Welcome to the Greenpets Natural Living pages

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Cats don't inhabit places, they are free to go where they please as they please.
Cats are territorial, the females holding the territory, and males wandering the landscape looking for a female willing to let him into her boudoir. Fighting viciously with every male you meet along the way seems to be the in-flight entertainment. The only two things more entertaining to a cat than cruisin' and bruisin' would be sleeping somewhere warm after you ate something squeeky and warm. Of course, a cat on the way for a nap has no time to quible,

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Cats are mamals. Lift the tail and look for cahoonies. If it has none, it is either female or neutered. Looking for the penis is easy enough if the cat allows you to flip it over. Unless it is your very own cat, good luck with that! See you in Emergency room. Males also have nipples, just like every other mammal, so  those are of no use when determining the gender of a mammal. Uhm, yah, most mamals actually don't have swollen mammaries unless they are breastfeeding little ones, so don't go there. Very young cats can be confusing, and a tomcat's penis can hide quite well. A bit of pressure just in front of the anus will expose any sign of male genitalia in kittens.

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Breeding cats. Why would you want to do that?
No, seriously, there are enough cats to go around. Unless you show some special breed, then don't breed. Rescue some poor sodden kitten somewhere close to you. People drown kittens just to save on the food, they will surely give you one. Buying a cat from a pet store only perpetuates the habit of some people to breed anything they can sell off before it starts eating solids. You end up with

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Rudyard Kipling wrote a story about the cat that is free. It is a myth worthy of that great writer.
For our opinion on cats, please contact our owners. I do believe we are not allowed an actual opinion on cats other than what we think they should get for dinner, and breakfast, and snacks, and between snacks.
The occasional tooth-and-nail brawl and a leg over after the fight, now that's a cat's life. Do not ever think you own a cat. Life does not work like that, but if you really do well, and the cat thinks you are worthy, it will come when you call it. True, it only comes in the hopes of seeing food, but it comes. Many people think cats do not respond to their name, but actually they are morally quite advanced creatures. If they ignore you, it is because they are busy with higher things, and a mere mortal like you can wait until you are acknowledged. Cat language is a very personal thing, and the more we learn, the more proof we find that cats might be interplanetary visitors, stuck here after a dog they were buzzing bit their spacecraft thinking it a frisbee. Dogs were bigger in those days.
Cats are not really trainable. What you do with a cat is to raise it according to strict and steady rules. Cats do not respond well to violence, and they can rip holes in you that may leave you surprisingly bloody and long in healing. A happy, fulfilled cat, on the other hand, has amazing cognition, and knows exactly what you expect of it, and how far it can push you before you catch on. Mistake you not, a cat will manipulate you the way your mom did, only you don't expect that from a dumb animal. Every master of propaganda will tell you that controlling your subjects depend very much on them not realising they are being herded along. Cats are master manipulators, and the term "as impossible as herding cats" actually has political undertones, a rebellious quip at the cost of our divine masters, CATS. They don't mind the insults, a billion ripped curtains, two billion tattered couches, three billion ripped and bleeding hands all prove that cats don't mind violence, and you will pay for every misstep against felines.
There has been suggestions that a cat's whiskers operate like dowsing rods. This is why they can detect a mouse other side of a wall, or in a hole. I am not aware of any further research into the matter, but that is hardly surprising. Before your mind can even contemplate designing such research, you have to bend your beliefs around two obstacles: Intelligent, concious and metaphysically aware animals, and the existence of a folklorish superpower of finding things by pointing a stick in random directions. Somehow, i don't think the chappies at Cambridge will take time off their pederast party schedule to research such obvious nonsense.
Until that situation changes, please read the article on cat behaviour, it mentions six different but distinct and recognisable ways your cat ignores you.
The last issue is that of cat collars. At Greenpets, we understand that some people actualy tolerate collared pets better, because they obviously have owners. Like humans, cats are also victim to classism and disrespect by those who consider themselves priviledged-by-right. An aristocat with pretty collar gets a treat and a rub, poor streetcat gets the boot and boiling water. In neighbourhoods like that, it is best to clearly collar your cat, but beware: Thousands of cats get throttled by collars caught up in obstructions the cat was jumping over, in essence hanging the cat by the neck until dehydration and exposure kills it. If you are going to collar your cat, make sure the cat's weight is enough to break that collar loose, okay? Cat biltong tatses like cruelty. Maybe that is what jerky is made of.

 

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Newly born males may confuse you until their nostrils harden and starts discolouring. And there you have the single factor needed to sex your badgie: Males have darkened, blue to grey purple nostrils. There is a word for those nostril growths, you know? Anyway, females remain sort of pinkish cream all their life, and males become dark. That's it, you don't even have to open the cage. I must still see how this translates for the albino yellow ones...

