsman specializing in the care of horse hooves, including trimming an shoeing.

Fetlock: A joint on the leg of a horse found between the canon bone and pastern.

Flat-Footed: A characteristic of a hoof where the angle is significantly less than 45 degrees.

Founder: A condition where the laminae is inflamed; also known as laminitis.

Frog: The fleshy area in the center of the bottom of the hoof.

Heel: The rear portion of the bottom of the hoof.

Hoof Capsule: The outer portion of the hoof.

Hoof Pick: A tool used to remove dirt and other debris from the hoof.

Hoof: The foot of a horse.

Horn: The outer covering of the hoof, which is tough and insensitive.

Hoof Wall: The visible outer portion of the hoof, which is composed of horny material, and grows continuously.

Laminae: The interior lining of the hoof.

Laminitis: A condition where the laminae is inflamed; also known as founder.

Lateral Cartilages: The strips of cartilage attached to the coffin bone inside of the foot.

Navicular Bone: A bone inside of the hoof, small in size, which is found between the short pastern and coffin bone.

Navicular Disease: A disease affecting the navicular bone, where the bone degenerates, causing the animal pain and potentially causing lameness.

Nerve Block: A veterinarian tool used to diagnose the location of a horse’s lameness. The tool accomplishes this task by blocking the nerves of the foot and leg in a progressive manner until the problem are is located.

Neurectomy: A medical procedure where nerves are severed which provided sensation to the foot. This procedure is used to treat navicular disease, and is also known as de-nerving.

Pastern: The section of a horse’s leg above the top of the hoof and below the fetlock.

Pathological: A condition that is disease-based.

Rasp: An instrument used for shaping wood or other materials. A farrier’s rasp is used to remove excess portions of the hoof wall from the bottom of a hoof.

Seedy Toe: A condition where the laminae is separated from the hoof wall, often as a result of neglecting foot care.

Shoe, To: The process of attaching metal shoes to the hooves of a horse. This work is typically done by a farrier.

Sidebone: Hardening of the cartilage on the sides of the coffin bone.

Sole: The area of the bottom of the hoof from the front portion of the white line to the frog.

Thrush: A condition where the frog degenerates; this is usually accompanied by infection and blackening of the afflicted area; this condition often stems from horses being kept in unsanitary housing.

White Line: A structure on the bottom of the hoof that separates the sensitive areas of the hoof from the insensitive areas.

Farrier Associations

American Farriers Association

The American Farrier Assocation is a national association devoted to the development of farriers and the industry through leadership, resources and education.

Each and every effort made by the organization is based on the five tenets of Education, Certification, Communication, Research and Innovation. http://www.americanfarriers.org/

Brotherhood of Working Farriers Association

The Brotherhood of Working Farriers Association is a non-profit organization aimed at providing horse owners with accurate information on shoeing by professional farriers.

This organization is the largest farrier association in the world by membership count including farriers, horse owners and members of the public interested in the farrier profession.

The Brotherhood of Working Farrier Association also promotes farrier certification and encourages horse owners to seek certified farriers when shoeing. http://www.bwfa.net/

American Association of Professional Farriers

The American Association of Professional Farriers was launched in January 2012 with the intent to promote the integrity of the farrier industry by strengthening the knowledge and skills of its members through continuing education and support at the state, national and international levels while improving overall equine health through collaboration with other industry professionals.

Farriers Association of Washington State (FAWS)

The Farrier Assocation of Washington State is a Washington-based organization devoted to enhancing communication and learning between farriers and to increase overall horse industry communication.

The FAWS also organizes clinics and conventions for all professionals in the horse industry in order to exchange views and thoughts as well as exchange information about their profession.

San Diego County Farriers Association

The San Diego County Farriers Association is a non-profit organization promoting sound and safe practices of the farrier science within the Sand Diego County.

The SDCFA also seeks to provide education and hands-on experience in the field of farriery and horse care. http://www.sdcfa.org/

Rocky Mountain Farrier Association

The Rocky Mountain Farrier Association is a non-profit organization based out of the Rocky Mountain region dedicated to organizing professional farriers and others within horse related professions in sharing and promoting interest in the science of farriery.

This association is strictly for educational purposes and also educates the public on the subject of the farrier.
http://rockymountainfarriers.com

Pennsylvania Professional Farriers’ Association

The Pennsylvania Professiona Farrier Association is a Pennsylvania based organization devoted to organizing farriers and horse-related professionals and to facilitate education regarding the farrier industry and profession.

The PPFA also seeks to promote the farrier industry within the community and encourage learning about the profession for those interested.
http://www.pafarriers.com/

Georgia Professional Farrier’s Association

The Georgia Professional Farrier’s Association is a Georgia-based organization dedicated to educating members and the public alike in shoeing methods and business management.

The GPFA seeks to better the industry and improve standards of quality within the farrier industry. http://www.georgiafarriers.org/

Indiana Farriers’ Association

The Indiana Farrier’s Association is an Indiana-based organization whose purpose it is to promote and encourage quality in the farrier industry as well as sponsoring and promoting educational farriery meetings and activities.
http://www.indianafarriers.org/

South Carolina Farrier’s Association

The South Carolina Farrier’s Association is a South Carolina association dedicated to educating all farriers.

The SCFA hosts clinics each month in an effort to continually improve its members.

The SCFA is an official state chapter of the American Farriers Association.

Texas Professional Farriers Association

The Texas Professional Farriers Assocation is a Texas based group whose purpose it is to increase skill level and better business practices for all farriers within the greater Texas area.

The TPFA has also developed a multi-level certification program and host regular clinics and family gatherings.
http://www.tpfa.org/

Missouri Farriers’ Association

The Missouri Farriers’ Association is a group of farriers dedicated to continuing the education of practicing farriers within the greater Missouri area.

The MFA is also a registered chapter of the Brotherhood of Working Farriers.

Minnesota Farriers Association

An association devoted to education Minnesota farriers and promoting clinics, meetings and seminars for the purpose of bringing professional farriers together.

The MFA also promotes the sharing of information and skills for the benefit or horses and the industry.

Maryland Farriers Association

The Maryland Farriers Association is a local chapter of the American Farriers Assocation for the greater Maryland Area.

The primary focus of the MFA is promoting unity and education within the Maryland farrier community. http://www.marylandfarriersassociation.com/

Oregon Farriers Association

The Oregon Farriers Association is an Oregon based group devoted to holding clinics and fostering communication between all professional farriers of Oregon.

The OFA seeks to keep Oregon farriers continually educated and improve standards of quality for farriery within the Oregon area. http://oregonfarrier.org/

Oklahoma Farrier’s Association

The purpose of the OFA is to promote communication and fellowship among farriers within the state of Oklahoma.

The OFA also encourages the development of technical skills related to farriery through continued education and fostering idea exchange.

Iowa Professional Farriers Association

The IPFA is an Iowa based group dedicated to furthering knowledge of the farrier by continually educating its members and taking an active role within the farrier industry.

The IPFA is open to farriers as well as owners, veterinarians and any member of the public interested in farrier.
http://www.iowafarriers.com/

North Carolina Horseshoers Association

The North Carolina Horseshoers Association is a fellowship of all farriers residing within the North Carolina area with the purpose of promoting excellence in the science of farriery.

The NCHA also seeks to improve the quality of craftsmanship within its organization and the farriery industry.

Alabama Professional Farriers Association

The Alabama Professional Farriers Association is an Alabama-based chapter of the American Farriers Association.

The ALPFA is committed to improving the farrier industry by providing for educational clinics and contests.
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=122929678403

Southern Farriers Association

The Southern Farriers Association is a group consisting of southern farriers whose sole mission is the better the farriers profession.

The SFA also seeks to promote communication and idea exchange among its members through open dialog and friendship.
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Southern-Farriers-Association/136490928027

Nevada Professional Farriers Association

The Nevada Professional Farriers Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing events and clinics with the purpose of educating its members on the business of the farriery industry.
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Nevada-Professional-Farriers-Association/116678788395314

Vermont Farriers Association

The Vermont Farriers Association is a Vermont-based group who is dedicated to the welfare of horses and their hooves.

The VFA values continued education of its members and the public relating to horse hoof health.
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=193119939934

Virginia Horseshoers Association

The Virginia Horseshoers Association exists to organize and promote the science of farrier and to maintain and improve the quality of craftsmanship within the association.

The VHA also actively sponsors educational clinics and lectures to further education of its members.
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Virginia-Horseshoers-Association/299943916655

The Guild of Professional Farriers

The Guild of Professional Farriers’ sole mission is to improve the farrier profession through continued education, documentation of the science, independent testing and ensuring members continue to improve their trade and art through practice and education.

Farriers of Idaho Guild

The Farriers of Idaho Guild is an Idaho-based group dedicated to the professional development of farriers through leadership and resources for the benefit of the industry and its members.

The FIG is a registered state chapter of the American Farriers Association.

Southern New England Farriers Association

The Southern New England Farriers Association is a chapter of the American Farriers Association.

The goal of SNEFA is to establish high ethical standards, continuously improve farrier skills through education and professional development, and to promote safe and applicable hoof care standards.
http://www.snefa.org

Western New York Farrier’s Association

A member chapter of the American Farrier’s Association, the WNYFA is comprised of independent professional farriers working in the areas stretching from Buffalo to Syracuse.

The WNYFA was established in 1981 for the education and training of farriers and to help improve the service to horses and owners

Western Canadian Farrier’s Association

The Western Canadian Farrier’s Association is a non-profit whose main purpose it is to promote excellence in the science of farriery.

The WCFA seeks to inform the public and horse owners of the quality and standard of horse farriers and to better those standards of quality.
http://www.wcfa.ca/

Ontario Farrier’s Association

The Ontario Farriers Association is an Ontario-based non-profit organization that speaks for the interests of its members regarding hoof care.

The OFA also seeks to improve the skills of its members and provide standards for quality within the industry.

Brotherhood of Working Farriers Certification

There is no licensing requirements  for farriers within the United States and Canada; however, several trade organizations offer voluntary farrier certifications that can give you peace of mind that you are working with a reputable professional.

All certifications include written testing on topics including hoof trimming, horseshoe application and everyday hoof care as well as mastery of hands on forging skills.

The Brotherhood of Working Farriers Association (BWFA) is the oldest non-profit farrier organization in the country.

Certification is offered through their Master Educator Schools and private BWFA Testers across the United States.

BWFA has four certification levels.

BWFA Apprentice II Certification:

Any farrier who completes a six-week class with a reputable school is eligible.

Testing includes a written exam, hands on shoeing test and a forging test during which applicants must create a simple machine-made shoe.

BWFA Journeyman I Certification:

In addition to more difficult written and shoeing exams; applicants must forge several types of hand-made shoes and perform several shoe modifications as instructed.

This certification in open to farriers with at least one year of experience.

BWFA Journeyman II Certification:

Farriers must have at least three years of experience and currently work at least part-time at the trade.

The written test is more technically challenging.

Applicants at this level must also produce a specified corrective shoe and several others.

BWFA Master Farrier Certification:

This highest level of BWFA certification and is reserved for professionals with no less than seven years of experience who are currently working full-time at the trade.

This certification requires both a written and forging test.

In addition, live hand-made shoeing is required for types and breeds of horses chosen by the tester.

American Farrier Association Certification

The American Farriers Association (AFA) is one of the primary certifying organizations in the United States.

For 30 years, the AFA has provided a certification program that entails a blend of standardized testing and hands-on application.

There are four main categories of certification provided by AFA:

AFA Farrier Classification:

An entry level certification that includes both written and practical exams on the basics of the skill.

Certified Farrier (AFA CF):

Certification is open to any farrier with at least one year of experience.

He or she must pass both the written and practical exams as well as prepare and explain a display of horseshoes.

Certified Tradesman Farrier (AFA CTF):

In addition to the above tests, applicants must demonstrate skills at properly fitting a hand-made shoe during a timed test.

This certification is available to professionals with at least two years of experience and have completed AFA CF.

Certified Journeyman Farrier (AFA CJF):

This most technical certification is open to professionals with two years of experience who complete the CF certification and demonstrate ability to forge and fit a corrective shoe within a time limit.

Guild of Professional Farriers Registration

The Guild of Professional Farriers is the third organization to offer a certification process for farriers.

Less developed than the groups mentioned above, the Guild provides “registration” at three levels.

Registered Farrier:

This registration is offered to professional farriers with at least three years of experience.

It requires a written test and shoeing exam, including presentation of a shoe display.

Registered Journeyman:

Farriers must have at least four years of experience, currently be working full-time at the trade and have previously passed farrier registration.

In addition to a written and forging exam, the applicant must perform live shoeing.

Full Time Farrier:

This registration does not require examination, but is only open to farriers who can verify that at least 70% of their annual income comes from the trade.

Farrier & Horseshoeing Schools

Meredith Manor Farrier School

Meredith Manor Farrier School will give you both the theoretical knowledge and the practical hands-on experience needed for a successful farrier career.

Our farrier students gain invaluable experience working with and studying our 150 school horses of varying breeds, disciplines, and training levels including upper level dressage horses, reining horses, eventers, and more.

