The Omlet Blog Archives: April 2021

Amazing Health Benefits of Eggs: Why Eggs Are Good For You

Eggs can be consumed in lots of different ways, and are used in lots of wonderful, delicious recipes we all know and love. But do you know fact from fiction when it comes to the health benefits of eggs? Read on to crack the case…

Let’s break down the myths first

“Eating eggs causes bad cholesterol and can lead to cardiovascular problems…” – A prejudice from the 1980s, before scientists demonstrated the benefits of eggs.

Eggs do not cause bad cholesterol in your body. The egg yolk contains about 200mg of cholesterol, making it one of the foods with the highest amount of cholesterol. However, once ingested, this cholesterol does not remain in the body. About 25% of the cholesterol in the food we eat is absorbed by the intestine.

About 75% of the cholesterol in the blood, as shown on your blood test, is produced by the liver. Cholesterol is the result of an unbalanced diet, made up of foods rich in saturated fats (butter, cheese, cold cuts, etc.), which will cause your body to over-produce “bad cholesterol”. Once again, the egg is not responsible for this. Your body is simply out of balance, notably by an inadequate diet, and ends up producing more cholesterol than it needs. However, avoid eating fried eggs or eggs with toast and butter every morning. If you combine eggs with fatty acids, you are likely to increase your “bad cholesterol” levels.

Eggs are not responsible for clogged arteries or cardiovascular problems. It’s all a question of balance. A healthy person can eat up to 6 eggs a week.

Eggs: a fabulous source of micro and macro nutrients

First of all, it’s interesting to know that an egg contains only 90 calories!

Whether it’s the yolk or the white, eggs are full of nutrients and vitamins that are useful for your body to function properly. Eggs contain carotenoids, antioxidants that help to fight against age-related diseases, especially eyesight. But not only that!

Eggs are rich in protein (2 eggs are equivalent to 100g of meat), vitamins A, D, E, K, B2 and N12, as well as phosphorus, magnesium, potassium and minerals, all of which keep your body in perfect working order. Two eggs at 90 calories each and you can make an omelette! Its appetite-suppressant effect makes it a food to include in your meals if you want to feel fuller for longer. Proteins are also involved in the proper functioning and maintenance of muscle tissues.

The vitamin B present in eggs helps your brain to function properly: memory and concentration.

Eggs can be consumed by pregnant women, as the nutrients present in eggs, including vitamin B9, help the growth and proper development of the fetus.

Eggs contain Zinc (for hormone regulation) and with the proteins and vitamins they provide, eggs are a real ally for your hair! There are many recipes on the internet for caring for your hair with the eggs you have on hand.

Top tip: one egg, a few drops of sweet almond oil (no more than 4) and a spoonful of honey and your hair will thank you! Leave on for 10 minutes and rinse thoroughly.

And don’t forget the joy of delicious eggs, after all it’s good for your health but it’s also tasty! Eggs can be used in many different ways, allowing us to vary our meals, to vary our recipes, to vary between sweet and salty. Whether you like eggs fried, boiled, scrambled, in quiche, in cake or in pancakes, there is something for everyone.

You can find our latest cake recipes here or do you want to try out a delicious banana bread? For the perfect pancake recipe click here.

How to choose your eggs

The nutrient content may vary slightly depending on the origin of the eggs you consume. The Omega 3 content may be lower if you buy your eggs from a cage farm instead of an organic farm.

What is the difference between AA, A, and B Grade Eggs?

AA= The Egg whites are thick and firm. The yolk is high raised and free from defects. The shell is clean and unbroken

A = Egg whites are less firm, yolk reasonably high, and shell is free of cracks

B = Egg white is thin, yolk is flatter, and is used in in frozen or dried products

 

Have you considered keeping chickens yourself to benefit from the joy of collecting fresh eggs in the morning? As you have seen, eggs are useful for your body and delicious! Having them on hand, without worrying about going shopping, is a real pleasure.

Omlet’s egg skelter and Egg Ramp keep your eggs neatly arranged and stored in order of laying. This ensures that you always use the oldest eggs first, so there is no waste.

Pro tip: to tell if an egg is still fresh, take a glass of water and put the egg inside. If it sinks, the egg is still good, if it floats, the egg is no longer fresh and should not be eaten.

Eggs have many benefits and it is good to eat them every week. The rule of everything in moderation is essential to have a balanced and healthy diet while enjoying delicious recipes.

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This entry was posted in Chickens on April 28th, 2021 by alisa.deluca


Pride of Omlet: Mipit Makes Sense

 

This article is a part of our Pride of Omlet series, a collection of amazing stories which shine the spotlight on extraordinary pets and share their selflessness, bravery, talent and compassion with the world.

-Written by Anneliese Paul

Mipit is a Mental Health Assistance Dog for his human, Henley. Mipit keeps Henly alive and independent. Who wouldn’t love a dog that can put out your recycling, answer your phone, and be your best friend, come rain or shine?

Six years ago, homeless and experiencing mental health crisis, Henley was given a glimmer of hope when she was offered a flat. She reconnected with her mum and dad, and slowly, life started to improve with their help. But something was missing. Henley needed a companion.

Henley’s autistic and always wanted an autism assistance dog, but by now, Henley was too old to apply. One day, Henley and her mum went to get their hair cut. The hairdresser suggested they go to the nearby pet shop to ask if they knew of any puppies; the pet shop gave her two phone numbers. As Henley was leaving the shop, she spotted a leaflet on the window about Mental Health Assistance Dog training.

Henley called the breeder’s numbers and soon after brought home her first puppy. A jug (Jack Russel cross Pug) she named Lottie. First, she began training with the Kennel Club good citizen dog scheme and then assistance dog training with Darwin Dogs. But at six months old, Lottie was attacked by a pack of six dogs, and Henley decided to stop her training to give her time to recover. With Lottie better, Henley felt it would be good for her to have a friend. So she called Lottie’s breeder to see if any more pups were on the way. Luckily Lottie’s grandmother was pregnant, and when the puppies were born, Henley went to visit and brought home Mipit.

Mipit’s a Jug like Lottie, who Henley chose for his rebellious nature, but despite wayward first appearances, he’s proven to be intelligent, loving and loyal. Within a few weeks, Mipit was doing things that Lottie had taken months to learn, and Henley decided to focus her assistance dog training with Mipit.

He flew through both bronze and silver Kennel Club assessments by the age of one. He was too young to start gold, so Henley started assistance dog training. In under two years, he’d completed all three levels. Lottie had taken the same time to complete only one. Mipit’s instinctive with training. “He can see into the future,” says Henley. “It’s like he already knows before you’ve trained him.”

Henley uses a wheelchair and Mipit is always beside her, ready to help. He opens doors, picks up the phone and takes out the recycling. He does things to make Henley laugh, like playing hide and seek under the duvet. He never turns off. Mipit’s training with Darwin Dogs is unlike any other assistance dog training. Henley has developed a partnership with him to train him in three special skills that are unique to her needs.

