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Diet for Pet Parakeets

Parakeets are beautiful birds, native to central Australia. The scientific name of this bird is Melopsittacus undulatus, which stands for “song parrot with wavy lines”. The name given to this bird by the Aborigines was something similar to budgerigar, the meaning of which is “good to eat”. These birds were eaten as snacks by the Aborigines. When the English explorers met the Aborigines, the name of the bird was shortened to “budgies”. Due to their resemblance to the parrots, they are also known as ‘parakeets’, or ‘keets’ in short. These birds have become favorites as pets, as they are friendly, easy to train, may learn to talk, and are flock animals. They are very social, and need either a human around them all the time, or other parakeets for company. Their life-span can be anywhere between 7 to 12 years, if appropriate care is taken, and if they are not breeding. There are some parakeets who have lived up to 20 years and more.
Parakeet Diet
When you decide to get parakeets as pets, it is important to note that they originally grew in the grasslands of Australia, where they lived on eucalyptus trees. The grasslands, which consisted of fresh greens, fruits, berries, and seeds, fulfilled their dietary needs. From this, we can understand that the parakeet seeds, which is one of the pet foods, is not all that your pet needs. If you use pet products, then it is possible that your pet’s health will suffer. There is a lot of concern over whether pet seeds available at the pet shops are fortified with nutrients. However, it is important to note that the seeds are fortified only on the outside. Parakeets are known to hull the seeds before they eat them; the outer shell is thus left out and the nutrient fortification proves to be worthless. When you buy pet food from the market, make sure it does not contain added sugars.
Your pet also needs fresh fruits and vegetables. They enjoy eating fresh parsley, squash, carrots, tomatoes, bell peppers, lettuce, broccoli, zucchini, pumpkin, yams, etc. In short they enjoy eating crunchy vegetables. Along with vegetables, fruits will also have to be included in the diet of your pet. You can slice apples, pears, or guavas, and place them in their cage. If you want to include any of the juicy fruits, then you may want to dab it with paper towels before they make their way to the cage. Parakeets also tend to be fond of cherries and berries, and you may include them in their diet.
Parakeets can also be fed with cooked beans, whole wheat bread, cooked rice, or pasta. You can also provide small bits of well-cooked meat for the protein content in them. Tuna can also be fed to parakeets. When you give them meat in any form, you will have to ensure that the pieces do not stay in the birdhouse for too long, as they can rot or get infected, and if ingested by your pet can turn out to be harmful. Hence, remove perishable items after an hour or two after you have given it to them.
Most parakeets are lactose intolerant, hence feeding them minimal dairy product is recommended. They are also allergic to chocolate and avocados; you may not want to give these to them at all. Like humans, junk food is not good for your pet as well. Hence, do not feed them with pretzels, potato chips, etc.
Pellets can also be given to the parakeet, but it is best to make sure that your parakeet’s diet is well-balanced and varied. Remember, when in the wild, these birds eat a variety of fresh, raw foods. Giving them a well-balanced diet is the key to their health. Also, it is important to note that parakeets do not usually tend to overeat. You will understand the likes and dislikes of your pet once you have tried some permutations and combinations with regards to their eating habits.

