Getting Chickens to Roost in the Right Place

Chickens have a strong homing instinct which drives them to return to the same place to roost at dusk. Those who for whatever reason have decided otherwise, can easily be picked up when it’s dark and placed in the coop.  After a few days to a week at most, they usually give up the tree limb, fence, or corner they fancied and join the others in the coop without your interference.

Make sure it’s dark though! Because as soon as you turn your back they’ll run back to where you took them from. It’s very common for youngsters to choose a corner on the ground away from the coop.  Just pick them up and place them where you want them to be and they’ll catch on after awhile. However, don’t be concerned if your young birds pile up together in the coop, just be glad they’re in there! As they mature they’ll find their way to the roost, usually at around five months old.

This four month old Leghorn chose this spot to roost for the night. After a few evenings of fetching her off the fence and putting her in the coop she gave up and now joins the others on her own.

Leghorn Dottie 9316

Do all Chickens Roost?
No, don’t ask me why… some, such as Silkies for example, are known to hunker down for the night in the coop, off the roost.
I have four year old hens that refuse to roost, it doesn’t matter, as long as they are safely confined at night I just let them choose their comfort zone.

Broody Silkies 10-23-14

Night Behavior
A chicken’s behavior is dramatically different at night. During the day they are full of life, feisty, and confident, but when the night comes they turn into total milk duds, almost is if they were in a hypnotic state. Take advantage of this time, this is your hassle free ticket to handle, inspect, and doctor chickens. Especially the ones that are difficult or impossible to catch during the day.

Chickens are so docile at night you can usually sneak a new bird in the coop after dark, it will most likely go unnoticed until morning. Some chicken keepers choose to introduce birds this way. But I must warn you, a chicken’s night stupor disappears the moment they march out of the coop at the crack of dawn. Be prepared to witness a whole new ball game of unkind introductions to say the least! Learn more about Introducing Chickens to an Existing Flock.












Donkey, Ass, Burro, and Mules… Making Sense of all Those Confusing Terms

Down to the Nitty Gritty | Mules & Donkeys

The Mule is a cross between a donkey stallion (called a jack) and a horse mare. Hinnies are just the opposite – a stallion horse crossed to a donkey jennet.

For all purposes, hinnies and mules are classified and shown together under the general term Mule… Read Article

Donkey Terminology, Which is Which and Why…

Ass is the correct term for the animal commonly known as the donkey, burro, or jackstock.
The term comes from the original Latin term for the animal which was Asinus. The scientific term for these animals is Equus asinus. The term fell into disrepute through confusion with the indelicate term “Arse” meaning the human backside…  Read More

Understanding the Donkey

They may be members of the equine family, but if you’re trying to train one, you probably already know donkeys and horses are absolutely nothing alike.
The donkey is smart, real smart, patient, extremely strong, and not in any way intimidated. They think, reason, and have the ability to make decisions. That gives them all the ammunition they need to test your patience, or worse, hurt you. You will need lots of patience when training a donkey, but, equally important is learning to read their body language… Read More

Need an extra hand around the farm? How about a donkey?

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Sources: American Donkey and Mule Society | Lucky Three Ranch

Thinking About Becoming a Dog Groomer?

Everything You Want to Know from a 35 Year Certified Professional

by amy elizabeth
Retired N.D.G.A.A. Certified Professional Pet Stylist

Training, Certification, Earning Potential, Benefits, Pros & Cons

First of all, I prefer Pet Stylist, since today’s grooming industry frequently includes a cat clientele.  Grooming cats is usually not a mandatory skill required for employment, but it definitely is a bonus on your resume, and your paycheck.

Job Training Options

There are Pet Grooming Trade Schools all across the Nation, some are accredited, some not.  Some with financial aid, most without. Course varies in length, 16 weeks is an overall average.  Expect hands on training, breed study, handling techniques, terminology, and the basic grooming tools of a professional Pet Stylist. After training, you will still need to work closely with experienced groomers and continue training for at least two years. Tuition for these schools is customarily $5,000 to $7,500.

Learning to groom at a pet salon as an apprentice is also a common way to learn. For instance, Petsmart offers a training program. However, fair warning, there’s going to be a few hoops to jump through for the opportunity. Is it worth it? In my opinion, yes. If your willing to learn, and the groomers are talented, you will acquire the skill level of a professional pet stylist over time.

Pet Salons often use bathers, what a great way to get your foot in the door and a clipper in your hand.

Are Groomers Licensed?

There are no laws in place requiring a Pet Stylist to be licensed. However, there are optional certification test sites across the U.S. where a stylist can earn the prestigious title of Certified Master Groomer. This is highly recommended after five years of field training.  These credentials most definitely are an asset in the job force, often earning a 10% pay increase.

How Much Money Can a Pet Stylist Earn?

The question is, how much money do you want to earn? Groomers work on commission,  never salary. The average commission rate is 50% of the grooming charge. However, certified or veteran groomers are often paid 60%. Grooming is a service, therefore tipping is customary. Tips can vary greatly, but on an average, they are between $5. and $10 per pet.
* Commission workers are not independent contractors, taxes are deducted from payroll earnings.

A seasoned groomer can groom a dog in about an hour and fifteen minutes start to finish.  Some pets require less time, others more. But no matter how you slice or dice it, at the end of the day it all averages out to one dog an hour.

Average base price of grooming a dog is between $45. & $75.
Average base price of grooming a cat is between $55. & $75.
Earning potential: $35,000 – $50,000 annually.
* base price means no extra charges for special services.

It is customary for pet stylists to maintain their own tools and provide their own grooming products, but shampoo, etc, is supplied by the salon.

Are There Benefits?

Yes and no, more no than yes. Large companies such as Petsmart, Petco, and some veterinary hospitals offer benefits to full-time employees only. That means you will put in your time, even if when you haven’t any grooming appointments. Independent pet salons such as the ones you see in shopping centers almost never offer insurance, paid vacation, or sick days.  There are certainly draw backs to both,  but you do have the option to choose freedom and flexibility – or the corporate ball and chain.

Pros & Cons of the Job

Let’s begin with the positive side of becoming a Pet Stylist.

• Having the ability to control your financial earnings.
• Minimal schooling to learn a trade that pays well.
• Flexible work schedules.
• Jobs are easy to find, anywhere.
• Employment opportunities offer choices: mobile van, veterinary hospitals, boarding facilities, and pet salons.
• Starting your own business isn’t out of reach.

Whether or not there is a negative side only you can decide. This career is definitely not for everybody, and this is why…

• You will need the patience of a saint, working with animals can be extremely frustrating.
• Not all pets are willing to stand quiet for grooming, and are often are aggressive.
• You will be pooped on, peed on, and no matter what precautions you take, occasionally bit.
• You will be under the constant pressure to finish each appointment on time.
• This is a DIRTY job. Expect to be covered in dog hair, dander, drool, and who knows what else.
• It is your job to rid dogs of fleas and ticks using product, then picking off all the ticks with tweezers.
• This is back-breaking, strenuous hard work where heavy lifting is an everyday occurrence.

Before you make a decision to put your money, time and effort into learning any new trade, it’s important to ask yourself one very important question. Is it the right job for you? I hope I’ve given you all the facts to help you make that decision. If you’re still interested in becoming a Professional Pet Stylist, then you truly have the special qualities that will provide both personal and financial reward.