Mipits first special skill is to lay flat on Henley’s knee, giving deep pressure therapy to help with the pain she has in her legs. Secondly, he’ll fetch and retrieve anything up to his own body weight. His third skill is a showstopper. If Henley’s been upset anywhere, Mippit will sing to her to help her recover. He often sings Henley out of Sainsbury’s to get her ready for the journey home, and Mipit has become known for his singing in their home town. Sometimes Henley is stopped by people asking, “Are you the one with the singing dog”, and Mipit will gladly give a little performance.

Last year Henley lost her mum. This was devastating for Henley’s mental health. Both Henley and her Dad, Chris, credit Mipit with keeping them a team, working through difficult times and keeping their bond strong. “He forces us to be together in a lovely way. He’ll cuddle Dad and bring him to me. He dives up and gives me kisses when he knows I’m poorly.”

Mipits unconditional and constant devotion to putting a smile on Henley’s face gets her ready for the day, every day. With the help of Mipit and Lottie, Henley hasn’t self-harmed in six years and now lives in a bungalow with a garden with six chickens for company. Soon two rabbits will be joining their extra special support bubble.

Henley’s dad Chris says, “I watch Mipit because he picks up on Henley’s mood. When she’s not feeling good, he moves closer. It gives me comfort to know Mipit is looking after her. He’s a cracking little chap.”

 

 

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This entry was posted in Dogs on April 27th, 2021 by alisa.deluca


Guinea Pig Activities – How to Keep Your Furry Friends Entertained

 

Guinea pigs are sociable, intelligent and playful – and they can get easily bored without enough stimulation. To have a happy and healthy guinea pig you should always have enough toys to keep them occupied. From toys that satisfy their chewing instincts, to those that offer mental stimulation and even their need to explore and exercise. It’s easy to learn how to keep your guinea pig healthy and entertained with these helpful tips.

Guinea pig playtime is something both you and your guinea pigs can happily enjoy together. First, pay attention to your guinea pigs personality, find out what it likes to do: Is he or she timid or curious? Does your guinea pig show interest by chasing a rolling ball? Do they like to chew? This will help you to create games which build around these activities to keep your guinea pig entertained. Always make sure to play in a safe place.

Serve Food with Interactive Feeders

Don’t just put the food in the cage or enclosure, give them a treat that they have to work for! Use our Caddy Treat Holder or fruit and vegetable holders to keep food off the ground and entertain your guinea pigs at the same time. You may also hide the food in a Hay Rack or in a rolled-up kitchen roll. For example, place a piece of cucumber in the middle of the roll and “close” the two sides with hay. Here, the guinea pigs have to eat their way through the hay in order to get to the actual treat. Or simply lure your guinea pigs by offering the food from your hand. But don’t hold it tightly, release it as soon as the guinea pig has bitten.

Another playful way to keep guinea pigs busy with their food is to threaded or fastened vegetables, fruits and herbs on a rope or knotted with clothespins. The guinea pigs then have to make an effort to get to the food. It’s important that the cord is thick enough so that a guinea pig doesn’t get tangled up in a way in which they could get injured.

A great way to give your guinea pig something to nibble would be to buy some chew toys. They love chewing and what would be more perfect than chew toys?

You can also play a chase game with your furry one! Tie a small treat or a toy that your guinea pig loves to piece of string and drag across the floor for them to chase. Make sure you are moving a bit faster than your guinea pig so they can chase after it. This activity is a good way to keep your guinea pig exercising and alert! If you try this out, be extra cautious as to not let your guinea pig get caught in the string or swallow small parts.

You should also make sure to offer your guinea pigs alternatives when it comes to feeding them. For example, in Summer they can enjoy fresh grass and seasonal produce like corn. This not only brings variety to the menu, but also new ways to occupy your guinea pigs.?

Add Obstacles, Tunnels and Tubes 

Tunnels invite you directly to explore and are very popular amongst all guinea pigs. They are prey animals, so having lots of areas for them to hide will make them feel much safer. Set up an obstacle course made of tubes and switch it up every week or so. Your cavy will happily walk through and dash around the tunnels. To make it a bit extra fun for your guinea pig, you can hide some treats in the tunnel/obstacle and your little friend can have a sniff around. Afterwards, they can also even take a nap in the tunnel! Our Zippi Tunnel System and Zippi Run Tunnel Accessories offer more space and an exciting new level for your guinea pigs to enjoy, while encouraging interactive play and exercise to strengthen your pet’s muscles. You can also combine it with our Hay Rack for even more fun!

Why not try out an obstacle course? Just like other animals, guinea pigs enjoy stimulating activities and they are very smart as well! Set up obstacle courses with cardboard boxes or random objects from around the house. Make sure to provide them with enough space to run around and play. If you’re feeling extra crafty, you can make them a maze!

Toy Recommendations 

Provide your guinea pigs with toys such as balls made from plastic, untreated willow or dried grass, and small stuffed toys. Ensure that there are adequate toys for each of your guinea pigs to have at least one of their own at any one time. Make sure to have items, which won’t harm your little friend, e.g. buy a light and small ball which can’t hurt your cavy and which can’t be swallowed.

Try sitting on the floor with your guinea pig and rolling balls to it. You can also use a variety of appropriate and safe bird or cat toys here as well. The hanging bird toys with bells and wooden chew sticks are reported to be safe enough to leave with a piggy, but please remove the bell, unless it’s too large to fit inside a guinea pig’s mouth.

Soft sounds are great tools for training your guinea pig. Use a bell to signal feeding time, and soon your guinea pig will react to the sound. As mentioned in the beginning, if you know the personality of your cavy, you will find the right toy for your guinea pig.

Log bridges are a very popular toy for guinea pigs too. They are very versatile and can be used via GIPHY as a tunnel, shelter, ramp, divider and much more. Garden border edging works great too!

Paper/toilet paper rolls always make a great toy, whether you’re using it as a feeding roll or tunnel. However, at some point we would advise you to cut it lengthways so that any pig poking their heads into it cannot get stuck.

Vary Placement of Enclosure Elements 

Guinea pigs need variety to keep themselves mentally and physically fit. A very simple trick to keep your furry friends entertained is moving the furnishings to a different place after each cleaning of the cage or enclosure. Your guinea pigs will immediately embark on an exploratory tour, sniffing every little house and shelter and jumping on it! Guinea pigs love to rediscover their surroundings while finding even better shelters, playgrounds and viewing platforms. You can hide some treats if you wish, to keep your guinea pig extra amused.

You can attach some nice cozy sleeping areas to the furniture. There’s nothing guinea pigs love more than cozy sleeping areas (unless you include food..). Some popular options include fleece huts or blankets, just be warned that they might go to the bathroom in these.

Make their environment varied and interesting with different levels and areas for your guinea pigs to explore; you can use things like ramps and boxes.

 

Not suitable for Guinea Pig Exercise

Toys: Guinea pigs love to play, but some toys are safer, healthier, and more enjoyable than others. Please always use toys with smooth edges as sharp edges can pose a danger and might hurt your little friend. Moreover, use safe and non toxic toys to gnaw and avoid toys that can be swallowed.

Exercise balls and wheels: These can be even deadly for guinea pigs.Guinea pigs have a different anatomy, and they can badly injure their backs with an exercise ball or wheel. Also, exercise balls are too enclosed and do not provide enough air circulation which can lead to heat stroke. This condition is often fatal for guinea pigs. These activities may be appropriate for some pocket pets like rats, mice, gerbils, and hamsters, but they should never be used for guinea pigs.