12 week and 36 week programs are available.

Federal financial aid is available to qualified applicants. http://www.meredithmanor.edu/farrier/

Kentucky Horseshoeing School

The Kentucky Horseshoeing School was founded in 1978 and is dedicated to preparing students for positions in equine hoof care.

KHS offers multiple course options.

Horse owners looking to learn basic hoof-care can take a 2-week course, and those looking to become a professional farrier can take a 36-week course, which includes an internship.

Courses combine instruction in anatomy and physiology with practical experience. http://www.kentuckyhorseshoeingschool.com/

Arkansas Horseshoeing School

Paul Dorris Jr. founded the Arkansas Horseshoeing School on the idea that success as a farrier comes from proper training and an apprenticeship.

AHS offers 8-week and 12-week courses.

Class-sizes are kept small to allow more interaction between the students and instructors.

AHS helps every student find an apprenticeship after the program is complete. http://arkansashorseshoeingschool.com/

Casey and Son Horseshoeing School

Casey and Son Horseshoeing School’s goal is to train and educate farriers, providing knowledge and skill at the highest level.

They strive to stay abreast of new techniques and technology, providing the best farrier education possible.  

Casey and Son offers students free housing and meals, continuing education after graduation and a hands-on environment that allows each student to work at their own pace.

Classes are held Wednesday – Sunday.

Students can attend full time (5 days a week) or break up attendance as a part time or weekend student and spread the days over a longer period of time.

This will allows students to work and attend school towards a career change.

Oklahoma Horseshoeing School

The Oklahoma Horseshoeing School begins a class every Monday, so that there is always beginner as well as advanced students at the school.

Students work with real clients and their horses every day, and also receive a minimum of two hours of instruction per day.

OHS offers a 2-week course in basic horseshoeing, an 8-week professional course, and a 12-week advanced horseshoeing and blacksmith course. http://www.horseshoes.net/

Oregon Farrier School

All instructors at the Oregon Farrier School are certified by the American Farrier’s Association, and students are taught according the AFA’s standards.

OFS offers a 20-week advanced program, which includes course sections that teach students corrective methods for horse lameness and techniques specifically for show horses.

A 10-week internship is also offered through the school.

Students that complete the advanced program and the internship will receive the Advanced Farrier Certificate.
http://www.oregonfarrierschool.com/

Oklahoma State Horseshoeing School

The Oklahoma State Horseshoeing School offers a 6-week (300 hours) course that runs Monday through Friday.

The curriculum includes anatomy, corrective shoeing, horse behavior management, and business practices.

Class sizes are small, with a maximum of 22 students. All instructors are nationally certified.

Butler Professional Farrier School

Butler Professional Farrier School offers two separate 6-week courses.

The first 6-week course teaches basic horseshoe care, preparing students to work on horses right away.

The second 6-week course teaches advanced techniques that prepare students to work with lame horses or special breeds.

The school bases its curriculum around the seven critical skill areas of equine hoof-care.
http://butlerhorseshoeingschools.com/

Minnesota School of Horseshoeing

The Minnesota School of Horseshoeing is dedicated to providing students with an in-depth education of horseshoeing techniques in order to prepare them for successful careers in equine hoof-care.

MSH offers a 10-week program that includes instruction in the areas of anatomy, forge and iron work, corrective shoeing, trimming, and more.

The school also offers an apprentice program to give students more hands-on experience.
http://www.mnschoolofhorseshoeing.com/

Texas Horseshoeing School

The Texas Horseshoeing School was founded by John Burgin, who is the only instructor at the school.

He believes individualized instruction is the best way to learn the farrier trade.

THS offers three different courses. The 80-hour and 160-hour courses teach basic techniques.

The 240-hour course prepares students for entry-level farrier work.
http://www.texashorseshoeingschool.com/

The Mission Farrier School

The Mission Farrier School teaches both traditional farrier methods along with the newer science of Natural Balance theory.

Owner and instructor Mark Plumlee is a former Vice President of the Guild of Professional Farriers and has multiple certifications.

As part of the curriculum, students are instructed on how to treat horse lameness.

The school offers four 8-week sessions per year. http://www.missionfarrierschool.com/

Shurshod Horseshoeing School

The Shurshod Horseshoeing School is certified by The Brotherhood of Working Farriers Association.

The program is four weeks and includes hands-on experience in trimming, shoeing, and forging.

Students also learn how to run their own farrier business.

Students are eligible to take the tests required to receive certification from the BWFA. http://www.shurshod.net/

Tucson School of Horseshoeing

The Tucson School of Horseshoeing provides instruction in all major subject areas of equine hoof-care, including trimming, horseshoeing, blacksmithing, anatomy, and conformation.

The program is broken down into 2-week segments, for a total of eight weeks.

Upon completion of the 8-week program, students may apply for certification from the American Farriers Association.

A 12-week program is also offered for advanced techniques. http://www.tucsonhorseshoeing.com/

Pacific Coast Horseshoeing School

Pacific Coast Horseshoeing School was founded by Bob Smith in 1991.

PCHS makes an effort to educate every student properly and to prepare them for a career in farriers.

The 8-week program includes daily classroom instruction in anatomy, physiology, conformation, and business practices. Students are also given hands-on experience in forging and shoeing on a daily basis.
http://www.farrierschool.com/

Five Star Horseshoeing School

The Five Star Horseshoeing School is dedicated to providing a strong education foundation for students who want a career in farriery. FSHS offers three program options.

The 6-week program is an introductory course, the 8-week program teaches students basic shoeing techniques, and the 12-week course is an advanced program that prepares students for a career in equine hoof-care.
http://www.futurefarrier.com/Home_Page.php

Wolverine Farrier School

The Wolverine Farrier School offers a comprehensive, 16-week farrier course.

The program includes daily classroom lectures and discussions to insure students continue to learn proper techniques.

An important part of the course is hands-on forge work and shoeing.

Students also learn how to make and repair their own tools.

Montana State University Farrier School

The Montana State University Farrier School prepares students for careers as professional farriers.

The program lasts for eleven weeks.

Upon completion of the program, students will be prepared for the American Farrier Association certification exam.

A short blacksmithing course is also offered for further study.
http://animalrange.montana.edu/horseshoe.htm

Heartland Horseshoeing School

The Heartland Horseshoeing School takes pride in providing an intense farrier program that requires hard work and dedication.

There are three program options.

The 8-week course prepares students for the American Farrier Association Certified Farrier exam.

The 16-week course builds on the basic instruction.

The 24-week course prepares students for the AFA Certified Journeyman Farrier exam, and includes an internship.
http://heartlandhorseshoeing.com/

Sierra South Horseshoeing School

The Sierra South Horseshoeing School offers 4-week, 8-week, and 12-week courses.

The program includes lectures, forging, and hands-on experience with horses.

Students are taught basic and corrective shoeing techniques, as well as anatomy, conformation, and physiology.

There is a low student-to-instructor ratio to allow more individualized instruction.

Danny Ward Horseshoeing School

The Danny Ward Horseshoeing School was founded by Danny Ward, who has received many awards and certifications.

Ward comes from a long line of horseshoers and is passionate about passing on the trade.

The school offers an 8-week course in the foundations of farriers.

The program includes a lot of hands-on training.
http://dannywardhorseshoeingschool.com/

Pennsylvania Institute for Horseshoeing

The Pennsylvania Institute for Horseshoeing offers a 6-week basic horseshoeing course.

Students learn anatomy and physiology, foot trimming, shoeing, horsemanship, tool maintenance, and basic forging techniques.

Most of the time will be spent completing hands-on training, which includes working with horses and making shoes.
http://www.pafarrierschool.com/

Lookout Mountain School of Horseshoeing

The 8-week course at the Lookout Mountain School of Horseshoeing prepares students for an entry-level career in farrier.

The program includes classroom lectures on anatomy, conformation, and safety.

Students are taught how to make many different types of shoes, including pathological shoeing.

Students spend a lot of time getting hands-on training in the forge area, as well as real-life field experience.
http://www.horseshoeingschool.com/

Equine Lameness Prevention Organization

The Equine Lameness Prevention Organization (ELPO) Farrier School has dedicated itself to providing students with the education needed in order to become farriers.

This 8-week course provides basic farrier techniques, along with advanced ELPO hoof care techniques.

The ELPO Farrier School takes pride in keeping up with and teaching the latest developments in the trade.

The program includes classroom instruction, forging and shoeing practice, and field work.

Midwest Horseshoeing School

The Midwest Horseshoeing School offers a 12-week course and a 16-week course.

Both courses cover the foundations of horseshoeing and hoof care.

Students learn anatomy, trimming, and corrective shoeing. Students receive classroom instruction, field trips, and hands-on work.

Horses of all types and breeds are brought in to give students the opportunity to learn the best techniques for each type.
http://www.midwesthorseshoeingschool.com/

Illegal Horseshoeing: An argument Against Regulation

For you that are not aware, there is no legal requirement to be a farrier in the United States.

In fact, any person can call themselves a farrier and hack away at a horse hoof…even if they have never even seen a horse. How is that for a scary thought?

Of course, there are a number of associations throughout the country that offer voluntary certifications programs, such as the American Farrier Association or the Brotherhood of Working farriers.

These certification programs can vary slightly from association to association, but generally you must pass a physical and written test to become certified.

There are a number of certifications available that start with basic entry level to advanced certifications.

Keep in mind, these are voluntary.

As horse owners, we occasionally experience difficulties finding a well-qualified farrier.

A good farrier may move, retire, take vacation, or become overbooked.

The problem of finding a new farrier can become quite an inconvenience.

Where do you look?

You can ask your fellow horse owners for a reference, check a local phone book, or look for flyers at the local feed and tack store.

However, all of these sources have one major problem… they are time consuming and offer very limited information about the farrier themselves.

Not in England it is a completely different story.

It is actually illegal to there to provide any farrier skills without being licensed.

At first glance, I can get on board with that.

I mean after all, it’s a good thing that only trained professionals are providing farrier services right?

It’s the next element  that causes me to stop and wonder if it is actually a good idea.

Apparently, it is also illegal for a horse owner to trim or shoe their own horse.

Again, that does not sound so bad.

There are several horses out there with severe hoof issues because a horse owner decided to hack at their hooves because he or she saw a youtube video.

That being said, there is something that bothers me about being told what I can and cannot do with my own horse.

As long as you are proving proper care, and have the right farrier tools, is it really anyone else’s business?

What really caused me to pause and think about the regulation was a shocking news story.

Apparently, a farrier in Ebchester County in England was suspended for a month after he allowed his son to remove four shoes from a horse and clean them up.

What is so wrong with a professional teaching his son to remove horseshoes?

Is it so egregious that it warrants taking away a person livelihood for an entire month?

Obviously, I do not live in England so maybe there are some things I am missing here, but I cannot help but feeling as that I’m glad there are no regulations like that over here.

As I said earlier, at first glance regulation seems like a good idea.

And, I’m still not against the idea of some regulation for farriers, but the steps at which they have gone in England seems ridiculous and contrary to the American spirit.

I mean we are all adult (ok most of us are), we groom our own horses, we have our own farrier tool kit, so should we not have the ability to determine who we want to work on our horse’s hooves?

I think it is far more important to educate horse owners about what to look for in a farrier.

Instead of using a stick, let’s educate ourselves and select qualified farriers using out knowledge and common sense.

The lousy and unqualified farriers will go out of business because no one will use them.

I’m sure that someday we will see increased regulation in this area, but hopefully it will not go to the extremes, such as they have in England, and allow us the freedom to make our own choices.

Best Organic Dog Food Comparison – We Found the Best

Best Organic Dog Food Comparison

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Best Organic Dog Food – Today more than ever, dogs are considered a part of the family. This means providing them with the excellent nutrition that is required to ensure a long and healthy life.

The pet food industry in the U.S. is virtually unregulated.

This means just about anything can go into your dog’s food.

Finding the best organic dog food can be tricky.

Fortunately, there are dog food companies dedicated to creating organic, healthy, holistic, and wholesome pet foods.

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Which is the best organic dog food?

The short answer is: The best dog food depends on your dog.

If your dog has allergies, needs a special diet, or is a picky eater, you might have to try a few different brands of food to find the one that works for your pet.

All of the above brands make holistic dog food with your pet’s well-being in mind, so you’ll be able to find a healthy dog food that works for your dog.

Orgainc Food is not just for humans but also for your dog.

This list aims to give you the guidance you need to ensure that your dog gets the best possible nutrition without unnecessary extras.

Here are the top organic dog food…

Best Organic Dog Food Comparison
Best Organic Dog Food Comparison

Best Organic Dog Food Comparison – We Found the Best

Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry

This organic dog food could for the basis for the healthy diet of any pup.

All nutrients and vitamins essential to wellness are found in this food.

Additionally, it is available in an astonishing range of varieties.

Choose from the original turkey and chicken mix or opt for something like duck, boar, rabbit, salmon or ocean whitefish.

Options for small breeds and large breeds are available in addition to reduced fat varieties.

This made in the USA product avoids artificial colors, flavors and preservatives.

