Honey Creek Farms

Solar Horse Farm And Pine Terpene Manufacturer

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Joan Robertson

How CBD Can Help Your Dog

The benefits of CBD for people are widely advertised, but what you may not know is that it’s also incredibly useful for your canine friend too. Today, we’re going to learn more about CBD and exactly how it can help your dog!

What’s CBD?

Just in case you didn’t know, CBD is short for cannabidiol and it comes from the buds and flowers of the cannabis plant. Before you panic, there’s no ‘high’ associated with CBD because there’s no THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).

CBD for Dogs

You might have seen marijuana and hemp, and these both contain THC. While hemp only contains around 0.3% THC and is therefore used in similar products to CBD, marijuana can contain around 30% THC. Currently, hemp-derived oil is legal across all states while marijuana-derived CBD oil is mostly illegal.

Benefits of CBD for Your Dog

  • Prevent Seizures – Firstly, the anticonvulsant properties of CBD mean that tremors, tics, seizures, and spasms are all controlled. If your dog struggles with these problems, this is a fantastic solution.
  • Control Pain – As we know for humans, CBD is also considered a strong painkiller. In truth, CBD can help with all sorts of health problems.
  • Help Nausea – Some dogs struggle with vomiting and nausea, and a growing number of owners are deploying CBD since it is antiemetic. Simultaneously, this will also boost the appetite of your pet. 
  • Encourage Homeostasis – For some vets, they have recommended CBD to treat some illnesses while also encouraging positive health. When used as a regular supplement, some owners say that the overall wellbeing of their dog improves.
  • Reduce Inflammation – Again, this is another reason so many people use CBD. Whether it’s the aches and pains of daily life or a particular health condition, CBD is known to reduce inflammation in your dog just as well as yourself.
  • Limit Stress and Anxiety – Thankfully, we now have access to several studies that have shown a link between CBD and various mental conditions. Sadly, dogs are prone to stress, anxiety, and they can even show signs of certain phobias. With regular CBD, the dog gets the help they need.
  • Slow Tumor Growth – In rats, there’s evidence that CBD provides protection against colon cancer. Not only does it slow the growth of existing tumors, it also prevents the spreading of other tumors. There’s a chance that it will do the same in our doggy friends.

Tips for Buying CBD Products

To finish this short guide, we want to provide advice for those considering CBD products for their dog. With this in mind, we’ve compiled some top tips below!

  • Don’t buy a poorer product just to save a little money. Generally speaking, the purer and higher quality products come with a more expensive price tag. Sadly, cheaper products have been known to contain additives such as pesticides, heavy metals, and herbicides. 
  • It’s hard to administer CBD to a dog, so we recommend buying a tincture or oil. Additionally, this will allow you to control exactly how much CBD you provide each time. 
  • If possible, choose an organic product; this is the best way to ensure that it’s free from fungicides, pesticides, and solvents. 
  • Assess the manufacturer’s certificate which explains the CBD content in the product. Some products advertised as special CBD oils will actually only contain a tiny percentage of CBD. Elsewhere, make sure it has little or no THC. 

CBD can certainly help your dog, and we hope this guide has helped you to get started today!



How To Take Care Of A Llama

Dogs, cats, goldfish, and maybe a hamster is what usually comes to one’s mind when they hear the word pet. Everyone has their own preference when it comes to keeping a pet. While most people would opt for a more conventional choice, others might want to keep a pet tiger, horse, or even a llama.

llama vet

Llamas are domesticated animals native to the moorlands of South America. Conventionally, they have been used to carry stuff around and are considered to be livestock, but many people cherish them for their friendly, social, calm nature and the fact that they can easily be trained.  

Llamas make great companions and pets because of their highly predictable low-key temperament, ease of maintenance, and intelligence. Llamas are now becoming popular pets due to their cleanliness and friendly dispositions. Their lifespan is estimated to be between 15 and 30 years.

Taking care of a llama is no joke as they are not small animals. They weigh around 250 to 450 lbs and can be about 5′ to 6 “5′ tall. So, if you get a llama as a pet or to raise as livestock, you will need to understand how to meet its basic needs, feed it, and provide it with adequate space and shelter. 