Bridges: Bridges are great for your furry friends but please keep in mind, guinea pigs are not necessarily known as the most skillful pets. So, wobble bridges are much more of a danger than a great toy, especially if the pet is not alone in the cage…

Leash/harness: If you think about putting a harness or leash on them, please avoid this. Guinea pigs are by nature flight animals and do not belong on a leash.

If you keep in mind this guidance and advice, your guinea pig will have a lot of fun and will be kept entertained. Try to promote the health of your furry friend and keep your pet amused and happy- your loving little buddy deserves it!


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This entry was posted in Guinea Pigs on April 27th, 2021 by alisa.deluca


5 Ways to Keep Your Birds Happy and Healthy

Birds are extremely affectionate pets that love to thrive in a family environment. You don’t need to be a bird expert to keep a small bird under your roof. However, if you want it to thrive and be happy and healthy, there are a few things to consider.

Omlet offers you a list of 5 things to keep in mind when raising a budgie.

1- Consider investing in a cage that respects your pet and its needs

If you decide to adopt a bird, this should be a priority. Make sure you have a cage that meets your bird’s needs and allows it to be happy. A bird needs enough space to stretch its wings and have fun. Make sure the cage is large enough and that it gets enough sunlight. Your bird will need to see light to be able to thrive.

Budgies fly horizontally and do not fly high, so make sure the cage is wide enough.

It is important to choose a cage that is easy to clean, as you will need to spend time keeping your bird’s area clean. This is essential for your bird’s health (and yours). Budgies need to relieve themselves on a regular basis, approximately every 15 minutes, so you need to have easy access to all areas of the cage so that you can clean the entire cage and avoid unpleasant odors and a dirty environment for your little budgie.

You should also consider a cage that can accommodate several birds. Although birds can be kept alone, they do prefer the company of their own kind.

The Omlet solution: The Geo Cage.

The Geo cage complies with current regulations to provide your pet with the space it needs. Its innovative design provides a safe and airy living space for your pet birds. This cage is the result of many years of research to provide your birds with an optimal environment to keep them happy.

This cage not only meets the needs of your birds, but is also functional and can be cleaned quickly and easily. The inside of the cage will be as good as new after your visit. In addition, the Omlet Geo cage offers an exceptional design that allows it to be integrated into any home interior.

The cage is extremely important, as is its location. Remember to place the cage in a room with stable temperatures: not too hot, not too cold. Also avoid rooms that are too noisy with too much traffic and activity. Your birds need peace and quiet. A bright room will make your little bird happy. However, avoid placing the cage too close to windows, as the sun through the glass and the intense heat can be dangerous, or even fatal to your pet.

2- Don’t skimp on accessories

Taking care of your bird is not only about giving it a place to sleep, it is also about allowing it to have fun and discover many things through a variety of accessories. The bathtub is not a trivial accessory: budgies love to stay clean. There are many plastic tubs available that allow your bird to clean itself and feel clean all the time. Choose a bathtub that fits your cage and can easily be installed in it. It should be easy to fill from the outside.

At Omlet, we offer a bathtub that fits our Geo cage and its sloping sides perfectly.

Technique for the bathtub: do not fill it to the brim, as you will find water everywhere. The tub should not be too small to allow your bird to enjoy it fully, but it should not be too large either, so that it does not take up all the space in the cage. If the bathtub you have chosen fits easily into your bird’s cage, you may want to consider adding it for a few hours while your bird takes a bath and removing it the rest of the time.

You should also consider quality drinkers and feeders that will allow you to feed your beloved animals properly and without hindrance.

If your bird can clean itself and stretch its wings, it is likely to thrive and feel happy. However, it is necessary to keep it occupied with toys.

So think about furnishing its space with useful accessories that entertain your budgie. Vary the shapes, sizes and aspects to offer your pet new experiences.

Perches are extremely important for your birds and play a significant part in ensuring a better lifestyle. Choose perches with a wooden base, such as pine, as plastic fails to offer the proper grip that your bird needs, and can be bad for their feet.

Toys have their place in your pet’s cage, but avoid taking up the whole space. It is important to have several types of toys that you can mix up on a weekly basis to give them more variety and keep your bird entertained.

Toys stimulate your pet and prevent your bird from getting bored.

3- A happy bird is a well-fed bird

There are several ways to take care of your bird and the first way is to feed it sufficiently with quality food. What does a bird eat? Your birds’ favorite foods are seeds, vegetables and fruit. Just like other animals, dogs, cats (etc), never give your birds chocolate and caffeine.

It is essential to ensure that the drinker is always full of water to keep your animals properly hydrated. Your birds will know how much water they need but it must be available to them. If the water is not drunk, it is essential that you change it regularly to prevent the growth of bacteria.

4- Birds need quality sleep!

Sleep is essential for your bird. It allows your pet to rest its body and recharge its batteries. Just like human beings, sleep helps reduce stress and promotes your pet’s learning and memory. It is estimated that a budgie can sleep between 10 and 12 hours a day. A happy budgie is one that benefits from this rest time in the best conditions.

It usually prepares for bed half an hour before going to sleep. You can improve the sleeping conditions of your bird by providing an opaque blanket, which does not let light in and ensures that your bird gets the rest it deserves. This solution also allows you to soundproof the cage a little if there is regular activity in the room. It is sufficient to keep the room dark and to let a little light through so that your birds are not injured if they hear a noise that wakes them up. The Omlet cover offers your birds an ideal solution for a full and restful night’s sleep. It can be placed on any cage and allows your birds to sleep safely.

Establish a routine each night so that your birds feel comfortable and understand when it is time to go to bed. They will feel confident that there is nothing to worry about and will fall asleep peacefully.

However, if you notice that your bird(s) panic when you put the blanket on the cage, don’t persist. Some birds have their own habits and there is no point in insisting on certain accessories. If your bird is happy and can sleep perfectly and peacefully without a cover, that is the main thing.

5- Give your bird lots of love and get it used to its environment

For a bird to be happy and healthy, nothing is more important than the love you give them in a healthy environment adapted to their needs. Never rush your bird and give it time to adapt to any situation, new environment, new toys or accessories…

Don’t hesitate to talk to your bird and make it feel your presence without smothering it. Repeat its name to get it used to the sound and to assimilate it. If there are several of you in the family environment, introduce the members of your family little by little without rushing your pet. No loud noises or big movements. Your friends or family can enjoy your bird, but in a calm and respectful way.

Treats and time with your pet will make your bird happy. Make sure you spend time with your bird. This will strengthen the bond between you. Gaining your pet’s trust is a long-term process. You can use your fingers to tame your pet little by little, for example by moistening them and placing seeds on them. Intrigued and curious, your bird will surely come to you.

Do not hesitate to open the cage from time to time to let your bird fly in the open air in a room. Just remember to avoid bright lights that may attract your bird and end up hurting it (sunlight through a window, for example). If you decide to let your bird fly in your home, be careful with objects that could either break, or hurt your pet. The room should be secure enough to prevent your budgie from ending up in the vet’s office.

