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Understanding Animal Behaviors On and Off The Farm

Home Animals Understanding Animal Behaviors On and Off The Farm

Ever wish you could understand animal behaviors? What are your animals thinking? What’s really going on in those curious little brains? Here’s some things to keep in mind – on and off the farm. As told by one of our expert homesteaders.

Understanding Animal Behaviors On and Off The Farm

By Kathy Bernier

People who insist that animals don’t have language are people who have not spent much time around animals. Either that, or they haven’t been paying much attention.

Not only do animals communicate clearly with other individuals within their own kind, but it is not uncommon for connections to take place across species and among profoundly different types of animals.

I am not a scientist by trade, but I am by nature an observer of behavior. I also spend a lot of time around animals, from dogs to cattle to wildlife, and one thing is made clear to me: they understand each other’s dialects. As a homesteader and nature-lover, I have learned the importance of becoming fluent in animal language.

Listen and Learn From Your Animal’s Behavior

In understanding what animals are trying to tell us, the most important component is to listen and observe. Much of what animals have to say flies under the radar of humans around them. Interactions can be subtle, and can happen so quickly that we don’t always even notice. Most humans will not catch it all, but the more we pick up on, the better grasp we will have on what is being said.

Among animals, as within human language, most communication is about more than words. Some studies say that over half of the messages conveyed from one person to another do not even involve sound at all, but rather posture and facial expressions. Of the actual audio, most of what is said has to do with factors such as tone, volume, and pitch.

Most of us have been immersed in human society our entire life and have learned to read the delicate nuances of nonverbal communication without even realizing we are doing so. When adapting to the language of animals, we might need to be a little more intentional about picking it up.

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Read Their Body Language

Like us, animals use a lot of different tools to impart meaning. In addition to body language that includes stomping feet, lowering heads, baring teeth, dropping ears, averting gazes, and swishing tails; they employ the senses of smell and taste to tell their stories as well.

GOATS | Understanding Animal Behaviors On and Off The Farm

My morning on the homestead includes plenty of animal interactions. The cat yeowls to be let out and the dog wags her tail in adaptation of being petted on the head before I even leave the house. Once outside, I see squirrels and birds, and hear activity in the backyard. Chickens thump around inside their house as they jostle in line for the door and wait for it to be opened for them, squawking in impatience and warning to the others.

Other livestock reacts to the morning as well. Goats vie to be first out the door, steers look up from their grazing with an inquisitive gaze, and young pigs emit high-pitched squeals as they race in excited circles around the pen in the anticipation of breakfast.

Raising Cows | Understanding Animal Behaviors On and Off The Farm

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In the pasture and forest, crows and jays sound out an indignant cacophony, white-tail deer flag their tails as a warning of danger, and red squirrels sputter garrulous accusations among themselves.

Deer Flagging | Understanding Animal Behaviors On and Off The Farm

Everybody seems like they are communicating with only their own. And maybe that is true, at least in as much as who they are all talking to. Sheep are talking to other sheep. Field mice are sending messages to other mice. Robins are singing a song to other robins. But they are all listening, all the time. Every animal is paying attention to what the others have to say, and so should we.

Every animal is paying attention to what the others have to say, and so should we.

One of the best examples of this on my homestead is when a chicken calls an alarm. I hear it and I get it. My dog gets it, too. The larger livestock animals do as well. None of us speak “chicken,” per se, but we all know what that particular vocalization means, and we all know how to react.

Raising Chickens | Understanding Animal Behaviors On and Off The Farm

Understanding Animal Warning Signs

Wildlife creatures sound an alarm in a similar manner. Crows have a distinctive call for danger which they use for faces they don’t recognize. Blue jays cream “Thief! Thief!” in the presence of strangers. Hares start and run. Beavers slap their tails. Other woodland animals recognize these sounds and behaviors as a warning that trouble is afoot, causing deer to stand stock still and coyotes to slink off surreptitiously.

