Category Archives: Animal Health

Build Your Own Martin House

Purple martins are swallows that migrate from South America to North America each year to breed. Many people enjoy listening to their songs, watching their aerial acrobatics and seeing fledglings emerge from their nests. Although purple martins don’t eat mosquitoes, they eat large numbers of many other kinds of insects. For these reasons, many people build martin houses in the hope that the birds will build nests in them.

1 Site your martin house properly. Purple martins won’t nest in houses too near the ground or too near homes or tall trees. Martin houses should be a minimum of 40 feet (12 meters) from homes and trees and 20 feet (6 meters) high.

2 Design your martin house for several nesting pairs. It should have nesting compartments that are completely separated from one another, access holes for the birds, porches to perch on and a gabled roof. Some houses have multiple levels to accommodate more birds.

3 Cut the wood for the floor so it will extend past the exterior walls 3 inches (7.5 cm) on all sides. This creates the porches. You can also attach porches using 3-inch strips of wood.

4 Create several nesting compartments inside using partitions. Each space should be 6 inches (15 cm) tall, 6 inches wide and 6 inches deep.

5 Cut semicircular entrance holes. These should be 3 inches (7.5 cm) in diameter and 1-3/16 inches (3 cm) tall for each compartment. Set the bottom of the hole flush with the porch to discourage starlings and owls from using the martin house.

6 Drill small holes in the “attic” portion of the house to encourage air flow. Cut a thick piece of polystyrene or corrugated cardboard to fit inside the attic so the house won’t get too hot.

7 Build the roof. Make sure it extends past the exterior walls enough to help shield the access holes from rain and give the birds some shade.

8 Assemble the martin house. Keep in mind that you will want to occasionally disassemble it to clean out the nesting compartments. If you use a router to create slots in the partitions, the floors and in the exterior walls, you will be able to slide them together for a tight fit without permanently attaching them with screws or brads.

9 Paint the house white. Never paint or stain it dark colors, although you can paint the trim another light color if desired.

10 Mount the house on a metal pole that has been set in concrete. You may want to add a winch and pulley system that will allow you to raise and lower the house easily so you can check on nestlings or clean the compartments.

S & K Purple Martin House – 10 Family FH10

SKU: 033570112

Heath Purple Martin House Telescoping Pole MP 15

SKU: 050510058

Putting Your Cat/Dog on a Diet

As Spring begins to transition to Summer we all could benefit from losing some of those extra pounds we may have put on from not doing much over the long winter, and our pets are the same. Sometimes pets start to look a little pudgy around the tummy. Aesthetic issues aside, it could radically reduce their life span. Here are some things you can do.

Part 1:  Dogs

  1. Determine if your dog is truly overweight. You should be able to locate your dogs ribs and spine relatively easily—a healthy dog has only a thin layer of fat between the skin and bones
  2. Talk to your vet about portion size. Because it varies so drastically from dog breed to dog breed, it’s not possible to have a set portion size. Ask your vet how much your pet should be eating, and how often. Stick to his/her advice.
  3. Limit snacks and treats between meals. Even if you’re feeding your dog proper portions at meal time, extra treats and people food between meals can quickly lead to an overweight pet.
  4. Find healthy substitutes for fatty treats. Many dogs love carrots—consider giving those in lieu of fatty bones when you wish to reward your dog. Rice cakes are another healthy alternative.
  5. Stay strong against begging. It may break your heart to hear your dog whining, but remember that your dog is not starving—he’s probably learned that whining will result in a treat and is playing you to get one. Instead, it’s best to break this habit by ignoring begging and whining.
  6. Invest in a name-brand diet formula food for your dog. Newman’s Own and AvoDerm are both brands known to have positive effects on your dogs’ weight [2]. If your dog has a very serious weight issue, you may want to talk to your vet about a prescription food.
  7. Exercise your dog. Just like humans, dogs need exercise to stay fit. Make sure your dog gets at least one long walk a day. If you don’t feel up for a long walk, consider taking your dog to a park and throwing a ball or frisbee for 20 minutes or so. If you cannot take the time, consider paying some kids on your block or hiring a dog walker.
  8. Use medication as a last resort. If you’ve done everything and your dog is still not losing weight, consider an Rx like Slentrol. However, this should only be used as a last resort after talking with your vet.