Processed meats are never involved, and you won’t find any soy, corn or wheat.

However, you will find probiotics and antioxidants in abundance, and your four-legged buddy is bound to love the delicious flavors.

Wellness Dog Food

  • Uses premium meats like deboned chicken, New Zealand lamb, and white fish
  • No artificial preservatives
  • Use high quality grains such as oatmeal and barley that provide essential vitamins and nutrients
  • No corn
  • Adds selected botanical extracts such as green tea and lycopene
  • No meat by-products
  • No artificial flavors, colors or dyes

30 lb bag of Wellness Complete Health Dog Food

Castor Pollux Organic Dry Dog Food

Castor Pollux Organic Dry Dog Food is wholly organic kibble is a great choice for health-conscious pet parents.

It contains an excellent mix of dietary fiber, healthy fats and lean proteins.

The original flavor features chicken and brown rice, and quinoa and flaxseed also are in the list of ingredients.

Suitable for puppies, adults and large breeds, your pup is bound to love this natural choice.

With real, organic chicken as the number-one ingredient, you can rest assured that your beloved dog will be getting the kind of nutrition that she deserves.

Quinoa is a rich grain that promises a multitude of health benefits.

It does not contain gluten.

Made in the USA, you can trust that this product is suitable for your pet.

Merrick Grain Free Recipe Dry Dog Food

The list of ingredients in this straightforward, healthy food is so impressive that it’s printed on the front of the package.

A mix of beef, lamb meal, potatoes, peas and sweet potatoes is bound to appeal to any pooch.

A total of nine different flavors are available, so if your pup is not into beef or lamb, you’re certain to find a combination that he does like.

Each variety of Merrick Grain Free Recipe Dry Dog Food boasts a balance of 70 percent protein to 30 percent fruits and vegetables.

That’s about ideal for maintaining healthy weight and guaranteeing energy and happiness.

One thing that is particularly admirable about the Merrick company is their dedication to locally sourced ingredients.

It’s only after exhausting all local options that they will cast a wider net.

This dry dog food is made in the USA without using any components from China.

It’s also grain free, so if your vet has recommended such a diet for your dog, you can trust that you’re giving him the right food.

AvoDerm Natural

This food is available in a variety of flavors for both large and small breeds.

It boasts plenty of high-quality proteins from an array of sources, so finding one that your pup loves shouldn’t be a problem.

What makes AvoDerm Natural stand apart from the competition is its liberal use of avocado.

A source of fatty acids, antioxidants and vitamins, avocado is an incredibly rich food for your pet.

In addition to providing balanced nutrition, your dog also will benefit from an improved skin and coat.

Shiny hair and less itchiness often are the result of adding avocado to a dog’s diet, and this is an easy way to get the job done.

There are grain-free formulas to aid with good digestion.

Pet parents can rest assured that all ingredients are natural and healthy with nary a byproduct in sight.

With immune-system support as well, you can be proud to give your furry family member this food.

TruDog Real Meat Organic

If you want to feed your dog a high-quality food that focuses on protein, protein and more protein, then this may be the solution you’ve been looking for…TruDog Real Meat Organic Dog Food.

It’s available in two yummy varieties: beef or turkey.

All ingredients in this food are freeze dried to seal in freshness and optimal nutritional value.

You won’t find any grains or unnecessary fillers in the ingredient list.

That’s because TruDog is all about offering optimum nutrition and nothing else.

The virtually all-meat formulation guarantees easy digestion, which means less discomfort.

It also translates to better absorption of nutrients, so your dog may be healthier and more energetic than ever before.

All you have to do is add a bit of water to each serving.

Your pup will think she’s getting a delicious serving of raw meat.

Natural Ultramix Grain Free

Another selection from Castor & Pollux, Natural Ultramix Grain Free is available in both duck and chicken.

The meat is always the first ingredient on the list, ensuring that this is a high-quality choice for your friend.

One of the most impressive features of this kibble is the visible chunks of fruits and vegetables.

You can rest assured that your dog is getting the best possible nutrition because you can see the ingredients.

Every fruit and vegetable is carefully chosen to deliver the best nutritional value.

Once again, this food is made in the United States without imported ingredients.

It offers an excellent mix of protein, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats.

Natural Balance Dog Food

  • Grain-free options for dogs with allergies
  • No artificial preservatives, flavors, colors or bleached ingredients
  • High in Omega 3, a natural source of DHA
  • Natural ingredients to help rebuild a dog’s immune system

28 lb bag of Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets Sweet Potato and Chicken Dry Dog Food

Nature’s Variety Instinct Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

When Nature’s Variety designed this kibble, they first learned about what your pup’s ancestors would have eaten.

Everything that they discovered went into crafting the seven flavors of this outstanding dry dog food.

With beef and lamb, duck and turkey, chicken, salmon, rabbit and more, you can be certain that your dog will get high-quality protein from every formula.

This all-natural food is gluten and grain free.

You won’t find any fillers or artificial ingredients or grains.

This is a remarkably clean and healthy food for your pup.

Canidae Dog Food (No 1 Amazon Seller)

  • Nutritionally dense meals originate from meats processed in a human grade facility
  • All natural, high quality, holistic pet food
  • No corn, wheat, soy, grain fractions or fillers
  • Naturally preserved
  • Free-range and/or antibiotic-free meats

30 lb bag of Canidae Dog Food Chicken and Rice Formula Dry Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Dog Food

  • Deboned chicken, lamb or fish is the first ingredient, which means there is more real meat than any other ingredient
  • No chicken byproducts or poultry byproducts
  • Wholesome whole grains
  • Garden vegetables and antioxidant-rich fruit
  • No corn, wheat, or soy proteins
  • No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives

30 lb bag of Blue Buffalo Chicken and Brown Rice Adult Dog Food

Solid Gold Dog Food

Solid Gold may be the best dog food brand.

When our puppy had chicken allergies, we fed him Solid Gold puppy food and the allergies disappeared.

  • No chemical preservatives
  • Specialize in the development of “low allergen” products
  • Use USDA Choice meats, USDA grade I and II grains, and healthful monounsaturated and polyunsaturated oils
  • Never add animal or poultry fat to our products
  • Use foil “barrier” packaging for all our dry food products, which means we don’t have to use chemical preservatives or flavor enhancers

33 lb bag of Solid Gold Hund-n-Flocken Adult Maintenance Dog Food

HALO Dog Food

  • No artificial colors, flavors or preservatives
  • No gluten, wheat or corn
  • Natural sources of soluble and insoluble fiber
  • No rendered meats, poultry or fish, animal or plant by-products
  • Home-style recipe with easy to recognize and understand ingredients

31 lb bag of Halo Spot’s Stew Wholesome Chicken Adult Dry Dog Food

Honest Kitchen Dog Food – Zeal Dog Food

The Honest Kitchen sent us some of their Zeal dog food for our dogs to try.

Murphy, our dog who is allergic to poultry, loves fish in his food.

He especially loved the Zeal food.

One thing that’s unique about the Honest Kitchen’s dog food with fish it contains wild-caught fish.

Unfortunately this makes it expensive at about $10 (dehydrated) per pound.

Obviously it weighs a lot more and becomes cheaper when you add water.

  • Grain free
  • Dehydrated
  • Gluten Free
  • Amazing ingredients

You can buy Zeal dog food on Amazon along with their full line of dog foods.

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Quick Ways to Keep Your Dog Healthy and Fit

Keep Your Dog Healthy and Fit

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Here’s a Quick Way to Keep Your Dog Healthy and Fit

Keep Your Dog Healthy and Fit – Pets, especially dogs, are so used to the home life that they too like their owners can carried away by the sedentary lifestyle.

As owners it is very important that you convey a day to day life that is makes both you and your pet healthy and fit.

Although most pet owners would blame their exceptionally busy schedule for not being able to regularly walk and exercise their dog, there are a lot of easy and fun ways that can be done.

When you find yourself too busy or always in a hurry, you can use some of these quick tips to maintain your dog’s health and fitness.

Keep Your Dog Healthy and Fit
Keep Your Dog Healthy and Fit

Start With the Grub

You may not realize it at first but the idea of leaving the house with your pet all alone spells guilt for you that you think leaving a lot of food in their bowls would help.

Sad to say being unable to control the amount of food that you give your dog is a big factor that contributes to the unhealthy and unfit daily living.

It may seem too harsh at first but leaving a substantial amount of food for your pet is a good start to make it remember the small amounts for each meal.

Also consider giving your pet small meals a couple of times a day instead of just leaving a large chunk as a single portion.

Heathly Dog Food Exercise ball for your dog Play with your dog

Make Time for Play

No matter how busy you get, ensure that you have time to play with your pet at least once each day.

This will help your pet have a boost in energy instead of just lazily lounging inside your house.

You can stay behind your computer and ask your dog to fetch a toy ball while you type away all your emails or you can even be answering your phone calls while playing catch with a Frisbee.

Remember that your pet can only do these activities with your encouragement, so make sure you guide them accordingly.

Exercise with your dog

Learn and Read

If you are unsure of what activities to offer for your fluffy buddy that will help them get interested, then why not read and learn all about it.

You can look through the library for informative book about pets or even visit sites online.

Applying what you have read and learned may not necessarily be that easy for our pet especially if these are new activities.

When this scenario happens, learn to be patient and try out different strategies to see which ones will work for your pet.

Run With your dog

Be Practical and Creative to Keep Your Dog Healthy and Fit

Work with what you already have at home and take the initial set of bringing your dog’s health and fitness back to optimum level.

Say you have very limited space inside your home then why not teach your pet to maneuver through the small spaces every time you are home.

Or in case you live in an apartment or condo that has a lot of staircases, why not get your dog moving with you to take the flight of stairs back home.

Think up of very simple skills but ensure that your dog is able to do it several times each week for optimal advantage.

Make Time for Play with your dog

Set a Good Example

You may not see it but your dog more often than not will be doing just about anything you will so if you manage to spend the entire day on the couch then trust they will be at your feet the entire day too.

So consider bringing your activity level a little bit higher than your usual too.

Take the time to head out for a quick brisk walk in the morning before you head to work and bring along your pet with you. Running will be very effective as well, but there are common runner injuries to be aware of.

Consider that health and fitness is something that both you and your pet have to do together and the effort will surely be much better and more fun.

Camping Green with Your Dog for a Fun Time

Bringing your furry friend along on a camping trip can be a great travel experience.

It is so much more fun for him than just sitting on a hotel room floor.

Remember though that traveling with a pet means thinking your pet’s environmental impacts, too.

Before heading into the woods, make sure you’re prepared for camping green with your dog.

Already by camping you are making a green vacation choice.

Think of all the wastefulness at hotels for things you don’t really need or even care about.

By choosing camping, you can have even more fun by including all of your family members and have a greener, closer to nature experience.

5 Tips for Camping Green With Your Dog
5 Tips for Camping Green With Your Dog

photo by Laertes

Hacks for Camping Green with Your Dog

Plan ahead

Camping is one of the most environmentally-friend ways to travel and there are tons of dog-friendly campgrounds and parks.

Just make sure your destination is one of them.

Call the park of your choice ahead of time to confirm that they allow dogs or search for a dog-friendly park in the US or Canada on DogFriendly or PetFriendlyTravel.

Pack reusable pet supplies

Instead of dumping your organic dog food into a bio-disposable plastic bag, look around the house for an old cloth bag that you can convert into reusable pet food container.

And if you don’t want to carry bulky dog bowls with you, you can invest in recycled, reusable, portable pet food and water containers.

Not sure where to start?

GreenPeople’s list of where to find green pet supplies across the world is a great resource.

Keep your dog on a leash.

Even if your dog is dandy off-leash at the neighborhood park, in an unfamiliar environment he might get excited and run away.

Remember that rules are there for your pet’s protection, too, especially when you’re hiking or camping.

If your dog runs off and barks up the wrong tree — say one with a bear in it — you and your dog could both be in real danger.

It may be hard to believe, but not everyone wants your dog, no matter how well trained and behaved, running up to say hi, jumping on them, etc.

Best Dog Leash

Don’t let your pup get out of control.

It’s easy to think that one dog can’t do any real damage, but disturbing wildlife or digging up trails can have real consequences.

If your dog start misbehaving, correct his behavior just like you would at home.

Pick up (and throw away) poop.

Yes, poop is natural and biodegradable, but your dog’s poop isn’t indigenous to the woods you’re hiking through.

When you’re traveling green camping, you strive to ensure the place you’re leaving is in same condition it was in when you arrived.

So preserve the environment by cleaning up after your dog and using biodegradable dog bags.

And make sure you dispose of your dog’s waste only in trash cans.

Another tip is to take your dog camping in the off season.

You will avoid crowds and other dogs, and less commotion will be all-around better for your pup.

You are probably already doing most of these things at home.

Just remember that your dog is going to be experiencing exciting new surroundings and keeping these tips in mind can make camping green with your dog a positive experience for everyone.

Hacks for Hiking with Your Dog

My favorite vacation involves packing up a small tent, a backpack and some food and heading out with my husband for a hike or a bike ride.