Eclectus Parrots as Pets

Eclectus parrots are known not only for their gentle temperament but also for their unparalleled beauty. They have a laid back personality that makes them very easy to keep as pets They are also known to be masters of mimicry. They do not form strong pair bonds. However, these birds tend to be a bit noisy and love human attention.
General Information
The eclectus parrot is known by different names depending on the species. The scientific name for this parrot is Eclectus roratus, but it is also called Blue Bellied, Red Sided, Yellow Sided or Vosmaeri, Dusky or Solomon Island Eclectus. These birds are native to Australia, New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands. An adult parrot can reach about 17 to 20 inches from beak to tail. Males can cost about USD 500 to 2500. Females are more expensive. This is because the females are more colorful than the males and are more gentle in nature. The males too have a beautiful personality but have fewer feather colors than females.
The eclectus parrot is a sexually dimorphic bird, that is, you can tell the two sexes apart by their colors. The top of a male’s head is a brilliant green and has yellowish green wing cover. There are red patches on the breast area and under the wings. The tail is almost black with yellow tips. The upper beak has a coral yellow color with a yellowish tip. The lower beak is black in color. The iris is dark orange. As far as females are concerned, they have a rich red-colored head and breast. They have dark red colored wings and a dull purple or blue belly and neck and nape. The tail has orange tips. The females have a blue ring around the eye and all young ones have brown irises.
Temperament
Eclectus parrots are intelligent birds with friendly personalities. They love to spend time with their human companions. You can have them as pets along with other bird species. You need to be sure you can provide sufficient attention to the bird for the major part of the day. As compared to the African Grey parrot or Macaws, eclectus parrots can be considered quieter birds. However, when these birds are threatened or frightened, they tend to scream a lot.
Pet Care
Care for these parrots includes their housing requirements. You need to buy the largest cage that you can, as these birds need plenty of space to move. You can buy a cage which has an average size of 30″ x 20″ x 36″. Place the cage away from direct sunlight. A bird that is highly social, should have his cage placed in a room with the most traffic. You can even allow your bird out of the cage so that it can have time with the family. These playful parrots need to be given plenty of non-toxic toys to play with. Provide the bird with a high perch or play stand to get plenty of exercise, both mental and physical. You can speak to your vet regarding clipping the birds wings. Clipping is not an inhumane process as it prevents your bird from flying into dangerous objects around the house. It also, helps prevent the bird from flying outdoors and getting lost.
Diet
Their diet consists of fresh fruits and vegetables. These parrots should be fed cooked carrots, sweet potatoes, dark leafy vegetables, pomegranate, grapes, and watermelon to prevent vitamin A deficiency. Do not feed them a lot of fat and protein as they have a tendency to gain weight quickly. Also, it increases the chances of increased cholesterol levels, arterial sclerosis, and even death. The diet of these parrots should consist of 50% fresh fruits and vegetables, 30% cooked beans and grain mixture, 20% sprouted grains and high quality pellets.
Eclectus parrots are very impressive birds with high intelligence levels and a charming personality. They have the ability to talk and can be very affectionate pets. They love to interact with the family and become sociable. These birds are very sensitive in nature and if they feel neglected they can develop stress. Males and females are both lovable and fun. Many find males more trainable then females. However, the females are more independent than the males and do not get stressed easily. These birds need a lot of attention and you should not adopt one if you can’t spend time with them.

Amazon Parrots as Pets

Of the 372 species of parrots found worldwide, about 28 are Amazon parrots. The parrots belonging to this genus, Amazona, are native to the New World, ranging from South America to Mexico and the Caribbean. Considered to be the best mimics of human voices, parrots of this genus are medium-sized birds that are quite colorful, and are distinguished by the bright splashes of color on their heads, napes, necks, wings, and tail feathers.

Along with their typical green color, each species has its own striking coloration, ranging from reds, yellows, blues, and even lilacs. Their life span is generally 40-80 years, though this varies considerably according to species. Some common Amazon parrots, which are generally kept as pets include the following:

Species Name Common Name
Amazona aestiva Blue-fronted amazon
A. finschi Lilac-crowned amazon
A. autumnalis Red-lored amazon
A. festiva Festive amazon
A. xanthops Yellow-faced amazon
A. barbadensis Yellow-shouldered amazon
A.ochrocephala Yellow-naped amazon
A. amazonica Orange-winged amazon
A. farinosa Mealy amazon
A. oratrix Double Yellow-headed amazon
A. albifrons Spectacled amazon

Amazon Parrots as Pets

The loving, social, and loyal nature of this bird makes it an amazing pet for any novice or experienced parrot owner. They are easy to train and intelligent, requiring a devoted owner who is willing to provide enough attention and care. The bird has an excellent talking ability, hence, if it has an owner who can devote much time talking and interacting with the bird, it can become a good mimic. However, like any other pet, it also has some behavioral problems which, if not addressed properly, can make the bird very aggressive.

Behavior: Amazon parrots are active and playful birds, but require more care and attention than other domesticated animals. They are known for their playfulness and dexterity with their feet. It is an independent bird that likes doing many stimulating activities. Hence, it is better to provide it with some toys for its exercise and amusement. Excessive screaming and chewing are the two common features seen, especially at certain stages in its life. Like other parrots, the bird also considers its beak as a way to ‘discipline us’, and can sometimes be very naughty. Hence, it is important to train or guide the bird before it develops an undesirable behavior.

Amazon parrots also go through a hormonal aggression phase that appears between the age of 5 to 12 years. During this time, the bird can be very aggressive, and needs to be handled with lots of patience. However, once it passes this phase, it settles down with little or no aggression at all. The bird reaches its sexual maturity at the age of 4 or 5. If left alone for a very long time, it might start showing signs of psychological distress. The best way to deal with it is to find the bird a mate, especially if you are unable to spend much time with it.

