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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

How a Ugandan Woman Became a Millionairess from Piggery.

How a Ugandan Woman Became a Millionairess from Piggery.RACHAEL Mubiru was tired of being a jobless housewife with no income. The trials of lacking an income are what drove her to venture into commercial farming. Today, she is practicing piggery and poultry farming, ventures that have turned her into a millionaire. Mubiru says she started piggery with local breeds but acquired exotic breeds after she watched President Yoweri Museveni on television encouraging farmers to turn to modern farming. more

Banker quits job to be a millionaire pig farmer.

Banker quits job to be a millionaire pig farmer.Martin was a Manager with Standard Chartered Bank before he quit the job to pursue an entrepreneurial passion in pig farming. Having been raised on the proceeds of pig farming as a young boy, he decided to leave the world of suits and ties to exploit the lucrative potentials of the pig business. And his bet paid off! Banker quits job to be a millionaire pig farmer. #banker Martin sells about 20 pigs every month and has gradually grown his business to a current stock of 200 pigs, which he often raises to 500 when the market demand increases. According to this Business Daily Africa article, his current total wealth – calculated from the worth of his pig stock – stands at nearly 2 million Kenyan Shillings (roughly $23,000). Banker quits job to be a millionaire pig farmer. #pigs. He plans to multiply this wealth eight fold by 2015 and believes this is possible because the demand and market for pigs is grossly undersupplied. more

Irrigation system that can tell when farm soil is dry .

Irrigation system that can tell when farm soil is dry. Students and a lecturer at Meru University of Science and Technology have developed a sensor-based automatic irrigation system. The innovation is aimed at reducing the labour cost and amount of water wasted in overhead and furrow irrigation methods. A solar-powered intelligent irrigation system is what Kenya needs to achieve food security and conserve water. The sensors in the system that we developed detect when the soil is dry so that the system can release water to crops,” said Maitethia, adding that once enough water has been channeled to the crops the system automatically closes the supply.more

Catfish lifts driver from poverty.

Catfish lifts driver from poverty. As a driver, Francis Mwangi could not make enough to sustain himself and his family, who depended on him. Even his own father ran away from their home in Mathari, Nyeri County, when he could not repay debts that had accrued in the family. Then Mwangi attended a training programme for farmers about fish farming and he decided to give it a try. He decided to risk by depositing Sh65,000 with the fisheries company and had a pond dug to accommodate his first batch of catfish. He says neighbours would laugh at him, wondering how he could just give away money. To the naysayers’ dismay, after five and a half months, the first harvest earned Mwangi Sh300,000, which shocked even the locals. Each kilo of fish is sold for Sh200 and some of the fish grow to as heavy as three kilogrammes. more

Adjusting sow nutrition in key stages of transition.

Adjusting sow nutrition in key stages of transition.New research and the development of an advanced nutritional programme have confirmed that improved sow nutrition at key stages in the breeding cycle will help improve birth weights and piglet vitality. Larger litter sizes challenge piglet livability,as more piglets can result in longer and more difficult farrowing for the sow and less litter uniformity. Small piglets in particular are more at risk of pre-weaning mortality. Improving sow nutrition around parturition, in the transition phase from gestation to lactation, can have a significant impact on piglet livability. The research programme has led to the development of Livelle Transition feeding strategy. This breakthrough in sow nutrition can help the sow in supporting larger litters, from birth to weaning. more

Plant voice.

Plant voice is a monitoring and control system which helps you realize the optimum greenhouse climate and irrigation strategy, based on plant needs. All data is presented at a glance via a customized visualization. The PlantVoice program, that is developed for the iSii process computer, focusses on the three plant balances: the energy, water, and assimilates balance. These balances are the center of each plant growth model. PlantVoice allows you to keep your plants ‘in balance’, and therefore enables the plant to grow optimally and you achieve optimum production and quality. With PlantVoice, you adjust the irrigation cycle to the plants’ needs and you realize the ideal . more

Green tea consumption can lower rice-induced diabetes risk in women: Japanese study

Green tea consumption can lower rice-induced diabetes risk in women: Japanese study: New research from Japan has shown that drinking green tea can reduce the risk of diabetes caused by rice consumption among women.

Low levels of carotenoids linked to Parkinson’s disease risk and progression: RCT

Low levels of carotenoids linked to Parkinson’s disease risk and progression: RCT: Low levels of alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and lycopene contributed to increased risk and progression of Parkinson’s disease, a new study reports.

Chondroitin sulfate as good as widely used anti-inflammatory drug for knee osteoarthritis: Study

Chondroitin sulfate as good as widely used anti-inflammatory drug for knee osteoarthritis: Study: High quality chondroitin sulfate supplementation is as good as a widely prescribed non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug for the treatment of painful knee osteoarthritis, new research reveals.

The pros and cons of commercial farming models in Africa.

The pros and cons of commercial farming models in Africa.Colonialism brought large-scale farming to Africa, promising modernisation and jobs – but often dispossessing people and exploiting workers. Now, after several decades of independence, and with investor interest growing, African governments are once again promoting large plantations and estates. But the new corporate interest in African agriculture has been criticized as a “land grab”. Small-scale farmers, on family land, are still the mainstay of African farming, producing 90% of its food. Their future is increasingly uncertain as the large-scale colonial model returns. To make way for big farms, local people have lost their land. Promises of jobs and other benefits have been slow to materialize, if at all. The search is on for alternatives to big plantations and estates that can bring in private investment without dispossessing local people – and preferably also support people’s livelihoods by creating jobs and strengthening local economies. Two possible models stand out. Contract farming is often touted as an “inclusive business model” that links smallholders into commercial value chains. In these arrangements, smallholder farmers produce cash crops on their own land, as ‘outgrowers’, on contract to agroprocessing companies. see Then there is growth in a new class of “middle farmers”. These are often educated business people and civil servants who are investing money earned elsewhere into medium-scale commercial farms which they own and operate themselves. more

How to improve spray coverage and efficacy.