As a farmer, I need to know what my animals are telling me. If a goat is hanging its face down and toward the wall, it probably isn’t feeling well and needs to be looked after. If it is standing stock still with its front legs rigid, staring, there is something out of place. If the chickens are traveling as an aggregate with a dozen of them huddled into a space no bigger than a bathtub as they move around, they are terrified. If a steer is wide-eyed and nostrils flaring, it is sensing danger.

If one of my animals is saying there is something amiss, I need to be aware. One morning a few years ago my goats were acting strangely. Awkward and jerky, hypertensive to every move and sound. They kept gathering at the open back gate looking out, shoulder-to-shoulder like penguins pushing and shoving at the water’s edge, each trying to get somebody else to venture in first. I gave a cursory glance out back and didn’t see anything. I wrote it off as goats being weird and went on to other tasks.

Later in the day, we found a poor juvenile porcupine hooked to the electric mesh fence. It obviously tried to climb the fence, and got itself horribly tangled in the intricate mesh. The image of the poor creature suffering for hours—trying desperately to get loose, grabbing one high-voltage electric wire after another and becoming more and more ensnared—just broke my heart. Why had I not listened to what the goats had tried to tell me?! Had I found the porcupine earlier, I might have been able to unplug the fence and allow it to extricate itself. Instead, the animal had to be euthanized, and my husband spent hours removing the animal from the mesh and repairing the fence.

Porcupine | Understanding Animal Behaviors On and Off The FarmPorcupine | Understanding Animal Behaviors On and Off The Farm

My dog gets what other animals are telling her. She whines at the shed door when the cat is waiting to come in, keeps her distance when a goat postures angrily at her, and stands by submissively while the older dog laps the grease out of a pan.

Raising Dogs | Understanding Animal Behaviors On and Off The Farm

She sends out plenty of messages of her own, as well. It is said that dogs can smell fear. I do not know if that is true, but I do know that my dog emits a particular scent of her own when she is frightened. A strong distinctive musky smell always accompanies us to the vet and is evident after meeting up with an aggressive dog.

It pays when humans understand what companion animals are trying to tell us. A dog lowering its ears in relaxed friendliness is probably safer to approach than one averting its gaze or sniffing the ground in discomfort. A cat squeezing its eyes open and shut is probably happy, but one laying its ears back is not.

I spent a lot of time rubbing elbows with the wild world as well, and understanding the messages being sent by woodland creatures is an important skill. Is the yapping for fiercely guarding its den or just singing a happy song? Is the moose knee-deep in bog water considering me a threat that must be dealt with, or is its intense gaze one of curiosity?

Moose | Understanding Animal Behaviors On and Off The Farm

Tuning in to what others are saying is an important skill for everyone, and nowhere is it more useful than in dealing with animals. By using all of our senses and practicing keen observation, we can learn to understand what our pets are thinking, keep our livestock safe, and live in harmony with the creatures of the wild.

Do you think animals have human emotions too? Watch it here with DNews:

Have you observed anything like this from your animals? Let us know below in the comments

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NYC Adds Nearly 4,000 People Who Never Tested Positive To Coronavirus Death Tolls

New York City added nearly 4,000 people who never tested positive for the coronavirus to its death toll Tuesday, bringing coronavirus-related deaths in the city to around 10,000 people.

The city decided to add 3,700 people to its death tolls, who they “presumed” to have died from the virus, according to a report from The New York Times. The additions increased the death toll in the U.S. by 17%, according to the Times report, and included people who were suffering from symptoms of the virus, such as intense coughing and a fever.

The report stated that Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio decided over the weekend to change the way the city is counting deaths.

“In the heat of battle, our primary focus has been on saving lives,” de Blasio press secretary Freddi Goldstein told the Times.“As soon as the issue was raised, the mayor immediately moved to release the data.”