Care: These birds easily adapt to their cage and the surrounding environment. It is an active bird, and tends to put on weight if it does not get to exercise. Hence, the cage should have sufficient space for play and exercise. The bird usually develops a musky odor which can be bothersome to some people, hence, it should be showered regularly for personal hygiene and to keep the smell from getting very strong. The bird needs to sleep for at least 10 hours daily, or else it can become very grouchy and aggressive.

Diet: The available bird food usually includes formulated diets or seed-only diets. Both have their own pros and cons. Formulated diets, which are a good source of a variety of nutrients, are deficient in phytonutrients found in vegetables, fruits, grains, and seeds. Likewise, seed-only diets provide additional vitamin and calcium supplements, but do not offer overall enrichment.

Some veterinarians recommend a combination of both these diets along with some additional nutritional supplements, such as sprouted seeds, fresh fruits (such as apples, pears, plums, cherries, grapes, oranges, bananas, mangoes, papayas, and even berries such as strawberries and blueberries) and vegetables (such as carrots, cucumbers, zucchini, many garden vegetables, and even dandelions and chickweed). Avoid giving avocado, as it can be toxic to the bird. Give the bird clean water to drink.

Amazon parrots can be challenging pets. They like to be in the company of their owner, and if left unattended, they can become aggressive. However, due to their playful nature and amazing vocal abilities, these birds are fun to be with. Hence, if you are planning to buy one, do enough research about the bird’s behavior and care in order to build a strong bond with it.

An Ultimate List of Wonderfully Unique Names for Your Pet Horse

A horse is the projection of peoples’ dreams about themselves – strong, powerful, beautiful – and it has the capability of giving us escape from our mundane existence. ― Pam Brown
Having a pet in your life always teaches you a lot of things, and gives you some very wonderful memories. A lot of people love horses and choose them for pets. Not only are these animals immensely beautiful, they are also easy to train. In fact, the relationship between horses and human dates back to hundreds of centuries. Moreover, horse riding is simply a great activity to pursue. So, you are one of those who can now proudly boast the possession of a beautiful horse. But is the dilemma of finding the perfect name for your pet is still bothering you? Here are a few unique suggestions from Buzzle to help you name your pet.
Father and daughter with horse
Little girl and her pony

Some Tried-and-tested As Well As Safe Fencing Ideas for Horses

Keeping horses as pets is a great option since they are known to be loyal and totally faithful to their masters. However, when it comes to keeping them, the costs of feeding and housing do come into the picture, which are expensive as compared to keeping other pets like dogs and cats.
A good and comfortable horse fence keeps these animals in a safe area and gives them their own space. Any fence should be spacious, with a height that is at least above the horse’s chest. The fence must be easy to locate, strong and durable, and reduce the chances of the horse hurting itself by coming in contact with it. It should be devoid of free or sharp ends as well, which could injure the foot of the horse. It uses both post-and-rail and post-and-wire constructions. Knowing which type is suitable for your horse is the best way to keep him/her safely contained. It can be a high expense for any horse owner, but can definitely be done on a budget. Given below are some affordable ideas which you can choose from.
Wood Fencing
Horses often try to reach through the boards of a wooden fence to eat grass on the other side. Placing the boards close together and keeping the height appropriate will prevent them from doing so.
Electric Fencing
It uses electrical wires that are embedded inside a highly visible strand of white plastic called ‘hot tape’. For permanent horse enclosures made of wire, use T-posts or wooden posts with tightly-stretched smooth wires or mesh, topped with a single strand of electric wire. The posts for horses can be spread out widely, up to 50 feet or even more when using a high tensile wire with one or two lines. You can create temporary fences from fiberglass rods made to accommodate the electric wire or tape as well. Horses can often sense when the fence is electrified and when it is not. To teach the horse to respect the fence, walk him/her up to it and touch his/her nose to it. This will deliver both a mild electric shock, and the message that the fence is a barrier to be respected. Alternatively, you can have a solar-powered fence, as it costs nothing to run.
Smooth-Wire Fencing
Smooth-wire, either a twisted two-strand or single strand, is one of the most inexpensive materials for creating a permanent horse fence. You can use a minimum of three strands spaced 8 to 10 inches apart up the post.
Meshed Wire Fencing
It is more expensive than the smooth-wire fencing, but a very sturdy material to use to prevent the horses reaching through the fence in any way. Making the fence 6 to 8 feet high is a good idea. Also make sure that the posts used to hold the fencing are large and sturdy. Choosing posts with an 8 to 12 inch diameter will ensure that the fence stays, and that the maintenance needs will be modest and affordable.
Barbed Wire Fencing
You need a roll of barbed wire, with T-posts and other necessary equipment such as fence clips as add-ons. Try to avoid using barb, as many horses have died from getting tangled in it. It’s always better to stick to smooth wire, wire mesh, electric wire, vinyl, or stout boards.
Recycled Fencing
You could use farms as a replacement for fences. A chain-linked fence is a great recycled horse fence. If you could reuse the materials, then don’t hesitate and go ahead. You will only require man power for clean up and labor.
Plastic Fencing
The biggest advantage is that it requires almost no maintenance, and does not suffer from splintering or rotting like the traditional wooden fences. It does not require repainting as well. It might be a bit costly, but it is a good alternative to wooden fences.
While building a fence for your horse, the main aim is to use posts made of wood or metal. Wooden posts look very attractive and are always safe to use when horses are around. Metal T-posts are famous as well, but they could be easily destroyed by the horses leaning on the fence. Posts and railroad ties, whether wooden or metal, are easily available in farm supply stores.