Part 2: Cats

  1. Determine if your cat is overweight. You should be able to easily see your cat’s waist when looking at it from the top. You should be able to feel it when running your hands from your cat’s ribs to its hips (it should be indented). Finally, you should be able to feel your cats ribs
  2. Allow your cat to exercise. If your cat isn’t an outdoor cat, invest in toys and climbing structure to ensure that your cat has incentive to play.  Make your cat work for its food. Consider putting your cats food in a foraging device like a ball with holes, requiring it to play and work before it can eat.
  3. Realize that the specifications on the side of food bags are often well above what your cat actually needs. Those specifications are designed for a highly active, unspayed or non-neutered cat, whereas most house cats are relatively inactive and fixed.
  4. Transition slowly. For many cats, the food and food dish that they’re used to are signs of security. Place the new food in a bowl next to the old food for a while, then you can remove the old food all together.
  5. Talk to your vet. Consider other causes besides overeating for your cat’s obesity, such as diseases or side effects of a drug.

Recommended products:

Hills Science Diet Canine Adult Light 20 Lb Dog Food         SKU 15440082

Hills Science Diet Feline Adult Light 4 Lb   SKU 15440163

Have you heard the latest buzz? Harvest Lane Honey Products and Bees are Now Available at RuralKing.com!!!

harvest lane 2

We recently added Harvest Lane Honey to our list of vendors we supply from online! We are now able to offer all sorts of beekeeping supplies from the Honey Orange Bliss Beeswax Body Salve to sooth even the driest of skin, to the Large Backyard Beekeeping Kit with Full Bee suit and Gloves WWA-103.

bees

Beekeeping is a safe, fun, and rewarding experience that can be a hobby or a way of life. Bees can be kept on very small lots; there are many beekeepers in urban areas that keep Bees on roofs or porches. Check your local, county, and state codes for any laws regarding space.

 

We offer several different starts up kits, for everyone from the hobbyist to the experienced farmer! Each kit includes:

  • 10 frames assembled with 10 plastic foundations (in each box)
  • 1 flat Wasatch top (protects hive from harsh elements)
  • 1 solid bottom board (hive entrance for bees)
  • 1 feeder
  • 1 inner cover (rests inside the outer cover)
  • 1 entrance reduce
  • Smoker
  • Hive tool
  • 1 lb of smoker fuel
  • Bee brush

Some of our kits also include the full bee suit, available from Child Small to adult 2X! A must have for every bee keeper; the bee suit allows you to get out and collect honey without the sting. This suit has a full zipper, is made of a cotton/poly fabric, thumb holds, fencing veil, zipped legs with elastic wrists and ankles, breast and leg pockets, zipper veil, Velcro closed tab for front zipper. These are also machine washable!

beesuit

 

*The processing time for all Harvest Lane Honey Products is 5-14 business days*

also we have bees available for pre-order! Each package includes cage, feeder can, Queen, and 3 pounds of bees. Bees will not be shipped until 4/11 (all orders will be shipped overnight once available.) We have Harvest Lane Honey 3lb. Package of Italian Bees with Queen and Cage and Harvest Lane Honey 3lb. package of Carniolan Bees with Queen and Cage currently available for pre-order.

beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees

 

Click the link below for a quick video about bees!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUkSSA_Kgzc&feature=youtu.be

Removing Pet Hair

Well Spring is finally here, for most of us anyway, and if you are like me that means one thing, pet hair everywhere!  Hair from a beloved animal can be very frustrating when it finds its way into your clothes, carpeting and upholstery. Don’t start avoiding your favorite animal though. This article provides information on how to remove pet hair from almost any surface.