Once these needs are met, your llama will be a happy and healthy animal. Llamas are usually healthy, prosperous animals that require little upkeep beyond good primary care. Nevertheless, before you decide to keep a llama, you will need to have a basic understanding of this animal and its particular needs.

llama veterinarians
  • Health Needs

The first and foremost thing you need to do is take your llama to an experienced livestock vet. There are many 24-hour vets available worldwide, and only they can better guide any llama owner on how to take care of them properly. The large animal vet would guide you on everything from the llama’s vaccination to its diet.

It is imperative to get in touch with a 24-hour vet in case of any medical attention needed by your llama. Since these animals are always outside, its essential to get regular check-ups to make sure they are healthy. You will want to check their fleece to see if they have any wounds that need to be tended to. 

  • Food Requirements

All llamas tend to eat grass and hay. Ideally, they should be fed orchard grass and can also have alfalfa, but it should never constitute more than 20 percent of their diet as too much alfalfa can cause a mineral imbalance. They also need a good supply of water.

  • Creating a Healthy Environment

Llamas should be provided with an open space or pastureland to roam about in and a fenced shelter to stay and sleep in. There shouldn’t be any overcrowding as it can cause the spread of disease. Along with that, they shouldn’t roam around in an area with a running stream or water supply as they tend to lounge in it and ruin their fleece with fungus.



How to Pick the Right Storage Unit When Moving

We closed down a sister farm and had to pack up the farm house and the barn until we could relocate. We found ourselves in a pinch after our horse trainer left without notice and took her horses. She was also caring for some client horses, but managed to notify them before she left. I won’t get into detail, but the departure left a bad taste in our mouths. Understandably, she left for another opportunity in Tulsa that paid her more money. We would have been fine with this, except it left us in such a bind we had to break the lease on the property.

Though it can be exciting, moving is generally a stressful journey to endure, especially considering the circumstances. There is an incredible amount of work that needs to be done, which includes storing items during the process. If you are pressed for time like we were, you might want to call a moving and storage company in OKC. If you are in the middle of moving from the outskirts of Oklahoma City, up to Edmond, OK, and the property isn’t ready for you, you might want to find a storage facility in Oklahoma City. You will need to store your things, or perhaps you are downsizing and do not have adequate room anymore, a storage unit can solve those problems.

Though this is a great solution, keep in mind that not every storage unit facility is the same. It is critical to find one that is trustworthy and fulfills your storing needs. This holds true if you are keeping expensive horse equipment and supplies. Here are some ways that can help you in your decision making so you can mark this off your task list. 

Size of Storage Unit

First and foremost, you need to figure out what you are planning to store so you can get an idea of the size you need to rent. Of course, you do not want to rent from a company merely because they can fit all your things, but it will help narrow down your search. Keep in mind that the best set up would be a unit being spacious enough to fit your items as well as having enough room to walk around. Most of you won’t be moving a small farm, so I will try and keep this in perspective as I proceed.

Temperature Sensitive Items

Do you have anything that is sensitive to drastic temperature changes, such as music equipment? If so, you need to ensure that the unit you rent has climate control, preferably indoors, so you can have peace of mind knowing your belongings are appropriately stored and not at risk for damage. Family heirlooms are something you should keep in a well secured, temperature controlled, storage unit.

Security

No one wants their stuff stolen, which is why security measures are vital in your decision process. Units that have excellent security monitoring can give you much more confidence in your experience, especially if you have expensive and valuable items stored. This could be fencing, locks, cameras, and even security guards. We also recommend that you double lock your storage unit door and pack your items in such a way that makes it difficult for a thief to steel your valuables.

Check the Reviews

Every legitimate business has a review of some sort, somewhere. Even if you dialed in on a particular unit, make sure to do your due diligence and check the reviews from past and present customers. Reading both the positive and negatives will give you a decent idea of how the company operates, especially if the reviews have a common theme. If there are more unhappy customers than satisfied, then you may want to steer clear. Also, be sure to check where the reviews are coming from, local reviews from Oklahoma City and the surrounding area will carry more weight than an out of state review. Read through them all, most of the time you can see a fake review from a mile away.