Basic Tips and Suggestions to Help You While Training Horses

Training any animal requires a whole lot of effort and patience. When it comes to horses, the issue does not become any different. They are beautiful and energetic creatures that have a short span of memory. This would mean that the process would require special training methods for your efforts to translate into results. There are certain issues that you would have to consider, apart from the fact that horses have short-term memory, and no matter how many times you lose your temper, this is definitely not going to help you.
Tips for Training Horses
Animals, as per their natural instinct, would be scared when approached by humans. Horses would also tend to feel a little intimidated, unless you have really spent a long time with them. The first and foremost thing to do is to make the animal comfortable in your presence. This would obviously be a gradual process.
You would need to treat the horse like a child. It needs to be told which actions are to be performed for a particular instruction. There are two things you would need to consider, either the horse agrees to do it or blatantly refuses the same! There are certain ways to go about this process. You need to make the horse get used to your commands at a steady pace everyday. A change in routine can be possible when the horse acclimatizes itself to the entire training session.
Teach him about longeing, also known as ground training. This should be done once your horse is old enough to begin training. This kind of training is done with a long rope. The line is attached to the horse, and it can run in a large circle around.
Young horses need to be taught lead training as well. It is not just about the ropes. Here’s a simple method. Hold the rope and walk the horse around. Take some moments in between where you would need to wait and give the command of ‘stand’. Repeat the procedure a few times. This would help the horse understand this command. This tip can be used for a young foal as well.
Neck rein training is also very important. Here, you would need to teach the horse what is expected from it, and how it should respond every time any function is required from it. Always remember that you should not use too much pressure with your hands. When you sit on the saddle, bring your legs together in a tight squeeze. Use the reins to communicate the direction. Let your horse take a few steps. Then make it stand. Reverse the direction. You would need to keep doing this exercise, so that your horse understands fully what you are expecting from every action employed by you.
Your horse should also learn to walk besides you when it is on a lead. Here, with the help of a lead, you can train it to stop and walk as per the signals given by the rider. Always ensure that you warm up the horse before every training session.
When you use the reins, remember to do so with care. The direct rein is the one with which you can pull its mouth, and the indirect rein is the one which is used to press the neck. Always remember to use this with care. Pressure can be increased if you do not get the desired results.
Timing is very important. When the horse has completed its task, reward it. When it does not act the way it is supposed to for a particular signal, you would need to correct it immediately. Having correct timing will also help you get better results.
Remember one thing―you would need to keep practicing the exercises and help your horse understand what is expected. Keep repeating the procedures and remember to enjoy the training process―this is the best way to get better results for any task.

Best Tips to Follow for Proper Horse Fencing Installation

One of the things that you surely won’t want is your valuable horses escaping. A horse fencing is required for the comfort as well as protection of your horses. It precludes the necessity of you keeping a constant check on them, and also reduces the chances of them getting injured. Moreover, installing a fence protects your horses from predators that can cause them harm.

Installing it is very useful for the horse to graze in safety, and also for you to be able manage other activities related to them. It is an effective method of corralling the animals into groups according to various factors such as gender, age, and so on.

The following are some suggestions that you can consider while installing a horse fence.