Things you might find handy to getting the job done:

Tack Sponge (12 Pk)  SKU 2450441

Downy Dryer Sheets 80 Ct Cln Breeze  SKU 1331383

How to get the job done:

  1. Weigh it down. Soak the palm of your hand. Wipe the pet hair off in a downward motion. The hair will ball up and stick to your damp hand. This works because the hair becomes wet, therefore heavier. This results in it being unable to stick to your pants (or whatever surface you’re dealing with) in response to static electricity.
  2. Barely dampen a clean, regular kitchen sponge. Use a sponge mop if you’re removing pet hair from a low-pile carpet, in which case the floor should be thoroughly vacuumed first. Rub the fabric, upholstery, or carpet with the sponge. The fur should roll up into clumps that you can pick off by hand.
  3. Put on a latex glove. Rub the surface with it on. The pet hair should stick to your glove. This also works with rubber gloves or cloth gardening gloves with a rubber coating on the palm. A rubber bristle push broom can work in the same way on floors. Dampen the glove or rubber section of the glove for increased effectiveness.
  4. Inflate a balloon. Rub it across the surface that has pet hair on it. The static on the balloon’s surface will attract the hair (and works on yours, too!), which you can collect and then re-use the balloon to get more hair.
  5. Rub velcro curlers on the surface to catch the hair. If the curler has a metal inner form, it can be bent to reach corners.
  6. Apply fabric softener. A fabric softener sheet that normally goes in the dryer can be used to pick up pet hair. You can also mist the surface with a mixture of fabric softener and water to “prep” the area before removing the pet hair using any of the other methods.
  7. Consider preventive measures. Place your clothing in an area isolated from your pets or groom them regularly to reduce the amount of loose hair on them. You should also vacuum carpets and furniture regularly, and wash the throw rugs and linens that the pets have contact with.
  8. You can use sellotape to peel off some fur. Just wrap some around your hand with the sticky, adhesive part sticking out and tap it on the fur-covered areas.
  9. Use a rubber broom. This is effectively for especially stubborn pet hair that sticks to a surface. The bristles work with static electricity and the hair jumps onto the brush.

Use Vinegar in Every Part of Your Home!!!

Vinegar has been used for 10,000 years. It just might be the world’s oldest ingredient!

vinegar

Vinegar has a ridicules amount of uses. You can use it as a fabric softener, flea repellent, a disinfectant, polisher, deodorizer, and many more things. White distilled vinegar is a popular household cleanser. It is effective for killing most mold, bacteria, and germs, due to its level of acidity. Cleaning with white distilled vinegar is a smart way to avoid using harsh chemicals. You’ll also be glad to know that it is environmentally friendly and very economical.

 

Did you know that once vinegar dries it has no scent? So even if you don’t like the smell, it will go away after it dries. Personally, my favorite use for vinegar is as a fabric softener.  Just replace your regular fabric softener with a half cup of vinegar for a medium load of laundry. It will help prevent lint from sticking to clothes.  Also if you happen to buy new laundry soap, and it disagrees with someone in your house holds sensitive skin, just add it to the last rinse cycle. My mom had to do that for my little brother, he’s a red-head with super sensitive skin. Seriously the skin around his mouth breaks out if he eats spaghetti!

 

When I moved into a new house that the previous tenants had smoked in we used a vinegar and hot water mixture to scrub the walls to help remove the grim and scent. It worked wonders!

 

When we adopted a new kitten that had fleas we used vinegar to kill the fleas already on her while we waited for the Frontline to kick in to kill the eggs and prevent new fleas from getting on her. For that situation  we used a mixture that was 1 cup water, ¾ cup vinegar, 2 tablespoons Dawn Blue Dish Soap.

 

You can polish car chrome with full-strength white distilled vinegar on a soft cloth. Polish brass and copper with a mixture of 2 tablespoons of ketchup and 1 tablespoon white distilled vinegar. Rub it on with a clean cloth until dry and shiny. You can make your car extra shiny by adding a few drops of white distilled vinegar to your bucket of water.

 

Click the link below to view vinegar on our website!

http://www.ruralking.com/national-vinegar-company-white-vinegar-1-gallon-50-grain.html