The post New York City added nearly 4,000 people who never tested positive for the coronavirus to its death toll appeared first on Daily Caller

This Article Was Originally Posted On dailycaller.com Read the Original Article here

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Self Sufficiency

How To Make Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut In A Mason Jar

The thing about homesteading is you get to create your own ingredient right from scratch! Cheese, yogurt, butter and now sauerkraut, a delightfully sour and crunchy ingredient you can use on your meals — or consume by itself — while on a homestead, or while facing this health crisis!

This homemade sauerkraut is a great meal because it has a long shelf life. You can either make plain sauerkraut or mix it with herbs and spices. In this tutorial let us make Lacto-fermented sauerkraut that preserves all the good probiotics in a jar, good for your guts.

So how to make sauerkraut in a mason jar?

RELATED: How To Make Buttermilk On Your Homestead

Delicious Sauerkraut Recipe Every Homesteader Should Know

Why Make Sauerkraut?

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Not only does sauerkraut spoil a long time, but it is also a meal in itself, and it is also easy to make! You don’t need to be an expert cook, all you need to do is follow these simple steps.

So let us get started. Here are the steps in making sauerkraut in a mason jar.

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of cabbage or 2 1/2 lbs cabbage
  • 1 tablespoon of salt

Tools Needed:

  • knife
  • bowl
  • mason jar
  • smaller jar
  • rubber band

Step 1: Wash & Clean the Tools & Ingredients



Wash all the equipment and utensils you need. Wash your hands too.

You don’t want to mix your sauerkraut with bad bacteria, anything that is going to make you sick.

Next, remove the faded leaves from your cabbage. Cut off the roots and the parts that don’t seem fresh.

Step 2: Cut the Cabbage Into Quarters & Slice Into Strips



Cut your cabbage into quarters and remove the core. Then, slice it into strips.

Step 3: Place in a Bowl & Sprinkle With Salt



Put the stripped cabbage into a bowl. Sprinkle the cabbage with 1 tablespoon of salt.

TIP: Use canning salt or sea salt. Iodized salt will make it taste different and may not ferment the cabbage.

RELATED: Homemade Yogurt Recipe

Step 4: Massage the Cabbage



Massage the cabbage for five minutes or more to get the juice out.

TIP: You’ll know it’s ready when you see a bit of juice at the bottom of the bowl and will look similar to coleslaw.

Step 5: Press Cabbage Into the Mason Jar



Add the cabbage to the mason jar gradually. Press it in hard to allow the juice to come out. Do this every time you add about a handful of cabbage.

IMPORTANT: Food should be covered by the liquid to promote fermentation. Add any excess liquid from the bowl to the jar.

Step 6: Press a Smaller Jar Into the Mason Jar



You want to squeeze every ounce of that juice from the cabbage. To do this place the mason jar in a bowl and get a smaller jar.

Fill it with water or marble to make it heavy. Press it into the bigger mason jar. Allow any juices to rise to the surface.

Step 7: Cover the Jars With Cloth & Tie With Rubber Band



Leave the small jar on. To keep your jars clean from annoying insects and irritating debris, cover your jars with a clean cloth. Then, use a rubber band to tie the cloth and the jars together, putting them in place.

Step 8: Set Aside & Check Daily

Set it aside in a cool dry place, away from direct sunlight. Check the water level daily. It should always be above the cabbage.

Step 9: Taste Your Sauerkraut & Keep at Cool Temperatures

Homemade Sauerkraut Cumin Juniper | How To Make Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut In A Mason Jar

After about five days, you can taste your sauerkraut. If the taste is to your liking, tightly cover it with the lid and store in the fridge or cellar.

NOTE: If after five days it’s still not your desired taste, leave it for a few more days. This will allow the fermentation process to continue.

You can now enjoy your sauerkraut in a mason jar. Enjoy its goodness! You can use it as a side dish or mix it with your favorite sandwich.

