THE GREENPETS HOME PAGE
An attempt to stem the tide of genocide disguised as food and medicine.
Toroise, Dragon fodder. Leaves for salad.
So, you want to keep some chickens. Maybe you already know where to find a chicken. Like puppies, they are a dreadfully compelling thing in a shop window. Maybe you should read this too, it may have something new to say about where to find chickens. Firstly, what kind of chicken are you looking for? How do you want to keep it, and most importantly, what do you want to do with that chicken? I guess your first answer has something to do with eggs. You are, of course, aware that only girl chickens lay eggs, and there are no boy hens. You will need at least one hen. If you want to have a rooster as well, take note of two things:
You are not allowed to keep a rooster within city limits. The darn things crow at ungodly hours, your neighbour will contact you, and he’s not likely to be in a good mood after a ruined night.
A rooster is too much man for one hen, get at least four hens, or five, they can share the abuse and survive the constant, umm, you know.
Anyhow, where to find your chickens. Most pet shops on the outskirts of any town will keep some fancy ones. Many people actually want pretty chickens, and there are some real pretty chickens out there. Showgrade exotic chickens can cost a bundle, and many are quite useless as egglayers, and their meat poor, so do some research on that special breed you so much want. Those are really best bought at shows, from the people who show them. Like all thoroughbreds, there is a lively community to help you. For the common man, I say you go to the nearest smallholding. If they do not have extras to sell, they will probably know someone who can help you. Unless you know how to sex chickens, I suggest you get mature ones, who are easy to differentiate; hens do not have a hard, pointy bone thing sticking out just below their knees, which bend backward. It is called a spur, and it can hurt you bad.
Another warning about buying chickens: the real professionals, who ‘produce’ six thousand eggs per shift, they do not have any roosters, because they do not need them to eat expensive feed. Roosters are separated at very early age, and ‘made away with’. Apparently the modern way is to gas them en masse. Some are rescued, or rather, sold off to unscrupulous vendors for mere cents per live chick. These very handsome young fellows then end up as bona fide merchandise on the corner of every peri-urban community. Given they were bred to grow fast, they have some value as meat, if slaughtered early and tender, but you will never get an egg from a roadside cardboard chick tray roosterlet.
Another ready source of live chickens is the hens from the same egg factory. Battery hens are fed a cocktail of hormones, supplements and antibiotics to speed up the production of eggs and to stay alive in the severely unnatural confines of a wire cage. These hens’ production rates are carefully monitored, and hens beyond the age of profitability requirements are ‘done away with’. At least this time, they tend to be sold off to be slaughtered. It is possible, from certain factories, to buy these hens at fair prices. The easiest source for these chickens is Saturday Morning Pavement Market at any informal settlement. Do be aware; these chickens lived on a cocktail of hormones, supplements and antibiotics. If you do not continue feeding them this chemical smorgasbord, you have a guaranteed mortality rate after two days of 60-100%. If you can pull them through, you have another day or three to teach them to eat normally. This can best be done by putting a piece of fencing between the (by now exhausted and weak) chicken and her bowl of seeds. They seem to understand the stuff on the other side of the wire cage is food. Water is also a problem, as their beaks are likely to be malformed by the steel nipple they drank from all their lives; make sure there is some moisture in their first food.
At Greenpets, we made all these mistakes and more. We know how to get those chickens through their initial shock, we save most, actually, but we don’t bother anymore. They never learn to breed, raise chicks, run from predators… they are too stupid to keep themselves dry, and most importantly, the genes:
Last statistics I heard was that the two most popular strains of battery chickens in South Africa have between two and four allele pairs relating to immunity and disease resistance. Two or four, normal farm chickens have twenty and more pairs of immunity alleles. Battery chickens are not bred to survive nature, and freeing them is an expensive and mostly doomed exercise. Eating them, well now, that is now your informed choice. Genetically degenerated meat raised on a cocktail of hormones, supplements and antibiotics, yummy.
To sum up: Get a box as big as your car will hold, and take a drive through your any neighbourhood you see chickens running around. Like with all other business transactions, there are always sharks, but this seems to be the standard rule: you will pay per kilo, live or dead, for just about any edible animal on this earth, including some creatures you would never expect on your plate. Chicken meat prices available from your nearest shop, a very large chicken can weigh four kilos, but two kilos is considered fair deal on the average hen. The chicken at your supermarket is not a good guide, because after all the growth hormones and all that, you still have to add one last ingredient to your factory chicken: Salt water, at least fifteen percent, injected into the chicken ‘for flavour and softness’. You are paying forty-what per kilo for salt water! Those chickens weigh 1,5 or 2 kilos in the packet, real chickens are lighter after slaughtering.