An unhappy bird may become aggressive or develop health problems. This can manifest itself in regular pecking or screaming. Your budgie, if unhappy, may be more agitated than usual. If you are sure that you have done all you can to keep him happy and his aggressive behavior persists or you detect abnormal problems, it is time to make an appointment with the vet. In fact, one visit per year to the vet is recommended to check that everything is going well with your pet.

With all these tips and tricks, your bird can be happy and thrive by your side. All you need is patience and the right equipment and accessories for your pet’s needs.

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This entry was posted in Birds on April 24th, 2021 by alisa.deluca


Aggressive rabbits: What to Know and How to Help

Rabbits are usually peaceful creatures who love to play and socialize with their owners. But what do you do if your rabbit starts showing signs of aggression? It’s tough to see your pet stressed, and it’s natural to want to help them. Here, we outline a few ways you can minimize bad bunny behavior and start enjoying the time you spend with them again!

What is aggressive behavior in rabbits?

There are two major kinds of aggression in rabbits, the most typical being defensive behavior surrounding their habitat. If your rabbit bites when you reach your hand into their cage or hutch, it’s likely to be territorial defensive aggression. Another kind of aggressive behavior occurs between your rabbits – for example, if they are fighting each other to the point of injury.

It can be upsetting to see your bunny get hurt, and hard to know what to do. A small amount of fighting is natural between your pets, but if you can see blood on their fur or in the hutch then its possible that the anger is getting out of hand and the bites are getting nasty.

How to help with territorial aggression and biting

If your rabbits bite your hand – or try to – consider how and where you approach your pet. The hutch is often a ‘safe space’ for a bunny and is where they spend most of their lives. If you reach in unexpectedly, it is natural that they might be scared and defensive. Rabbits are prey animals in the wild and are especially jumpy when ‘cornered’ in their safe space!

You may find that if you start to interact with your rabbit in a non-hutch setting – such as a run or play area – you have more chance of a peaceful and happy interaction. Try sitting with your rabbit in the run for a few hours every day, and then beginning to slowly approach with your rabbit’s favorite treats. After spending time like this, you may find that your rabbit starts coming to you more and more, and if the rabbit is initiating the approach, aggression is much less likely.

By spending time with your rabbit in this non-hutch environment, you are teaching your pet that you are not a predator, and that you can be trusted to approach them. Once the trust is established, you should be able to approach the rabbit in its hutch with no problems.

 

How to stop aggressive behavior between your rabbits

If you have noticed fighting between your rabbits, and if this seems to be more than just their normal play fighting, you may need to think about how much space they have in their hutch. It could be that your rabbits have grown since you bought them, and their once spacious house is now a little too small for two. It could be that they have spent little time in the run over Winter, and so they’ve become a little ‘house-bound’ in their hutch. Cabin fever affects humans and pets alike!

Whatever the reason for the bunnies’ bad moods, it is important that your rabbits should feel happy and relaxed in their hutch. It is likely that the fighting will ease off if they have more elbow room. Rabbits are territorial animals, and they each need their own space as well as a shared space.

Try distracting your brawling bunnies by clapping your hands. The noise will distract them and will hopefully teach your rabbit not to fight. A particularly aggressive rabbit can be deterred by spraying water on their nose – but this isn’t something you want to do too often, so if, after the first few sprays, via GIPHY it isn’t making any difference, it’s time for Plan B.

If you decide to invest in a larger hutch but your rabbits continue to show aggressive behavior, you may have to separate them into two different hutches. That’s Plan B!

The benefits of spaying rabbits

Spaying (also known as neutering) is the term for stopping your pet from having babies and is accomplished via surgery. If your rabbits were from a pet shop, it is likely that they have already been spayed – but if you got your rabbits from a friend, it’s always a good idea to take them to the vet and ask about spaying.

If your rabbit has not been spayed, they are much more likely to exhibit aggressive behavior to you and any fellow bunny who shares their hutch.

It is common for owners to keep male rabbits or female rabbits in single-gender pairs, and this can lock them into a mating-related feud that neither can win. Your rabbits could be fighting over who is the most dominant in their shared territory, but this fighting is much less likely to occur if they have been spayed.

Equally, if you have decided to keep a male and female rabbit together, it is a good idea to get them spayed, as rabbits can have up to fifty baby bunnies a year! Fifty bunnies may sound cute but consider how difficult it could be to care for and house that many animals!

There are other benefits to spaying your rabbit other than reducing their aggression, such as reducing their chances of getting mammarian, ovarian or testicular cancer. Spayed rabbits are also much easier to train, and are more sociable generally.

If you have only recently brought your pet rabbit home, they may need a little time to get used to their new space and become comfortable. It is natural for any new pet to be nervous and skittish at first, and this could lead to a few aggressive behaviors, including biting, early on.

It’s important to know that your rabbit is more scared of you than you are of it, and that just because it has bitten you doesn’t mean that you won’t end up being the best of friends! If you feel nervous about establishing contact with the rabbit, talk to a friend who has had rabbits for a little longer, or check out some of the reassuring ‘how to’ guides available online.

Just remember that having a rabbit is hugely rewarding and it’s worth spending time hand-training your pet from the beginning. As long as they have enough space and no aggressive ‘mating rivals’, they should be every bit as calm and cuddly as you could hope for.

 

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This entry was posted in Rabbits on April 22nd, 2021 by alisa.deluca


Dog Collar vs. Harness – Which is Better for Your Dog?

It can be tricky to decide whether or not your dog should wear a collar or a harness for walks. A lot of it depends on your dog himself, from the breed to his age and activity level.No matter what type of breed you have, one thing’s for sure, they all need to go out on walks! The main two types of leash attachments that you can use for your dog are harnesses or collars.

Whether you just got a new dog and aren’t sure which to use or you are looking to switch things up, it’s important to know the pros and cons for both dog harnesses and collars before making a decision.

Collars

Pros

Dog collars are the best when it comes to controlling aggressive dogs, puppies or dogs who are in training. It gives confidence to the owners where they can let their dog walk without any fear. It comes with many direct benefits while providing better control to the handler. Dog training is one of the most important reasons for buying a dog training collar. It is one of the first dog training tools that an owner would need. It helps your dog to successfully overcome obstacles. It also helps to guide your dog and secure his attention if it has a short attention span.

Your dog may get a bit rowdy during the walking session. It’s the dog collar that can correct its behavior when it is misbehaving. Dogs can go on jumping fences, playing in woods, or getting into mischief; so, you should consider durable dog collars with breakaway fasteners.

A dog collar is more convenient than a harness: The main benefit of collars

is that they can be left on at all times as opposed to a harness, which should only be worn during walks and it’s much easier to snap a collar on and off than a harness.

Another great benefit of wearing collars comes with the metal ring where you can attach your pet’s ID tag

or name plates with your address, your phone number, veterinarian office phone number or the tag of the dog registration organization where your dog is registered for identification in case he or she gets lost.

Are you a fashionista or do you love to express individuality? You can even use a bow tie or bandana/scarf as an attachment for the collar.

 

Cons

What can go wrong when you lead a dog by the neck? Quite a lot, it turns out.

