Fun Facts

FAQs and Interesting Facts

I found a wild boar piglet.  Can I keep him as a pet?

Wild boars and domestic or farm pigs are very different. Wild boars are wildlife and their survival skills are hardwired in quite differently. Consequently, wild boar, even when hand reared can be very unpredictable and dangerous. They have not been exposed to people for generations and generations like the farm pigs. Even the farm pig can cause problems for people. It is a common misconception that because you raise an animal from a young age it will make a good pet. In some cases with domesticated animals this is true, but in many cases with wildlife it is not. We recently heard of a wild boar that was living with some horses in a pasture as a pet for five years. The wild boar was taken in at a young age and raised up. The owner came out one morning to find that the wild boar had attacked one of the horses and injured the horse severely. The owner loaded up the horse in the trailer to take it to the vet. They asked their neighbors to move the boar into a separate area away from the remaining horse. The neighbors tried to move the wild boar but he promptly attacked them and had to be shot. This is a long answer, we know, but the truth of the matter is besides the fact that in many cases owning wildlife is illegal it can also be risky at best.

What are the long flaps of skin hanging under the chin of some goats?

These are known as wattles.  Chickens have wattles as well.

Are hay and straw the same thing?

This is a good question. No they are not. Hay is different grasses such as timothy, alfalfa, orchard, and brome to name some that have been cut, allowed to dry and then baled. hay is used as a good source for animals. Straw is oats and wheat that have been cut and baled. Straw is not used to feed animals, it is used for animal bedding. 

How many times does a horse chew in a day?

It is documented that a horse chews between 10,000 and 40,000 times a day.

Did you know... Horses do not breath through their mouth, they breath through their nose. Why do pigs dig in the dirt?

This behavior is called "rooting". They are looking for insects, grubs and worms.

Why is my bird is loosing it's feathers?

This is known as "molting" and it is similiar to shredding in  mammals. Birds loose the old feathers so the new ones can grow.

Is it true that horses and goats make good companions?

Horses and goats are herd animals and are usually more relaxed when they have a herd mate however, there are many factors that need to be taken into consideration before attempting this. Quite some time ago goats were used as companion animals for high strung horses to keep them calm before a race. Unscrupulous competitors would steal the goat the night before the race causing the horse much distress and usually squashing any chance of that horse winning the race. Hence the old saying "I have got your goat".

Goats and sheep look alike to me. How can you tell the difference?

If  you are not familiar with goats and sheep this can be very difficult. A goat’s tail will stand up (unless it is sick, frightened or in distress) but a sheep’s tail is often docked and will hang down. Goats have hair whereas most sheep have wool. A goat’s horns are thin and point upward unlike the sheep’s horns that are thicker and grow downward by the side of the head. Goats may have beards and sheep may have manes. Goats say “maaa” but sheep say “baaa.”

Are rabbits rodents?

Rabbits are not rodents, they belong to a family called "lagomorphs".

Did you know... Mules for the most part are not able to reproduce, they are sterile. There has been an occassional exception to this, although it is very rare. What is a free range chicken? What is a cage free egg?

It is a chicken that is allowed to roam outside or in a pen. They are not kept in battery cages. A cage free egg is produced from a free range chicken.

Did you know... A mule is the offspring of  a male donkey (jack) and a female horse (mare). A hinny is the offspring of a male horse (stallion) and a female donkey (jenny). My parrot is always trying to bite me? 

Be careful not to misinterpret “beaking” for biting. Beaking is when a bird investigates something with it’s beak. For instance before a bird steps up on a branch it will very often reach over and test that branch with it’s beak to make sure it is safe to step on. They may do the same thing with your finger before stepping up. If you overreact to this it could set up a biting scenario.

Can  female goats have beards?

Beards are not exclusive to bucks or wethers (males). If a doe is a show animal with a beard it is usually trimmed.

How do you get the wool from sheep?

Sheep are sheared to obtain the wool. This is usually done annually.

How can a chicken lay an egg without a rooster?

The reproductive system of a hen is such that it usually lays an egg daily with or without a rooster. However if there is no rooster the egg is infertile.

Did you know... It has been said that goats stink. But the truth of the matter is that as long as they are kept clean it is only the buck  (not neutered) that has a strong odor. This is especially prevalent during breeding season. Although it may be offensive to humans it is quite pleasing to the does. What is a ruminant?

An animal that has four compartment stomachs (some only have three). These animals ruminate or chew their cud. The cud is a bolus of food that has been burped up from the rumen to be chewed on and swallowed again until the food particles are small enough to continue on through the remaining stomach compartments.

Did you know... Horses have monocular vision. This means a different image is seen by each eye. What they see with the right eye they may never have seen with the left and vice versa. We are frequently asked if we milk our does (female goats)?