  • The size and kind of fencing will be dependent on how many horses you want to keep inside it.
  • One of the best ways to start building it is to make a drawing showing the purported fencing lines, the routes through which the horses will traverse, the streams, and the gates.
  • It should be designed in such a way that it meets the different requirements of your most difficult horses. For example, a high jumper who would attempt to jump over even a five-foot high fence, or a pony who could try getting out form under it. A horse’s instinct of flight often overcomes its common sense, which makes it more likely to get injured.
  • Also, be sure to make it injury-proof. Broken boards and wires will cut a horse, and concrete, steel, or wood fencing can lead to broken bones or bruises. A well-made fence will not have any place in which the animal can get its head or foot caught.
  • Its bottom part should be about 1-6 inches above the ground, according to whatever predators may be around. A well-made foal fencing should not have any place that a foal can get its head through.
  • You will also have to determine its height. Usually, one that is about 4’6″ in height will suffice to deter the animals from leaping over. If you have paddocks that are side by side, the fence facing them should be 5 feet to 6 feet high in order to deter the horses from reaching over.
  • Ideally, it should be done in such a way that there are alleys that separate the horses. This discourages them from fighting over the fences, thus minimizing injuries. It also helps to cut down on its maintenance.
  • Stallion fencing should not be lower than 5-6 feet in height. Also, stallions should never be pastured in paddocks that have the same fence line. The one made for mares and foals can be 4-5 feet high, containing a 60-inch top wire. It should be close to the ground to prevent the foals from rolling under it.
  • Stallion enclosures, breaking enclosures, and cool-down enclosures have to withstand a lot of abuse. The fencing for these enclosures should be 5-6 feet high in order to provide extra security and strength.
  • There are various types of fencing materials available, such as vinyl, high-tensile plastic-coated, wire mesh, wood, plastic-coated wood, and various types of electric fencing. Choose a type that suits your budget but is also strong, requiring little maintenance, and is safe for the horses.
  • When you plan the layout of the pastures, the barns, and the paddocks, you will have to decide the number of separate areas you require, and determine how much space you actually have. The terrain should be examined and all obstructions should be cleared. Once the ground is prepared, you can plan the borders of the fencing.
  • If you plan on hiring a contractor to build it, it is a good idea to consult more than just one. Also make sure to examine the kind of material they have to offer. It is important for the fencing to be built of strong material, because horses are powerful animals.

Horse fencing is a necessity for the sake of your horses. Hence, it should be made properly to avoid any future problems.

Gallantly Enchanting Facts About Horses

Did You Know..?

Hyracotherium was one of the first horses that lived about 50 million years ago. It had 4-toed front feet and 3-toed hind feet, and resembled a fox more than the horse of today.

The prehistoric horse, Hyracotherium, went through innumerable transformations over millions of years to become the modern one-toed horse.

In the beginning, horses were wild animals. Around 3500 B.C., things changed and people began taming horses and using them to carry things, instead of only hunting them for meat.

By 3000 B.C., this majestic beast was completely tamed and domesticated, and now only 1 wild subspecies of horse exists, which too, has been declared “rare”.

Here are some more interesting facts about these beautiful creatures…

Interesting Facts About Horses

 

♞ First off, let’s see the terminology associated with the horse:

  • Foal – Male or female horse less than 1 year old.
  • Yearling – Male or female horse between 1 and 2 years old.
  • Colt & Filly – Colt is a male horse between 2 and 4 years old, while a filly is a female horse between 2 and 4 years old.
  • Mare – A female horse older than 4 years.
  • Gelding & Stallion – Gelding is a castrated male horse older than 4 years, while a stallion is a non-castrated male horse older than 4 years.

♞ A horse is a member of the “equus” family. This word originates from the Greek dialect, and means ‘quickness’. Equus caballus, is a term given to modern-day horses.

♞ Foals have milk teeth, just like human babies. At around age 3, these start getting replaced by permanent teeth. A horse’s teeth can give a good estimate of its age!

♞ A horse’s head weighs 11.84 pounds on an average, while its heart can weigh an amazing 10 pounds.

♞ A little about their head markings:

  • A narrow white mark, which runs down the face from the forehead, is called a Stripe.
  • A white mark, which covers one or both the lips and proceeds up to the nostrils, is called a White Muzzle.
  • A broad splash of white that covers most parts of the forehead between the eyes and carries, right down the nose to the muzzle is called a Blaze.
  • Any kind of mark, which appears on the forehead of a horse, is called a Star, irrespective of whether it resembles one.

♞ A horse has 4 gaits:

  • Walk (2 beats) – The average walking speed of a horse is 4 – 5 miles per hour.
  • Trot/Jog (2 beats) – 8 – 12 miles per hour is the average speed at which a horse trots.
  • Lope/Canter (3 beats) – A horse can canter at an average of 12 – 16 miles per hour.
  • Gallop – Horses can gallop at 26 – 32 miles per hour.