Even if we only manage a few days away, I really enjoy the seclusion, and the time to think and talk.

It feeds our relationship.

I love the quote, “Take only photographs and leave only footprints” and I always make the effort to leave the environment exactly as we found it.

On our last walking trip, we took our dog. It was quite a learning curve, because although we’d traveled with our dog many times, this was the first time we’d tried a green vacation with our dog.

Use Biodegradable Poop Bags

I always pick up my dog’s droppings when we’re out and about.

Plastic bags can last a long time in the environment, so I made sure to purchase biodegradable poo bags.

That way, if we were out on the trails, I could pick up the poo and bury it off to the side of the trail, and I’d know I wasn’t harming the environment with plastic.

Keep Your Dog on a Leash

I know our dog is well behaved, and would come back when he’s called, but I never let him off leash when we’re hiking.

Dogs are predators, and their instincts are strong.

Our dog is a whippet, and if he saw a small creature run across his path, he would be off after it, and would have a very good chance of catching it.

For the sake of the birds and wildlife that live in the forests, I keep him restrained.

No doubt he’d rather be running loose, but I’d feel dreadful if he killed something.

5 Tips for Hiking with Your Dog: A Green Vacation for the Whole Family

photo credit: cogdogblog

Know How Far Your Dog Can Walk

We can walk for miles with our dog.

However, walking does limit how far we can travel.

If we want to take him further than he can walk, we either need to take the car, or find an alternative means of transport that is dog friendly, as well as environmentally friendly.

Enter the bike dog trailer.

This neat little trailer attaches to the back of a bicycle, and is safe and comfortable for a dog to ride in.

When we stop for the night, it converts to a kennel for him to sleep in.

It’s not cheap, and you do need to train your dog to relax in it, but if you’re going to make a habit of biking trips with your dog, it’s a great investment.

Don’t Give Your Dog a Bath (Unless He Stinks)

Dogs can become quite dirty while they’re hiking.

They love to roll in dust and mud, and they find the aroma of dead animals particularly appealing.

I’ve found that the less I bathe my dog, the better his coat repels dust and dirt.

So, save water, don’t bathe him and the natural oils in his coat will allow you to brush the dirt off him.

Of course, that doesn’t apply to “eau de dead animal,” in which case you really do need to shampoo him.

Try to choose a dog shampoo that contains no parabens or sodium lauryl sulphate.

Think About Bug Bites

Depending on where you live, hiking along forest trails may leave you and your dog susceptible to attack by biting insects, including ticks and mosquitoes.

There are many shampoos and sprays that contain natural insecticides such as tea tree oil or neem oil which will help to repel insects, without the need to apply chemicals to your dog.

Take care with natural oils because natural doesn’t necessarily mean non-toxic.

Packing a first aide kit for your dog is a must.

We found that it really doesn’t take too much effort to enjoy a green vacation with our dog.

A bit of forethought means we can share our trip with our four legged family member, while taking care of our environment.

That’s a win-win situation.

Top Dog Travel Accessories

Are you ready to set out and see the world?

If so, you might be wondering what to do with your furry companion as you follow your travel bug instincts.

The good news is, with the right planning, your pooch can come along for the ride!

Thanks to modern dog travel accessories, it’s easier than ever to ensure that everyone in your family, including those who walk on four paws, arrives safe and sound to your destination.

Today, we’re delving into a few pieces of can’t-miss gear that will get your dog ready faster than he can bark “Bonjour!”

Ready to get started? Let’s dive in!

Small dog maltese sitting in his transporter or bag and waiting for a trip

A State-of-the-Art Carrier

You want to sit in a plush and comfy seat while you travel, so why shouldn’t your dog?

One of the essential dog travel accessories to remember is a carrier that keeps your pet secure and surrounded by comfort for the duration of the trip.

If your dog is small enough to ride in style in your airplane cabin, his carrier will go under your seat, per federal guidelines.

If you’re traveling by car, top-quality carriers can actually serve as safety car seats, giving you peace of mind as you cruise the open road.

Looking for an in-cabin pet carrier that’s both stylish and functional?

Try a Sherpa Deluxe Pet Carrier or another customer favorite, the Sleepypod.

Collapsible Feeding Accessories

Chances are, your suitcases are pretty full as you embark on your new adventure.

Imagine trying to squeeze in several hard food and water bowls in there!

To this end, it’s worth it to invest in a few collapsible, portable silicone bowls that can be used for feeding as you travel.

Most of these come with a carabiner, allowing you to easily affix them to your leash or carrier to ensure they’re never too far out of reach.

This makes them extremely convenient for hiking or camping. You can even have an on-the-spot picnic wherever you choose!

Check out this travel bowl set by Buster Pet Co. to get started!

A Doggie Stroller

If you’re planning to spend a significant amount of time sightseeing by foot, a doggie stroller is one of the dog travel accessories you can’t afford to miss.

Perfect both for injured and aging pets as well as those who might just need a break from prancing around taking in the sights, these strollers come in a variety of sizes and weight limits.

Most doggie strollers fold up easily and feature mesh sides to ensure your pet stays cool and shaded as he glides around.

Many also include bottom and side storage compartments, so you can keep other gear within arms reach.

Check out VIVO’s three-wheel pet stroller or this OxGord Carrier Carriage for inspiration!

Clean-Up Gear

Though your pet may be flying first-class and being wheeled around in a stroller, the reality is that nature will inevitably call.

When this happens, it’s best to be prepared with gear that allows you to take care of the mess quickly and conveniently, so you can get back to enjoying your trip.

It helps to pack a little “Clean Up Kit” to take along on your journey.

This might be one of the less glamorous dog travel accessories, but it’s an important one just the same.

From waste bags and deodorizing wipes to pee pads and household cleaners, arm yourself with the tools to keep your area neat and clean, so you don’t have to worry about a little spill upsetting your trip.

Compression Shirt

Even after you’ve read your pre-travel guide and fine-tuned your itinerary, you might still face a little uneasiness as you leave the comforts of home for a new place you might not have ever experienced — and that’s totally normal.

Similarly, being away from home and in a new environment might trigger a little anxiety in your dog.

To help him feel at ease, you may consider bringing along a doggie compression shirt.

Akin to swaddling a baby, a compression shirt wraps tightly around your dog to enhance feelings of security and comfort.

One of the most popular types of these dog travel accessories is the Thundershirt.

If you suspect your pet may take a while to warm up to your vacation digs, try one out!

Experts claim they’re one of the top ways to alleviate worry and tension in your furry friend.

Pet-Focused First-Aid Kit

You don’t have to bring the entire medicine cabinet, but don’t forget your dog when packing your first-aid essentials.

In addition to any medications your pet is currently taking, remember to also bring flea prevention, tick removal gear (try these tick keys), wound care supplies, a digital thermometer, and any other supplies you think you’ll need.

Don’t feel like packing everything à la carte?

Pre-packaged pet first-aid kits, like this 46-piece one from First Aid-USA, take care of everything for you, so there’s no guesswork.

Are there any toiletries, such as allergy-relief shampoo, that your dog can’t live without? Don’t forget to throw those in too!

Document Holder

From a pet passport to updated vaccination and medical history information, depending on where you’re traveling to, you could be required to present multiple forms of documentation on your pet.

In addition to ID data, you may also want to bring along the names and phone numbers of local veterinarians.

You never know when you may require their services while you’re away from your trusted care providers.

In addition, it’s helpful to bring along a list of your pet’s prescriptions, and his microchip registration information.

With so many items to track, you can easily misplace important documents.

Keep them handy and organized with a waterproof pouch that’s easy to take with you.

Dog Travel Accessories and More: Your On-the-Go Guide

Whether you’re venturing into a neighboring city or are embarking on a trip around the world, we’d love to help you get there.

We’re experts on everything travel.

We love sharing advice and insights on where to go, what to see, and how to do it all on a budget.

Let’s go on a new adventure together — Fido and all!

First Aid Kit for your Dog or Pet

Traveling with your faithful companion can be a very rewarding experience.

Pets enrich our lives, and they can offer a lot of comfort and joy.

But in today’s times we need to travel as green as possible while still providing for simple necessities.

And one such necessity you should consider when traveling with your pet or camping with your dog ~ hiking with your dog, is a first aid kit just for them.

After all, things do happen that are out of our control.

And we want to keep the safety of our pet in mind.

So, with a little effort, we can easily put together a pet first aid kit that makes traveling safer while being earth friendly in its design.

First Aid Kit for your Pet

When putting together a pet first aid kit, take some time to consider the container itself.

You will want a container that opens easily, since after all you may be occupied with a wounded pet.

Also try to find something that is durable and as close to waterproof as you can.

Finally, make sure that it can hold everything you need without undo force required to close the lid.

And make sure that the kit fits the intended travel – you may have to downsize things if you expect it to fit in your dog’s backpack.

Basic Contents for First Aid Kit for your Pet

Basic Contents for First Aid Kit for your Pet

Creating a pet first aid kit is not that different from one for a  person.

You need to be able to apply basic first aid to your pet, so the materials need to be on hand.

For simple first aid, consider the following items:

Blankets –

An injured pet may need to be covered, and it can offer protection in the case of adverse conditions.

Masking Tape –

In the event of a spinal injury, your pet may need to be secured to a board by a means that will not harm fur.

Typical adhesive tape, such as those used for bandages, may prove to be too much when used to restrain the pet.

Muzzle –

Obviously required more for a dog than a cat, muzzles are good to have handy in case of an injury.

An injured or stressed dog is more likely to bite than it would otherwise, and it could help to protect the animal from any required defensive actions.

Activated Charcoal Tablets –

Activated charcoal can help with your pet’s diarrhea and gas while traveling.

In some cases kaeopectates could be used, but you should ask the advice of your vet first.

Also note that the absorption capability of activated charcoal could help in the case of accidental poisoning.

Antibacterial Ointments –

This will help with nicks and cuts your pet may experience in their travels.

Cotton Swabs –

For cleaning wounds and applying medicines as required.

Tweezers –

Great for pulling splinters and cleaning wounds.

Gauze and Gauze Pads –

Wound treatment – keeping a wound clean will aid in healing and prevent more serious infections.

Vet Approved Ipecacs –

In the case of serious poisoning this can induce vomiting, removing the toxins from the body.

But improper use can be dangerous, and some pets cannot be induced this way without injury.

So be sure to ask your vet first before inclusion or using.

Medicine Droppers – For drop by drop administration of medicines and flushing with a cleaner.

Scissors –

Scissors are essential to trim fur from affected areas as well helping with wound dressings.

Adhesive Tape –

This strong tape will secure the gauze and pads when dressing a wound, but be careful to not involve too much fur in the process.

This kind of tape can be hard to remove from such surfaces and may need to be cut free.

Saline flush –

Use this in place of Hydrogen Peroxide when cleaning a wound.

It can also be used to clean eyes from contaminants.

Destination Specific Items –

Not all pet first aid kits are equal, nor do they need to be.

For example, you may be traveling into an area that has poisonous plants or extreme heat that you would normally not need to prepare for.

Emergency Numbers –

Be sure to include not only the number of your regular vet but also the number of a close by pet hospital for the area you are visiting.

In the case of an emergency this can save valuable time.

A great place for this is on the inside lid of your pet first aid kit.

Extra Food Another thing to bring is extra food for your pet.

We always prefer the best dog food that’s organic.

What Not To Use in Pet First Aid

What Not To Use in Pet First Aid

While first aid for a pet is not radically different from basic first aid concepts for people, there are nonetheless some things that should be avoided.

Hydrogen Peroxide kills white blood cells that would otherwise be fighting the infection.

Instead use a saline flush.

If you have a cat, then never give it aspirin or Tylenol (acetaminophen).

These drugs are toxic to cats, and should be avoided at all costs.

Ibuprofen should never be given to dogs, since it can cause kidney failure – even a little can make them very sick.

As you can see, it is easy to put together a pet first aid kit for your favorite companion that not only could prove valuable on a trip but also avoids components that are harmful to the planet.

It is one of the best things that you can have for your pet that you hopefully will never use.

Natural Flea Treatment Ideas for Dogs and Cats

It’s one of those things I thought would never happen to my dogs: They got fleas.

And we ran out to buy them those synthetic flea treatment collars just to realize that these are simply pesticides.

We take care not to use pesticides in our yard or home, but ironically, we’d just invited them in!

Because we didn’t like the idea of tying poison around our pets’ necks, we decided on another course.

Here’s what we learned about natural flea treatment ideas for dogs and cats.

Photo credit: AlyssssyLA

Best Natural Flea Treatment

First, you have to get rid of adult fleas and their larvae and eggs on your furniture, pet bedding, and carpets before you should even bother treating your pets themselves.

I know, ew.

But cleaning your home of fleas isn’t as difficult as it sounds.

In fact, you’re probably already taking care of the problem with general cleaning measures.

Here’s what to clean before treating dogs and cats for fleas:

Vacuum all carpets, couch cushions, or mattresses that your dogs or cats use

Don’t think they sneak up onto the bed while you’re not looking?

If not, your pets are better trained than mine.

