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Your resource for advice from Hubbard® Life experts.


This 4-H Dad is Proud as a Peacock

Last week was our county fair, and it also marked the last year of my daughter’s 4-H career.

Due to major interstate road construction all around the fairgrounds this year, total numbers of animals and people were down, but not the kids’ excitement at the big 4-H horse show!

The covered horse arena is next to a four-lane highway with lots of people standing around the fence. Both can be a major distraction for 4-H’ers and horses. But my daughter, Ally, and her horse, Dina, showed them what hours and hours of working as a team can do.

I had to leave on a business trip during that show but when I returned, her stall door was decorated in so many blue and red ribbons that it barely fit. How can that not bring a tear to this dad’s eye, to see my daughter proud of her accomplishments as she shows them to me?

Even after the main horse show, Ally and Dina still had one more class to enter. I had noticed a more-than-normal amount of feathers and blue cloth around the kitchen table ahead of the show, but I did not think too much about it (those types of things are normal for us). 

On Thursday morning last week, I told Ally and her mom that I would take care of the animals at home myself so they could get ready for the costume class. It is usually one of the crowd’s favorite shows.

I arrived at the arena just as Ally and Dina were making their way from the barn. Ally had taken all the peacock feathers and made a beautiful headdress and blanket for Dina. Ally wore a matching decorated blue dress and had decorated her riding helmet (required safety for all 4-H horse activities).

When she climbed on Dina, it was a match made in heaven. Ally started the show and 10 other kids did a wonderful job with their horses too. Even the last one, which was a horse with just a pink blanket, was awesome for it was to honor their grandmother who just died of cancer. 

I knew the judges would have a very hard time making a decision. But when Ally’s name was called as the winner, I think I could have run up beside her and would have blended right in for I was as proud as a peacock of my youngest daughter!

Posted on 8/29/2013 by Dr. Ed Bonnette  |  Category: Equine
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Healthy Animals are Parasite Free

Having animal’s parasite free is important although unfortunately it may not be absolutely possible 100 percent of the time. However, a scheduled program for internal and external parasites is a must for your animal’s health. 

You can find information about parasites by searching the web for ‘internal and external parasites in…’, then add the animal; for instance ‘dogs’. 

For internal parasites, worms are the most common and for external parasites we are concerned with fleas, ticks and mites primarily. The best source of local information is your veterinarian who can make you aware of the local parasites your animal may be exposed to and can help set up a control program. Programs vary from region to region so if you are moving to a new area contact a veterinarian in that area to start on a program specific for the new location.

If you have not yet established a parasite control program for your animals the best time to start is NOW! If you have a program, follow it rigidly so parasite re-infestations are controlled. If you notice an unexpected weight loss, rubbing, scratching, energy loss or parasites on your animal or in their feces contact your veterinarian and review/update the control program. Avoid home remedies as the remedy may cause damage to the animal’s skin or digestive track. Follow the use directions on all products and only use it for the animal it is made for. Inspect your animals frequently for parasites.
 
Animals look and perform better when they are on a program to control parasites. They digest their food better which helps young animals grow faster and reduces the amount of food required for older animals to maintain proper body weight. They are more alert and active. Hubbard® Life products are formulated to optimize your animal’s nutritional needs. You can learn more at www.hubbardlife.com.

Stop in at your local Hubbard Feeds dealer and ask about our line of Hubbard Life Canine products.
Our team of salespeople and dealers are available to answer your questions about feeding, housing, health and management.
 

Posted on 8/8/2013 by Dr. Dave Whittington  |  Category: Dog
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Thumper Hops onto the Scene: Rabbits are great pets for kids

My niece, Lexi, decided to get her first rabbit a few weeks ago. She found a reasonably priced rabbit hutch on a garage sale and that set everything in motion.

Lexi is 9-years-old, loves animals and the outdoors and already cares for a fish, five cats and their kittens, and a Jack Russell Terrier named “Jack”. A bunny seemed a natural fit. On a vacation to Aunt Amy’s house, one of our destinations was the pet store that Lexi fell in love with on an earlier visit.

We entered the store with the pet carrier in hand ready to find her a new pal. It did not take long for Thumper (that’s what she named him) to catch her eye. He is an Otter, a breed I was not familiar with. He is mostly black in color with white and gray markings around the eyes, neck and belly.

The clerk at the pet store was helpful to us in explaining the age of the rabbits on sale and how to give it the best care while taking it to a new home. She made a good point – since Lexi is a first time bunny owner, it would be wise to choose a little older bunny that was well past the stresses involved in weaning.

Thumper was very active, had a lot of “personality” and the bonus – he was potty trained! That may not appear significant at first for a rabbit outside in a hutch, but a trained rabbit deposits all of the waste in one concentrated area making it easier to scoop clean. We really felt we hit the jackpot when we checked out with Thumper and all the new supplies for his hutch.

Lexi turned to me for her rabbit food since I work for the feed company. We got Thumper started on Hubbard® Life Rabbit Familyettes. This is a high quality, 18 percent protein complete feed formulated specifically for rabbits. I’m happy to say Thumper loves it and is doing well. The 1/8-inch mini-pellet reduces feed waste. Some of the special ingredients help with optimal digestion and another controls ammonia odor. You can learn more about Hubbard® Life Rabbit Familyettes and other products for all varieties of animals at www.HubbardLife.com.

Next summer Lexi would like to take Thumper to the county fair as her 4-H project. I would encourage people to consider a bunny for the children in their lives. Rabbits are relatively inexpensive and easy animals to raise.

Two cautions when shopping for your bunny to make sure it appears healthy include the following:
  • Make sure the rabbit has a good, dry backside. If the rabbit has diarrhea, you should be skeptical. Mucoid enteritis (or diarrhea) accounts for a high percentage of death in young rabbits. The greatest mortality occurs in age groups 5-9 weeks, just before or after weaning.
  • Make sure the eyes and nose are clear with no mucous build-up and no sneezing.
Hubbard Life has a number of nutritionists who can help you decide the best nutrition and care options for your rabbits and other special pets.

Posted on 8/7/2013 by Amy Brown  |  Category: Rabbit
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