Archive for the ‘Pet Profiles’ Category

One of the most endangered breeds of horse has its roots planted firmly in United States soil. The American Cream Draft Horse is the only draft horse to originate in the U.S. The breed goes back to the early 1900s and it’s founding mare Old Granny. She was a mare of unknown ancestry with an outstanding cream color in Central Iowa. Her offspring were bred with other well known draft breeds to improve type and quality while maintaining the champagne color.

 

Admired by all who saw them, Creams began gaining in popularity. In 1944, the American Cream Draft Horse Association of America was granted a charter by the State of Iowa. The breed standard is a horse that is cream in color, pink skin, and amber eyes. (Commonly have a white mane and tail.) They stand between 15 and 16.3 hands high. Mares generally weigh about 1600-1800 pounds, while stallions weigh in at about 1800-2000 pounds. They are short with well-muscled hindquarters, wide chest, and a short, strong back.

 

Unfortunately, when the age of machines arrived, the ACD nearly became extinct. In 1982, several members reopened the organization registry, which had become inactive. Since then, the Creams numbers have slowly been increasing. However, there are less than 400 animals registered today.

 

One flaw in the breed is that some Creams have been found to have Junctional Epidermolysis Bullosa (JEB), also known as Red Foot Disease. It is a disease more common in Belgians, but has been found in a few Creams. JEB causes newborn foals to lose large areas of skin to blistering, and can affect the mucous membranes which makes it difficult to eat and digest food. Most often than not, this disease leads to euthansia of the animal.

While browsing forums of breeders and breed enthusists, the general consensus seems to be that the Cream has a calm and willing demeanor. They enjoy the company of people and are content in whatever job they are given; hobby farming, logging, driving, hay rides, riding and even dressage. They don’t generally spook easily and make a great starter draft horse.

 

(All images from Google. We don’t know anyone who personally owns an ACDH.)

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Today we are featuring our first Pet Profile, and we thought we’d start with the small but lovable guinea pig. Guinea pigs make wonderful small pets. They have a longer lifespan than most other small rodents, typically living between five to seven years. There are multiple breeds of guinea pigs to choose from, but the most common are the Smooth-Coated, Abyssinian and the Peruvian.

Guinea pigs are often thought to be extremely skittish, but it all really depends on how they’re raised. If handled properly from a young age guinea pigs will grow accustomed to being picked up and played with. I’ve owned my 2 and a half year old guinea pig since she was a baby and she loves coming out of her cage to explore and get attention. She is completely fearless, and will walk right up to our cats and dogs to check them out with out so much as a second thought.

Guinea pigs can be extremely vocal, often squeaking loudly for treats or attention. They will wheek, purr, rumble, and squeal to let you know exactly how they’re feeling or what they want. Certain sounds such as a door opening upon your arrival home, a treat bag opening, and even just the sound of their owner’s voice can have your guinea pig squealing with excitement in an instant.

When it comes to taking care of your piggy, diet is very important. Just like us humans, guinea pigs cannot produce their own vitamin C. This makes it very important that you select a food for them that provides them with this necessary vitamin. If your guinea pig does not get enough vitamin C it can develop scurvy, which can be fatal. Fresh fruits and veggies can also help assure your little critter gets the necessary vitamins, plus they’ll love the extra treat. Feeding your guinea pig timothy hay is also good for them.

Like any other pet, guinea pig owners know they have certain duties they must follow through to assure their guinea pig stays happy and healthy. Making sure your little friend has a clean cage, fresh food and water, as well as play time is very important. Taking the extra time to make sure your guinea pig’s needs are met will also help make the two of you closer. Guinea pigs are social creatures and will benefit greatly from the love you give them. They will surely return the favor with all the joy these adorable little companions will bring you.