How to improve spray coverage and efficacy. In modern crop production systems, spraying pesticides is an essential tool in managing insects and diseases. Even with advanced integrated pest management practices and bio-controls, sprays are sometimes necessary to prevent epidemics. Whether using organic, bio-derived pesticides or conventional, chemical sprays, spray applications rarely achieve 100% control. However, increasing spray efficacy from 90–95% can have a huge effect and prevent uncontrollable outbreaks. Sprays can be expensive and maximizing value is essential,thus there are a few basic rules to keep in mind that will ensure the best possible outcome. 1) Adjust pH of Spray Solution  Many pesticides/ fungicides/ herbicides perform best in an acidic solution, but ground water quality is often alkaline or neutral, depending on location of water source and time of season. Acidifying spray solutions is one step that can usually improve spray performance and is often skipped by farmers. There are several buffer solutions which are available and can be used to adjust pH of spray solution. Always consult the product label before adjusting pH, optimum pH can vary. This can be especially important with organic/ microbial-based pesticides which can drastically look efficacy if proper pH balance is not maintained. 2) Adjust to the Weather  High wind speeds are obvious to avoid, but even lower wind speeds can create drift and need to be calibrated to. Temperature has a large effect on drift as well. Typically higher temps create more drift as well. Adjust height and pressure to accommodate for wind and temperature. 3) The most common failures of sprays is because spray nozzles are clogged and often need cleaning or replacing,so it is important to check every time a spray application is used. The nozzles need to be calibrated to achieve proper coverage, and speed of the tractor needs to be tested and adjusted. The easiest way to check spray coverage is by using water sensitive spray cards which can be placed at several points through the crop. more

Contagious disease hits Tilapia farmers on 3 continents.

Contagious disease hits tilapia farmers on 3 continents.The Tilapia Lake Virus (TiLV) has been reported in five countries on three continents: Colombia, Ecuador, Egypt, Israel and Thailand. The highly contagious disease is spreading among farmed and wild tilapia, one of the world's most important fish for human consumption. The pathogen poses no public health concern, it can decimate infected populations. Infected fish often show loss of appetite, slow movements, dermal lesions and ulcers, ocular abnormalities, and opacity of lens. In 2015, world tilapia production, from both aquaculture and capture, amounted to 6.4 million tonnes, with an estimated value of USD 9.8 billion, and worldwide trade was valued at USD1.8 billion. source

India’s cattle ban could ‘halt’ beef exports

India’s cattle ban could ‘halt’ beef exports: The Indian government’s ban on the sale of cattle for slaughter is likely to have dramatic impact on its billion-dollar cattle export trade.

Water quality and fish health.

Water quality and fish health,this is an important parameter in fish farming and to make money from fish farming all necessary protocols must be observed. Its very important to note the quality of water that can be used for rearing fish ; 1) water must be clean and free from chemicals. 2) water must be chlorine-free. 3)water must be free of pollutants such as oil,detergents and heavy metals such as aluminium,zinc and magnesium. Water is the medium in which the fish lives and the growth and survival rate depends on the quality of water. Water sources for rearing fish include borehole,springs,streams,wells lagoons and rivers. The source must be tested to check for quality and make necessary adjustments before channeling to your pond. Fish should not be reared with tap water because chlorine is present and this is hazardous to fish health,but in cases where the only source is tap water especially in urban farming then chlorine can be removed from the water and used to rear fish. Chlorine can be removed from water source by using any of the following methods before stocking your pond; 1) put water in tank overnight, the chlorine gas will evaporate making it safe. 2) use a dechlorinator. 3)Add vitamin C to pond @ 1 tablet /100L of water. The use of vitamin C is very effective as it not only removes the chlorine but also acts as anti-stress agent for the fish,making them stable and healthy when moved into the pond. Water quality and fish health: order for fish feed , fertilizer and seeds. see

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

A mobile app that help farmers overcome crop damage launched in India.

A mobile app that help farmers overcome crop damage launched in India. The role of technology in agriculture cannot be over emphasized with various platforms such as SMS,videos, mobile apps, voice and e-learning in livestock and crop farming paving the way for food security. Phones,mobile apps with data analysis have enabled farmers to increase yield, because of the array of information available and the spontaneity of response from experts when they experience problems. The world has become a global village basically because of connectivity and ease of access to information, this simple role of connectivity if tapped into in agriculture will boost production,sales and increase revenue. In India, an innovative multi-lingual plant disease and pest diagnostic app available on farmer’s mobile phones helps them identify pests and diseases and suggests remedies was recently launched. This is how the ‘Plantix’ app works; Farmers take pictures of the affected crop and upload them on the app. The photographs are analyzed using artificial intelligence algorithms and results returned immediately to the individual farmer. Critical information on symptoms, triggers, chemicals as well as biological treatments are provided. All pictures sent via the app are geo-tagged thereby enabling real-time monitoring of pest and diseases. The resulting metadata provides valuable insights into the spatial distribution of cultivated crops and most significant plant diseases e.g. in the form of high resolution maps. Furthermore, the app encompasses a weather information system specific to the farmers’ location and a community feature that facilitates interaction with other players interested in plant protection services. more Harnessing this method and molding it to our specification is another part of the story. The recently launched app is to identify pest and diseases of crops and proffer solutions,now their are other possibilities such as 1) in livestock. 2) animal healthcare services. 3) sales of agricultural products. 4) online community that can be provided with banking facilities. see and the model is this

Monday, May 29, 2017

Feline hepatic lipidosis.

