How to Milk a Cow

Paying a visit to the country? Why not have a hand at milking a cow? Learn one of the basic routines of living in the countryside by milking a cow by hand. Here’s how.

Materials

Mild soap
Warm water
Vaseline
Bucket

Procedure

Milk the cow at the same time of day the farmer regularly does. Cows like routine, and milking them at the same time of day means they will be more prepared for it. Sit on the same spot or side where the farmer usually sits.

Tie the cow with a halter and attached to a sturdy post.

Use mild soap and warm water to wash down the teats. Make sure your hands are clean too. Pat the teats dry, making sure you do not irritate them by rubbing.

Use a short stool to sit down on. Keep an arm’s distance away from the cow’s teats, just in case the cow makes a sudden movement. This is a safety measure that must be observed at all times.

Put a bucket under the udder.

Apply some Vaseline or lubricant on your hands to reduce friction as you milk the cow.

Take two teats into the palm of your hand.

Squeeze down the teat with your thumb and forefinger to push out the milk. As more milk comes out, use more fingers to push out the milk.

Maintain a firm pressure all throughout, so as not to have the milk come back up the udders again. Do not yank nor pull down on the cow’s teats.

Once one hand is tired of milking the cow, use the other hand using the same technique.

Continue milking the cow until you feel the udders deflated and only a little milk comes out. If you’re not sure, ask the farmer to check if it has been fully milked. If it has been, move on to the other two teats.

How to Litter Train a Kitten

Kittens are nice, soft, cuddly things, but it’s not so cute when they poop just about everywhere but their litter box. Get started litter training your kitten early on with these steps.

Materials

Litter box
Litter
Scooper

Procedure

If your household already has cats, buy a separate litter box for your kitten, appropriate for its size. The rule of thumb in the number of litters you have is one litter box per kitten plus extra. Hence, you have two litter boxes for one kitten.

Unscented clay type litter works best, unless your kitten makes it clear that he or she dislikes the material. If your kitten is also prone to eating the litter, you can try using oatmeal, paper or wood litter instead.

Put an inch of litter to line the bottom of the litter box.

Remove potted plants in your house, or any container that contains soil or litter-like material. Your kitten may instinctively run towards those instead of going straight to the litter box.

Familiarize your kitten to the litter box by taking your kitten and putting it inside the litter box. Let your kitten sniff around the litter and start digging in on it on its own. If not, gently encourage the kitten to dig its paws into the litter using your fingers.

Put the litter box somewhere near that can be easily located and relatively near furniture, as kittens instinctively go nearer to furniture when they need to poop. Sometimes kittens will automatically correlate pooping with the litter box, but other times, kittens have to be reintroduced to the litter box several times.

Sometimes your kittens would prefer the litter box to be somewhere where they usually are. You can slowly move the litter box to your preferred location once they are fully trained to use it.

You need to observe your kitten’s behavior when it comes to pooping. Again, some kittens may not automatically correlate the litter box to their poop, but you just have to be patient. If you see your kitten running to a location where it usually poops but shouldn’t, go after it and put the litter box there.

If your cat poops on anywhere else but the litter box, take it back to where it pooped and let it sniff around. Don’t force it, just let it sniff. After that, bring it in the litter box and dig its paws in the litter or the clay.

Make sure your litter box is cleaned thoroughly, daily.

As your kitten grows, add more litter in the litter box.

How to Keep Bees

Keeping bees may seem daunting, as bees usually have the reputation of being bad stingers. However, done properly, you can actually benefit from harvesting their honey, the help with pollination and help breed more bees. Before getting started, make sure that you check out your locality’s rules on beekeeping. Some cities require several regulations to be followed with regards to beekeeping. Once that done, you’re ready to get started.

Beehive

Constructing a beehive is the first step in beekeeping. If you’re a hobbyist beekeeper, there are many ready-to-make beehive kits available online or in specialized beekeeping stores. These usually look like cabinets that are left outdoors.

When getting or building a beehive, make sure that your beehive has five supers, which are placed between the base of the hive and its top, like shelves in the closet. Each super has nine to ten frames where the bees both keep their honey and their offspring.