Besides this, some horses have a varied gait referred to as ambling.

♞ The height of a horse is measured using the unit, “hand”, where one hand equals four inches. So if a horse measures 16 hands, it is 16×4 which is 64 inches tall.

♞ Some people have a fear of horses. It is called Equinophobia.

♞ There are more than 350 breeds of horses in the world!

♞ A horse’s mood usually mirrors the emotions of its owner. If you are in a bad mood, your horse may act out, but if you are in a good mood your horse will be well-behaved and easy to work with.

♞ A fully grown 1000 lb horse will eat anywhere between 16 – 26 lb of food, and drink 10 – 12 gal of water!

♞ If you hold your hand out to a horse and it approaches you, while then blowing warm air onto the palm of your hand, it means that he/she wants to be friends with you. If it rests its head on your shoulder, it means that he/she trusts you.

♞ Horses use their facial expressions to communicate. Their moods can be determined with the help of their nostrils, eyes and ears.

♞ Horses cannot vomit, and hence digestion problems could be fatal to a horse. The leading cause of death in horses is reported to be colic.

♞ Horses can sleep lying down as well as standing up. They sleep only 3 – 4 hours per day!

♞ The hoof of a horse is like a fingernail. It grows throughout its life and needs to be clipped regularly so that it does not cause discomfort to the horse. A farrier or blacksmith is the person who cares for a horse’s feet.

♞ Horses, zebras and donkeys belong to the same genus, and hence can breed with one another! A cross between a horse and a zebra, is known as a zebroid, or zorse. To be more specific, the offspring of a stallion and female donkey is a hinny, while the offspring of a mare and male donkey is a jack. A cross between a donkey and zebra is known as a zedonk.

♞ A horse has two blind spots. One is located directly in front of them while the other is located directly behind.

♞ Of all land-dwelling mammals, horses have the largest eyes, and since they are located on either side of its head, they have almost 360º vision! They can see different things with each eye!

♞ Horses cannot sleep more than 3 hours per day. Even the three hours of sleep is not taken at a stretch. Rather, they sleep sporadically throughout the day in 10 – 15 minute spells.

♞ Within a couple of hours after being born, a foal can stand and walk!

♞ A year is added to a horse’s birthday on January 1st (Northern Hemisphere) and on August 1st (southern hemisphere) irrespective of their actual birth date. Their actual birth date is considered only when they are going to be used for endurance riding.

♞ Horses usually live for around 25 to 35 years. Some of them live for 40 years or more but these cases are not very common. Ponies live longer than horses.

♞ In most cases, the foal (young horse) is born at night, away from danger and prying eyes.

♞ Only two subspecies of horses have never been domesticated. They are Tarpan Horse and Przewalski’s Horse. The first species is extinct, while the second is a rare species.

 

Special Mentions
♞ Old Billy was the oldest recorded horse who lived to the ripe old age of 62!

♞ Falabella of Argentina, is the smallest breed of horses. They do not grow more than 30 inches in height.

♞ Little Pumpkin is the smallest pony in history – it stood high at 14 inches and weighed 20 lbs.

♞ Poe, a horse who lives in Ontario, Canada, is reported to be the tallest horse, measuring 20.2h at the withers! He stands almost 10 feet tall when he’s holding his head high!

The horse industry is very important in America for various reasons. According to a study by Deloitte Consulting LLP for the American Horse Council Foundation done in 2005, 2 million Americans own a horse. The horse industry provides around 5 lac full-time job opportunities, with almost 8 lac employees (full-time and part-time). About 4.6 million people are a part of the horse industry (includes owners, full-time and part-time employees, service providers, and volunteers). The goods and services of the horse industry amount to around $40 billion and its impact on the U.S. GDP is more than a 100 billion US dollars! In terms of taxes, the horse industry pays almost $2 billion to the government! In a nutshell, horses are important – for various reasons. They are adorable creatures and should be taken care of, as they deserve it.

How to Differentiate Between a Donkey, Horse, and a Mule

Fun fact

The braying of a mule is characterized by a ‘whinny’ like its parent horse, and ends with the ‘aw ah aw’ of its parent donkey.

The Equidae family has a genus ‘Equus’ that includes the horse, (Equus ferus caballus ), the donkey (Equus africanus asinus), and the zebra (Equus quagga). While the zebra is characterized by stripes, the other two are quite similar in appearance, though there is a marked difference in their size, nature, and endurance levels.