Feline hepatic lipidosis is a serious condition in cats especially overweight middle-aged ones. The prevalent precursor is rapid severe weight loss which could be as a result of prolonged inappetence or reduction in feed intake. When a cat refuses to eat for whatever reason,the body sends fat cells to liver to metabolize as energy but if this process is prolonged the large infiltration of fat into the liver results in feline hepatic lipidosis. The signs include dehydration,vomiting,jaundice,excessive drooling and lethargy and the treatment protocol is immediate nutritional support which is usually aggressive usually with aid of feeding tube until cats starts eating unaided.

How to turn organic waste to compost with maggots.

Organic waste can be turned into compost fast with maggots. The black soldier fly is a veritable eating machine at its larval stage.This insect would not do anyone any harm,but its larvae feed on rotting organic material such as food scraps or dung providing compost and feed for livestock. The insect can reduce any type of organic waste in a short space of time. A Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) in Frick is running a project that aims to employ the appetite of soldier fly larvae (Hermetia illucens) in developing countries. It is being implemented in the greater metropolitan area of Accra, the capital city of Ghana. In big cities in tropical regions composting is poor just as in Accra.This leads to immense hygiene problems because organic waste makes up more than half of the total refuse in developing countries and on the other hand, it's also a waste of natural resources. This is because while the rapidly increasing population is dependent on productive agriculture, the soil is exhausted and not very fertile. The project aims at assisting farmers so that they can use the valuable compost in their fields, an additional goal of the project is to provide a further use for the maggots of the soldier fly as feed for fish farmers, who find it difficult to meet the Ghanaian population's appetite for fish.more

China managing food waste with maggots.

China managing food waste with maggots thus preserving the environment.Thousands of voracious white maggots wiggle frenetically while tearing through trayfuls of leftover meat, vegetables and fruits in an unusual farm in southwestern China. This may not be a pretty sight, but the gluttonous larvae could help China eat away something far uglier, the country's mountain of food waste. The individual larvae of black soldier flies, which are native to the Americas, can each eat double their weight of garbage every day, according to experts. The farm in Sichuan province then turns the bugs into a high-protein animal feed and their feces into an organic fertilizer. There's no shortage of food for the larvae as each person throws away almost 30 kilos of food per year in China, a nation of 1.4 billion people and On average, one kilo of maggots can eat two kilos of rubbish in about four hours. more

Corn-Tracking Robot May Save Us from Starving in the Future.

Corn-Tracking Robot May Save Us from Starving in the Future. Can robots help save us from food shortages that have been brought on by changes to global climate? It’s hard to say, but we are already slowly coming around to the idea of having robots in almost every corner of life: industrial robots in our factories, collaborative robots in our offices, and even delivery robots roaming around our streets. So the concept of robot-assisted agriculture — or at least robot-aided agricultural research — isn’t that far-fetched. more

Data as Agriculture’s New Currency.

Data as Agriculture’s New Currency. Government and private economists around the globe keep close tabs on estimates for the yields of internationally-traded crops such as corn, oats, soybean, rice and wheat. The US Department of Agriculture, for example, publishes monthly reports and forecasts that keep the markets up-to-date on the progress of these commodities throughout the season.As with all commodities, prices rise and fall with the global level of supply and demand. That makes accurate and timely information about crop supplies extremely valuable. Agricultural production data measure the supply of various agricultural commodities throughout the various stages of plant growth. Pre-planting estimates use the prior season’s harvest, field observations, and surveys to track what farmers intend to plant. more

Catfish farmers and feed regulation.

Catfish farmers and feed regulation. There is a report that catfish has been linked to bad fat raising health concerns about consumption. The the Council of Fellows, CoF, of the Fisheries Society of Nigeria, FISON, have said the recent reports on ‘the catfish bad fats’ is a myth and propaganda to hinder local production. The council admonished its members on the need to set standards of feeds in the industry. The body maintained that if there were standard of feed in the country, the issue of the catfish bad oil wouldn’t exist because it would have served as a regulatory mechanism in the industry. more

A baby walks just after birth.

A baby walks just after birth. The baby, born in a Brazilian hospital, is simply acting out a reflex that all babies are born with. In the video it can be seen walking on the spot while being held up by the arm of a midwife. In Portuguese, the woman is heard explaining that she has been trying to wash the baby but that it keeps hopping up and attempting to walk - just 20 minutes after exiting the womb. watch

Friday, May 26, 2017

How to use biodegradable twine.

The farmers using plastic rope don't that after use, there are always leftovers that end up in the soil and remain there for hundreds of years. Every year more is added, the problems that these plastic fractions can cause are increasing with more and more buyers of compost experiencing the consequences. There is an alternative now,which is biodegradable twine made from plants such as corn,cassava sugar cane and sugar beet that convert CO2 to sugars.The advantage is that after cultivation, the rope breaks down together with crop residues during composting. This means its not necessary to sift out the rope anymore, resulting in a fully usable compost is made without harmful rope fractions . Story

A new alternative to antibiotics.

The method of use of antibiotics in man, animals and in agriculture has been fingered as the major cause of antibiotics resistance which has emerged as a global problem. There has been various methods of curbing antibiotics use in different circles but now a latest alternative to antibiotics has been tried with successful outcomes. The new research carried out in Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and published recently in Nature Scientific Reports combines the use of metals and organic acids as a viable alternative to antibiotics. There has been various researches where different interventions have been applied with success. These numerous alternatives to antibiotics are already being tested by different researchers around the world. Two of the most popular alternatives are the use of metals such as silver, zinc, and copper which were used in ancient Egypt and Greece for treating infection and purifying water sources, and the use of organic acids such as food acid that is used as a preservative in the food industry. This new research now combined the 2 alternatives which is organic acids and metals at a low concentration, and found that the combination is extremely effective in eradicating pathogenic bacteria such as cholera, salmonella, and Pseudomonas, as well as eliminating bacteria that attack agricultural crops such as tomatoes, melons, and apples.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

3-D printed ovaries produce healthy offspring.