Office Hours

Determine how accessible you need your items to be and then compare your requirements to what different unit companies have to offer. If you have a specific timeframe and the gate hours are not accommodating, then it could be a deal-breaking conflict.

Conclusion

There is a lot that goes into picking out the right storage unit when you are planning on a big move. Whatever your needs are, such as space constraints, before Googling and picking the first option you see in your area, step back and take the proper steps to ensure your items will be in the best care. Taking the necessary precautions now will maximize your opportunity to have your items stored in the best conditions.



When Should You Replace Your Farm House Roof

Living on the farm is no joke, most of the properties we own and operate on consist of many acres, homes, barns, garages, and storage sheds. These properties are also full of trees and shrubs that grow naturally, giving the properties a real outdoor feel when we are riding our horses. Keeping these properties up is not cheap, especially in a place like Florida where property prices are high, rains fall heavy, and the trees on the farm are prone to losing a branch or two as coastal winds blow through on occasion. I wanted to get this out for all my fellow farmers in Florida that deal with the same elements we do and may not realize the importance of roof inspections. Preventative measures will save you time and money in the long run. So here are some tips to consider when inspecting the roof on any structure on your Florida farm.

Is It Time To Replace Your Roof?

We don’t pay much attention to our roofs until they start leaking, or materials begin to rip off as the result of poor weather conditions. Even before there is visible damage, there could be other conditions happening below the surface. Dry rot, mold, infestations, and other similar problems may exist below the surface and are typically not noticed unless you have an inspection. According to the roofing contractors association, regular inspections for potential issues should be performed twice a year. Homes closer to the Florida coast line should check more frequently because of the moisture.  


We recommend that you hire professional help when inspecting your roof for damage. Still, if you are going to attempt to fix it yourself, we suggest that you recruit a family member or friend to assist you for safety reasons. A professional roofing contractor will help you navigate the process and ensure your roof replacement meets Florida building codes.

Common Signs of Roof Damage:

  1. Missing shingles
  2. Visible mold or moss
  3. Sagging areas, soft to the step
  4. Holes in the roof or signs of rot
  5. Signs of water damage or leakage
  6. Loose, damaged or cracked shingles

Small leaks and the spread of rot can be fixed if caught in time. Having a bi-annual inspection will help avoid extensive damage to the roof, and avoid a potential roof collapse. Maintaining the roof and conducting regular visual checks will increase the life span of the materials. Repairing the roof as problems surface is a great way to avoid significant repair costs.

Depending on the materials used, here is a general recommendation schedule for replacing your roof:

  1. Composition shingles: 12 to 20 years
  2. Asphalt shingles: 15 to 30 years
  3. Wood shingles: 20 to 25 years
  4. Rubber roofs: 30 to 35 years
  5. Metal roofs: 50 to 75 years

Identify Leaks and Document Everything

Roof leaks might not be evident at first. Unless you spend ample time in your attic space, chances are, leaks won’t become noticed until they are a significant problem. There are several signs to look for, which will indicate that you might have a leak. It would be best if you documented these issues as they arise for your own records, but also document for the insurance company, and your roofing contractor.

Paper Trail: Keep a record of leaks, storm damage, repairs, and costs associated with repairs. These records will help you keep track of the roof’s history, installation dates, and repair dates. If there were any warranties offered with the repair, this would become a useful reference when needed.  

Check Shingles: Heavy rains and strong winds can damage your shingles. After a storm, take the time to check your roof for possible damage. Shingles should be tight, nothing lose, and nothing out of place. If you find tears, cracks, damage, or buckling, it means the rooftop needs to be repaired immediately. Shingles should look healthy, and the granules should be present. If the roof is extremely worn, and there are no longer granules, it might be time to replace your roof.

Metal Flashing: Check your flashing around the vents, skylights, and the edges of the roof, flashing seals the seams of the roof from rain and debris. The flashing should look uniform and installed correctly. Damaged flashing could allow water and unwanted guests into your attic space. Roof rats in Florida are a great example of a pest you do not want entering your attic space.

