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Chickens are highly susceptible to predators, especially if they're free range. Foxes, raccoons, birds of prey and even snakes can all pose a threat to a free-range flock. To protect your chickens from predators, you'll need to consider installing appropriate fencing, providing shelter, keeping your chickens indoors at night and using guard animals to keep predators at bay.

Cartoon of fox about to eat chicken

How to Keep Predators Away From Chickens

Perhaps the most obvious answer to dealing with predators is to simply install a fen...

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Comments | Posted in Farm By Elizabeth Racine, DVM

Why Does My Cat Meow A Lot?

1/21/2020 9:53 AM

Cats love to meow and "talk" to their owners, but sometimes it can get a little out of hand, even for the cutest fur babies. When your cat is meowing frequently and can't seem to stop, you may find yourself asking: "Why does my cat meow a lot?" Excessive meowing can have many causes, including boredom, wanting to talk with you, feeling hungry, or being stressed or sick. The key is learning to translate your cat's meows.

Cats may meow to ask for food or make other requests.

Greeting and Talking to You

Your cat may be meowing a lot simply because he lo...

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Comments | Posted in Cats By Stephanie Dube Dwilson

A dog's body temperature runs significantly higher than a human's. A dog's normal body temperature can range from 99 degrees to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures higher or lower than this normal range—known as hyperthermia or hypothermia, respectively—may be cause for concern. Knowing how to evaluate your dog's temperature can help you determine whether there is a problem that requires veterinary attention.

Veterinarian and dog owner at the vet with dog.

How to Take a Dog's Temperature

The most accurate way to take a dog's temperature is b...

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Comments | Posted in Dogs By Elizabeth Racine, DVM

Why Does My Cat Lay on Me?

1/9/2020 6:32 AM

Have you ever woken up to find your cat sleeping on your chest or curled up on top of your legs? Or maybe your kitty likes to nestle on your lap while you're watching TV. Whatever the case, you've probably asked at some point, "Why does my cat lay on me?" Cats generally snuggle up with you because they love you and you help them feel warm, safe, and secure.

Cats may lay on you for many reasons, including love, warmth, and security. Here are all the main reasons why you may wake up to find your cat on your chest.

Cats Lay on You for Love and Bonding

Cats can be very affectionate. Sometimes they'll figure out what time you come home from work and be wait...

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Comments | Posted in Cats By Stephanie Dube Dwilson

Do Cats Get Bored?

1/7/2020 6:34 AM

Do cats get bored? It's a valid concern. You want your fur baby to be happy and healthy, but you might worry that your cat doesn't have enough activities to stay entertained. A cat that over-grooms, eats too much, or becomes a little destructive might have too much pent-up energy because he's bored. You can help by providing lots of mental stimulation through interactive toys, playtime, cat trees and perches, and clicker training.

Cats can get bored if they don't have enough mental stimulation indoors.

How to Tell if Your Cat is Bored

If left alone for too long without...

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Comments | Posted in Cats By Stephanie Dube Dwilson

If you've ever spotted a pair of eyes peering at you from under the neighbor's porch or caught a glimpse of a furry tail disappearing around a corner, you've likely encountered a community cat. Community cats are your local population of free-roaming felines. They are often a diverse group made up of feral cats, strays, and outdoor pets. As populations of community cats have rapidly expanded, many people have wondered what, if anything, should be done to manage these growing colonies.

Feral cat in yard.

What's the ...

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Comments | Posted in Cats By Elizabeth Racine, DVM

Can parakeets die from cold?

12/27/2019 4:33 PM

Parakeets' exotic nature and vivid colors make them alluring pets. But as they've migrated away from their native tropical and subtropical environments, it's left them vulnerable to the elements of colder climates. So when the temperature drops below even 60 degrees it's a major adjustment for these delicate petite-sized creatures whose feathered exterior doesn't retain heat like the fur coat of a dog.

Young girl kissing little blue budgie.

Dr. Sara Ochoa, a veterinarian who works with birds and exotic animals, says parakeets are at a...

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Comments | Posted in Birds By Katherine Tolford

Chickens are quite hardy and can tolerate temperatures below freezing, but they prefer a warmer climate. The ideal temperature for chickens is about 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit. During winter weather, you'll need to take some precautions to ensure your chickens are comfortable despite the cold.

Chicken in snow.

The Best Temperatures for Adult Hens

Chickens prefer temperatures in the 70s, but they can withstand temperatures much lower than this if necessary. In fact, laying hens can still produce eggs even when the en...

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Comments | Posted in Farm By Elizabeth Racine, DVM

How do stray cats survive the cold weather every year? If you have a soft spot for kitties, then you've probably wanted to know how to keep a cat warm outside in winter. Long exposure to freezing temperatures can be dangerous, even for cats. You can help outdoor cats survive the winter by providing heated food and water alongside a dry, warm shelter that's safe from the elements.

Even cats can get cold in the winter and need your help.

Cats' normal body temperatures can range from 99.5°F to 102.5°F, but what they need to stay warm varies depending on t...

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Comments | Posted in Cats By Stephanie Dube Dwilson

How to Raise Chickens in Winter

12/20/2019 2:43 PM

Winter months can be a fun time for chicken owners. Figuring out how to raise chickens in the winter isn't as complicated as you might think. You just need a ventilated coop without drafts, lots of food, bedding, extra light, and some opportunities for your chickens to stay entertained.

Chickens can be happy in the winter if you follow a few healthy tips.

Fix Drafts and Ventilation

Properly winterizing a chicken coop involves fixing drafts while also making sure the coop stays well ventilated.1 You'll want to make sure that all doors and windows are sealed. You can ...

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Comments | Posted in Farm By Stephanie Dube Dwilson

Top 6 Winter Dog Activities

12/19/2019 10:10 AM

When the colder winter months roll in, you may be tempted to just hunker down indoors and do as little as possible. But your dog still wants to have fun and go on adventures. Just because it's cold, the fun times don't need to slow down for you and your pup. There are many fun activities for dogs to do both at home and outside during these colder winter months. Winter dog activities can include urban mushing, agility courses, outdoor and indoor camping, hiking, restaurant visits, and even just s...

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Comments | Posted in Dogs By Stephanie Dube Dwilson

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