Set up your hive on a flat surface in your garden or lawn. Make sure that the location is not easily accessible to either humans or animals, both which can cause disturbance to the bees. Keeping the beehive behind a solid fence will also lessen the chances of bees being interrupted or aggravated by passersby.

Getting the Bees

Contact your local beekeepers or beekeepers’ association to acquire a colony or a swarm for your beehive. You can also ask for tips on how to keep your bees happy.

Another way to attract bees and have them stay is by sprinkling the essential oils of Citronella or Lemongrass in the interiors of the hive, especially in the swarming season. The swarming season takes place around late spring to midsummer.

Protective Clothing

If you’re new to hobby beekeeping, wearing protective clothing when directly dealing with the bees are the best. Protective clothing typically include a veil, gloves or a hooded suit. Bee stings are more painful when they are applied to the face, so having a veil is paramount. If you become more of an expert in beekeeping, then you can probably shed the gloves and the full body suit.

Bee Smoker

A bee smoker is used when you are harvesting the honey or you have to do something that will directly disturb the hive. The bee smoker does two things: It makes bees flee temporarily by making think that the hive is on fire, and the smoke covers the alarm pheromones that the guard bees release to arrange an attack on the intruder.

When using a smoker, you must burn things whose smoke will not cause adverse effects on the bees. Some materials are pine needles, burlap, twine and corrugated cardboard.

Learn

Simply joining a local bee club will give a wealth of information about beekeeping. Going to libraries and reading online sources will also enrich your knowledge on beekeeping. With any luck, you’ll find that you can comfortably keep bees of your own and who knows? Expand the production of honey even more.

How to Keep a Dog Off the Furniture

Changing your pet dog’s nasty behavior inside the house can be pretty daunting especially if your furry little buddy has already become too comfortable with some of your furniture. While it is easier to train a puppy to stay off chairs, cabinets and the sofa, you may still come across a new dog that has a problematic attitude. Is there any hope to change the behavior?

Yes! With patience, consistency and a little help from your housemates, you can introduce your doggie to new and healthy habits at home. Here are a few steps you can take to discipline good old mischievous Scooby:

Protect your furniture.

Prevention is better than any type of cure so make sure you cover your furniture properly especially if your dog stays inside the house and you are on a vacation. Use a plastic cover over the lounge or a blanket or bed sheet to protect your furniture.

Be Prepared.

The best preventive tool you can use is a water spray. Use a small one especially if you have a small pet. Water can easily annoy dogs without hurting them. Another handy tool is a rolled up newspaper. It’ll not hurt them but it’ll keep them on their toes.

Start early.

If you have puppies at home, make sure to let them know that getting on any furniture is not allowed. Dogs usually love to be touched and cuddled but make sure they don’t get too comfortable. You can buy a pet bed for your pal instead or a soft kennel with cushion.

Command and conquer.

You can use two of the most popular commands for dogs: “no” and “down.” When using these commands, take a rolled up newspaper and whack them behind their ears or on their rear if they misbehave. If they have properly responded to this, you can teach them the “sit” and “stay” commands.

Get your dog to sit at a specific location and then stay. Extend the duration each time and then give a reward, such as a good pat, if he reaches the goals you set. Do this regularly after every few hours and in the next few days until you notice improvement on the part of your pet.

Be tough and gentle at the same time.

Consistency is necessary to instill new habits. Do not be afraid of hurting their feelings when you say all those commands. They will get over it. In fact, they may listen to you more and respect you in the long run. Just make sure to keep your temper in check. You are teaching your pet what to do, not scolding him.

Teach your housemates to train your dog as well. You should not leave a puppy or dog by itself around the furniture until full training is rendered.

If you have a new and large dog, you may want to use a leash when teaching him to get off the furniture while rewarding it afterwards for following you. Stay calm and do not arouse aggression in your pet by losing your cool and becoming violent.

If you have anger management issues, you may want to step aside and ask your housemate to take charge in training your dog. You can also try luring the dog off the furniture by shouting your commands and simply holding on the leash and keeping it slack and applying no tension.

Consistency in your training coupled with ample praise will guide your dog towards the right path. Teach him how to differentiate from right from wrong in an understanding way and you will not only have flawless furniture but also a buddy for life.