Saturday, March 31, 2012

Know More About The Facts Of Giant African Land Snail

The giant African land snail, is the largest species of snail found on land and generally grow to around 20 cm in length. The giant African land snail is native to the forest areas of East Africa but has been introduced into Asia, the Caribbean and a number of islands in both the Pacific and the Indian oceans.

The giant African land snail is generally seen as a pest as these snails will eat almost anything vegetarian that they can find and have proven to be quite destructive when around crops and wild flowers. Giant African land snails are also known to carry parasites and are illegal to keep as pets in some countries such as the USA.

The giant African land snail (Achatina fulica) is a threat to the sustainability of crop systems and native ecosystems, having a variety of negative impacts on native fauna, from competition for resources to the spread of diseases to direct herbivory of native plants. Native snails in fragile island ecosystems such as Hawaii and the French Polynesian islands are particularly susceptible to the negative effects of A. fulica and other introduced snails. The best way to prevent the further spread of A. fulica is by strengthening international quarantine systems.

Suggested preventative measures must include strict quarantine measures to prevent introduction and further spread. Many methods have been tried to eradicate the Giant East African Snail. Generally, none of them have been effective except where implemented at the first sign of infestation. Methods include hand collecting, use of molluscicides, flame-throwers, and the failed attempts at biological control discussed below. In some regions, an effort has been made to promote use of the Giant East African Snail as a food resource, collecting the snails for food being seen as a method of controlling them. However, promoting a pest in this way is a controversial measure, as it may encourage the further deliberate spread of the snails.

One particularly catastrophic attempt to biologically control this species occurred on South Pacific Islands. Colonies of A. fulica were originally introduced as a food reserve for American GI's during the second world war, but naturally escaped. A carnivorous species from East Africa, a known predator of the East African Land Snail was introduced, but instead heavily predated the native Partula, causing the loss of some species.
The giant African land snail is native to humid, forest areas but can today be found in agricultural areas, coast land, natural forest, planted forests, shrublands, urban areas, and wetlands. The giant African land snail is seen to be highly invasive species and large colonies of land snails can be formed from just one individual.

Giant African land snails have both male and female reproductive organs. Although giant African land snails primarily mate with one another, in more isolated regions the giant African land snail is capable of reproducing by itself. Giant African land snail lay around 6 clutches of eggs every year, laying an average of 200 eggs per clutch. Around 90% of snail hatchings survive meaning that a snail free area can quickly become infested.

Giant African land snails are active during the night and spend the daytime hours safely buried underground. Giant African land snails reach their adult size by the time they are 6 months old and although their growth rate slows at this point, giant African land snails never stop growing. Most giant African land snail reach between 5 and 6 years of age but some giant African land snail individuals have been known to be more than 10 years old.

During periods of extreme drought, the giant African land snail goes into aestivation (summer sleep). The giant African land snail seals itself inside it's shell to retain water and giant African land snails do this about 3 times a year, depending on the areas in which they inhabit.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Most Effective Way To Train Your Hunting Dog, Learn It By This

hunting dog and black beer
Hunting dogs help humans while hunting, as they are trained in such a way that they can easily track down a dead prey or find a live one. Training hunting dogs requires time and patience on the part of the dog owner. It must be kept in mind that training dogs for hunting is not a temporary task and requires a consistent approach. There are many types of hunting dogs and around 24 dog breeds can be trained to assist for hunting.
 The choice of hunting dog depends on the kind of hunt it will be used for, and the climatic conditions prevailing in the hunting area. For example, hound dogs can run at very high speeds and are used when hunting for live prey, while gun dogs are trained because they easily get familiar with gunshot sounds and are good while retrieving birds. To train a hunting dog, you first need to get one. After getting the dog of your choice, follow the tips given below so as to prepare it to accompany you for a hunt.
Begin Early
hunting dog on a tree
Any form of dog training must begin early because it is easier for dogs to learn new things when they are young. This also helps the dog owner to develop a strong, trustworthy bond with his dog. A strong bond with the owner will make the dog pay more attention to what his owner is teaching. Typically, training for hunting dogs can be started when they are seven weeks old. By beginning hunting practice from such a young age, hunting dogs become proficient by the time they mature.
Use Easy Commands
Start the training by teaching basic obedience commands to the dog. Use easy commands like 'sit' or 'stay' to train your dog. Once the dog starts responding to simple commands, you can start using complex commands to train it. However, it is better to find out easy alternatives to complex commands because dogs find them easy to learn, identify and relate to. Use treats to appreciate the dog each time it responds in the right way.
hunting dog in field
Provide Physical Training
Physical fitness is extremely important for hunting dogs. Physical training must also begin at a young age to build body muscle. Hunting dogs must have a lot of stamina to continuously look for prey and track them after they are pinned down. Exercising regularly helps in developing stamina and speed in dogs. The exercising routine must not be restricted to the hunting season, rather it must be even continued during the off-season, to prevent the dog from becoming lazy when not hunting.
Train to Identify Prey
A hunting dog must be quick enough to identify where the prey is. Smell and sight are two ways of prey identification. Generally, dogs trained to identify smell are more capable of spotting their prey than the ones who are trained to identify through sight. To make the training easy, use a hunt-based scent so that the dog identifies the smell and tracks down the prey while hunting. If the dog has to assist in hunting deer, use deer blood to train your dog, and if it has to go waterfowl hunting, use waterfowl scent for training.
hunting dog with a gun
Exposure to Proper Climate
Climatic conditions during the hunting season may be different from that prevailing during the off-season. So never forget to train your dog during the hunting season, so that it gets used to the environmental conditions prevailing during that season. If the dog is trained only during the off-season, then chances are that it may not perform well during the hunting season.
Use Dummies for Training
If you want your dog to hunt for waterfowl, use waterfowl dummies that are available at the local pet store. Train well, so that it can clearly differentiate between a decoy and a real waterfowl. Place decoys at various places in the training area and throw a dummy near the decoys. Let your dog trace the dummy through its scent and get it back without picking up the decoys. Treat your dog each time it picks the right dummy so that it can relate this activity with a treat.
hunting dog over a river
Train Daily
Training is not meant to be for a few days. Consistent training all through the dog's growing years is necessary to turn it into an expert hunting dog. Follow a proper routine of training sessions to inculcate hunting habits in your dog. Repeating the same activity several times will help the dog to remember it well, and do what is needed if a particular command is given or a situation arises.
Praise and Reward
Dogs love to make their owners happy and hunting dogs are no different. Praise your dog when it follows your instructions or completes an activity without making any mistake. Reward your dog with treats whenever it identifies the prey correctly or does its job well. Rewards reinforce positive behavior in dogs. Your dog will do anything to please you, and it is your responsibility to love and reward it in return.
a hunting dog
Simulate Hunting Situations
Before taking your dog to the actual hunting field, try practicing in simulated hunting situations. By doing so, the dog will perform well as a hunter during actual hunts. Training in restricted situations fails to provide the actual feel of hunting because of which, the dog may not perform the way it is expected.
Keep It Simple
Make the training as simple and enjoyable as possible. This will help in retaining the dog's interest during training sessions. Instructing the dog using complex commands and being harsh will turn off your dog's interest in learning new things.
Initially, you may find it difficult to train your dog because it may not respond the way you want. But slowly and steadily, with consistent practice, your hunting dog will learn its ways and serve you for many years with loyalty.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Different Species of Rabbits