3-D printed ovaries produce healthy offspring as bio prosthetic ovaries produced mouse pups in otherwise infertile mice. The study by Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and McCormick School of Engineering shows that bioprosthetic ovaries have long-term, durable function. The new research targeted at women targeted whose cancer treatments impaired their fertility and hormone production has shown potential of 3D printed ovaries to produce healthy offspring's. The research used a 3-D printed bioprosthetic mouse ovaries to restore fertility in the infertile mice and produced healthy mouse pups. The mothers also were able to nurse their pups. The ovaries are constructed of 3-D printed scaffolds that house immature eggs and were successful in boosting hormone production and restoring fertility.

100-year-old fertility technique reduces need for IVF.

A new study has shown that 100-year-old fertility technique reduces the need for IVF.The results of the study published in The New England Journal of Medicine,shows that infertile couples have a major opportunity to achieve a successful pregnancy without the need for IVF, by using the technique which involves flushing the woman's Fallopian tubes with an iodised poppy seed oil.This technique has been proven to have significant benefits for fertility.

Modified experimental vaccine protects monkeys from deadly malaria.

Researchers from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, modified an experimental malaria vaccine and showed that it completely protected four of eight monkeys that received it against challenge with the virulent Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasite. In three of the remaining four monkeys, the vaccine delayed when parasites first appeared in the blood by more than 25 days.Malaria symptoms occur when parasites replicate inside red blood cells and cause them to burst. full story.

Theanine: How a tea amino acid could help fight liver disease

Theanine: How a tea amino acid could help fight liver disease: Theanine, the unique amino acid present in the tea plant, can potentially be used to treat liver injury and boost immunity, a new review has shown.

Self - medicating animals and lessons they teach us.

The self-medicating animals and the lessons they teach us. Self-medicating animals opens up a new dimension of medicine in the wild ,leading to the question what can we learn from chimps and sheep and maybe even insects that practice medicine on themselves? Early accounts of animal self-medication came in the late 1980s from Michael Huffman, a primatologist at Kyoto University. His decades-long research on chimpanzees, which revealed that they use plant compounds to rid themselves of parasites, helped established self-medication as a fundamental animal behavior. “Any animal species alive today is alive in part because of its ability to adapt and to fight off diseases,” Huffman says. Self-medication does not require high intelligence, but was simply the reaction of animals to remove an ailing symptom that evolved into strategies to expel parasites. “Self-medication is a very basic behavior that’s important to the survival of so many species,” he says. The animal self-medication points to a treasure larger than mere fascination and by following the animals’ lead,its possible to tap into a medicine vault furnished by millions of years of natural selection. The world’s best bio-prospectors which are the animals themselves may very well show us new pharmaceuticals to improve the health of our livestock and ourselves. more

How to use a calf resuscitator.

Calf resuscitator is an essential tool for calf management especially after calving.The Calf Resuscitator is a constant delivery resuscitator,designed to inflate the lungs of newborns that are unable to breathe,but have a heartbeat. One person can operate the resuscitator using a simple push/pull action. Valves at each end do all of the work. Aspirator mask is attached to wide end of the pump to draw out mucus or fluids,that may be blocking the airway. Once clear,the aspirator mask is removed, and the resuscitator mask is attached to the narrow end of the pump. Bi-directional valve allows animal to exhale without the need to remove the unit, then pumps fresh air back into lungs.Calf Resuscitator includes C20 pump, aspirator mask, resuscitator mask and case. more

Veterinarians are farmer's best friend.

Veterinarians are farmer's best friend,according to a new study carried out by staff at Ulster University The study shows that farmers are more likely to off-load any worries they have to veterinarians than other professionals they come in contact with. The study according to lead author shows that veterinarians significantly outscore GPs when it comes to farmers discussing stress-related matters.Farmers obviously regard vets as a very trusting group of professionals. Farmers and their spouses have been shown to suffer more anxiety and depression than non-farmers. Suicide is the second most common cause of death, after accidents, involving young farmers. In addition, suicide is also a significant cause of mortality in older and retired farmers and amongst farmers’ wives. see The major stressors were coping with red tape and bureaucracy and occupational stress,though not limited to farming but of higher incidence in farmers. source

Disinfectants and cleaners for greenhouses.

Disinfectants and cleaners for greenhouses.Cleaning and disinfecting your buildings and equipment such as waterlines, header tanks, benches, walkways, etc. will help minimize the risk of spreading disease by ensuring that your environment is a place where biofilm is regularly attacked and eliminated. Disinfectants include; 1) Biosentry-904. 2) Virkon-greenhouse. more

Growing greenhouse produce on a polymer film.

In Japan ,a scientist has shown how to grow fruits and vegetables on a polymer film.Film farming is the brainchild of Yuichi Mori, the chemical physicist who founded Mebiol in 1995. Mori spent the majority of his career developing polymer technologies for the medical industry. However, he had long been fascinated by plant biology and found inspiration in the adaptability of the vegetable kingdom. He began by growing a small patch of grass on hydrogel film under LED lights. After more than a decade of experimentation, Mori and his colleagues developed a soil-free farming system that could be used to cultivate crops in greenhouses on a large scale. The polymer film is the key to a cutting-edge farming method that makes it possible to grow fruits and vegetables on practically any flat exterior. Made of hydrogel – a super absorbent material typically used in household products such as disposable diapers – the film works by soaking up water and nutrients through a multitude of nano-sized pores measuring one millionth of a millimetre in diameter. Plants grow on top of the film, but instead of digging into the ground, the roots spread across the surface of the membrane in wispy, fan-like formations. more

Veterinary diagnostics: how to use MRI to manage hock,suspensory ligament injuries in horses.