The safety of your dog’s neck plays a vital role here. If dogs constantly pulls against their collar, they can injure themselves or reduce the airflow they are getting. Some smaller breeds, like miniature dachshund or poodle, are prone to collapsing tracheas, and a rough tug on the collar can quickly turn into an emergency situation.

Other dogs’ necks are as thick as their heads, e.g. pugs and whippets, so slipping out of a collar is effortless. Even if you have a tough mutt or working dog, repeated pulling on the neck can lead to thyroid damage or spinal injuries over time. Please avoid using collars to walk dogs with medical issues such as glaucoma, neck injuries, or spinal malformations.

Collars should also not be used on toy breeds and brachycephalic breeds, such as Chihuahuas, Chinese Crested, Italian Greyhound, Maltese, Toy Poodle, Yorkshire Terrier, Bulldogs, French Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, Pugs and Boxers.

 

Harnesses

Pros

The main benefit for using a dog harness instead of a dog collar is the control you have over overly excited dogs, as you have more control over them. If it comes to safety and security harnesses are generally better at preventing accidents because they fasten more securely around your dog’s body and are simply the most secure, and most comfortable way to hook your dog up to his leash. It covers your dog’s chest, shoulders, and upper back, which disperses pressure over a larger surface area whereas collars give you better control over your dog. While dogs can easily slip out of their collars and potentially run into traffic or another person’s yard, harnesses offer much more security and safety.

A good harness will reduce pulling, increase your control over your pup, and decrease stress on his neck and joints. Bonus points: because it secures closer to the dog’s center of gravity, a harness gets tangled in the leash less and helps prevent jumping.

Also here, for the individualists among us, there are different kinds of harnesses, starting from cool, cute or practical, such as bags where you can put some treats or eco-friendly waste bags.

 

 

 

 

When it comes to specific breeds or diseases, a harness has a better function for your dog:

  • Brachycephalic breed: These breed dogs typically have flatter faces, “shortened head” and refers to the short nose and flat face of dogs like Pugs, Shih Tzus, Chihuahuas, Chow Chows, Pekingese, French Bulldogs or Bulldogs. Respiratory issues may be better managed with a harness.
  • Tracheal collapse: This is a medical condition where the trachea will fold in on itself causing trouble breathing and a cough. Please avoid using a collar because it applies further pressure and can even worsen the condition.
  • Risk factors for spinal problems: A condition called intervertebral disc disease (IVDD) makes long-bodied breeds such as dachshunds very prone to slipped disks. By using a harness you can take pressure off the neck and back and help prevent further damage.
  • Orthopedic disease: Dogs with orthopedic disease can have a hard time getting up to walk so a harness can help you get them up and move around more easily.

 

Cons

Harnesses are just less convenient than collars for humans. A collar can just slip on, but harnesses take more time to fasten.

Harnesses can be uncomfortable: Harnesses are bulkier than collars, so they can be more uncomfortable for your dog. Some dogs really don’t like wearing harnesses, so it can take some time for them to get used to it.

Harnesses may not have a place for carrying an ID tag. It’s best to get a harness with a ring for a tag-or use both a collar with a tag and a harness when out walking.

If your dog wears weather protection or due to some illness needs to wear clothes, a harness might be a bit more of a disadvantage than a collar. The clothes might cover the harness ring(s), so that you’re unable to put a leash on. Alternatively you can attach the harness over the clothes but make sure -in general- it’s neither too tight nor too loose.

 

Summarizing

So, collar or harness – which one is now the better option for your dog? There is no general answer to this question as it always depends on the breed and health of your pooch and the use of the item. However please, always keep in mind:

  • Collars are less restrictive on movement, which is good for working dogs who are running around all day. Collars are also better for dogs that don’t pull and can calmly walk by your side.
  • Harnesses are better for overly excited dogs as you have more control over them.
  • Smaller dogs and brachycephalic breeds should avoid wearing a collar.
  • It is absolutely advisable to get your puppy used to both, collar and harness.
  • If you want to transition an older dog or even a pup from collar to harness be patient – the adjustment phase may take some time. Bring some treats along on your first few harness walks to distract your dog from that unfamiliar feeling, as well as associate the change with positive rewards.
  • It also depends on the use of the item. If you want to have a walk with your buddy or take a ride with him in your car (to fasten the seatbelt), it is recommendable to use a harness. If you just let him out in the backyard or take him to your friends’ house, a collar is totally fine – same goes with dog kennels.

To sum up, harnesses are usually the best choice for walking dogs because they don’t put pressure on the neck. But collars are generally more comfortable and have a place to hold an ID tag. At best, let your buddy wear both: If you can’t attach a tag or name plate to the harness, use a collar for the ID tag and a harness for the leash.

 

 

 

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This entry was posted in Dogs on April 21st, 2021 by alisa.deluca


Pride of Omlet: Teachers Pet

This article is a part of our Pride of Omlet series, a collection of amazing stories which shine the spotlight on extraordinary pets and share their selflessness, bravery, talent and compassion with the world.

-Written by Anneliese Paul

Henni Hen is a teaching assistant by trade. A cute and cuddly chicken who loves children. She follows in the footsteps of her bubbly humans, Hamish and Verity.

Verity hatches chicks in an incubator every year at the primary school in Kent, where she works as a reception teacher. It’s a highlight for the children in Spring, with lots of learning opportunities and fluffy little chicks make Easter even more special.

It was natural for Henni to become a teaching assistant at an early age. She was, after all, born in a school. Henni helped the children with course work and became the subject of many good literacy and science lessons.

But Henni’s talent lies in her ability to help children read. Henni can’t read herself, but children who wouldn’t usually read to an adult began taking Henni to beanbag in a quiet corner where they could get cozy. Henni cuddles up and listens patiently to her young reader, giving the odd encouraging cluck.

When Henni and her sisters became too big for the classroom’s hutch, Verity and Hamish moved into a house with a garden. Instead of rehoming the chicks with local farmers (like they usually did), they decided to take Henni and her sisters home. They’d been talking about getting a dog, but both working full-time, the chickens seemed like a good option.

Most of the time, Henni is outside, like an ordinary chicken, scratching in the garden or getting up as high as she can. But Verity and Hamish potty trained her because she loves coming into the house for a cuddle, and of course, she needs to work.

During the lockdown, the children missed holding Henni. So, Henni sprang into action and delivered both live and recorded lessons from the study that she shares with Verity. Verity read children stories, and Henni sat on her shoulder, making sure the children were listening. The principal called Verity regularly to make sure Henni’s doing ok.

Being a caring soul, Henni also gave to the community over lockdown. Together, Henni and her sisters lay six eggs a day, so Henni and Verity decided to do a doorstep delivery service for their neighbors. At 10 am, Henni would lay an egg and make a lot of noise about it, so all the neighbors knew when their eggs are ready. Then, Henni would hop onto Verity’s shoulder, and together they delivered eggs to all the houses near their neighborhood.

When she returned home, she’d often hop onto her favorite perch (the top of the garage), and the children from the neighborhood would come over to Verity and Hamish’s to see “the one on the roof!”