Of course, that’s not saying much.

Mine pretty much have the run of the place.

Wash all pet bedding

Strip pet beds and machine wash with hot water, then tumble dry.

Don’t air dry: you need the heat to kill the fleas and larvae.

Sweep any other pet traffic areas that are not carpeted

You’re probably already doing most of this on a daily or semi-regular basis.

Now you’re ready to address the flea problem on your pets themselves.

Amid all the synthetic solutions for fleas on your grocery store shelves are three natural remedies:

Natural flea treatment remedies:

Organic pyrethrin:

Derived from the flower heads of Old World chrysanthemums, pyrethrin has been used for centuries to fight fleas.

If it’s hard to find, you can more readily find d-Limonene, which is a by-product of the citrus industry, and smells like grapefruit.

While in the pet aisle, look for ‘natural’ or organic flea treatments containing one of these ingredients.

Diatomaceousearth:

Much safer than pyrethrin (though even harder to say three times fast), diatomaceousearth is a form of dust-like algae.

According to Mother Earth News, it can be sprinkled on pet bedding and carpet, where it attaches itself to the waxy coating of a flea’s shell, dehydrating it.

Find it at a home and garden store under natural or organic agents.

Natural flea prevention:

Better yet is to not have a flea problem in the first place, right?

The following natural remedies go a long way toward keeping fleas at bay (though every pet’s general health and skin condition also play a role).

Brewer’s yeast:

add one small tablet to your dog or cat’s food.

The yeast will excrete through the skin, making the animal less attractive to fleas.

Apple cider vinegar:

add a spoonful to your dog’s water to make their skin more acidic.

If they balk at the taste, you can dilute it 50/50 with water and use it in a spray bottle as a repellent.

Rosemary flea dip:

steep a few cups of rosemary in boiling water, strain it, and add a gallon of warm water to the liquid.

Give your dog a bath in it, pouring it over him, then allowing him to dry naturally.

He’ll smell great, too!

Learn a quick way to keep your dog healthy and fit.

Fleas are both an incredible nuisance and incredibly unhealthy for your pets.

Preventative measures go the furthest.

Before trying any flea treatments, organic or otherwise, consult your veterinarian, who can assist with the right dosage for the size of your pet.

There are some excellent natural flea treatment ideas to help your pets.

Learn how to control and prevent fleas for happier dogs and cats.

Best Pet Carrier for Traveling With Your Dog

Those of us with pets know how hard it can be to leave them at home.

But, if you’re willing to fly your pet in the cargo space, or your pet is small enough to fit under an airplane seat, you don’t have to.

Some people even need their pets near them to fly without anxiety.

The best case scenario is when your pet can accompany you into the airplane cabin.

Not having to say goodbye to them or worry about the condition of the plane’s cargo area before, during, or after your flight can bring peace of mind to any owner.

Those who want to travel with their pets need savvy carriers.

The carrier must be comfortable for them.

If flying in the cargo space, they need great conditions.

If the pet is by your feet, they need to fly in circumstances that will keep them cool to avoid over heating and heavy barking.

Most U.S. airlines and even many international airlines allow passengers to travel with an in-cabin dog.

Some require permits or Emotional Support Animal licenses.

Regardless of your situation, choosing a carrier that is right for you and your pet is important.

Pet Carrier for Travel

Here are a few great options when it comes to the best pet carrier:

Small dog maltese sitting in the suitcase and waiting for a trip

The Sleepypod

The Sleepypod is sleek and chic and is also a bed for your pet.

If your pet occasionally likes to sleep in this comfy little carrier, it will make traveling much less of an ordeal for them.

The Sleepypod is not only comfortable, it has been crash tested! It also transforms into a fantastic car seat with velcro positioning points that secure the seat belt over your pet carrier.

It’s easy to clean, you just use a wet wipe or damp cloth to clean the exterior.

Use a small vacuum attachment to get the pet hair inside.

You can even wash the foam padding in a cold gentle cycle.

The Sherpa

The Sherpa carriers are a true staple for any regular pet traveler.

They are reliable and have been perfected over the years.

You can choose from many colors and sizes.

They are airline approved and should fit underneath the regulated seating area with no trouble (considering it’s a small enough dog to fit in the cabin.)

Truly some of the best carriers for a jet setter, the deluxe version has top and side entries for your pet to get in and out.

The roll-down privacy flaps can give your pet a calming effect.

This helps on planes so they can’t see the many passengers constantly walking by them.

There is a seatbelt strap for your travel to the airport, and then an adjustable luggage strap once you are there.

The mesh panels for ventilation will assure your pet has a breathable, cool nap during their flight.

There is a Sherpa pet carrier with wheels as well, which makes for a very easy tote once inside the airport.

The Teafco Argo Aero-Pet Carrier

This is a great carrier for toy breed dogs.

It has a very modern design and is built with privacy mesh all around it.

It doesn’t look like a dog carrier, and many people won’t even know there is a pet inside the bag!

This pet carrier exceeds TSA requirements and is made from an 840 denier nylon fabric.

It’s extremely lightweight and has padded sides. The large zipper top entrance makes for easy access for letting your pet in and out.

It can fit all types of animals and is very easy to clean with a damp cloth.

While it isn’t collapsible, it takes up so little room that you won’t need to.

At $100 it isn’t the cheapest of pet carriers, but it is a high-quality one.

Petego Jet Set Carrier

This carrier is another that doubles for airline and car use.

It also includes mesh vents that are even scratch proof for your pet’s feisty moments.

A very cool aspect of this bag is that it looks like a duffle bag.

Carry this duffle-style bag around the airport and people will think you’re running straight to the gym once you land.

It’s lightweight and a really great option for small dogs.

The Bergan Wheeled

This comfort carrier is as luxe as they come.

You can carry it on your shoulders, back, or roll it easily on the ground.

It has rotating wheels that let the bag feel weightless as you tote.

The wheels are also detachable for your carrying moments.

The interior of the bag is lined with fleece and has a foam travel bed inside.

This bag will give your pet the maximum comfort while still able to fit underneath the seat in front of you with its flexible walls.

The interior bedding is easily removable for washing.

The bag features Pet Connect, a reach through access point opening for comfort petting while in flight.

This carrier can hold pets ranging from 19-22 lbs.

The Outward Hound Front Carrier

This bag is especially useful for camping trips or hikes as well.

It does work for airlines and will fit under the seat quite nicely.

It’s a great bag if you have a puppy that likes to be close to you.

It allows the dog to see out and see you, which is sometimes helpful for their first few flights.

The Pooch Pouch was made to ventilate, which is great for those extra toasty in-flight moments.

It doesn’t take up much room and even has a safety harness which adds security for your dog if you’ve got a jumping fido on your hands.

Ready, Jet-Set, Go

Traveling is many people’s favorite thing to do, but saying goodbye to their little friend is not.

With these great pet carriers, you can go anywhere with your pet with peace of mind that they are just as comfortable as you (ideally) are.

Avoid travel experiences marred by attempted escapes by your pet from your their bag.

Provide them with such a comfortable pet carrier that they’ll never want to leave.

Creating a serene and comfortable atmosphere within your pet’s traveling home can make all of the difference for both of you as you fly.

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Guide to Miniature Cattle Breeds Small Modern Homesteading Farm

Miniature Cattle Breeds Miniature Belted Galloway

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If you have a small farm, you want to maximize value. Miniature cattle breeds can help a great deal.

It’s important to consider choosing a cow from miniature cattle breeds instead of getting a full-size cow.

It’s a nice option in these times of rising food prices and concerns regarding food quality.

Many people raise miniature cows for meat.

Others raise them solely for fresh dairy products.This usually means getting a milk cow.

Many people consider miniature cattle breeds instead of smaller full-size cows.

You will need less pasture and will have less milk to consume.

For these people, small-breed cattle may be a more viable alternative, even though the miniature cow costs more initially.

A good quality family milk cow may fetch a price in the $1,400 to $1,800 range.

miniature cattle breeds ~ A small or miniature cow, on the other hand, can cost anywhere from $1,800 to $3,500.

Miniature Cattle Breeds ~ Size of miniature cows

These miniature cows can be classified in categories that depend on their height at the hip.

Midsize miniature cows measure from 42 to 48 inches at the hip.

Standard miniature cows range from 36 to 42 inches.

Micro-miniature cows are all less than 36 inches in height at the hip.

So generally, miniature cattle breeds range anywhere from 1/2 to 1/3 the size of normal cattle.

Wood or Vinyl Fencing – Which is the Best Choice

Why Miniature Cattle Breeds (Miniature Cows) Are the Perfect Animal for Modern Homesteading Farms and Ranches

These breeds can cost more because they actually offer several clear advantages:

Advantages of miniature cow breeds

They can produce just enough milk for your needs

In peak production, a normal-sized cow can offer 6 to 10 gallons of milk per day.

That may give you more problems for storage, and you may not really know what you should do with all that milk.

On the other hand, miniature cattle breeds can give you about 1 to 1.5 gallons per milking.

That should be enough to give you a few glasses of milk to drink, some butter and cheese per week, and even a little milk leftover for some neighbors.

You need just 1/2 – one acre of pasture for each animal

They’re about 25 – 30% more feed-efficient

Typically, you’ll only need a third of the standard amount of feed for each one.

Miniature Cattle Breeds are less work

You’ll haul less hay during the fall.

During the deep winter freeze, you’ll have to carry fewer buckets of water for your thirsty cows.

Since they eat less, they’ll produce less waste for you to have to cart away

Your best option is to divide the pasture to smaller sections, and then you can rotate the grazing pattern.

You can even tie your small-breed cattle to a tire to let the animal graze in a specific area.

Then you can just put the tire in another area afterwards.

They don’t require heavy-duty fencing

In many cases, you can simply use a single hot wire.

They’re ideal to raise for meat

If you butcher an entire miniature cow, you get just the right amount of meat for a small family.

A single tiny cow can feed a family of 4 people for months.

These miniature breeds convert expensive organic feed into choice cuts more efficiently than their standard-sized counterparts.

This is why demand for their meat is growing, with lots of upscale restaurants and gourmet markets looking to buy the lean and luscious meat from grass-fed mini roasts and steaks.

Showing miniature cattle

Many owners like to show their miniature cattle.

This is also a great way for children to become involved in the 4-H Club and in a state or county fair.

Best inexpensive products for miniature cattle breeds:

  1. Use a brush for a simple way to clean their coats and untangle their hair.
  2. Lead your miniature cow with an easy-to-fit cow halter.
  3. Show your miniature cow with a show stick.

More great things about miniature cattle breeds

Their small size doesn’t lend itself to numerous medical conditions

There is the condition that some call the “bulldog” gene, technically called chondrodysplasia.

This results in a physical deformity that often leads to the death of the cow, but this is extremely rare.

Also, you can do a blood test to check for this gene when you’re buying your miniature cow.

These smaller size cows only need minor adjustments in regards to their feeding and care

Their hay-feeding equipment and water tanks will just have to be a bit shorter than with full-size cows.

They really make for good pets, as they can be very gentle

Owning one can be like having a gentle and huge dog except she gives you milk.

Animal therapy workers and petting zoo managers love miniature cows.

They’re cute and small and they have friendly dispositions—what’s not to like?

Caring for and tending to backyard animals, including mini cows, can be a great way to involve children. There are many different types of responsibilities they can handle, depending on their age and maturity.

They would be accessible in a food shortage or crisis

Miniature cattle, like raising backyard chickens, will become invaluable should you ever be facing a food crisis.

Miniature Cattle Breeds

There are many books which explain miniature cattle.

Owning a reference book or two will help you as you prepare for raising these particular cows as well as help you when issues arise.

Here let’s take a closer look several breeds of miniature cattle that may suit your small farm or ranch:

Miniature Cattle Breeds Miniature Belted Galloway
Miniature Cattle Breeds Miniature Belted Galloway

Miniature Belted Galloway

The Belties, as the Miniature Belted Galloways are often called, are a very hardy breed.

They originated from the southwestern part of Scotland.

They have a double coat, with the coarse outer coat designed to repel water.

Their under coat is not so much hair as wool, and it’s to insulate the cow against the cold.

Belted Galloways tend to have a solid color but with a white belt around their midriff.

At maturity, their height at the most reaches 42 inches at the hip bone.

Facts about Belties

These Belties are a popular breed for small farms, as they offer several advantages:

They’re considered as the oldest naturally polled beef cattle in the world

This means they are by nature hornless, and that offers several key advantages.

The problem with horned cattle is that you’ll have to expend some effort (or pay for the labor) for de-horning or tipping the horns.

If you don’t, then they’ll pose a danger to you and to their handlers.

Galloways are also a proven commodity in terms of profits

Various tests over a 10-year period show that this breed use up the least amount of feed for every kilogram of weight gain they achieve.

These are the high feed conversion rates that make these Belties profitable every year.

One of the most crucial breed traits of all Galloways is that their beef quality is always excellent.

It’s lean, and yet it’s also well-marbled.

Due to the efficient protection offered by their double coat, their carcasses don’t have that additional layer of fat in the back that’s quite common to other breeds.