One last consideration before you buy chickens: they attract predators. All kinds of hungry feet will find their way to your chickens, trust me, so newbies beware, buy three or so at a time, until you have been robbed enough to have learned the somewhat specialist trade of chicken security. This is of importance when considering your family’s security.
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...
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
On the photos of our Dragon Garden, you may notice some familiar plants; Daisies, Dandelion, Burnett, ox grass, strawberries, purslaine, hemp. Not seen is grated pumpkin, carrot, salad, apple, all things Dragons love. It is quite satisfying to watch your Dragon lay into a clump of English violets like there's no tomorrow. They also like worms and bugs, of course, and I suspect they will snap at anything smaller than their own head.
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.
Well, your main concern would be to have at least two, and they being of opposite gender. Sex. Somehow the dirty word has now become the politely correct one, for "gender" has been corrupted to mean "publically presented personality". We digress. you need a boy and a girl who know they are a boy and a girl respectively and mutually. In jail conditions, they tend to wrestle a lot, and some blood flows, but more on that in the behaviour section. When breeding, we have seen BiBi get all excited, storm half a country mile to get to Slick, whereupon BiBi will jump on Slick's back, and there they lie for a minute or two. This does not tell the whole story:
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,
Put the dragon on the palm of your hand, tail pointing at your nose.
Lift the tail straight up so you can see the underside where it joins to the body.
You will see not an organ, but one or two bumps under the skin. If you see two parallel bumps, forming the shape of a vertical slot, you have a male. One bump horizontally is a female. Weird, but here's why:
You are looking at either the one set of ovaries, horizontally installed, or TWO penises, left and right, vertical and parallel. Go figure. Now remember, breeding is not heavenly magic, you need at least one of each of these to breed. It's how life works, until Monsanto gets to patent all the genes on earth.
How cats communicate
They don't. They issue orders, and take vengeance upon those who disobey. Vengeance may be limited to severe turning of the back. When a cat turns his back on you, you know it, it actually hurts. That might be the cat's most awesome weapon; ignoring the heck out of you. They also scratch.
This article has been written three times already, and it keeps disappearing. It matters little, it was mainly about how cats know sixty ways of ignoring you, let it be for now...
Dragons are from Australia, in particular the bushveld type areas. By that we mean it is not desert, not forest, not grassland, but rocks and bushes and grasses and tough flowers and even tougher prey. We have tried to emulate this, and we built the Critter Garden habitat for them. We originally received two Dragons as a gift from some colleague. They lived in their -admittedly roomy- glass-fronted prisons for a year, when I decided to take interest. Frankly, who the hell keeps a cold-blooded lizard as a pet? It's not even like the thing can learn even basic tricks. Seeing them sulk behind their windows really got to me though, so I built them a place in the garden, where they now live and seemingly love. See the photos.
All your cat needs is love and fresh protein. Cats are not too dependent on love. Protein, on the other hand....
Cats are carnivores, and that means they eat very little that is not meat. Like all pets, they may learn to snack on rubbish, but unless you give it free reign, the cat can handle e few titbits. Your cat can also handle commercial dry pellet kibble gunk flavoured with real protein. It will die young and in pain from failed kidneys, but hey, you gave it lots of love with every bowl of industrial waste, yes? A cat's diet must be so rich in protein, his poop should be irresistible to dogs. I am not talking coprophagia here. Dogs who eat each others' or their own poop, are lacking nutrition. Cats eating poop are bloody well starving. A dog eating a cat's poop is good exploitation of available resources. Consider that the cat's meal was pure raw meat. His digestive tract extracted maximum 60% of the nutrition. That means, for every 100 grams the cat ate, the dog gets 40 grams of pure meat for free. This is called utilising your resources.
What you mean the maths is wrong? Cats don't eat pure meat? Your cat did not get raw meat for breakfast? Why not? Are you busy poisoning your cat to the point where it needs its teeth brushed? Cats are carnivores, by definition they eat meat, whatever argument you want to put forth regarding balanced diets scientifically formulated or not, cats eat raw fresh meat and then they go to sleep for most of the day. Like cats should do. Actually, cats do have one source of vegetables; the innards of the small animals they catch and eat whole. This is why you should supplement the raw meat with occasional rats, mice, chicks or just a packet of nice, fresh, clean, fresh, odourless, fresh, unfrozen, fresh, clean and fresh chicken intestines, sold as CHICKEN MALA at your local non-bourgeois corner shop. Make sure it is fresh. Some catnip also comes in a treat.