Things to Remember in Making Sauerkraut

  • Store away from direct sunlight and drafts.
  • Colder weather will make the process longer. Spring is the best time to make them since the warmth helps activate the fermentation.
  • Always make sure that the cabbage is below the water level during the entire fermentation process.
  • If the water level decreases during the fermentation process, you can make a brine and add it.

Let us watch this video from Kristina Seleshanko on how to make delicious Lacto-fermented sauerkraut in a mason jar!

So there you have it! Making Lacto-fermented sauerkraut in a mason jar is as easy as slicing the cabbage into strips. Remember that as long it remains unopened, your sauerkraut can last for months. Best of all, you can partner this sauerkraut in many recipes.

What do you think of this homemade recipe? Share your best sauerkraut recipe in the comments section below!

Fellow homesteaders, do you want to help others learn from your journey by becoming one of our original contributors? Write for us!

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Self Sufficiency

9 SPRING VEGETABLES FOR YOUR GARDEN

Having plants in the house will bring peace to people. Having a little garden with vegetables is even better! You can grow these vegetables in your backyard garden easily as well!

RELATED: Microgreens Growing Guide

In this article:

  1. Tomato
  2. Eggplant
  3. Beet
  4. Spinach
  5. Pea
  6. Carrot
  7. Radish
  8. Cauliflower
  9. Asparagus

Growing veggies in your garden will give you an opportunity to understand what you eat and value it more. Early spring is when most vegetables are being planted. Keep reading to learn about 9 spring vegetables that anyone can grow in their garden!

Tomato

Tomato is the most popular garden vegetable in the States! There are different varieties to choose from. Tomatoes need to be planted in early spring because they won’t survive a frost.

Because tomatoes are consumed daily, try adding them to your garden! They’re not difficult to grow either.

Eggplant

Eggplants are known to have low-calorie, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Plus, they are delicious! So why not plant them in your garden?

Eggplants shouldn’t be planted too early because they won’t be able to survive a frost. So you could consult an expert in your area before you plant your eggplants.

Beets

Beets are known to be a superfood for its various health benefits. They’re easier to grow in the garden, usually around late March or early April.

If the weather is always cool, beets will keep getting bigger and bigger. Once the weather starts to warm up, you’ll need to harvest them, or they’ll go to waste.

Spinach

Spinach is a delicious early spring veggie, and it’s also very beneficial for health. And it’s not difficult to grow spinach in your garden!

Spinach needs cold weather to grow. Getting spinach to grow is easy, but keeping it growing will require some extra care.

Pea

Peas are usually planted in late April. Peas will die in freezing temperatures, but they also won’t survive the heat either. So make sure you plant your peas in early spring.

Peas are widely used in many different ways, and there are different types of peas. The soil you’ll be planting your peas should be suitable for them, so make sure you ask while buying seeds.

Carrot

There are different types of carrots, but regardless of their size and color, it’s a fact that carrots are both delicious and rich in vitamins.

They’re root vegetables, so with proper sun and watering, they can be picked up as baby carrots as well.

Radish

A radish is an excellent option for beginners because it doesn’t require too much care. Radish is easy to harvest.

Radish grows fast, so it’s better to keep an eye on it after a few weeks. Radish usually is grown pest-free, but there’s always the chance of unwanted guests, so watch out for worms. Radish can be eaten raw or can be added to garnish recipes.

Cauliflower

Cauliflower isn’t the easiest vegetable to grow at home, but it is very popular.

Cauliflower grows better in colder weather, so before you plant it, consider the climate of your garden. Cauliflower can be eaten raw or cooked, and it is known to be very beneficial for health.

Asparagus

Freshly picked, tender asparagus is very delicious!

Asparagus plants get more productive with each harvest, and mature asparagus harvest can last for months! Make sure you plant them at the correct time, or else they might go to waste.

All the vegetables listed above are great for your healthy diet, and it’s fun to watch them grow. So don’t miss out on the opportunity to grow your own veggies and eat healthy this spring!

So tell us which veggies will you be growing this spring? Tell us in the comments section!

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