Beware of Roof Rot: Replace any rotting wood before further damage occurs to your home. Rotting wood is not safe and can make your roof vulnerable to unwanted guests. Replace rotting wood as soon as possible.

Pressure Wash Your Roof: Moss looks cool in fish tanks, even in the everglades, but moss on the roof of your Florida home is not suitable for any roof type. You should have your roof pressure washed yearly and treated if possible.

The Florida weather will ultimately decide how long your roof lasts. Materials may wear out quickly because of severe storms or humidity. Get on the roof and check for damage after harsh wind and rain storms. Identifying minor issues before they become major problems is a cost-effective way to extend the lifespan of your roof.

Contact a professional roofing company near you to get professional help and guidance if you are experiencing issues.



Getting Into The Farming Business

Hey guys, I was talking with a friend this past week, and she is gearing up to start a small organic farm in Oregon. There are areas of Oregon that have been farming for hundreds of years, and it continues to grow. Smaller farms in the area have disappeared over the years as big development has pushed in to build houses. Her small boutique farm will have an emphasis on organic products, herbs, and vegetables mostly. As she begins this venture, she’s learning a lot about what it takes to get into the farming business. While she is definitely on the right track, there were some things that stood out during our conversation that led me to write this article.

• Know What Product You Want To Take To Market

If you are going to be growing and selling produce, you need to know a few things first. What is your product? Is there a local market for it? What is the barrier to entry? Knowing the answers to these questions will help prepare you to bring your product to market successfully.

•  Know The Seasons

Know the weather in your region and prepare to adjust your game. Climates in the North West are typically cold and wet. The summer months are short-lived, but beautiful for the few months they last. Having a greenhouse as an option to bring your produce indoors will give you a chance to keep your crops growing during the poor weather.

• Know Your Tools

Have the tools necessary to prepare your soil and plant your seeds properly. You will need gardening tools to care for your garden and trim your crops. Depending on what you grow, there are tools and gardening supplies that are specific to what you produce. Know your product, know what tools you need to grow, and enjoy the rewards.

• Treat It Like A Business

The farming business can tough, if you have a large crop and the seasons are erratic, you can find yourself without a product at the end of the season. Knowing the business side of this will help you to get through those tough times if the seasons bring drought or extreme heat. Any of these things could kill your crops and leave you empty-handed. Keeping your accounting in order, money set aside for employees, and a year’s worth of hard costs will keep your business running even when times are slow. Investing in accounting software that offers payroll for you to automate will keep the business running smoothly while you are focusing on what is essential.

• Get Your Distribution Network In Place

Once you grow a large enough crop of produce, you have a few options for distribution. It would be best if you thought about how you want to get your product out to the world. A local farm might distribute products locally at farmer’s markets and local restaurants. If you are growing more abundant crops with larger yields, you will need a distribution outlet like U.S. Foods or Sysco to get your product out to restaurants and grocery stores.

• Stay The Course

Keep your eyes on the prize! This goes for any business owner, but knowing how important focus is in business will help you make the right decisions when times get tough. You can even invest in a business coach if needed, as they will provide you with the necessary foundation required to handle your operations, market your business, and build a distribution network.

Of course, there are other important factors to consider when building your business, but these are some of the first things that came to mind when I was asked how to proceed with starting a farming business. This will be much different for larger farms, but for all your boutique farms, this is a great starting point for new farm startups.



All About Siding for Farm Homes

Farm house in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

In truth, there are lots of home improvements that can be done on the farm,  both on the inside and the outside of our property. However, very few have the impact of new siding. With the right choice, it can give your farm home a unique appearance. In terms of curb appeal, new siding can have a dramatic effect. In this short guide, we want to discuss the primary considerations when choosing a material before then looking at the main four options that seem to have passed the test of time!

Important Considerations

How is the climate where you live? If you get lots of rain, you will need a siding material that offers water resistance. By doing this, you can prevent decay and extend the life of the siding. For example, wood siding in Washington State might not be the best option for the long run. While on the note of the weather, those in warmer climates like Arizona may want to consider energy efficiency. When a siding offers thermal insulation and a proper R-value, heat should remain inside the home, and you can save money on energy bills (an attractive proposition for buyers!). You may also want to reach out to a siding installation contractor to discuss the best options siding options for your area. A siding contractor will know the outdoor elements in your local area and which siding types are best for you.