Henni and her sisters Megg, Gertie, Margot, Ginger, Rona and Nora used to live in a wooden coop in the garden and come into the garage in winter when it was cold, but Verity and Hamish wanted the best for them. So last year, they got a new home, an Omlet Eglu Cube, and now they’re cozy outside all year round.

But Henni still likes to come inside for a cuddle and can often be found sitting on the sofa between Verity and Hamish for a family movie night after a hard week at work.

She’s just an ordinary brown chicken, and she’s low in the pecking order, but she’s got high hopes for the world. She’s very special to the children she teaches and the community she lives in, and of course, to her humans Verity and Hamish. She’s worthy of a gold star for an outstanding effort.

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This entry was posted in Chickens on April 20th, 2021 by alisa.deluca


How To Remove Pet Hair From Your Home

Everyone loves to stroke, cuddle and pamper their pet. Their fur is soft and warm, and stroking a dog or cat can help humans relax and destress. But despite these positives, your pet’s loose hair can invade your living space, settling on carpets, sofas, beds and furniture. It can be difficult to get rid of. So how can you avoid spending hours cleaning up after your pet?

Spring is finally here and the winter fur is starting to fall out. Avoid being overcome with pet hair and make life easier for yourself in the days to come, with the Omlet tips below…

Removing fur to help pet allergies

Do you often have red, swollen eyes, a runny nose and experience persistent sneezing? If so, it could be because of your pet’s fur. Did you know, 40% of European cats are carriers of a bacterium: Bartonella henselae? Researchers thought that this bacteria could only be transmitted through your pet’s scratch, but numerous studies have shown that the bacteria can be transmitted through fur and fleas. This is why it is important to treat your pet and wash your hands after petting it.

Pets affect the quality of the indoor air we breathe. Hair and saliva carry allergens and can cause nose, throat and eye irritation, asthma and breathing difficulties.

Photo de cottonbro provenant de Pexels

So how do you deal with pet hair?

Useful techniques to get rid of hair

Removing pet hair from your home doesn’t have to be a time consuming task. Here’s a few tips and tricks to try…

Photo de Sam Lion provenant de Pexels

Brush your pet’s hair regularly, preferably outside, but if that’s not possible, an easy clean area such as the bathroom may be just right. By brushing your pet, you allow it to shed any hair that may have otherwise fallen onto your sofa or other surface in your home. You can gather the hair in one place and you clean it up much more easily and quickly.

Protect furniture and areas where your pet likes to lounge. Your furry friend is bound to have a special place where he likes to spend time napping and grooming, and these areas can become loose fur hotspots! Try covering your pet’s favorite patch with a towel or blanket.

The ultimate appliance: the hoover. Cleaning your home is essential in normal times, and even more so when you have furry pets. This solution seems obvious and yet it is radically effective. Choose a hoover over a broom. A broom tends to make the hair fly around and instead of getting rid of it, you move it around to other surfaces. You can also vary the end caps to suit all surfaces.

Use dishwashing gloves! An original but effective tip. Use a pair of washing-up gloves to pick up your pet’s hair in a circular motion from the desired spot. The hair will stick to the glove and can be rinsed away.

Use moisture to quickly gather the hair into small balls. Take a damp sponge or flannel and wipe the desired area. Some of the hairs will cling to the sponge while others will clump together. This method should be combined with other techniques to effectively remove your pet’s hair.

The well-known method: the adhesive roller. Using an adhesive roller is particularly effective on your clothes, especially if you do not want to wet them with a sponge. The hair will stick to the tape and lift from the material. This technique is super effective on small surfaces. However, the roller soon becomes full of hairs and it is necessary to change the roller regularly if attempting larger surfaces in your home.

Use specific brushes: velvet brushes, electrostatic brushes, etc. There are all kinds of useful brushes on the market. With a simple movement of the hand, they attract the                                                                                                    hair to the brush and lift off your soft furnishings.

Static electricity with tights! Don’t just throw away your frayed tights, they can be reused to pick up your pet’s hair. The friction creates static electricity and attracts the hair to the nylon material.

Ventilation: renewing the air to reduce the concentration of hair in one place. Whether you have pets or not, airing your home is essential to prevent the accumulation of dust and bacteria. You will eliminate bad odors and allow for fresh air to circulate the home.

Photo de Andrea Piacquadio provenant de Pexels

If you really need to keep an area hair-free, the most effective method will be to restrict access to your pet. It may be drastic, but you won’t have to worry about hair in your bedroom causing irritation while you try to sleep, for example.

Your pet’s fur will always be present, and impossible to eliminate entirely, however, these little tricks will help you to considerably reduce the accumulation of hair in your home and allow you and your pet to live in a healthy, comfortable and hygienic environment.

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This entry was posted in Pets on April 19th, 2021 by juliakretzner


Can I Keep Chickens With Other Pets?


Photo by
Daniel Tuttle on Unsplash

When considering whether or not to keep chickens, it’s important to take into account the pets you already have around your home. The most obvious examples are cats and dogs, who sometimes let their chase instincts get the better of them. However, all your pets can get along just fine, as long as you lay down a few ground rules.

Keeping chickens with dogs

If you’re a dog owner, the first thing to consider is the temperament of your pet. Does it often chase rabbits or deer when out on a walk? How does your dog react to birds in the garden? If your hound tends to lose control in these situations, this behavior is likely to carry over into their relationship with chickens. Equally, if your dog is of a more relaxed temperament, they may show little if any interest in your coop.

The likeliest scenario falls somewhere between the two extremes, in which case you’ll see your dog taking an interest in the chickens, and spending plenty of time watching and attempting to play with them, but not moving in ‘for the kill’. What’s important here is that your dog needs to understand that the chickens are part of the pack, and not something to be hunted. It’s also important that your dog understands that chickens are fragile, and that dog-style rough play is out of the question.

Teaching dogs to get along with chickens

You can teach your dogs that the chickens are part of the family by letting them watch you spending time in the coop – initially keeping them separated with chicken wire or fencing. Many breeds of dog are naturally cautious around small animals and will be protective of your chickens once they consider them a part of the pack. The behavior you want to see is your dog cautiously sniffing at the chicken, as opposed to adopting the head-down-bottom-up ‘let’s play’ stance.

One of the most important considerations when it comes to dogs and chickens is the temperament of the dog breed. Hunting dogs such as greyhounds and beagles will cave in to their hunting instincts if the hens begin to flap around, and they should never be allowed to mingle with the chickens. In contrast, farm dogs such as sheepdogs have protective and herding instincts, and they will be less likely to harm your chickens.

There is no sure-fire way to guarantee your dogs and chickens will get along, but spending plenty of time introducing them goes a long way. As with all dog training, this can be an extended process, so be prepared to spend a few weeks introducing your chickens to your dogs with a barrier before you let them meet face to face. When you do introduce them, it’s a good idea to keep the dog on a short leash at first, just in case.

Keeping chickens with cats

Cats are a completely different story to dogs – they are harder to predict and less susceptible to training. However, they are unlikely to view a big fat hen as potential prey. Many farmers concur that their farm cats have no interest in hunting poultry, and are much more interested in the rats and mice that are inevitably attracted by birds. When keeping chickens, the occasional rat is standard, and having a cat around can greatly reduce their numbers.