You’ll find that they dress out at about 60 to 62 percent of their live weight.

Their excellent hair coat also translates to lower feed costs during the winter

Scientists at Montana State University found that when beef cows have hair coat that is just an inch thicker than average, they will require 20% to 25% less digestible feed intake to maintain their body weight in the cold weather.

With the good double hair coat, they need less feed than usual to maintain their body condition.

Another bonus provided by the double hair coat is that it is able to shed water

Even in very cold weather, the rain hardly penetrates their coat.

These Belties can thrive all year long, and they only need minimal shelter from the summer heat to the winter cold.

Galloways are very docile which means that they’re easy to handle and care for

Miniature Belted Galloway facts

They also exhibit terrific foraging ability, and they’re not picky at all.

In fact, a Danish study found that compared to all the other breeds in the study the Galloway consumer many more different types of flora.

Since they can digest even less digestible types of flora, they can flourish even though the conditions are less than ideal.

They’re also known for their longevity and hardiness, as they are resistant to disease.

They also have high fertility rates, and calving is easy for them.

They also exhibit great mothering abilities for their calves.

Miniature Belted Galloways are easy to raise

These Galloways don’t really need all that much.

They should have access to clean fresh water, and there should be some pasture grass and good-quality hay. T

hat goes for some available mineral or salt block too.

For extreme weather, it may be nice if they have some shelter or shade to keep themselves more comfortable.

They will also need regular parasite control and vaccinations, for potential problems such as leptospirosis.

Over the last decade or so, the numbers of Miniature Belted Galloways have risen significantly, and so has the demand for them for small farms.

They do really well on small family farms.

Like so many miniature cattle breeds, they are completely adorable too.

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Dexter Mini Cow

Dexter Mini Cow
Dexter Mini Cow

Modern Dexter miniature cows trace their ancestry to a 1750 herd of sturdy Irish mountain cattle that was assembled by an agent of Lord Hawarden.

His name was Mr. Dexter.

The cows in turn were descended from the small cattle of the Celts of ancient Ireland.

They were already called Dexter mini cows by 1845, and by then they looked pretty much like the Dexter cows of today.

A Dexter registry was established in Ireland in 1887, and in 1911 an American registry was established as well.

But the Dexters in North America were rare.

Today they’re still classified as “rare” in the American Livestock Breed Conservancy’s Conservation Priority List.

By raising Dexter cows, you can help preserve an endangered heritage livestock breed.

Facts about Dexters

Here are a few facts you need to know about Dexters:

Dexters are famed for their longevity and for their generally sweet dispositions

They can live for quite a while, with an average lifespan of about 17 to 18 years.

They have a powerful maternal instinct

Dexters will act as surrogate mothers, and they can look after 4 or more calves at the same time.

They’re well-known for easy calving.

But they often calve until they’re very old, and some have calved at 20 years old.

They can rear about 10 calves during their lifetime.

Mature bull can reach up to about 47 inches in height, and weigh more than 450 kilos

That’s still significantly smaller than your normal-sized cattle.

They are mostly black, although there are times when you may find one with a dun or dark red color.

Dexter cows are horned

The horns of the bulls tend to extend directly to each side.

They then curve forward and upward, and there’s some space between the 2 horns.

Generally, the horns are white in color, but the tips are black.

You should be able to stock more cattle per acre than with normal-sized cows

They’re very good at foraging for their own food.

In fact, they’re well-suited for areas with drought problems.

Dexters live on grass.

When grass is scarce, they can make do with hay.

Some owners tend to give them a bit of grain or a few concentrate pellets during milking time, as a sort of incentive.

Dexter cows also need a lot of water so they can maintain their milk production.

The water should be clean at all times.

If you’re keeping them as milking cows, they’ll just produce less milk when they get less food.

They’re at just ⅔ the size of a standard breed, and their need for food is proportionally less.

Dexters are regarded as dual-purpose cows

You can get them for their milk or for their meat.

This particular breed is justifiably renowned for their milk production.

Though they’re smaller, they can outstrip the milk output of their bigger counterparts.

Their average yield is about 10 liters a day, but they can produce as much as 20 liters of milk daily.

The milk is ideal for making cheese, with an average butterfat level of about 4 to 5 percent, with cream yields of a liter for every 5 liters.

More information about Dexters

These are very hardy animals, and you can keep and milk them outside if you need to.

But they do require shelter from extreme weather such as an open shed or a cowshed.

Dexter facts and tips for raising them

You should reserve your best pasture for your proven milk producers.

You can plant good herbal ley as pasture grass which can be good for worm control.

When you have rich pasture, you’ll have to reduce their grazing time so they don’t get more weight than they ought to.

When they get too big, they can produce less milk, and their size can lead to calving problems.

A standard rule of thumb is to limit their grazing on rich pasture to just 6 hours a day.

After that, you should lead them to their corral and feed them hay.

One minor problem for milking is that their teats can be small, so milking them by hand may pose a challenge.

You may want to invest in an electric milking machine especially when you have several Dexter cows to milk.

You can also raise Dexter cattle for their meat.

A 3-year old steer can reach up to 460 kilos. Because of their excellent foraging ability, their high feed conversion, and excellent meat-to-bone ratio, Dexter steer can reach 180 kilos in 14 months.

When you feed them grass, the meat is delicious: tender, lean, and fine-textured.

With grain feeding, which is not typically recommended because it is unnatural for them, the meat in the prime cuts are finely marbled, and it has a lighter color.

Miniature Zebu Cow
Miniature Zebu Cow

What’s great about Dexters

These really make for good small farm cattle, as they can be converted into good beef or you can continue to enjoy their healthy milk.

And they can also make great pets, although you’ll need to be concerned with the horns, especially around children.

Miniature Zebu Cow

In general, miniature cattle breeds have been bred by man by choosing the smallest cows from a larger breed.

But the Miniature Zebu is a true breed of miniature cattle, which means they’ve developed into a unique species all on their own.

They are among the oldest breed of cattle, and may trace back to as far as 6,000 BC.

Some document records place them in Sri Lanka and southern India by 3,000 BC.

The first zebu was imported into the US during the 1920s.

They were considered novelties in zoological gardens.

They’re becoming a bit more popular as more people learn about them, but they’re still quite rare in North America.

People in the United States call them Brahman cattle as well.

Facts about Zebu Cows also known as Brahman Cows

Zebus are popular because they look so cute that they’re almost like fawns.

People recognize them for their characteristically well-developed humps, which are very prominent on mature bulls.

They may have horns which can be in any shape and size.

Because of their appealing look and friendly disposition, Zebu cows aren’t normally bred for meat production.

They’re mostly for shows, junior rodeo events, and zoological gardens.

Others use them for their breeding farms.

You can raise them as pets, and you can even use them for milk.

A typical zebu cow can produce a gallon of milk a day, and it is very rich in butterfat.

They have sleek coats that are short and dense.

Their colors range from black, spotted, or red, to steel gray or nearly pure white.

In mature bulls, it’s common to see nearly all black in the neck, shoulders, and hump areas.

Zebus are measured at the withers, which is directly behind the hump.

Zebus don’t go past 42 inches in height; most are about 36 to 38 inches tall.

However, some adults may only reach up to 26 inches.

They can range in weight from 200 to 500 pounds.

Miniature Zebu cows carry their babies for 9 months like human mothers.

They calve easily and produce good milk.

They’re very protective of their babies, especially in the first few weeks.

The baby Zebus really look like fawns, and many human owners (and their children) find them adorable.

They’re about 16 to 18 inches tall and weigh about 18 to 22 pounds.

After just a few moments after their birth, they’re able to stand and walk around.

They can be as tame and as friendly as a family dog, especially if they’re bottle-raised.

More facts about Zebu Cows

You can easily halter-train small Zebus, and you can have your children walk them on a leash.

The breed is so docile and small that they’re considered safe for children and for the elderly.

Feeding them isn’t hard, although the food will depend greatly on your geographic location and the season.

They’ll accept hay during the winter months, and for the rest of the year they can live on good quality grass.

For grain, you can use cattle feed or a general purpose sweet feed.

To keep your zebu healthy, you’ll also need fresh water and salt blocks.

They do very well in warm weather, which is why many of the Zebus in the US are in Florida.

But they can also survive farther up north as long as you provide them adequate shelter during the colder months.

With proper care, they can live for as long as 20 to 25 years.

Their origins have made them immune to most tropical diseases.

The price of a registered miniature bull calf in Florida may range from $500 to $2,000.

A heifer calf can cost from $1,500 to 3,000. Full grown bulls and cows that have proven productive will cost more.

They can be very expensive if they have unusual characteristics, such as if they come from high quality bloodlines or if they’re very small.

Miniture Jersey Mini-Cows
Miniature Jersey Mini-Cows

Jersey Mini-Cows

Jersey is a British island found in the English Channel, just off the French coast.

Because it’s an island, the cattle there were able to develop in relative isolation from other cattle breeds.

It’s one of the oldest dairy breeds, with pure bloodlines tracing back to almost 600 years.

These miniature cattle are famous for their high quality milk production, along with its generally friendly personality and lower maintenance cost due to its miniature status.

While the standard Jerseys today are bigger due to breeding programs, the miniature Jerseys at 3 years of age don’t go over 700 pounds on average and they don’t exceed a height of 42 inches at the hip.

Many are within the 36 to 40-inch range.

These are actually the original traits of the breed, and the standard Jerseys were bred to be larger to boost milk production.

Today, the mini Jersey is a rare breed.

Facts about Jersey Mini Cows

They can be very adorable, and that’s undeniable.

The color of their coat ranges from fawn to dark fawn, with some sporting splashes of white.

The cows tend to weigh about 600 to 650 pounds, while the bulls weigh in at about 800 pounds.

Because of their small stature, they don’t require as much acreage and barn space.

They also require less feed, as they only eat half as much as their bigger counterparts.

Their milk is very delicious and quite nutritious too.

They contain high butterfat and protein amounts.

They can produce about 2 to 4 gallons of milk a day.

If you’re getting a miniature cow, the point is to provide milk and that means you really have to check the udder.

It needs to be attached well, and the teats should be large enough that you can milk them easily.

They should also sport a straight spine, and stand firmly with legs long enough to support their body length and size.

Jersey Mini Cows more facts

While modern Jersey bulls are notoriously aggressive, that’s not usually the case with mini Jersey bulls.

This is especially true with bulls that have been bottle-fed from birth.

While they can be playful as calves, they can also be very gentle and sweet even when compared to their female calves.

They’re quieter and they don’t spook as easily.

But when they mature, it’s still a good idea to just handle him as you need to, but you can just leave him alone.

You can start handling him less when he reaches puberty, which for mini Jersey bulls is at 6 to 7 months.

The calves also don’t like the cold very much, especially when the temperature drops below 50.

So you should keep them warm with calf coats or even with heat lamps.

Keeping them warm in the winter months is crucial if you want to minimize the risk of stress-related diseases.

Just remember, with mini Jerseys you get the best milk for your family, and a cute and gentle pet besides.

Miniature Panda Cow
Miniature Panda Cow

Miniature Panda Cow

Now if you’re into truly rare miniature cows with a beauty that can’t be matched, you really ought to take a look at the Miniature Panda.

The first of its kind is the progeny of a miniature bull that is 75% Irish Dexter and 25% Belted Galloway bred to an exotic cow (“Happy Mountain” Cattle).

The result was a small heifer measuring just 14 inches tall at birth.

She has a white belt around her middle, along with the face of a panda, all white with black circles around the eyes.

Miniature Panda Cow is unique

There are only a few dozen of these miniature Panda cattle in the world, and they’re all celebrities in one way or another.

There is a pair of them featured at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Washington.

Sometimes the celebrity status can even get in the head of the Panda cattle.

According to one Washington owner, his Panda bull calf is never far from his mother, but he “struts” around the farm and other caves follow him around.

Miniature Herefords
Miniature Herefords

If you want a celebrity animal for your zoological garden or farm, you can’t go wrong with a miniature Panda cow.

They’re just that cute, lovable, and popular.

But you will have to spend lots of money to get one, or devise a breeding program yourself.

The cost of buying one may reach up to $30,000, but you’re getting instant fame and status.

Miniature Herefords

The standard Hereford cattle breed began in Herefordshire, England, about 250 years ago.

The breeding program for the miniature Hereford started in the late 1960s, but it was only in 1989 when breeding stock became available for sale.

They’re widely considered beef animals, although there are many other reasons why you may want to buy one.

You can buy them as a pet for your young children, or enter them in shows.

Some buy them because of the agricultural tax breaks they get to enjoy.

You can even just buy them as special tools to mow and fertilize your huge backyard.

Facts about Miniature Herefords

These make for wonderful pets.

They’re generally docile and have sweet-temperaments, especially when they’re already halter-trained.

Even the bulls are comparatively gentle compared to the bulls of other miniature breeds.

And the calves only weigh in at 30 to 60 pounds, so that even 5 or 6-year old kids can show them around.

They’re also very easy to care for, and they won’t cost you as much for upkeep.

They’re very hardy and they adapt well to all environments, so you cut back on veterinary bills.