The cross breed of a horse and a donkey is a mule. All three four-legged species have long ears and faces along with a long back and a tail. Their coats are also similar in appearance and texture.

Distinguishing the three―horse, donkey, and mule―in detail may seem like a job of an expert; however, it is actually a matter of few traits that sets them apart.

History

Horse – The horse that we see now has undergone about 40-55 million years of evolution. Its domestication started around 4,000 BCE. Back then, it was used for travel, warfare, and hunting. In this modern day and age, the horse is used for sports, fun rides, or cultural ceremonies. It is seldom used for burdening.
Donkey – The start of its domestication can be traced back to roughly 3,000 BCE. Since then, it is being used as a draught animal in the developing countries.
Mule – Its origin and history remain disputed till this day, but safe assumptions can be made about its existence upon the basis of the history of its parents. It is often used for traveling and burdening in rugged terrains.

Differences in features of donkey, horse, and mule
Appearance

Horse – It is spectacular with its lustrous and shiny coat. In comparison to donkeys and mules, it has a longer face, shorter ears, small and rounded eyes, luscious mane and tail hair, and a curvaceous back to hold the saddle. The hooves are also bigger than that of a donkey.
Donkey – The word burro in Spanish, means donkey, which was referred to as an ‘ass’ till the 18th century. When compared to a horse, it has a shorter face and mane, wider eyes, thin limbs, and narrow hooves. The ears are longer and are further marked by a darkening at their base and tip.
Mule – A ‘jack’ (male donkey) and a ‘mare’ (female horse) when crossbred, produce a ‘mule’. While, a ‘stallion’ (male horse) and a ‘jenny’ (female donkey) produce a ‘hinny’.
It has, both, a long face and long ears. It has harder hooves and is sturdier than a horse. Its muscles appear smoother in comparison to that of a horse.

Natural traits

Horse – Social by nature, it prefers to move around in herds and form harems. It is extremely responsive and active. It possesses a body language that tips towards a fight or flight tendency.
Donkey – It is usually found straying off alone and later ending up in pairs. It is known for being stubborn, which is suggestive of self-preservation, unlike horses.
Mule – It retains the best qualities of both― horse and the donkey―namely: patience, sure-footedness, obstinacy, and intelligence. It can carry a dead weight (still and inanimate burden) up to 20% of its total weight and live weight (such as a person) up to 30% of its total weight.

Comparison of donkey, horse, and mule
Height and Weight

Horse – It is the tallest among the three. On an average, its height is between 56-64 inches or 142-163 cm.
Donkey – It is the shortest when compared to the other two. Its height ranges from 31- 63 inches (90-180 cm), while the average weight range is about 180-1060 lbs.
Mule – With its weight ranging from 820-1000 lbs, its height depends on one of its parents.

Life span

Horse – The average lifespan also varies between 25-30 yrs. In rare cases, it lives beyond the age of 40.
Donkey – A well-fed donkey can live about 30-50 years. Neglect in its care may reduce its age to 12-15 years.
Mule – It can live for about 50 years.

Genetics

Horse – It has 64 chromosomes. Specific genes contribute to the variety of its coat color.
Donkey – It has 62 chromosomes in all.
Mule – With an odd total of 63 chromosomes, it is often sterile. In rare cases, where a female mule may be able to bear a fetus, it is called a “molly” or “molly mule”.

Coats

Horse – The coat of a horse may have varied colors―chestnut, black, gray, bay or pinto. White color coats, which are a rarity, are actually gray coats that have faded with age.
Donkey – The coat of a donkey is characterized by the color gray or dark brown. It is said to have a ‘Christian cross’, that is actually a dorsal stripe (from mane to tail) and a crosswise stripe on its shoulders.
Mule – A mule’s coat may derive color from any of its parents, but mostly, it has a brown or bay-colored coat.

A close observation of these three species helps us to notice the features and patterns, which we tend to miss out at first sight. It is remarkable that a mule is blessed with both the coat textures of its parents―the donkey and the horse. It takes on the donkey’s coat in the summers and that of the horse’s in winters.

Sleeping Patterns of Horses

Did You Know?

Horses are notoriously restless. When they aren’t sleeping, they are either moving around or eating. To sleep comfortably at night, a horse needs a suitable amount of bedding and a comfortable place to rest. When a horse is restless due to illness, lack of food or exercise, or other factors, then his sleeping patterns will be irregular and his ability to recover will be compromised.