Jacky Dragons, contrary to my initial expectation of coldblooded indifference and reptilian fight-or-flight behaviour, actually have personalities. Some are friendlier than others. Some can be quite adventurous, or else shy and aloof. Some will only eat once you leave them alone, most will soon accept you and wrestle your fingers for worms. We are still learning what Dragons are saying, but we know they communicate, because they regularly exhibit certain behaviour.
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
Actual bearded dragons have large flaps of skin that screams "beard" at you. Jacky dragons have pointy scales in the beard region that change colour often, making their relatively tiny beards (compared to real Bearded Dragons) of some importance to the observer. There are various theories regarding the reasons and rhymes of the visual display of Jackies. Most of them are suspect, as I have observed exactly the same displays in quite opposite circumstances. Look, I am not some kind of expert, but look at the photos, see how my dragons live, and then I will tell you the little I have been able to surmise so far.
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
GREENPETS Natural Living Resource Pages is an organic, categorised collection of observations and experimentations regarding a rather old and boring theory on life, health and happiness:
YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT.
This seems to hold true whether you are man, dog, wheat, weed, or just a seed crystal attracting trace minerals. The entire commercial food chain has been polluted by a cocktail of vicious poisons, many of which cannot legally be proven toxic, because no-one has spent the money developing the tests. GMO's are causing numerous symptoms hinting that the body does not recognise the seeds as food. Fight as we might for honest labelling, the best we can hope for is some generic term, usually prefaced with the word 'approved', such as 'approved' artificial flavourants. It can hide much corporate iniquity, the package label laws. Here's one:
Not even the baddest dog out there deserves bloodsoaked cardboard as a regular part of their diet, labelled as "Filler".
We get a bit nasty about this sort of thing around here.
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.
1. Get yourself some sugar concentrate going.
2. Sterilise it. Keep it sterile from here on.
3. Add hops to taste. Other flavours maybe.
4. Cool raw beer down to 20°C as quick as possible
5. Add yeast and close fermenter against infection
6. Wait a few days until all signs of life cease
7. Prepare for drinking by bottling or casking
8. Drink and enjoy a job well done
You want it to be more complex? Don't ask for trouble trying to make it complex, spend your energy and money on HYGIENE. Hygiene is your friend. Infections are your arch enemy. There are horrible things in the air we breathe, you certainly find out about them when you learn brewing! KEEP EVERYTHING CLEAN. This includes your equipment, your workspace, your tools and yourself.
Of course there is some details to fill in above, for which I will provide cheap-to-load detailed articles. For now, here are the same steps in BREWERS' TERMINOLOGY:
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
Dani took these just hours after she was given her first real camera. These have been severely underpixelated for quick and cheap loading on your browser, of course. It shows a common house fly in the ever-tightening grip of a sundew plant. Just to have some photos on the photographic page…
Here the fly gets trapped by the sticky juices
NATURAL LIVING Article Count: 22
The Greenpets Triad of Hope:
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.
APOTECHARY Article Count: 7
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.
PHOTOGRAPHY Article Count: 2
Dani and her Nikon looking at the world.
ENGINEERING Article Count: 5
Purpose-built and innovative helpful structures
FICTION Article Count: 1
Sometimes, the truth is just too absurd for words. Stories have many words one can borrow, new eyes, new ways of listening.
THE BIOME Article Count: 4
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.
NATURAL REARING Article Count: 30
The principles of conforming the diet to the digestive characteristics of man, animal and plant alike.
CRITTERS Article Count: 22
Our animals, your animals and all the things that makes life better for animals.
DRAGONS Article Count: 6
Everything we know about Dragons that might be useful to someone else.
CHICKENS Article Count: 2
Not those weird feathered flu-taxis that grow to slaughter weight in four weeks. Real chickens, free chickens that came dear.
HORSES Article Count: 1
The ultimate bug-out vehicle. Off-road, in water, and it can love you back. Also, they fart less than any SUV.
TORTOISES Article Count: 1
What life tortoise about snailosauruses
BUDGIES Article Count: 6
Keeping, Feeding and Breeding Budgies in Gauteng
CATS Article Count: 6
Keeping, training, Feeding, Breeding cats in Gauteng
PLANTS Article Count: 0
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.
NATURALLY RAW! Article Count: 70
the GREENPETS attempt at avoiding, voiding and overcoming the poisoned food chain.
THE HERBAL Article Count: 57
The list of herbs at Greenpets. Identification and Propagation or at least how to keep it alive in Gauteng.
FOOD Article Count: 3
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.
BREWING Article Count: 8
The art of brewing, distilling and hydration of the body with the products thereof.
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