Veterinary diagnostics comes in handy when presented with an injured horse. MRI is magnetic resonance imaging and it aids diagnosis of cases of injured hock and suspensory ligaments and fractures . Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses magnetic fields to create cross-sectional and three-dimensional images of both bony and soft tissue structures, allowing easy visualization of multiple tissue types at once. MRI is used to assess shape of internal structures' ,to check for fractures or tears and size of structures to determine if its inflammation or atrophy, and also used to examine the intensity which can indicate edema or fluid collecting in bones or soft tissue. The MRI should be done on affected limb and opposite limb for comparison ,the MRI is usually carried out when proper lameness examination has been carried out. MRI can be used to visualize damage to the articular surfaces of the upper and lower hock joints. The MRI has been used to identify horses with lower hock cartilage/bone damage associated with the joints, as well as the bones surrounding the inter tarsal ligaments.

Protecting pets from seasonal allergies.

Pet allergies can be triggered by grasses, pollen and dust mites that manifest as skin and ear problems or other issues. Seasonal allergies are very disturbing not only to pet but owners as well. It often starts with an itch after contact with allergen then the itching progresses to soft spots which are often foci for infection. The signs of seasonal allergies are skin conditions such as red spots, skin infections, and recurring ear infections. Seasonal allergies can be dealt with if only the allergen is identified using allergy testing by blood test,when this is determined then the allergen is prepared as an oral medication and given to the pet to promote tolerance to the allergen when encountered. <

Concerns about hepatitis E virus in pork in UK.

British doctors have reported that consumers have been found infected with hepatitis E that can be found in pork that is produced in mainland Europe. The Sunday Times reported about a publication by Public Health England (PHE), in which a new strain of hepatitis E (HEv) is linked to pig farms in France, the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark. Reportedly, it has infected over 60,000 people in the UK per year. The strain may have ended up in about 10% of sausages. Public Health England showed the number of severe cases had almost trebled since 2010, with 1,244 reported in 2016 to 368 6 years earlier. The strain used to be mainly a tropical disease but has now mutated to infect livestock. It causes an illness in humans that looks like influenza. It is only killed in the meat if consumers cook the food for longer than normal. The virus commonly referred to as Brexit virus attacks the liver and nerves . It is particularly dangerous for people with suppressed immune systems such as those who have had organ transplants and possibly cancer. more

Breaking into the milk market: India’s top dairy alternatives

Breaking into the milk market: India’s top dairy alternatives: Vegetarian-friendly plant-based milk alternatives are poised to put pressure on traditional dairy in heavily vegetarian India.

Omega-3 could aid Alzheimer's prevention: Study

Omega-3 could aid Alzheimer's prevention: Study: People with high omega-3 intakes have an increased blood flow in the brain, according to research suggesting a link between omega-3 and Alzheimer’s disease.

Danone and Abraaj Group expand Fan Milk capacity in Ghana to launch new product

Danone and Abraaj Group expand Fan Milk capacity in Ghana to launch new product: Danone, and investors The Abraaj Group (Abraaj), have added three new production lines to Fan Milk’s factory in Accra, Ghana.

Plastic bits cause recall of 60 tonnes of poultry

Plastic bits cause recall of 60 tonnes of poultry: Foster Poultry Farms is recalling 131,880 pounds (60 tonnes) of frozen, ready-to-eat breaded chicken patties after US shoppers reported discovering pieces of clear plastic packaging in the products.

Magnet found in sausage mix sparks recall

Magnet found in sausage mix sparks recall: Florida-based Uncle John’s Pride has issued a recall for over 63 tonnes (t) of ready-to-eat smoked meat and chicken sausages after a magnet was found in a product mix.

Canadian meat recall triggered over E.coli fears

Canadian meat recall triggered over E.coli fears: A recall operation for a large quantity of minced meat products is under way in Canada's most populous province, Ontario, due to fears of E.coli contamination.

Multiple meat recalls hit America

Multiple meat recalls hit America: The United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has reported three major meat recalls in the country over the past three days.

How To Prevent and Manage Equine Disease With Nutrition.

How To Prevent and Manage Equine Disease With Nutrition. Feeding horses is for growth,wellness and disease prevention thus what you feed the horse impacts the whole system.This can then be used as a platform to manipulate dietary ingredients to reduce a horse's risk of developing particular medical conditions such as colic, gastric ulcer syndrome, and developmental orthopedic disease and to help manage some pre-existing conditions such as obesity and equine metabolic syndrome. These are ways nutrition can be managed to prevent the following conditions in horses ; 1) Sand Colic occurs when sand consumed alongside feed is large enough that it does not pass out with waste leading to impaction of intestine thus reducing gastrointestinal motility. The preventive measure will be to provide feed off the ground or add a bit of psyllium supplement to diet to get rid of sand in the intestine. Sand colic management 2) Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome.(EGUS) Horses of all ages, breeds, and walks of life can have ulcers ,but the incidence can be reduced by carefully planning what you feed and how often you feed. Horses with EGUS generally have these ulcers and erosion in the lower portion of the esophagus, the stomach, and the beginning of the small intestine. These ulcers normally form when there's an imbalance between the factors that buffer the ingested feed and protect the stomach which in horses is saliva, and the factors that incite erosion which is the stomach acid. The typical signs are poor body condition, colic and lethargy. The solution will be for the horse to have constant access to feed to promote saliva secretion to protect stomach from ulcers. 3) Obesity; this is the precursor of so many metabolic diseases and basically occurs when high carbohydrate diet is fed with limited exercise of the horse. There is an imbalance in the high energy feed consumed and utilization of same in terms of burning calories. The way forward is to reduce diet and encourage exercise. 4) Impaction colic; occurs when feed material obstructs the colon thus making elimination of waste difficult. The common cause is reduced intake of water,which can arise when horses dont drink enough water because of lack of access to water or because these horses dont like to drink water. The solution is to provide clean water always and also encourage drinking of water by the horses. Horses that dont like to drink can be made to drink required amount of water by using any of the following means; a) Give flavored water but the glucose level of such drinks should be regulated. b) Soaking hay before feeding will also count for increase in water consumption c) Adding salt to the water about 1-3 tablespoons once/twice a day will stimulate drinking.