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Tonic bitter. I Ching sticks. Fodder.

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Budgies are birds. With wings.
Birds fly high and wide, looking for food, shelter, mates. They must surely adore the effort you put into choosing the right plastic mirror for their wire shoebox jail. As said earlier, just setting the poor thing free does not absolve you of responsibility for the life you have bought and now claim mastership of. If you do not have the time to spend with an animal so it learns to share your space freely, why did you buy it? To prove you can afford it? Because it was sooo pretty? Well, congratulations, you afforded acquiring that beautiful, innocent life, now care for it. If you cannot share your habitat with it, either

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Toroise, Dragon fodder. Leaves for salad.

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Budgies make their own seed, therefor: Budgie seed.
Actually, there is no such thing as budgie seed. What the shop sells you, is a mixture of millets, oats and sometimes other small seeds. Budgies will eat any seed they can open up. You can collect the seeds from grasses and ribwort and sesame and sunflower, and oat grass, and finger millet, and all the other things growing where lawnmowers have not destroyed all. Any seed small enough will do, even evening primrose, cabbage seeds, mustard, dang, they eat like mice.
Some budgies even nibble on fruit, but I don't see them get as excited as when I, for example, bring a handfull of chickweed, or smutsgrass, or quickweed, carrot tops, soft green grasses, thistle flowers, anything soft and juicy, but NEVER FEED ROOTS TO BIRDS. Too many are poisonous to birds. Think Naturally now; how many birds have you seen dig after roots? Me neither. Dig for worms, yes, even bugs or small animals, but not roots. Yah, sure, quote me the rare and almost extinct Booligordian Carrot Cockatoo, that eats only beetroot. Bet you don't have one in your cage. If I had one, I would plant beetroot all over. But for now I stick to small seeds, soft greens and lots of fresh water with a small crystal of Aloe Ferox in the water. It turns the water brown eventually, but sometimes a stir helps to disolve it. All birds seem to have immediate benefit from this. In a small cage with limited variety of food, one of those mineral blocks they sell you at the merchant in innocent life is essential. If you are too lazy to harvest fresh food for your budgie, at least buy him something to nibble on for minerals. We at Greenpets much prefer the fresh greens way. It is Natural Rearing with Naturally Raw! food to support a Natural Living health conciousness. That's the Greenpets way. Go see the GREENPETS HERBAL for more edible greens to feed your birds.

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Tortoise nursery fodder

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Budgie Communication is classic Bimbo Yoohoo
No, really, budgies chirp chirp chirp, but it seemingly never changes. This implies there are sounds modulated onto that chirp we cannot hear, or that repetitive chirp actually has variety, only it is so subtle or fast we cannot distinguish a change. If they talk, I don't hear it.
Budgies do have a rather rich body language. Probably the first one you will spot is face-knawing. It looks like they are kissing, but there seems to be an element of intimidation too. Fighting males will also bite at the face, but they also pull feathers, sit on the opponent, push him up and down a perch. Wherever the poor thing wants to sit, is never good enough for the bully. The fighting is always about

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Chew, never swallow. The picture is one right next to its poisonous lookalike, devil's for thorn. POISON.

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Breeding Budgies is easy enough.
First, make sure you have a proper breeding pair. This means you did not buy them from the same shop, in the same city or even anywhere in your province. Chances are you are buying brother and sister, or at the very best a great granddaughter and her late uncle's twice removed nephew who mated with auntie who got bred from her own middle brother. See the budgie introductory moan about inbreeding and bad budgie blood in Gauteng, and please don't join the monetised march to budgie martyrdom. ...Or any other get-rich-quick breeding scheme you have bubbling in your noggin. On the other hand, almost two percent of new humans are autistic, so poisoned blood is fashion. Don't do it, dear humane human, if you think the money is worth the pain, then

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Raw. Jam. Fried, with ham. Basil and salt on the world's best sandwich.

