Big Lake, Alaska and The Susitna Valley News, Weather, Events, And More

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Monday, October 16 2017 @ 06:05 PM AKDT

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Too cold for chickens? Heat lamps aren't needed, instead are a danger

Pets and AnimalsChicken farmers should be careful about installing heat lamps or other artificial warming devices to keep the coops warm. There is a serious risk of fire both in the coop and in your home.

In much of Alaska, and especially in the "Banana Belt" of the Susitna Valley, many breeds of poultry are just fine except in extreme cold. The most vulnerable parts are their combs. Chickens with small combs that are cold-hardy are, among others, Rhode Island Reds, Plymouth Rock, and others with small combs. If they are fully feathered, they will be fine.

While it's true that they need a light source or they will stop laying, they don't need a heat source as much as they need a place that is dry and free of drafts. And fresh, liquid water. This is a problem in an unheated chicken coop, but some solutions include an immersion heater or, as I saw in one coop here in Big Lake, a hotplate under a hubcap, with the waterer on top. I just give them water twice a day, and they seem to be fine with that schedule.

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Free "Trap Safety for Pet Owners" Guide Offers Advice for Sharing Alaska’s Trails

Pets and Animals(Anchorage) — Pet owners are reminded that wintertime in Alaska means fur trapping seasons are open and pets running off-leash and not closely supervised risk having their toes pinched – or worse.

When pets do encounter traps or snares, owners must be prepared to act quickly. That’s why the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and the Alaska Trappers Association (ATA) are inviting pet owners to pick up a copy of the free pocket-size pamphlet, "Trap Safety for Pet Owners."

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Rabies Clinic

Pets and AnimalsThere will be a clinic providing low-cost vaccines for dogs and cats on 12 October 2014 at the Big Lake Lions Rec Center. Mushers from 10 a.m.-12, pets from 1 p.m.-4 p.m.. Cost for rabies is $10, and for dogs only, $15 for Distemper, Parvo, and Bordetella. Animals must remain in the vehicle!
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Goats are far more clever than previously thought

Pets and AnimalsI always suspected that goats were smart, here's an article proving it: "Goats learn how to solve complicated tasks quickly and can recall how to perform them for at least 10 months, which might explain their remarkable ability to adapt to harsh environments, say researchers at Queen Mary University of London."
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Good Dog!

Pets and AnimalsOn 03/03/2014, at approximately 2 p.m, Alaska State Troopers received a report of a Search and Rescue in the area of Jake Lake, near mile seventeen Petersville Road. Tom Taylor, age 68, of Trapper Creek, and a friend had been riding snowmachines in the area when an Irish Setter ran up to them from the direction of the lake. The dog, named "Amber", led them approximately 400 yards to an injured snowmachiner laying in the snow. There Otis Orth, age 52, of Trapper Creek had crashed his snowmachine and had been laying in the snow since the previous day. "Amber" had remained with her owner, keeping him warm overnight, until she heard the snowmachines go by. Several local cabin owners that lived near the scene responded and assisted to keep the Orth warm until medics arrived. Orth was conscious, breathing, and alert, but unable to move due to multiple injuries. Life Med responded from Anchorage in a helicopter while Trapper Creek Ambulance responded with their Off-Road rescue equipment. Troopers, Life Med, and EMS arrived at the scene at approximately 2:40. Orth was stabilized, and transported via Life Med helicopter to an Anchorage hospital where he is currently listed in Stable Condition. "Amber" was turned over to a local acquaintance of the victim.

Photo: Alaska State Troopers
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New Brochure and Videos Now Available: Learn to Release your Pet from Traps and Snares

Pets and Animals"A new brochure, Trap Safety for Pet Owners (PDF 478 kB), produced by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and the Alaska Trappers Association, illustrates how to remove pets from traps and snares. Visit your local ADF&G office if you would like a paper copy of this brochure.

ADFG is also developing a series of short videos on how to release pets from specific kinds of traps."