For the most part in order to produce milk the animal needs to be lactating which occurs when she has offspring. This is true in all animals. However there are some dairy cows that due to genetics will produce milk without having ever been pregnant. There are cases where animals have produced milk for babies that are not theirs. This has happened when a baby has been brought into a herd with no mother to feed it. An older female may “spontaneously lactate” providing the nourishment the baby needs to survive. Nature is truly amazing. However back to the original question, since we do not breed animals we do not have goats that we milk.

Did you know... A blue and gold macaw is estimated to have a bite force of 200 pounds per square inch. What is sheep’s wool used for?

The wool is spun into yarn. One pound of wool will produce about ten miles of yarn.

Did you know... The pupil of the eye of a goat is rectangular instead of round like other animals. I often see my parrot pulling at it’s feathers. What is it doing?

Your bird is “preening” itself. When a bird preens itself it is cleaning and smoothing it’s feathers. This is not to be confused with “feather plucking” which is a aberrant behavior. Feather plucking can be due to stress, lack of a good diet, boredom and other unknown reasons. Feather plucking is self destructive whereas preening is very healthy.

Are chickens vegetarians?

Contrary to belief chickens are not vegetarians. They eat all types of insects and worms as well as an occasional  frog and mouse.

Did you know... Goats, sheep and cattle along with almost 200 other ruminants do not have top front teeth. They have tough dental pads below the top lip. What are goat and sheep horns made of?

Horns are made up of keratin which is the same material as our fingernails. The horns continue to grow throughout the lifetime of the animal.

How come my neighbor's geese wouldn't let me in their yard?

Geese are very territorial as well as noisy. They are fearless when chasing an intruder out of their territory, vocalizing while they do it. They consider you an intruder.

Why are chicken eggs different colors?

The color of the egg is determined by the breed of chicken that produces it. However the nutritional value from a brown egg is the same as a white or green egg. It is merely a color.

Did you know... Ponies are not young horses. It is generally agreed upon that height is the main determining factor between horses and ponies. Ponies are usually less than 14.2 hands (one hand equals four inches) whereas horses are at least 14.2 hands. There are exceptions to this, Arabians tend to be smaller but are true horses. Ponies have a stockier frame and are stronger than a horse pound for pound. How come my parrot doesn’t talk?

African greys, double yellow heads and yellow naped parrots are among a few parrots that are reputed to be good to excellent talkers. It also depends on the individual bird. Just as people differ in their accomplishments so do birds. It may be a case that the bird is a slow starter or the bird may never talk at all.

Did you know... Two naturally polled (without horns) goats that breed may produce hermaphrodite offspring. A hermaphrodite has both male and female sex organs. Although this can occur in horned goats it happens more frequently in naturally polled goats. Goats that are disbudded are not naturally polled.  Why do pigs wallow in the mud?

Pigs do not have sweat glands. The mud is used to cool them off as well as protect them from biting insects and sunburn.

Did you know... Cattle can walk upstairs but because of the way their legs bend they are incapable of walking downstairs. What is the life expectancy of a parrot? On an average the small parrots (Quakers) live 20 -30 years, medium size parrots (Amazons) live 40 - 50 years and large parrots (Macaws) live 50 - 70 years. Parrot ownership is a lifetime commitment! Did you know... Rabbits can see behind them without moving their head but have a blind spot in front of their face. My horse stands up most of the time, when does it sleep?

Horses can sleep standing up as well as lying down.

My goats jumped over my fence. How high can they jump?

Depending on the goat as well as the placement of the fence it is possible for a goat to jump over a 5 foot fence.

Did you know... Hens produce larger eggs as they grow older. How much milk does a cow produce in its lifetime? 

That depends on the breed as well as the individual cow however, it is estimated that the average cow produces 200,000 glasses of milk in its lifetime.

Did you know... The Tennessee Fainting Goat also know as Tennessee Stiff -Leg is native to the United States. This breed suffers from a recessive trait known as myotonia. When frightened they experience extreme muscle stiffness causing the neck and legs to extend before the goat falls to the ground. What is a zoonotic disease?

Most diseases are species specific however, a zoonotic disease is a disease that can be transferred to humans.

Did you know... Pigs are said to be the fourth smartest animal. What does it mean when the pupils of my parrot’s get repeatedly very large and then very small?

This is known as pinning. You will want to use caution when interacting with a bird that is pinning since the bird is in a excited or agitated state. We stop all interaction when our birds are pinning. Since most birds love interaction they soon learn to calm down and they will get the attention that they are seeking.

Did you know... A boar, male pig, is capable of reproducing at eight weeks old. What are zygodactyl feet?

Zygodactyl feet are common in many birds including most parrots. All this means is that two of the digits on the feet face forward and two digits face backwards. This gives them the ability to grasp and hold on.

Did you know... Goats do not have tear ducts. Why does my rooster crow at all hours of the night? I thought they only crow at dawn.

A rooster crows to re-establish his territory and warn intruders to keep out. It is also one of the ways that he communicates with his flock. He will crow whenever he feels it is warranted regardless of the time of day or night.