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Budgies; the colourful clowns of cageland.
Budgies are actually pests in some parts of the world, where they swarm in huge numbers, damaging crops as they migrate around their territory. To blame are the feral birds that managed to survive long enough to find sanctuary in a flock, there to breed like the flying mice they are. In general, a budgie's bright colours, noisy habits and general inability to fly well enough after a life in a cage, means they do not survive. Every other territorial bird it encounters, will bully it, and every predator wants to taste the brightly advertised snack. When you are running all the time, there is no time to eat and rest, and you will soon die. Don't release unwanted birds, even if the poor thing survives, it will only end up being a pestilence for some farmer.
That said, budgies are small agile birds that can get enough exercise in a relatively small cage. At Greenpets, relatively small means you can't walk in upright carrying two buckets without bumping anything. Relatively small is where you keep something you plan to provide with proper habitat sooner than later. Relatively big, on the other hand, can mean anything more spacious than the tiny wire jail they sold you your pet in. Sometimes just opening the cage and letting the poor thing fly around a bit makes me feel better already. One has to be careful though, sometimes the animal you want to teach some love, was taught some serious fear and hatred when young. Budgies are like that. Some allow you to handle them, especially the ones who know you from birth. New arrivals tend to visciously knaw on your fingers. They are quite strong biters, budgies are.
In general, budgies are very easy to keep, and with a bit of proper interest, you can keep them healthy and happy quite cheaply. See further down this page for all sorts of interesting things you can feed your budgie, you might be surprised to know where so-called budgie seed comes from. No, budgies are colourful all by themselves, they don't bloom and form seed, silly.
Budgies breed easily enough if the conditions are right, and you can run out of space very quickly once they get going. Like mice, comparitively speaking, when compared to, for example, the rare Agnodusian Eagle that lays one egg every leap year provided April first is a Sunday. Go see the page on breeding, it should tell you enough to get going. Which brings me to that part of the article we all dread: the neverending bitching about Natural Living and all that. Right now, 2017, in Gauteng, you will find budgies for sale all over, but they are starting to show serious signs of inbreeding. I was made aware some fifteen or twenty years ago that a chap from Lenazia decided to corner the budgie market in Gauteng. He went around buying up every budgie he could find, and selling back into circulation only males.
I am told he made some pretty moolah by monopolising the entire budgie trade, but now Gauteng's budgies are so inbred, we sit with four grey budgies, and five yellow ones, of which two are albinos. Yellow budgies are rare but not strange, albinos on the other hand... Add to that the more frequent appearance of assymetry, disturbed feather arrangements, beak deformities... Gauteng's budgies are in trouble, and we at Greenpets plan to do something. To start with, we offer a budgie exchange. We have had very few takers so far, admittedly, it sounds weird that we would swop you for another budgie that looks nearly identical, but as we get budgies in from further and further away, we are surer and surer to find fresh blood. Unlike the Sultan of Crippled Budgies, we are not trying to get rich, we are trying to help a species being bred into disease and failure by people who insist on profit no matter what damage they leave behind.
Support the Greenpets Budgie Genome Diversification Programme. No, that is just a thought-up name, trying to sound impressive and knowledgeable when all we want is for budgies and people to feel free again.

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You plant two leaves, you watch the alien creep all over the yard, and when it starts dying back, the ground is full of starch bombs, just below the surface. The greens are good spinach. And fodder.

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Take it slow, but remember every single step; you may need a shortcut when there are tomatoes to be had.

We have a few tortoises who visit us from time to time. They roam free, but return regularly to come "harvest" the seasonal delicacy. The biggest, Tuirtz, was brought here from a place where he shared a garden with a big dog. The tortoise was a walking knaw-bone, he was oozing blood through his shell. One of the many reasons why keeping wild animals as pets is such a bad idea, it being illegal is not scary enough for some people. He was rescued (bought at a price the guy could not refuse), and brought to us for treatment. We knew nothing about tortoises, so we cleaned up best we could, and put it in a safe place outside. After a few days, he was healing well, chomping down my garden I just managed to dig in. We kept him safe for winter, by spring he took to the road hungrily, and returned a few months later, probably by accident, but I think it was for the tomatoes.Tortoises go apeshell for a tomato. And dandelions. A tortoise will eat a dandelion patch into the ground before you notice it moved.

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Oil, nuts can be fried, eat by nibbling. Birds, horses, bunnies prefer the plant, eats it right off the seed.

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The ultimate all-terrain transport. The best friend you can have. A ton of muscle that allows you to drag it around the world.

We have four horses. Correction; we have two horses, a pony and a miniature horse. We always have to explain, the tiny thingy is not a Shetland pony, it is a local South African miniature breed horse, whereas that hulk of muscle over there, the highly trained Cowboy Showhorse (don't ask), that horse there just about three centimetres lower at the shoulder than the two other horses over there? Well, those three centimetres is the only difference between a horse and a pony. The only difference, promise, there is a specific shoulder height for a thoroughbred horse, and anything shorter is called a pony. Now you know, too. We also have two donkeys, very interesting animals, indeed. You want a free horse? well...

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Some have poison roots, some are poison except the roots. Some look better in salad than others. Favourite fodder for the whole family.

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We breed totally and completely free range, no pampering, wild running bug eating mouse gobbling Bosvelders.

Of all the things this article will one day tell you, let this be the first:

Don't let your chickens sit in a heap soiling themselves, and never, ever, collect their waste for any reason other than to get it as far away from your chickens as possible. Free ranging chickens are much happier and healthier than anything you buy, but the meat is certainly tastier, but also much tougher.