What is PPID?.

What is PPID?. PPID is pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction also known as equine Cushing's disease and this condition makes the pituitary gland work overtime causing severe problems. The signs at onset are subtle while the advanced stage has quite prominent signs that are easily associated with the condition. The early signs of PPID are 1) selective deposition of fat on the neck or tail head. 2) abnormal hair growth in the small region referred to as regional hypertrichosis. 3) wasting of muscle especially of the topline region. 4) reduced athletic performance. 5) delayed shedding of hair thus exhibiting patches of longer hair in the jugular groove and back of legs. The advanced signs are 1) blindness. 2) excessive thirst and urination. 3) recurrent infections such as sole abscess and skin infection. 4) rounded abdomen. 5) reduced performance 6) generalized hypertrichosis 7) abnormal sweating 8) infertility;mares dont cycle. 9) lethargy.

Does Equine PPID Affect Immune Responses to Vaccination?

Does Equine PPID Affect Immune Responses to Vaccination? 20% or more of the equine population consists of horses older than 20. Veterinarians report that 30% of these are afflicted with Cushing’s disease (PPID or pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction), a degenerative endocrine condition that causes muscle wasting, an overly shaggy hair coat that doesn’t shed well, and/or susceptibility to the hoof disease laminitis. As horses age, the immune system also changes and experiences an overall decline (immunosenescence) and enhanced inflammation, now termed “inflamm-aging.” Inflamm-aging describes a key characteristic of the aging process that involves a shift toward circulation of substances (pro-inflammatory cytokines) that elicit low-grade, chronic inflammation. In PPID horses, this immune function is even more diminished than it is in normal aging horses. So researchers have asked the question: Does PPID affect horses' immune response to vaccination? A study was conducted evaluating 33 horses immunized with a multivalent vaccine (Vetera Gold by Boehringer) containing Eastern and Western equine encephalomyelitis (EEE/WEE), tetanus, equine influenza, rhinopneumonitis, and West Nile virus (WNV). There was no significant difference in immune response to the influenza vaccine between PPID horses and non-PPID horses of matched age. However,there was significant differences in rhinopneumonitis and West Nile vaccine responses, with lessened antibody titers following immunization, in PPID horses. The study emphasize the need to maintain geriatric horses on regular vaccine programs and keep up to date with core vaccines (EEE/WEE, tetanus, WNV, and rabies). If there is a high risk of extensive travel or co-mingling of horses, then influenza and rhinopneumonitis vaccines should be boosted every six months. source.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017


AFRICA'S AGRICULTURAL POTENTIAL:The average African farm performs at only about 40% of its potential and with the present trends the continent will only produce 13% of its food needs by 2050. Yet African agriculture also has the greatest promise: a growing population, vibrant markets and half the world's uncultivated arable land. How can these farms rise to their potential to address hunger and malnutrition while boosting livelihoods and promoting inclusive growth? 80% of all Africa's farms are small plots yet contribute as much as 80% of food production. It's not pity and handouts that are needed. It is access to markets and finance, land tenure security, knowledge and technology, and the right policies. more

How three teens used bacteria to tackle global food poverty.

How three teens used bacteria to tackle global food poverty. Ciara Judge, Emer Hickey, and Sophie Healy-Thow, high-schoolers from County Cork, Ireland discovered a bacterial treatment for cereal crop seeds that could potentially increase yields in areas stricken by famine. The three were named the winners of Google's annual global science fair for teens after they spent eleven months treating cereal crop seeds with a natural bacteria and waiting for them to grow. It turned out the team didn't have to wait very long. The bacteria helped the seeds to germinate much faster than usual and the girls are now looking to apply their method in famine-prone areas. The girls plunged into the project after Emer's mother discovered nodules on the roots of her pea plants while gardening. Curiosity led them to the classroom, where a teacher informed them about Diazotroph bacteria, which helps convert atmospheric nitrogen into a more usable form. Legumes like the pea plant in Emer's backyard are known to have a beneficial relationship with one kind of Diazotroph bacteria known as rhizobia. The students inoculated thousands of seed samples with a diluted syrup of rhyzobia. They found that, even in non-legume plants, this naturally-occurring bacteria accelerated crop germination by up to 50 percent and there are big benefits to completing the germination stage more quickly. more

Coffee and renewable energy in Central America.

Coffee and renewable energy in Central America. Turning waste water from coffee farms into biogas cuts down on pollution and provides sustainable energy.Coffee is the second most-valuable commodity in the world and in the year 2010 global consumption reached 8bn kg. However, many of us may not consider the negative environmental impact around the morning cup of coffee we rely on to start the day. Waste water generated from coffee wet-mill processing, which uses large amounts of water to remove the fruit of the seed, is often discharged untreated into the environment. This process pollutes ground water, basins and soils and affects rural communities’ drinking water, as well as local fauna and flora, and marine life in coastal areas. What’s more, it has also been discovered that coffee waste water generates a considerable amount of greenhouse gases, particularly methane. But coffee waste water is rich in organic matter, which can be used to generate energy via anaerobic decomposition.more

How to reduce losses after harvesting vegetables.