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Owl kills North Pole dog

Pets and AnimalsA Cautionary Tale for Alaskans with Small Pets: "FAIRBANKS — Even though people told her it could happen, Patty White never dreamed that an owl would kill one of her little dogs.

“People told me, ‘You have to be careful about owls,’ and I said, ‘No, that can’t be, an owl never killed a pet before.’”

But that’s precisely what happened Jan. 13, when what is believed to be a great-horned owl swooped down and attacked Teddy, her 8-year-old, 7-pound Yorkiepoo, at the end of their driveway off Freeman Road in North Pole."
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How A Dog Has Lived For Eleven Thousand Years–In Other Dogs

Pets and AnimalsA User Writes: "In a study published last year, British researchers found that the median lifespan of a pet dog was all of twelve years. Dogs can be fine companions over the course of a human childhood, but they are hardly Methuselahs.

There is, however, one remarkable exception. A dog that was born 11,000 years ago stumbled across the elixir of life, and is still alive today. It didn’t find immortality through a diet of mung beans or daily doses of resveratrol. Instead, that ancient dog employed a more radical solution. Some of its cells became cancerous and invaded other dogs, and those dogs then spread its cells to still other dogs. That ancient dog lives on today in the bodies of countless dogs around the world today."
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Runaway Tortoise Found 30 Miles From Home- 6 months later

Pets and AnimalsCan a tortoise actually “run” away?

Whatever the velocity, a 100 pound tortoise lumbered 30 miles before he was found and taken in by a foster family. It took the reptile six months to cover the distance.

Earlier this month the animal was reunited with his Arizona owners, according to the Associated Press.

When taking care of the tortoise, which was renamed “Eddie,” became too much, the foster family decided to place an advertisement in the Copa Monitor, a local publication, in hopes of finding his owner, the AP reported.
“Eddie has quite the personality!” the advertisement said. “He was found as a stray and appeared to be very well taken care of, yet no one came forward to claim him. He is about 15 years old and will live another 70+ years, so a family who is committed to him for life is very, very important.”
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Man credits chihuahua, machete in repelling home invader

Pets and Animals"LAPORTE | A 62-year old LaPorte man wielded a machete to fend off the blows of a home invader early Monday.

However, it might have been his chihuahua named Charlie who kept him from being further harmed by repeatedly biting the suspect.

"If it wasn't for him he would have succeeded in doing whatever he wanted to do, because I was down," said the victim, Roman Dickt, who lives in the 1400 block of West 18th Street."
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Your Pet Dog Could Recognize Your Face From An Image

Pets and Animals"A dog might be a little better at recognizing its owner’s face from an image than previously thought, according to a study published in the journal Animal Cognition.

Researchers tracked the eye movements of canines to investigate whether man’s best friend was able to recognize a familiar face from an image. The team wanted to determine if dogs were able to see faces in images and whether they naturally look at familiar and strange faces differently.

The study involved a total of 23 pet dogs and eight kennel dogs, which were trained to lie still during the image presentation and to perform the task independently.

“Dogs seemed to experience the task rewarding, because they were very eager to participate,” Professor Outi Vainio, leader of the study from the University of Helsinki, said in a statement."

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Aren’t We All Just Giant Versions Of Our Domestic Feline Friends?

Pets and Animals"Cats have been man’s other best friend for thousands of years, with the first felines coming into the lives of humans at least 9,500 years ago, based on a grave unearthed in 2004 in Cyprus that contained the remains of a cat with its possible human master.

Since then, cats have spread to Egypt and throughout the rest of the world and have quickly become the most popular domestic pet in the world today, outnumbering dogs as pets by three to one.

However, while cat lovers often view their cuddly fur balls as another dependent, rather than an actual cat, those fur balls tend to look at us in a somewhat different way.

According to Dr. John Bradshaw, a British anthrozoologist of the University of Bristol, our cat friends look at us as just a larger, more docile version of themselves and has detailed his findings in a new book titled “Cat Sense,” which was recently reviewed by The New York Times."
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