The Angora rabbit is a variety of domestic rabbit bred for its long, soft hair. The Angora is one of the oldest types of domestic rabbit, originating in Ankara, Turkey, along with the Angora cat and Angora goat. The rabbits were popular pets with French royalty in the mid 1700s, and spread to other parts of Europe by the end of the century. They first appeared in the United States in the early 1900s.They are bred largely for their long Angora wool, which may be removed by shearing, combing, or plucking (gently pulling loose wool).There are many individual breeds of Angora rabbits, four of which are ARBA recognized.They are English, French, Giant and Satin. Other breeds include German, Chinese, Swiss and Finnish, to name a few.

Angora Rabbits are active, playful and social with lots of personality. They enjoy the attention of their owner, as well as the companionship of other rabbits and often house angora will nap with a docile mannered cat. They enjoy having toys, for example a plastic ball, a pine cone, a piece of soft wood, a stuffed sock, or an old glove.

This is the largest of the four ARBA recognized Angora breeds. The only color ARBA officially recognizes for Giant angora is REW (Ruby Eyed White), or as more commonly referred to as an “albino”-indicating the absence of color pigment in the genetic makeup. The Giant Angora produces more wool than the French, Satin or English Angora. Like the German angora Giant Angora rabbits do not molt; And like the German Angora, they require their wool to be clipped or shorn off at least once every 90 days.

The Giant Angora is the largest of the ARBA accepted angora breeds, having been created by Louise Walsh to be an efficient wool producing rabbit sustained with 16-18% alfalfa based rabbit feed & hay and living in the standard size all wire cages used for commercial breeds. Its coat contains three types of wool: under wool, awl, and guard hair; the awl type wool exists only on the giant and German angora. This breed should have furnishings on the face and ears. Many people confuse German angora with Giant angora, but they are not the same.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Tips For Choosing Family Pet

When you have kids, they can often drive you crazy by hounding for a dog or a cat. Some parents are reluctant to give their child a pet due to fear of the animal harming the child being forefront in their minds. There are many dog and cat breeds that you can have in your home that will do really well for you and your family—even with small children. There are, of course, some precautions to make.

First, we will look at dog breeds. There are certain dog breeds that demand respect and kids often don't have those feelings. Most children do not understand that pulling on the pet's tail or stroking too roughly can not only harm the animal, but make it resentful of the child. You can of course work with your child to help him develop proper pet-handling behavior, but you should first consider starting out with a pet breed that is best for children.

For instance, the following dog breeds are well-known for being especially good with children: St. Bernards, Golden and Labrador Retrievers, Great Danes, German Shepherds, Poodles, Siberian Huskies, and Mastiffs. While you do have to be careful about their size and make sure they are socialized and housetrained, they make wonderful pets. They are very affectionate and tend to exercise care and protectiveness of the children. These dog breeds will also stand up to a certain amount of abuse. If the child pulls on the tail or accidentally falls into them they are more likely to be worried and protective rather than distasteful or aggressive. You do have to teach your kid to be respectful, but generally these dogs as pets will offer a wonderful family addition.

In general, most cats are going to have issues with children. With cats, who are not as easy to train, you will find they tend to nip or bite a child who pulls their ears/tail or hurts them in any way. It is the cat's way of showing anger. Cats by nature tend to choose one owner. This owner usually showers them with affection and treats them properly. If you do introduce a cat into your household, you should make sure your children are old enough to understand and exercise the proper treatment of it.

Typically you want a child no younger than three dealing with any pet, especially cats. At this age the kid is old enough to understand right from wrong and deal with the pain if the cat bites them for a good reason. Some cats you may want in your home include the Abyssinian, American bobtail, American shorthair, Balinese, Birman, Bombay, Burmese, Manx, Persian, and Siberian. Typically you should not have a Siamese cat around children, as they tend to be very moody and are often one who demands respect. When you consider getting a pet for your child, it is important to realize that not all pets are great for a home.