They don’t need special food treats, they require less pasture space, they’re easier on your pasture and fence, and they produce less manure to haul away.

Mini Herefords are excellent food converters.

This means they don’t have to eat as much to produce weight gain for meat.

And their meat is more tender because of their shorter muscle length.

Standard cows need to develop muscle to carry 2,000 pounds in weight.

But the mini Herefords only weigh from 700 to 1,000 pounds, so they require less muscle.

They also offer a larger ribeye area of about 1.5 square inches for every 100 pounds of body weight.

Miniature Herefords – breeding

The breed is very fertile and can breed back rather quickly.

The heifers can breed at about 2 to 3 years.

The bulls can even start at an earlier age, as they can breed when they’re a year and a half years old.

After giving birth the mother is very nurturing, and she can also provide lots of milk for her calf.

You should find a reputable breeder if you’re considering buying a miniature Hereford.

It’s easy to make mistakes, such as paying show-quality prices for a cow when you just want a pet.

Others may pay top fees for a very small animal only to find out that she’s not small-framed genetically.

Just make sure you get the most suitable animal for your needs.

If you want them for the beef, then they’re able to provide better beef than just about any beef you can get in the supermarket.

If you want a pet, make sure that it’s docile and that you train it with a harness.

And if you want them for your own breeding program, you will need to research the pedigrees.

Now that you are learning so much about miniature cattle, be sure to learn about how a livestock guardian dog can help.

Miniture Lowline Angus
Miniture Lowline Angus

Lowline Angus

The Lowline Angus descended from the Angus cattle breed that was formed several hundred years ago from the black hornless cattle in the Angus and Aberdeen counties in Scotland.

These spread worldwide during the 1800s, and soon thereafter, Black Angus started to dominate the US beef industry.

History of Lowline Angus

The Lowline Angus was actually created by accident.

They were the result of an Australian study which tried to determine if large or small animals were more efficient at converting grass into meat.

In this 1974 study, they used 85 Angus cows and divided them into 3 herds.

The High Line herd was defined by high yearling growth rates, and the Low Line herd had low yearling growth rates.

The third herd was the control with randomly selected animals.

Researchers found out at the end that the High and Low Line herds demonstrated about the same level of efficiency in converting grass to protein.

They were supposed to slaughter the Low Line herd, but it soon became evident that these smaller animals had far greater value than what was first thought.

After 15 years of selective breeding the Lowline Angus cattle breed was born.

They stabilized at about 30% smaller than their Highline counterparts, and that makes them one of the smallest beef cattle breeds in the world.

These animals were extremely docile.

They adapted to Australian conditions.

The researchers conducted a disposal sale in 1993, and introduced to the US in 1997.

More facts about Lowline Angus

On average, a purebred Lowline Angus calf weighs 42 pounds. A mature cow is 39 inches tall and weighs 800 pounds.

A mature bull reaches a height of 43 inches and 1200 pounds.

They’re ideal for intensive grazing conditions, and their feed requirements are considerably less than what their bigger counterparts need. They only need about a third of the stand cattle’s nutritional requirements.

You can raise about 54 breeding cows per 100 acres, compared to 33 for Angus and 38 for Wagyu.

Yet you can get an average of 154.3 retail pounds of product from your Lowline Angus.

That’s a lot compared to the 110 pounds per acre for the Angus and 83.1 pounds for the Wagyu.

Lowlines offer superior carcass traits, with 30% larger rib eye area per hundredweight and excellent marbling.

The cows calve with excellent ease, with a short gestation period of 271 days and afterwards they exhibit great mothering ability.

More great reasons to own Lowline Angus

They’re also naturally polled, so that means they’re naturally hornless and that’s a very advantageous trait.

They can live for as long as 12 to 25 years, as they’re easy to keep, and terrific foragers.

Lowline Angus can adapt to a wide variety of climates, from the hot and humid Deep South to the cold of Canada.

They do not test for the Anchondroplasia gene and the dwarfism gene.

Lowlines look great with their nice proportions, and they’re very easy to handle.

Miniature Texas Longhorns
Miniature Texas Longhorns

What the Lowline Angus represents is a chance for you to get a taste of delicious beef even if you do own a very small farm.

And if you want to make a business of it, it’s a great investment because they’re still rare and the demand for their beef is very high.

Miniature Texas Longhorns

If you’re in the US, you probably heard of the Texas Longhorn football team.

But you won’t ever forget the first time you see a Texas Longhorn in person, as their horns can grow as long as 7 feet from tip to tip.

They’re among the first cattle the Europeans brought to North America.

They’re a mix of breed from India and Iberia.

Yet despite their horns, the Texas longhorn is actually very gentle and even quite intelligent for their species.

And if you want the smaller and cuter version, you can go for the miniature Texas longhorns instead.

They began from a 1990 breeding program that downsized purebred, registered Texas Longhorns.

The process simply bred then smallest Texas Longhorns they had until the resulted in this miniature version.

Like their bigger counterparts, they have the horns, the general build, and the mild, tractable personality without any nervousness or aggressiveness.

Facts about Miniature Texas Longhorns

Technically, their horns must measure from tip to tip at least 50% their hip height, although it would of course be better if they horn measurement can actually reach the length of the height at the hip.

Miniature Texas Longhorn cows should be no more than 45 inches at the hip bone for you to classify them as “miniature,” although some purists insist that they should not exceed 42 inches in height. For bulls, the maximum is 48 inches.

They live for about 10 years and they can weigh from 350 to 800 pounds.

They’re diurnal active during the daytime), and they just need hay and grass.

Miniature Scottish Highland
Miniature Scottish Highland

You don’t buy these animals for their meat, even though people recognize the standard Texas longhorn lean beef for its low fat, cholesterol, and calories.

These minis are companion animals.

They are excellent show animals and pets.

They’re so small you don’t needs as much acreage, and because of their gentle temperament you don’t have to worry about them hurting your children.

Miniature Scottish Highland

If all you know of the Scottish Highlands is what you got from watching Braveheart, then you should at least know that the Scots are tough because they had to be.

That’s especially true in the Highlands, where it’s so rugged that only the tough survive.

And that also true of their cattle.

The Highland breed has thrived ever since the 6th century AD, and they share the same traits with the miniature Scottish Highland breed.

The smaller miniatures don’t go past 42 inches in height, and a few can only reach up to 27 inches even after 3 years.

That makes them one of the cutest farm animals to have around, especially when combined with their characteristic long hair on top of their heads.

People admire the Highland breed for their distinctive looks, and when that look is in a miniature version the cuteness score is off the charts.

They’re just so adorable.

It’s why calves go for about $6,500 even, registered or not.

But they’re not purely just for decoration, and there are advantages to raising them in your small farm.

They exhibit all the major traits of their bigger counterparts.

The difference is they require less food and acreage, making them better suited for smaller farms.

Facts about Miniature Scottish Highlands

Longevity, self, sufficiency, and hardiness are traits to portray them

You can raise them in any state in America and they’ll thrive, although for best results you should get your miniature Highland from a farm with a climate that’s similar to your own.

They have the famous double hair coat with the long, coarse outer layer and the soft wooly inner layer

This coat means that you won’t have any need for special and expensive shelters and barns.

This coat also means that they don’t need a heavy layer of fat to insulate themselves against the cold.

They marble naturally on lower food amounts and produce high quality, lean, and low fat cuts of beef.

The hair sheds out in the spring, and in the warmer climate they just don’t produce as much hair.

The Highland breed has been living with humans for hundreds upon hundreds of years, and they’re no problem at all

The early Scots would even keep them in their homes during the winter, with a woven wattle fence to keep the cattle and human areas separate inside.

They’re docile, calm. They do not spook easily. Despite their long horns, they’re very easy to work with.

More great things about Miniature Scottish Highlands

They calve easily, and calving difficulty like dystocia is very uncommon

They can produce well into their late teens, so you don’t need to replace the herd frequently.

Once they give birth, they protect and devoted themselves to their young.

They are excellent browsers

You can use them to clear brush lots and improve the grazing.

While they are dual purpose cattle which can offer both milk and meat, it is their beef which can really stand out

A study found that their beef is 24% more tender than commercial beef.

It also contains 4% less cholesterol, 17% more iron, and 7% more protein.

So if you’re into hobby farming or if you want a pet cow, the miniature Scottish Highland is a great choice.

They’re good-looking and unique, they’re very docile, and they can thrive beautifully in even harsh conditions.

Miniature Holstein Milk Cow
Miniature Holstein Milk Cow

Miniature Holstein Milk Cow

There’s a reason why Holstein Cows dominate the US milk production industry.

Can provide a lot more income than what their feed costs

Are very hardy and genetically sound

Adapt to a wide range of environmental conditions

Miniature cattle producing milk

Also, they can produce large amounts of milk.

In fact, Holsteins have held the world record for milk production for many years now.

One record holder in 2010 from Wisconsin produced 72,170 pounds of milk in a year.

That’s more than 8,660 gallons for the year.

Typically, they can give you as much as 9 gallons of milk per day.

And perhaps that may be too large an amount for you to handle.

So you may want to get a miniature Holstein instead.

Advantages of the Miniature Holstein

This smaller version offers the same benefits as its bigger counterparts, except that they don’t produce as much milk.

They can give you about 2 to 3 gallons of milk a day.

Standard lactation lasts about 305 days a year.

You can milk some 3 times a day, every day of the year.

The smaller Holstein also offers clear advantages over the standard-sized Holsteins.

They only measure in at 42 inches in height, unlike full-sized Holsteins that come in at 58 inches tall at the shoulder.

They eat less so they produce less manure, and they’re very easy to handle.

Since they’re small and very friendly, you can teach children all about taking care of a cow with your miniature Holstein.

They can learn to milk the cow and help feed it.

And you won’t have to worry about their disposition as they’re very gentle and easy to handle.

Guide to Miniature Cattle Breeds

Regardless of the breed you choose for your small farm, the advantages of the miniature cattle breeds cannot be denied.

Advantages of raising miniature cattle

They’re easier to handle than full-size cows.

They are safer for families with children.

Your fencing costs are much more minimal.

They do less damage to your pasture.

You also save money on feed, since they don’t eat as much.

They can provide some supplemental income, as well as meat or milk at more reasonable amounts that you can handle more easily.

Raising miniature cows make excellent 4-H projects for your kids.

Also, miniature cattle are just plain adorable!

Do your research.

A lot depends on where you buy your cows, so you really need to get them from reputable farms and ranches.

Inbreeding is always an issue, since these animals are relatively rare.

Consider getting miniature cattle for your small farm or ranch, no matter what the size. You can discover for yourself just how much joy and pleasure they can bring to your family.

When you are ready, you can consider at livestock guardian animal to protect your miniature cows as well.

When you carefully consider your area to know which breed to choose, you can easily learn the basics of caring for livestock, including miniature cattle breeds.

What is a Livestock Guardian Dog? Here’s What You Need to Know

Livestock Guardian Dog

Last Updated on

So what is a livestock guardian dog? It is sometimes misunderstood among farmers and ranchers. 

Many people feel that all breeds of farm dogs are excellent guardians for their livestock.

Know that different types of dogs — herding dogs, companion dogs, and all-around farm dogs — are not always suited to be a livestock guardian dog.

However, there are several breeds categorized as livestock guardian dog breeds due to their deep instincts and drive to protect and defend their stock no matter what.

 Livestock Guardian Dog
Livestock Guardian Dog

Livestock Guardian Dog

Here’s what makes a livestock guardian dog different from others:

Spend their days and nights watching, roaming, and patrolling

Deliberately mark the perimeter of their territory

Bark warnings to potential intruders

Large, strong, and powerful

Willing to fight to the death if necessary to protect their charges

Livestock guardian dogs are typically gentle and peaceful unless provoked by intruders.

They systematically respond to potential threats and perceived danger, beginning with deterrents and attacking only as a last resort.

Do You Need a Livestock Guard Animal?

It’s important to know about them to be sure you buy one that meets your particular situation.

 You will mostly want this if you get a livestock guardian dog.

What do livestock guard dogs do?

They seek to prevent the approach and entry of intruders with territorial marking.

These dogs will deter approaching intruders with deep barking.

They will repeatedly run toward an approaching predator to frighten it off.

If the predator enters the dog’s territory and will not leave, the dog will attack and fight as hard as necessary.

All the livestock guard dog (LGD) breeds descend from dogs that have been working alongside shepherds and goat herders in Europe or Asia for centuries.

Each breed in the group can be traced back to a specific area of origin.

The dogs usually live calmly with their stock but will jump into action to keep their area safe and free of predators of all sizes, including bears, wolves and cougars.

Livestock guardian dog breeds instinctively act as defenders, but to work most effectively as a guardian, a puppy should be trained by another livestock guardian dog, a human prepared for the task, or preferably both.

Livestock guardian dogs are uniquely wired and must be treated and handled differently than pet dogs.

Different from herding dogs

While they can be trained to respond to commands, they will override them if they feel a need to protect or defend.

They also operate differently than livestock herding dogs.

Herding dogs are motivated to move animals and keep them in formation.