For some, the appearance will be the most critical factor. While stone and brick are limited in terms of color, you can almost choose from a full-color wheel with vinyl. Of course, you also need to remember the exterior and structure of your home. For example, a stone veneer siding may not suit a three-story Victorian house on a three-acre farm.

For others, they care more about the eco-friendly nature of siding. While wood is naturally green, fiber cement also contains cement, clay, sand, and wood-pulp fibers. Most farm properties would be well suited for this option.

Finally, two other considerations would be durability and cost. How much money do you have to spend on siding? How long do you want the siding to last before it requires maintenance, painting, or even replacing completely?

Types of Siding For Your Farm

In truth, there are four main types of siding. Although you will find others that aren’t on this list, these four tend to be the most popular siding types found on farm properties. You can also consult a

1. Metal Siding

metal siding on the barn.

Generally made of steel and aluminum, this option was first introduced because of the high maintenance required with other materials. Especially considering the ubiquitous nature of overseas steel at a low cost, it’s an affordable option for those who need it. Not only is metal inherently durable, but some homeowners are also choosing to finish with vinyl or plastic coatings, which adds resistance against weathering and fading. 

With very little maintenance required, some manufacturers offer a 35-year warranty, and the average cost is around $6 per square foot for steel and $5 for aluminum.

2. Wood Siding

wood siding on tractor garage

Whether using planks, panels, or boards, wood is often considered the most beautiful siding. It can add character to a home, and there are several finishes and styles. On the other hand, there are two main problems with wood siding; the high cost and high maintenance. When installing wood, you will also need to add a stain or paint finish. Unfortunately, there’s also a risk of insect infestations, rotting, and damage when exposed to the sun.

3. Vinyl Siding

Next up, the industry continued to look for ways to overcome the problems with wood, and this led to vinyl. It’s available in all sorts of styles, it’s relatively affordable, and it doesn’t require much maintenance. In fact, the color goes right through the material, which makes painting unnecessary.

4. Fiber Cement Siding

fiber cement siding on guest house

Finally, this is the newest development in the market as a low-maintenance, durable product. Made from recycled materials, it’s installed in a similar way to wood and is available in different styles. Unfortunately, it costs an average of $10 per square foot.

Conclusion

With this, hopefully, you now know more about siding, the considerations to make, and the primary materials. Good luck when choosing for your home!



H2S Removal – How It’s Done

H2S, or hydrogen sulfide, is usually found in natural gas, and it’s highly corrosive. When not cared for properly, there’s a risk of H2S causing corrosion not only in gas transmission lines but in turbines and gas engines when employed as a fuel. When gas is sent to the pipeline or when it’s used as fuel, all H2S needs to be removed with traps in order to eliminate these risks.

H2S Dangers

Before we look at a couple of removal methods employed in this area, why should we be so concerned about removing H2S? In small quantities, hydrogen sulfide isn’t too dangerous, and we know this because it’s found in our bodies. If you’ve ever smelled the egg-like smell that comes when organic materials decay, this is H2S. As a result of the digestion process, we experience small amounts of H2S in the body.

With this in mind, the body can deal with tiny amounts. With the amount generated from industrial and manufacturing processes, this is a different story altogether. For example, numerous health problems result from inhalation, skin contact, and consumption. In severe cases, it also has the potential to cause death.

Unfortunately, exposure to hydrogen sulfide is much higher for those who work in paper mills, natural gas drilling operations, mining facilities, and similar environments. These industries are heavily regulated, and staff must be trained while adhering to the safety procedures laid out by the responsible party. What’s more, companies also need to provide the highest quality of equipment.

Removal Techniques

Currently, perhaps the safest solution for H2S removal is called the chemical injection system. Not only does this technique avoid emissions and the use of amine plants, but companies can also get started for a much smaller investment than the next method we will discuss.

Essentially, the idea with the chemical injection system is to clean the gas and rid it of all harmful components by injecting an H2S scavenger. In terms of other harmful components, this technique will remove the following problems; paraffin, hydrates, foaming, high salt content, corrosion, and scale.