Although most chickens are too large for a cat to hunt, this largely depends on the breed of chicken and the size of your cat. If you find that your cat is beginning to stalk your chickens, a sturdy and secure coop and run that your cat can’t access will deter trouble. This is good practice either way, as even if your cat is friendly with your chickens, your neighbor’s cat might not be! The ideal answer here is the Eglu, which is super-secure and comes with its own attached chicken run.

Keeping chickens with guinea pigs

You may already have a guinea pig hutch or run in your backyard or garden, and while this won’t be a problem for your chickens, it is not recommended for chickens and guinea pigs to share living quarters. This is for several reasons, one being that rats will be further attracted to your pets’ food, and they may attack your guinea pigs. Another reason is that when establishing a pecking order, your chickens will peck at each other and any other animal they live with. This can cause serious harm to guinea pigs, who do not have thick feathers to protect them.

Keeping chickens with rabbits

Rabbits can be great companions for your chickens if you introduce them to each other when they are all very young. You will also need to ensure that you care for their different needs within the same run, in terms of food and equipment.

Rabbits, for example, like to have a clean space to sleep in, so you may need to muck out your coop and run more regularly than you would if the chickens were alone. You will also need to ensure that the chickens and rabbits all have a safe space within the coop where they can have privacy and space. You can achieve this by separating your run into three areas, one to house the roosting chickens, another for your rabbits, and a communal space.
 

Photo by JackieLou DL from Pixabay

Having a large and secure run/enclosure will make your chickens feel safer in general, and plenty of space will maximize the chance of the hens getting along with each other and their rabbit and guinea pig neighbors.

Chickens and other pets

Chickens can also mix happily with goats, and with female ducks (males will tends to bully them). Ironically, they do not mix with birds in an aviary. They will eat anything that falls to the aviary floor, but they will also happily peck the other birds whenever they can and may attract rats and mice, which will cause problems for the smaller birds.

Small mammal pets such as hamsters and gerbils should never be kept in the same enclosure as chickens. The rodents will be pecked and killed.

By following these few ground rules, you will be able to keep the various members of your pet family happy!

Photo by Ricky Kharawala on Unsplash

 

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This entry was posted in Budgies on April 14th, 2021 by alisa.deluca


Pride of Omlet: A Perfect Match

This article is a part of our Pride of Omlet series, a collection of amazing stories which shine the spotlight on extraordinary pets and share their selflessness, bravery, talent and compassion with the world.

-Written by Anneliese Paul

On paper, Kipper wasn’t exactly what Angela wanted. After years of behavioral challenges, he’s become the best-behaved blood donor and saved over forty dog’s lives. Kipper’s turned out to be Angela’s perfect match.

When Angela’s house was robbed, the first thing the police said was, “Get a dog.” Because a dog barks, and people are less likely to enter your home uninvited. However, working as a teacher, Angela felt she couldn’t look after a dog, especially not an active breed like a collie.

With fond memories of the collie she grew up with, she spent a long time talking to the Border Collie Trust, and they helped her find Kipper. He was an eighteen-month-old Irish stray and had been rehoused multiple times. Being a collie, Kipper had a lot of energy. On paper, he didn’t look right for Angela.

But the Border Collie Trust thought he was the perfect match and persuaded her to meet him. So, she went to the rescue center to get to know him. Angela could tell he was fantastic with humans, which was really important. So she took him for a walk and fell in love with him. A few weeks later, she brought him home to start their new adventure.

Angela had prepared a lovely kennel and run in the backyard for Kipper to spend half the day in. The plan was at lunchtime; he would be walked by a professional dog walker and then left in the house in the afternoon until she got home from school.

Kipper turned out to be hard work, boisterous and disruptive. He destroyed the house and was what Angela describes as ‘over the top’. In the evening, after a long day at work, Angela would go to tie up her shoes for a walk, and he would bite her hair, not in an aggressive way, just incredibly overexcited. It used to take them twenty minutes just to get to the front gate. It was exhausting.

But Angela had experience with Border Collies, she knew he had incredible intelligence, and he just needed things to keep him busy. Her teaching instincts kicked in, and with support from the Border Collie Trust, she began what would turn out to be life-changing behavior training for both her and Kipper.

At first, it was simply stopping and waiting for him to calm down whenever he did something that was ‘over the top’. Then Angela needed to tackle the chewing at home. She started by leaving him for five minutes, going to the front gate, standing across the road, then coming back in and praising him for being good. Angela worked out Kipper’s motivations (toys and food) so that she could effectively train him.

“He is so clever,” says Angela “, That he will work out. What am I being asked to do? What is the reward on offer, and is it worth it? And if it isn’t worth it, he won’t do it.”

Over time he made progress, and his behavior slowly improved. Angela worked hard with him, and as his obedience improved, their bond grew, so did the trust between them.

Kipper lives on the edge of the countryside and occasionally chases livestock, so he has to wear a muzzle on long walks. But incredibly, Angela can leave him alone, unmuzzled with the chickens in her backyard. His behavior at home has transformed so dramatically that Angela is confident Kipper will do whatever she asks him to. Angela has even watched a big bolshy chicken trying to steal Kipper’s bone!

“The chicken was getting closer and closer and closer, trying to peck at his bone. All Kipper did was pick up the bone and walk away.”

With good obedience at home, they started to have fun together. Kipper achieved Gold in the Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Scheme and got to the Kennel Club Starters Cup Final in 2017, an agility competition for beginners. The activity and the mental work was fantastic for him, and they both made new friends, travelled to new places and shared memorable experiences.

But when Kipper had to have his dew claws removed, he couldn’t do his agility work, and the lack of exercise led to frustration. Angela, always on the lookout for ways to develop Kipper’s potential, discovered CaniCross. Cani sports are a whole range of sports to nurture the bond between dogs and their owners and are particularly beneficial for dogs with behavioral issues.

Taking part in cross country runs and triathlons, Angela and Kipper were getting fit together and making strong friendships with a whole community of like-minded dog lovers.

One of their friends introduced them to the pet blood bank. Angela was keen to give back to the dog community, but he was under the 25kg minimum weight. However, as he matured, his muscle development changed. As soon as he’d gained enough weight, Angela registered Kipper as a donor and proudly took him along to his first session.

But Kipper was terrified. He had to have a little piece of fur shaved and couldn’t stand the sound of the clippers. Once again, Angela turned to training. The blood bank advised using an electric toothbrush to get him used to the vibrating sound. Over time, using his favorite soft cheese as a treat to reward good behavior, Angela gently got him used to the sound until she was sure he knew it wasn’t going to harm him.

 

Finally, Kipper was ready to give blood, perfectly behaved. He’s now on his tenth donation, and with a rare negative blood type, his blood is a perfect match for any dog. With every donation providing blood for up to four other dogs survival, Kipper has helped save forty dog’s lives.

 

Kipper and Angela have experienced so much together. Pushing each other to do better, they’re a winning team. Motivating each other to get on with life and do something good, to make friends together. As Angela says,

 

“Not every dog would suit me, and not every owner would suit him, but the Border Collie Trust got it right. We were meant to be.”

 

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This entry was posted in Dogs on April 13th, 2021 by alisa.deluca


World Hamster Day – 10 Reasons why Hamsters Make Great Pets!