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Many species, many berries, many poisonous when unripe or raw or just because.

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WARNING: The information supplied here is for identification of common garden weeds. No-one should try replace or augment a doctor-prescribed medical course with a few helpings of herbs. There is no such thing as a dose of herbs. Only a qualified and experienced herbal doctor can prescribe you a dose of herbs, but those kind of doctors are very scarce in any country where Privatised health care is a thing. For the rest of us, with an interest in keeping healthy without being poisoned, herbalism is a lifestyle. Either you take medication for every ache and pain, or you denounce your role as experimental chemistry set, and try Natural Living, which is nothing more than to take responsibility for what you put into your mouth, nose and skin.

LET YOUR FOOD BE YOUR MEDICINE, AND YOUR MEDICINE BE YOUR FOOD


These are the plants we grow and use. The list is far from complete, but it contains only plants we grow, and use, and can vouch for. Some may strike you as familiar, many of them you may call weeds. Some are just useful for existing, like the sisal swordballs we plant along the fences to keep large animals off the yard. They feed the bees, supply nesting stumps for birds and you can make rope too. If that is not a useful herb, then at least call it medicine for peace of mind. I sleep better knowing no-one will get over my fence without crying out in pain.

We will keep adding to this collection of herbs. The photos are all from our own plants grown in our own garden. Some things we do not have photos of yet, like potatos. Yes, there is a good picture of a potato plant, but i did not take photos of the ones i planted, so i have to wait for harvest to upload an honest photo. For now, I drew you one just to have something there. Yes, yes, i could open a bag and photograph an onion, but that would not be a GREENPETS onion. Whatever we have in the Herbal, we can give you, even if we have to propagate for you especially. We have managed to aclimatise a number of exotics to the dry coldness of our area, an alternative to pampered potted pansies. GREENPETS, not greehouse. Greenhouses are the criminal penitentiaries of the plant world, free the weed!

Below is a long list of icons, with names and quick ideas of how to use it. The details are in the article you will find by opening the herb's particular read-more. We are also building an identification application to make it easier for you to identify plants you have. Sometimes the difference between a useful medicine and a useful poison is a few hairs under a seed pod. We will not even attempt doing fungi yet, the dangers of missing information are just too high.

For now, the pictures will help with identification, the paperwork is in the...uh...post?  Now read on, fellow traveller on the road to pharmaceutical ignorance, soon you too will look blank when people start swopping pain tablets in the office. Now go drink some clean water, that headache will diminish soon. or have you been eating junk again?

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Salad. Bees. Salad.

The Greenpets Triad of Hope:

NATURAL REARING

NATURAL LIVING

NATURALLY RAW!

If all seeds are patented, what will you grow without permission? Education has been declared to be Unsustainable. GMO food products are not suitable for any terrestrial diet. If you can sill afford it, it will give you cancer. We try to find solutions.

A licensed health practitioner would sell advice and nostrums on a page like this. We can't, but here are the things we use. If you find some reason to grow your own, or learn to make something, you may find a few useful bits of information here. Not well populated yet, we do more on our knees in the mud than we talk about it sitting down.

Dani and her Nikon looking at the world.

Purpose-built and innovative helpful structures

Emergency fault finding and repair for small motors, such as generators, lawnmowers and pumps.

Design and manufacture of plastic objects up to 250x250x270 volume.

Sometimes, the truth is just too absurd for words. Stories have many words one can borrow, new eyes, new ways of listening.

Every living thing is in an environment it shares with other organisms. Every living thing is an environment shared by other organisms. Every environment is a living organism.

The principles of conforming the diet to the digestive characteristics of man, animal and plant alike.

Our animals, your animals and all the things that makes life better for animals.

Everything we know about Dragons that might be useful to someone else.

Not those weird feathered flu-taxis that grow to slaughter weight in four weeks. Real chickens, free chickens that came dear.

The ultimate bug-out vehicle. Off-road, in water, and it can love you back. Also, they fart less than any SUV.

What life tortoise about snailosauruses

Keeping, Feeding and Breeding Budgies in Gauteng

Keeping, training, Feeding, Breeding cats in Gauteng

Gardening without modern poisons is a challenge, and understanding the lifecycle of your enemies takes some observation. This blog will eventually catalogue our attempts at poison-free farming for Naturally RAW! food.

the GREENPETS attempt at avoiding, voiding and overcoming the poisoned food chain.

The list of herbs at Greenpets. Identification and Propagation or at least how to keep it alive in Gauteng.

Right or wrong, good or bad, we have to eat. Everyone has to eat, and we are what we eat. Commentary and suggestions on important nutritional news.

The art of brewing, distilling and hydration of the body with the products thereof.