As the second technique we want to discuss today, some companies will choose the gas sweetening system. As well as removing H2S, this system will remove CO2. Why is this important? Because carbon dioxide and water combined will create carbonic acid. By eliminating both components, we can remove the risk of a potential catastrophe. The gas sweetening system (GSS) is also often referred to as amine gas treating.

Once the removal of oil, water, and condensates has taken place, this process can begin. When companies use this technique, they must adhere to the safety measures provided by the NSC (National Safety Council) and the OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration). In addition to this, there are specific regulations and specifications relating to the products used in the technique; these are governed by NACE International (National Agency of Corrosion Engineers).

These days, there are various solutions on the market that promise to remove H2S and CO2 from natural gases. Typically, any harmful gases left behind will be removed in the next cycle, so the danger is always removed.

In terms of other removal techniques, we’ve assessed the most common two, but some will use an absorption tower with water. Ultimately, the choice of method will all depend on the task at hand, company budget, regulations, and more.



Roof Damage To The Farmhouse

damage to the roof of our Tulsa farm house

Winter storms are never fun on the farm, and when you are surrounded by trees and foliage, and the winds pick up, debris is bound to be blown down on to your roof, or even worse, through a window in your home.

We recently had a tree fall on our property and take out part of the roof on the farmhouse. This wasn’t an issue since we had insurance coverage to pay for the damage, it wasn’t until after the repair that we experienced a leak in the front living space. We called the roofing company since they guaranteed their work, yet, they claimed that the leak was caused by something other than the original image they repaired.

Well, that wasn’t the answer we were looking for! This leak happened after they repaired the shingles, and it was apparent there was a mistake made by them when they were fixing it. We contacted a Tulsa lawyer to dispute the claim and found that this wasn’t the first time a complaint had been filed against this roofing company.

inside Tulsa court room

We were hoping it would be a quick and painless process, but it actually ended up dragging out in court and costing us a ton of time. We had to hire a construction expert witness to inspect and document the complaint against the roofing company. It didn’t take long after that before the roofing company decided to settle out of court. There was proof that when they replace the roofing material, they didn’t secure the solar panels properly to the roof. The mounting brackets weren’t secured to the roof, and this allowed water to seep in through the mounting holes. Since the removal and reinstallation of our solar panels were part of the agreement, they agreed to cover the costs of repair.

Going to court is never fun, and it’s always expensive. Having a dependable lawyer in our corner to battle for us was helpful. Still, the person that really made this happen for us was the expert witness that found the flaw in the repair and was able to identify the mistake, and that is what won us our case in court.



Locked The Keys In The Ford Pickup

My husband came in this morning from doing some work on one of our Oklahoma properties, he was grouchy as a gremlin in the water! The screen door swung open, and he hollered out, “babe, I locked the keys in the Ford pickup truck. I was making breakfast and didn’t care much about what he was saying, but as he continued blabbering about his keys, I realized we didn’t have another way to get around the property without our F-150.

He settled, and we ate some bacon and farm fresh eggs, some comfort food to ease the tension always seems to work with him. We wrapped up eating, then had a cup of coffee, and by that time, he was ready to defeat this nagging inconvenience that had arisen. We walked about a half-mile down to where he was setting up some fencing, and sure enough, there were the keys inside the truck. Now, this old bucket of bolts doesn’t have any fancy auto-locking system, so not sure how the doors locked unless he manually pushed the driver side door one down. He refused to admit he did that and insisted that it somehow auto-locked, which wasn’t even a feature in that old bucket of bolts.

Time to Call a Locksmith

We tinkered for about an hour with a bent hanger and a slim Jim and couldn’t get the lock to pop. We walked back to the house and opened up the Yellowpages to look for a lock smith. That old book had been collecting dust for the past few years. I scrolled back to the “L” section like it was 1980 again, and I was searching for local service providers. I found a locksmith in Oklahoma City that was very responsive and polite on the phone. He said it was only going to take him forty-five minutes to be there and that he would have the door unlocked in a matter of minutes. Sure enough, he arrived and opened our door without any issues. Those older model Ford trucks don’t have fancy locking mechanisms, so the old school tools still work on them. Not sure why my husband couldn’t get it done, seems easy enough to me.