With World Hamster Day upon us on April 12th, what better time to celebrate these furry favorites? There are many reasons why so many people decide to get a hamster. Here are 10 of them:

1. Hamsters are friendly!

Golden hamsters, once they have been successfully hand-tamed, form strong bonds with their owners. Although they don’t enjoy the company of other hamsters, they rely on their owners for company and interaction. Chinese hamsters can become very fond of their owners too, although they can also thrive in groups (unlike the Golden). The relatively large size of the Golden hamster makes it easier to handle than the smaller breeds, too.

2. Hamsters are easy to look after

A pet hamster pretty much looks after itself during its nocturnal adventures, and in terms of equipment, all it needs is a suitable cage with a few toys.

3. Feeding hamsters is not expensive

Although a hamster stuffs all the food you give it into its cheek pouches, this doesn’t            Photo by Lucas Pezeta from Pexels                          mean they’re greedy!

The hamster simply hoards the food in its favorite corner and doesn’t actually eat very much on any given day. Your bag of dried food will last several weeks, especially when supplemented with a few slices of fresh fruit and veggies.

4. Hamsters are healthy!

These little rodents are generally healthy during their short lives, as long as they are kept in a suitable cage and fed a nutritious diet. The biggest hazard they face is sustaining injuries through falling, so they need to be handled with care.

5. Hamsters love to Explore

Endlessly inquisitive, hamsters love getting out and about in a hamster ball. If you can set up a secure enclosure, they will love exploring its every nook and cranny. Leave some treats hidden in the enclosure or stuffed into wicker balls, and the hamster will have a great time tracking them down and rooting them out. They also love playing on ladders or in runs.

6. Hamsters Don’t Need Intensive Training!

Hand-taming a hamster is the beginning and end of the necessary training. There’s no pressure to teach obedience tricks or toilet training, making them a very low-maintenance pet.

7. Hamsters Don’t Take Up Much Space

These are small mammals, making them suitable even for small flats.

8. Hamsters Are Very Clean

Unlike most rodents, hamsters choose one spot in their cage for the toilet, making them very easy to clean out. They are also scrupulously clean themselves, forever fussing with their fur. This means their human friends don’t have to do any of the pet washing.

9. Hamsters are Calming

Nothing seems to ruffle a hamster. No woofing, no running away in a panic. They scurry around content and are the most relaxing things to watch outside of a peaceful fish tank!

10. Hamsters Don’t Shed Fur

Many people with allergies say that hamsters cause them no problems. This is linked to the fact that they don’t send tiny bits of fur drifting through the air or sticking to carpets. A hamster is nothing to be sneezed at!

12 April – World Hamster Day

On 12 April, hamster owners all over the world celebrate their furry friends. They are one of the most popular pets in the world, and yet they have only been kept as pets for the last 90 years or so.

The story of pet hamsters begins on 12 April 1930, when Israel Aharoni, a zoologist and professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, captured a female Golden (or Syrian) hamster and her litter in Aleppo, Syria. Little did he know that this female would be the source of ALL pet Golden hamsters!

The hamsters were kept as laboratory animals, but escapees became the source of most of the wild Syrian hamsters in Israel today. Descendants of Aharoni’s captive hamsters were shipped to Britain in 1931, and the Zoological Society of London acquired a pair in 1932.

This pioneering pair were the Adam and Eve of British hamsters – in 1937, descendants of these pioneering rodents were given to private breeders, and these were the source of all the Golden hamsters in the British pet trade. If you own one, it’s 99,9% certain that its ancestry goes back to those London Zoo hamsters.

Mitochondrial DNA studies have confirmed that all domestic golden hamsters in the UK and the USA are descended from a single animal – the one captured in 1930 by Israel Aharoni.

That international brotherhood and sisterhood of hamsters is certainly something worth celebrating!

Photo by Silje Roseneng on Unsplash

 

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This entry was posted in Hamsters on April 12th, 2021 by alisa.deluca


Pride of Omlet: Meet Hennifer, Marge and Sybil

 

This article is a part of our Pride of Omlet series, a collection of amazing stories which shine the spotlight on extraordinary pets and share their selflessness, bravery, talent and compassion with the world.

-Written by Anneliese Paul

Once caged battery hens, Hennifer Marge and Sybil now work free-range with their human Jonathan, transforming lives for offenders at the Rosemead Project. Jonathan (support worker and chicken champion) believes the hens have the power to unscramble tricky social situations.

The Rosemead Project is a residential home in Southend on Sea that exists to get people in need of support on the right path, by learning independent living skills to transform their lives. Six years ago, Southend council granted the project funding to transform the garden. They installed a polytunnel, created raised beds and planted fruit trees.

Jonathan introduced chickens to the garden. The ex-battery hens arrived in a sorry state, malnourished with large patches of missing feathers and pale, floppy combs. But within a few weeks of scratching in the garden and the compost heaps, they were on the road to recovery.

When residents arrive, often from homelessness or prison, they are welcomed into their bedroom, and a bowl containing two eggs sits on the side table with a note that says ‘Welcome from Hennifer, Marge and Sybil’.

Jonathan uses eggs to teach residents how to cook simple meals, like omelettes. He’s put posters up in the communal kitchen with recipes showing different ways of cooking eggs. The eggs have also become currency, cracking once tricky relationships with neighbors. After an anti-social behavior incident, Jonathan visited Jean, one of the elderly neighbors who was nervous about the project. He took eggs and found that they were a good conversation starter.

It was all going well when a fox came. Doris, the mother hen of their original flock, ran towards the fox to protect the rest of them and was left dead. She’s buried in the garden and a lot of the residents were affected by the attack. So on his next egg delivery to Jean, Jonathan told her about the fox and said he would get some more chickens from the British Hen Welfare Trust. Jean came with him and got some hens too. It was a positive moment.

Hennifer, Marge and Sybil arrived, freed from their horrific caged lives. They’ve been with the project for two and a half years now and are the best-feathered support workers Jonathans ever met. Hennifer is confident, Sybil inquisitive, and Marge is really chilled. She can often be found under the lavender bush.

Residents typically stay with the project for two years before going on to independent living, but the path isn’t always smooth, and occasionally, they are sent back to prison. When this happened to one resident, he contacted the Rosemead Project (through his family) to ask if they could send photos of the chickens, they become an important support to many people living at Rosemead.

Another resident says he loves the sound of chickens clucking when he wakes up. It takes him back to a happy place. And another has taken charge and gets up at 7am every morning to let the hens out. Either sitting or working in the garden, the hens build resident’s confidence. “The hens don’t run away from them. That’s important,” says Jonathan.

Some residents like to buy treats for the chickens, which may seem like a small thing, but when it’s a choice between lager or mealworms and they’re choosing mealworms. It’s a good sign. There’s a trail of jobs that come from the hens that’s good for building life skills and the cleaning and care that goes into looking after a pet provides a sense of responsibility.

Jonathan says, “Sometimes, it’s hard to find positives in this job, but it’s a good thing to give something a quality of life, and the chickens are one of the little things that put a big smile on your face.”

 

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This entry was posted in Chickens on April 6th, 2021 by alisa.deluca