How to reduce losses after harvesting vegetables. Agribusiness has grown in leaps and bounds across Kenya over the years. The most common vegetables and fruits grown in Kenya include kale, lettuce, cabbages, potatoes, carrots, onions, cucumber, broccoli, beans, peas, avocado, mangoes, oranges and others. These fruits and vegetables tend to get damaged when being harvested, while being handled, during storage, processing, packaging, transportation and marketing. They are delicate and tend to lose water even after being harvested. This causes them to discolor and lose weight, affecting their appearance and therefore their market value. To reduce losses after harvesting vegetables, consider the following points. 1) Avoid exposing harvested vegetables to high and low temperatures Kale, cabbages and any other leafy vegetable are made of thin leaves that when exposed to heat dry out quickly acquiring a yellowish color with mouldy spots. Juicy fruits tend to dry up quicker when exposed to heat. Keep your fruits and vegetables in a cool, dry place with good air conditioning. MORE

Sugarcane seedling transplanter developed in Coimbatore.

Sugarcane seedling transplanter developed in Coimbatore. The Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR)- Sugarcane Breeding Institute, Coimbatore, and Central Institute of Agricultural Engineering, Coimbatore regional centre, have jointly developed and commercialized a tractor-mounted, two-row mechanical transplanter for sugarcane seedlings raised from sugarcane bud chips and single-bud setts. The transplanter is expected to reduce the cost of sugarcane cultivation by 20%, the scientists at the Sugarcane Breeding Institute have predicted.more

Canine noise aversion

The fear and anxiety associated with noise is commonly called noise sensitivity, anxiety or phobia, depending upon the types and severity of clinical signs. Noise aversion is a term used to encompass the spectrum of degrees of fear and anxiety associated with noise. The common triggers are Although noise aversion is common, dog owners often do not seek help from their veterinarians. A U.S.-based study reported that 40 percent of pet owners seek treatment from their veterinarian and 20 percent look for solutions on their own. The remaining 40 percent of dogs suffering from noise aversion do not receive any treatment. One reason may be that pet owners recognize that their dogs overreact to noise, but do not recognize that these behaviors are a demonstration of fear. Fear of noises is a normal adaptive response to a real threat, resulting in behavioral and physiological survival responses that drive the dog to seek shelter or otherwise avoid the imminent danger. However, when the fearful response to noise is persistent, exaggerated in intensity and duration and results in what appears to be an anxiety attack, this is not normal. Additionally, if left untreated, noise aversion can progress, resulting in an increased intensity of signs, aversion to other types of noises and/or development of other types of anxiety. The exact cause of noise aversion is not well understood. Some possible mechanisms include lack of habituation, stress-induced dishabituation, sensitization or social transmission.Evidence for genetic predisposition has been demonstrated in some breeds. Canine noise aversion is an animal welfare issue that impacts the human-animal bond.Treatment options have been limited and have included a multimodal approach that employed environmental management, behavioral modification and pharmacologic agents. SILEO® (dexmedetomidine oromucosal gel) is the first and only FDA-approved medication indicated for the treatment of canine noise aversion. SILEO

Happy owners might mean happier dogs.

Happy owners might mean happier dogs according to new study. The study published in PLOS ONE found that dogs and their owners influence each other's personalities and ability to cope with stress, and humans have a particularly marked effect on dog behavior. Heart rate and cortisol levels were recorded and interpreted alongside survey results, revealing that dogs are sensitive to the emotional state of their owners, and dogs may adjust their behavior in response.more

Veterinarians in Japan develop stress-monitoring device for dogs.

Veterinarians in Japan develop stress-monitoring device for dogs.A group of researchers at Osaka Prefecture University has developed a method to detect real-time stress in dogs by using a special canine heartbeat sensor. Wearable sensors transmit signals from dogs’ hearts to gadgets that allow their owners to determine whether they are relaxed or stressed out, said Shunsuke Shimamura, an associate professor of veterinary medicine at the university who heads the team behind the technique. The device could be used for knowing when dogs are in pain or having health related problems, and the use of this could lead to early detection of disease or improvement of medical treatments for dogs. more

Lumps On Dogs: When To Get Them Checked By A Veterinarian.

Lumps On Dogs: When To Get Them Checked By A Veterinarian. When people find lumps on dogs, they often panic. It’s easy to assume the worst. And then we often avoid finding out more. But really: what should you do? Get lumps on dogs checked by a veterinarian. ASAP. Most of the time the lumps are benign … but when they’re not, the longer you wait to get them checked out, the worse the situation becomes. continue

Brain cells may prevent fat burning when dieting.

Brain cells may prevent fat burning when dieting.Study in mice may help explain why dieting can be an inefficient way to lose weight as key brain cells may act to prevent calorie burning. Your brain may be the biggest obstacle to weight loss while dieting, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Cambridge. The study identified a new mechanism where the body adapts to low caloric intake and limits weight loss in studies in mice. Researchers found that key brain cells act as a trigger to prevent the body from burning calories when calories are limited. The weight loss strategies are often inefficient because the body works like a thermostat and couples the amount of calories we burn to the amount of calories we eat,more

Dog reunited with owner after two-year absence and 2200-mile journey.

Dog reunited with owner after two-year absence and 2200-mile journey.Tammy Crews waited anxiously in the Nashville airport to be reunited with her dog named Trixie Love Crews. Trixie had been missing for two and a half years, and it wasn’t until Crews got a call from an animal shelter in California – more than 2,000 miles away – that she had any hope of seeing her again. As she sat by the baggage claim, Crews thought she heard whimpering but couldn’t be sure it wasn’t just a squeaky wheel. Then she saw the dog carrier and broke into tears. As the Maltese pawed at the bars of her cage, an airport employee cut away the last bit of wiring holding the door shut. The two reunited with a hug and affectionate kisses. full story

Importance of Wellness Exams For Pets.