Making Spare Keys

Well, the truck was unlocked, and we are back in business. Trucking hay bales around the farm property is an absolute must if you want to keep the grazing horses and free-roaming animals like deer fed. Farm maintenance is a busy job, and having your keys locked in your truck or tractor can be a significant setback. Our solution for preventing this in the future is simple; we had the locksmith create a spare set of keys for the tuck and the tractor. This is something that should have been done a long time ago.

I wanted to get this written up shared with our community. It’s an easy lesson learned. If you have farm vehicles that you use regularly, make sure you keep a spare set of keys, or you will be calling a locksmith to your property too!



Common Illnesses for Large Farm Animals in Arizona

When your animals get sick, the symptoms they show will usually tell the story of their illness. We know because we’re farm-folk that have been doing this farm-living thing for many years. After dealing with a sick horse, cow, and other large farm animals, we decided to write up this quick post for our farm-family out there dealing with sick animals. Identifying and understanding what these symptoms indicate can save the lives of your farm animals and get them back to being healthy quickly. In the case of one of our horses, we were unable to identify the health issues ourselves, so we hired a large animal vet in Arizona near our Gilbert farm. They were able to bring her back to her old self, but we know that mobile equine vets aren’t always available when you need them. So here are some things to look out for when you find one of your farm animals sick.

Many illnesses can affect farm animals. Here are some of the most common illnesses for large farm animals that you will likely encounter at some point if you find yourself get’n dirty on some farm turf.

Milk Fever

Another name for milk fever is hypocalcemia. This is a condition that results in there being a low level of calcium in the blood. You will usually notice milk fever in recently calved cows. It is also, albeit less frequently, possible at any stage of lactation. Some of the common symptoms of milk fever include:

  • Weakness
  • Increased heart rate
  • Irregularities in the heartbeat
  • Low body temperature
  • Cold ears
  • Mental dullness
  • Large bladder
  • Shivering
  • Bloating

Ketosis

Also known as acetonemia, ketosis is a common condition affecting dairy cattle. This illness occurs when the amount of energy a cow is receiving is less than the amount of energy they are exerting. A cow producing a large amount of milk will potentially fall into ketosis. Fat from tissue stores gets sent to the liver to be converted into usable energy. The liver can fail if a cow is in ketosis for too long. Some of the symptoms of ketosis are:

  • Depression
  • Drop in milk production
  • Yellow mucous membranes
  • Sweet-smelling breath
  • Manually licking everywhere

Pneumonia

Any farm animal can catch pneumonia. This lung infection is also called shipping fever. It can occur at any point in an animal’s life, although it is usually seen in younger animals, particularly after a stressful event. Pneumonia usually begins with a bacterial infection, which weakens the immune system, opening the body up to a second infection. The common symptoms of pneumonia are:

  • Increased temperature
  • Increased respiratory rate
  • Discharge from nasal passages
  • Lethargy
  • Decrease in appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Persistent cough

Hardware Disease

Also known as traumatic reticulopericarditis, this is an illness affecting farm animals when they ingest a material such as metal. Nails, barbed wire, and electrical cables are all common. When a metal object gets to the reticulum, near the heart, bacteria can spread into the area surrounding the heart. This results in an infection that can negatively affect the heart. Some of the common symptoms of hardware disease are:

  • Decreased production
  • Reduction in weight gain
  • Difficulty in hearing a heartbeat
  • Irregular heartbeat

Here is a case study of reticulopericarditis in a goat.

Wrapping Up

Common illnesses in farm animals have tell-tale symptoms that can help you take action before it is too late. Now that you are aware of what the common diseases are, you can take preventative steps as well to ensure farm animals stay healthy. It is always better to prevent than to treat, so do what you can to ensure your farm animals avoid succumbing to these common illnesses.

Arizona Farm Resources:

Small Farming Resources:

Medium Sized Farming Resources:

Arizona Department of Agriculture:

Arizona Farm Bureau:

Arizona Department of Agriculture:




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