The goal of a livestock guard dog is to keep its stock safe from harm.

When considering miniature cattle breeds, it’s important to also think about a getting a LGD.

A livestock guardian dog thrives on clear expectations and consistency, with proper introductions to new situations, visitors, livestock, and equipment entering the dog’s domain.

Livestock guard dogs know what is normal and typical on the farm and will be suspicious of anything unusual or out of place.

It’s important to train them

Ongoing, consistent training, reinforcement of boundaries, and reminders of expectations are vital for the success of the livestock guardian dog.

A human owner or handler should act as “alpha” and expect appropriate responses from the dog.

But at the same time it is important to respect the dog’s instincts, thinking process, and priority to defend above all else including obedience at times.

Your livestock guardian dog will bond to and protect people as well as livestock, so they can be used as personal and property guardians.

In some setups they can concurrently guard people and stock.

Livestock guardian dogs can multi-task and are capable of instantly switching from gentle companion to strong defender.

They work around the clock, sleeping for short periods but all the while ready to protect, defend and fight.

LGD Livestock Guard Dog breeds

The appearance, personalities, and working styles of livestock guard dog breeds vary, and most people find some breeds more appropriate than others for a specific situation.

Similarities between dog breeds

Most of the livestock guard dog breeds share these characteristics:

Acute hearing, vision, sense of smell

Physical strength and motivation to resist predators

Independent mindset unlike that of other dogs, requiring training and supervision by an alpha human

Calm, steady demeanor when all is well; relentless aggression toward intruding predator

Wariness toward strangers until introduced by trusted human

Gentleness with young stock and children

Need for a job: something or someone to protect and socialize with

Need for plenty of room and plenty of high quality food

Mature at 18 months to 3 years of age

Height/weight range from 25-34” at withers, 80-165#

Double coat, thick fur around neck

Tendency to expand territory if given opportunity

Differences between dog breeds

Some variations among breeds or breed lines include:

Specific age of maturity

Coat color, texture, and length

Tendency to guard territory vs. priority of guarding stock

Tendency to wander vs. tendency to stay close to stock

Will want to assist with sheep and goat births vs. tendency to stand back

Following are some brief descriptions of the livestock guard dog breeds most commonly found outside of Europe and Asia. 

Livestock Guardian Dog Anatolian Shepherd
Livestock Guardian Dog Anatolian Shepherd

AKBASH

From western Turkey

Lean build

Medium to long white coat

Maturity: around three years

See Akbash Dogs International

ANATOLIAN SHEPHERD

From central Turkey

Muscular neck/head, leaner body

Short to medium length wiry coat

Range of coat colors from white to black, solid to patterned, with or without mask

Maturity: around three years

See Anatolian Dog

Guardian Dog Great Pyrenees
Guardian Dog Great Pyrenees

GREAT PYRENEES

From southern France/northern Spain

Lean build

Long white coat, may have gray/rust/tan near face

Maturity: around two years

See Great Pyrenees Club of America

KOMONDOR

From Hungary

Robust, strong build

Long corded white coat at maturity

Maturity: around three years

See Komondor Club of America

KUVASZ

From Hungary

Lean build

Medium white coat, can be wavy

Maturity: around two years

Guard Dog Maremma Sheepdogs
Guard Dog Maremma Sheepdogs

MAREMMA SHEEPDOG

From Italy

Muscular build

Thick white or cream coat

Maturity: around two years

See Maremmano

Several other livestock guardian dog breeds are becoming more available.

Some others are: Armenian Gampr, Central Asia Shepherd, Kangal, Polish Tatra, Sarplaninac, Russian Ovcharka, and Tibetan Mastiff.

Considering an livestock guardian dog?

When investigating livestock guardian dog breeds, we suggest evaluating all the different breeds available.

Once you select a few breeds, look for breeds people respect and trust.

Initiate email or phone conversations to get a sense of the breeder’s values and standards and to learn if the breed is right for you.

Also ask about the specific characteristics of the breeder’s lines and if the dog will be suitable for your property, family, and priorities.

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Make sure someone trained the dog and it wasn’t a show dog

One point to note: Some Livestock guardian dog breeds, including the Anatolian Shepherd, Great Pyrenees, and Komondor, have been recognized by the AKC as eligible for the show ring.

Many breeders begin to select for appearance and form rather than working capabilities.

Therefore, some dogs among the livestock guardian dog breeds have never worked.

Their mothers weren’t able to train them to patrol boundaries and watch over livestock.

We recommend purchasing a Livestock guardian dog from a working farm rather than a show home.

Not only is it important to retain the work ethic and skills in the bloodlines, but the mother’s early training is extremely valuable for the later success of a livestock guardian dog.

Before we bought our Livestock guardian dogs, we spent about a year on this investigation process, evaluating every possibility, before narrowing it down to a breed and breeder.

Whether you live or work on a ranch or want to keep a livestock guardian dog to watch your animals at home, these dogs will work hard for you.

Learn what they need and how to care for them well.

They will protect your livestock and provide you security.

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Basics of Caring for Livestock – Different Animals Certain Requirements

Caring for Livestock, Caring Livestock

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Caring for livestock can be difficult if you don’t know the basics. While different animals may have certain different requirements, there are some basic needs that are common for all livestock.

You need to take some necessary steps to ensure your livestock gets through the toughest seasons.

Basics of Caring for Livestock – Provide Shelter

The most basic part of caring for livestock.

You can’t leave your livestock outside all the time; they will need a shelter to get inside for the night.

Milk producing livestock like goats, cattle, pigs or cows can be vulnerable at cold nights and can get frozen teats.

This can result in lower milk production.

Caring for Livestock
Caring for Livestock

Providing protection for your animals will keep them happier, more productive and relaxed.

It also depends on your climate.

Shelters come in a variety of forms and types such as barns and pole sheds, solid or semi solid fences, tree belts and thickets.

Make sure that the shelter is dry and clean.

Build a shelter according to the size of your livestock, giving proper ventilation but not making it too drafty.

Having many animals means you should build a larger shelter with adequate space and proper bedding.

The bedding will require regular cleaning as soiled bedding leads to pneumonia.

Learn about the best miniature cattle breeds for your small farm for a great supply of milk.

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Provision of Adequate Water

Providing your livestock with adequate amounts of water is essential.

Especially for those animals that are being milked.

Water fills them up, which in turn requires less feeding.

Water helps regulate body temperature so make sure to provide water that is not cold.

In winter it is better to heat the water up a little.

Giving cold water will lower the body temperature, which means the livestock will need to burn more calories to increase their body temperature.

This will require you to feed them more.

The right amount of clean water is crucial for your animals’ health.

It helps to prevent risks of impaction or colic.

Nutritious Feed

Livestock need nutrients to maintain their health; an important aspect of caring for livestock.

You need to provide them with food, a proper supplement formulated balanced nutrition.

Having a nice percentage of minerals, vitamins and protein, these provide more energy than forages.

For winter the feed needs to be increased.

The lower the temperature, the more the livestock will need to consume in order to maintain body heat.

It is important to monitor the intake of your individual animals.

Feeding small amounts after every few hours will help reduce waste, if you have a small number of livestock.

Manure and Mud

Having large quantities of mud and manure accumulate in your livestock’s shelter can make your animals uncomfortable.

Rain and night chills don’t help the situation.

This is a prerequisite to getting sick.

Reduce the buildup of manure and mud mixture.

Use fresh sand, wood chip, gravel and tile across the shelter floor as and when necessary.

Caring for livestock can be a rewarding venture.

Whether you are looking to run a livestock farm as a major source of income or just for the sake of having a farm that you always wanted, these basic guidelines will help you care better for your livestock.

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How to Care for Animals in a Natural Disaster

When a natural disaster hits, some animals know what to do.

Raccoons know how to search for food amid the upheaval.

Black bears and ground-dwelling birds seek shelter under the tree limbs and trunks suddenly uprooted.

Yet, typically, these animals, especially domesticated house pets, are just as shaken by the conditions as we are.

Pet evacuation kit
Cat evacuation kit
NOAA weather radio

In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, and Hurricane Maria, many are wondering how to care for cats, dogs, rabbits and more as thousands of pets have become displaced.

There are a few key ways you can make sure to protect your furry loved ones when nature strikes.

It just takes some preparation.

Depending on your location, you may decide to either evacuate the storm or stay put.

There are ways to care for animals in both scenarios.

Having emergency lighting is the first thing.

Just like their owners, when they can see, they will feel more in control of their situation.

Care for animals while you wait out the storm

It’s important to know how to care for animals during a natural disaster.

If you opt to seek shelter inside your home, bring your animals in with you.

Don’t wait until it’s beginning to storm outside, but rather take caution plenty ahead of time.

If you typically allow your pets to roam freely in your home, consider their usual favorite hiding spots.

This might be under a bed or in the corner of a room.

Consider if these areas might prove hazardous during a natural disaster.

care for animals
Your pets will need you to survive. Be prepared with the basics.

In this case, it’s best to keep your animals in a carrier if possible.

Doing so provides an added sense of security and protection.

Find a spot in your home that’s safe to wait out the storm and bring the carrier in there with you.

Owning a pet carrier is also a good idea should disaster strike, and you do need to pack up and leave.

When you plan for emergencies, you must factor in your pets as well.

Just as you are purchasing extra water and nonperishable food, you should have an extra supply of the basics for your pets.

Caring for animals when you evacuate

If a natural disaster is heading directly your way, you may choose to evacuate.

If this is the case, there are other preventative measures to take as you care for animals.

As soon as you decide to head out of town, check and see if there are any pet-friendly evacuation centers in the city where you’re headed.

For the most part, general population shelters have a no-pet policy, so doing a little research beforehand is a great way to keep your pets with you if possible.

In the same vein, if you’re looking to board a horse, look to see if emergency stabling is available.

If you locate a shelter that accepts pets, be sure to have the following on hand as you evacuate:

A copy of their medical records and vaccinations

Proof of your residency in a disaster zone

Pet food and supplies (enough to last for two weeks)

You can also check to see if local hotels or motels allow pets.

Though most have a no-pet policy, some will defer that rule in the event of an emergency situation.

During the disaster: easing the impact

When you’re in the thick of a natural disaster, you don’t want to have to scramble around trying to find your pet’s medicines or litter scooper.

Create a survival kit full of things you and your pet will need to ride out the storm.

You’ll have everything you need, even if you lose power. Here are a few essentials to remember:

Water

Collapsible feeding bowls

Cat litter box and accessories

Pet medications

Animal first-aid items

While typically for dogs and cats, a pet evacuation kit is handy. An added benefit is everything is already in a bag, ready to grab and go.

In general, it’s also smart to have a hand crank or solar radio to keep up with important news.

Prepare in advance for a power outage.

You will be that much calmer for your animals when you do lose power.

Updating Identification Tags

At the same time, it’s also a good idea to go ahead and update your pet’s identification tags.

In the event that your furry friend gets separated from the rest of your family, these can prove invaluable in helping facilitate a reunion.

This step is especially important for large-breed animals such as cows and horses.

As necessary, make sure your animals are identifiable.

Identification Tags

Microchipping

Taking a picture of your pet

Tattooing

Branding

Aiding in recovery efforts

There are steps you can take now to make the post-storm recovery effort go as smoothly and successfully as possible.

Especially if you’re riding out the storm from home, it’s wise to invest in a few “Pet Inside” stickers, available online.

Place these waterproof stickers on the outside of your home’s exterior doors and windows.

That way, rescue workers can easily identify that you have an animal inside and take proper precautions to ensure the safety of your entire family, Fido included.

Updating your buddy system

One of the best ways you can care for animals during a natural disaster is to establish a buddy system.

Do you have a family member who’s great with animals?

What about a few friends, co-workers, or neighbors?

Bring them into your circle so there’s always someone around to give your pet care, even when you’re not available.

Even if you don’t expect a natural disaster to occur, it’s important to set this system up now.

That way, if something out of the ordinary happens while you’re away, your trusted buddies will make sure your pets are taken care of.

To help in recovery efforts, add the name of one or two buddies to your veterinary’s approved emergency contact list.

Then, if your pet is found without you and requires medical treatment, those confidants can speak on your behalf to him the care he needs.

Stick to the plan

Nothing upsets an already-anxious animal quite like switching up a routine last-minute.

Though it’s understandable that plans change, especially in the wake of a storm, it’s important to create a route ahead of time and adhere to it as closely as possible.

Why? Doing so will make you calmer, which in turn will make your dog or cat more relaxed.

If you’re scurrying to find your keys or rushing or locate your dog’s water bowl as a natural disaster is impending, you’ll undoubtedly feel stressed and anxious yourself.

These are emotions that your pet can easily sense.

Being prepared is essential to your well being and your pet’s safety.

To prevent delays and secure your well-being, lay out your plans as soon as possible, and practice any escape routes well in advance.

That way, when the time comes, you’ll know just what to do, and how to help your pet navigate as well.

Rural living involves caring for your animals and learning homesteading best practices to embrace nature and be more self-sufficient.

We have resources for emergency preparedness, including the importance of getting a generator, and more.