Horses sleep on average 12 hours per day. In certain situations, such as during recovery from an injury, they may sleep up to 16 hours or more. A horse’s sleep pattern is different from a human’s because it follows different patterns in different weather conditions. For instance, a horse might need more rest in the winter time than in the summer time because they need energy to survive during the winter time.

Horses sleep differently than other mammals. Humans spend an average of eight hours in bed each night. Horses, on the other hand, spend an average of 13 hours resting each night. This difference in sleep patterns makes horses excellent candidates for sleep studies. Sleep is incredibly important to our health and well-being. Yet, most people don’t get enough of it.

Horses are fascinating animals. It’s fascinating to watch them sleep. While most cats sleep 20 hours a day, horses typically sleep four to five hours a day. This allows them to conserve their energy for when they need to forage for food, run, or fight. Sleeping patterns can be categorized into two basic types: active sleeping and inactive sleeping. Active sleeping occurs when the horse is resting, typically in a standing position; inactive sleeping occurs when the horse is sleeping with its head titled up or on its side. While active sleeping is associated with increased metabolic activity and metabolic rates, inactive sleeping is associated with decreased metabolic activity

Horses also rest their legs by merely standing without sleeping. The time spent awake but merely standing is much longer than that spent sleeping.

How do they not fall over?

Horses don’t fall over when standing and sleeping because their legs are positioned so perfectly. The angles of their knees and calves are just right. Their feet are positioned so their legs can rest comfortably on the ground. The weight of their tails are just right so they don’t fall over. The only force which could cause a horse to fall over is gravity.

Horses are famously graceful creatures. However, they can still fall over when standing or sleeping. This is a very important concept to understand when training with horses and riding with them. When training horses, you want them to be relaxed and safe. This becomes more difficult if they are anxious or upset because then they might pull their hind legs towards each other and fall to the ground.

Horses have evolved into a species with the ability to stand, walk, and sleep without falling. They do this by using their muscles in a co-ordinated manner to pull themselves upright. This allows them to stand for long periods of time without falling over. However, horses still have their limitations. While they can walk and stand for long periods of time without falling over, they are prone to falling over when they try running or trotting.

Horses don’t fall over when standing and sleeping because they’re supported by their legs. The muscles in their legs contract and relax in sequence, creating a rhythmic movement that counteracts the upward movement of gravity. This movement, called “”””antigravity,”””” is powerful enough to support a horse’s weight without falling over.

Do they need to lie down at all?
horse lying down

Horses need to lie down in order to recover. A resting horse is healthy and at rest. When a horse is at rest, the blood circulation to all its muscles is maximized. When the horse is in motion, the blood is pumped to all its muscles at a slower rate which reduces the recovery time between repetitions.

Horses need to lie down. Period. They can’t function effectively if they’re standing, they’re flopping around, or they’re having nightmares. And if you’re spending a lot of money on a horse, then you definitely want to make sure he’s comfortable. What you need to do is create a space that’s comfortable for him, with enough room for him to move around, and with enough room to lay him down comfortably.

Horses produce lots of energy when they are excited. And, when they get excited, they often lie down. This means that if you want to exercise a horse, you will need to lie down and give them space. But, before you lie down, you need to make sure that your horse can lie down. This means that you will need to make sure your horse is awake, hungry, happy, and in good condition. If they are any of these things, then they will be more likely to lie down.

Horses need to lie down. It’s basic physiology. The muscles need time to recover from exertion, and laying down helps them relax. It’s also important for the animal’s comfort: lying down helps it avoid stress, which can contribute to injury and infection. However, lying down can also interfere with important functions like digestion and elimination. If a horse is not able to lay down, it can develop certain health problems that are difficult to treat.

Horse with sleep deprivation.

A horse with sleep deprivation seems like an unlikely candidate for a champion. But that’s exactly what you’ll see if you visit these horses. At twilight, the horses are awakened, groomed and fed. Then, they sleep again. In the morning, they are bathed and groomed again and taken for another ride. The horses aren’t always as active as you might think, and they don’t usually behave like champions.

The horse with sleep deprivation is the horse on which you place your bet. The horse you will win is the one that has the most energy, the one that is the most willing, the one that is most willing to fight to the end. The horse that wins is the one that will keep your momentum going-the one that motivates you to keep going even when the odds are against you.

Sleep deprivation is a serious issue that affects millions of people around the world. People who work night shifts, or who are forced to work under stressful conditions, are at an increased risk of experiencing insomnia, depression, and burnout. This is why it’s important to learn about horse care and how you can give your horse the best treatment possible.

 

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