Importance of Wellness Exams For Pets can not be over emphasized as veterinarians recommend regular wellness exams for the same reason your physician and dentist recommend them . The logic is prevention is better than cure so if you can detect a problem in its early stages, it's more likely to be treated and resolved with less expense, less difficulty and better success. Vaccinations, heartworm prevention and routine deworming are important components of wellness care and can prevent diseases that are not only life-threatening, but very expensive to treat,thus prevention should be a better option. A wellness programme can be recommended based on your pet's breed as some breeds are predisposed to certain health problems, age, lifestyle and overall health.

Antibodies from Ebola survival protects against deadly virus.

Antibodies from Ebola survival protects against deadly virus. Researchers from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases report in the journal Cell that two antibodies from an Ebola survivor protected ferrets and mice from infection. The antibodies blocked various types of Ebola from causing infection in the animals, and they protected human cells from infection in a laboratory setting. Antibodies from Ebola survival protects against deadly virus. Previous studies have identified one antibody from a mouse that was able to protect other mice against multiple different species in Ebola virus lineage. more

Animal immunotherapy shows promise against 11 types of cancer.

Animal immunotherapy shows promise against 11 types of cancer. Veterinarian Mark Suckow pioneered a new veterinary cancer treatment called VetiVax, an injection series that primes an animal's immune system to fight cancer, and the $1,200 treatment has been used in over 150 animals, demonstrated initial response against 11 types of cancer and given 60% of patients longer life than expected. "Immunotherapy is the future of cancer medicine, not only for animals but for humans as well," said Ashley Kalinauskas, CEO of Torigen Pharmaceuticals, the maker of VetiVax. source

Diet predisposes black rhinos to insulin resistance.

Diet predisposes black rhinos to insulin resistance. A new study shows that captive black rhinos – but not their wild counterparts – are at high risk for two common health problems suffered by millions of humans which are inflammation and insulin resistance. The finding suggests captive black rhinos have metabolic problems. In humans, these same conditions can both result from a rich diet and sedentary lifestyle and contribute to obesity and other diseases. The African black rhinoceroses living in captivity are known to be at higher risk for a number of unusual diseases that include anemia, degraded muscle tissue, skin ulcers, liver disease, iron overload and low phosphate in the blood. Low phosphate in the blood is common to most of the health problems observed in captive black rhinos and low phosphate has been linked to insulin resistance in humans as well. While some of these conditions can be treated, they often lead to death. In one large study of black rhinos living in North American zoos over a 70-year period, 73 percent of the captive-born animals died before reproducing. more

Veterinarians change white rhino's diet to promote fertility.

Veterinarians change rhino's diet to promote fertility. Researchers at the San Diego Zoo are using dietary changes to help endangered white rhinoceroses give birth in captivity. Scientists found that phytoestrogens in the rhinos' soy and alfalfa feed may have been interfering with fertility, so they removed the compounds from the animals' diets, and since 2014, three rhinos that previously could not successfully reproduce have done so. A rhino calf was born at the Safari Park on April 30 to a 16-year-old mother, Kiazi, whose age was well past the the average for first-time births. Christopher Tubbs, a senior scientist at the zoo’s Institute for Conservation Research, and his colleagues determined that compounds found in the soy and alfalfa pellets fed to rhinos were limiting their fertility. The researches said it is likely that a number of species living in zoo settings receive diets containing levels of phytoestrogens capable of affecting reproduction. source

How to make cat scratching posts.

Scratching is an innate behavior, it is difficult to stop or even curb. It is like trying to stop a cat from grooming, or burying its waste. However, cats can be taught to scratch on more appropriate objects like scratching posts and tree stumps. Some owners get creative and build their own scratching posts and kitty activity centers. You can cover pieces of wood with carpet, fabric, sisal, or other materials, then nail them together to create a "cat tree" with climbing perches. This will help keep your cat entertained and satisfy her need to scratch. Any scratching post you buy or build should be sturdy enough so that it does not topple over when your cat uses it, and should be at least as tall as your cat standing on her hind legs with her front legs outstretched. The proper placement of the scratching post is an important part of redirecting your cat's scratching behavior. Place the post next to an area your cat likes to scratch. It can then be moved gradually to a location of your choice as your cat develops acceptable scratching habits. If your cat scratches in several locations, provide a post near each of these. Take your cat to the new scratching post, and reward her with treats, strokes, and praise for using it. Some posts come with toys attached. You can also place food treats or catnip on top of or around the post as an added enticement. Once you get your cat to use a scratching post, do not discard it when it looks ragged and worn—that means the post is well used and serving its intended purpose. In addition to altering the accessibility, appearance, or scent of household items, you can further minimize scratching damage by regularly trimming your cat's nails. Also available are plastic claw caps, or sheaths, that can be glued over your cat's claws. These should only be applied to cats that allow you to handle and manipulate their paws. While wearing these sheaths, your cat is able to go through the motions of scratching, but because the claws are hidden, no damage is done. The sheaths need to be replaced every six to 12 weeks. Declawing, or permanent removal of the claws, should be considered only as a last resort when the above strategies have been unsuccessful, and in cases where a cat's scratching would otherwise necessitate its removal from your home. Declawing will not curb your cat's desire to scratch, but will prevent scratching damage. Declawed cats should never be allowed outside, as they are less able to climb trees or defend themselves.

How to manage scratching in cats.

How to manage scratching in cats; Cats that scratch your favorite sofa or expensive drapes are not on a mission to destroy your home, but rather to satisfy certain innate needs. Scratching is an innate behavior, it is difficult to stop or even curb. It is like trying to stop a cat from grooming, or burying its waste. However, cats can be taught to scratch on more appropriate objects like scratching posts and tree stumps. The following three tactics will help you redirect your cat's scratching behavior: 1. Identify your cat's scratching preferences To find out what your cat likes best to scratch on, observe her carefully. Does your cat prefer to scratch on carpets, drapes, wood, or some other surface? Does she scratch vertically, with her paws stretched out above her head, or does she prefer horizontal surfaces? Once you have figured out your cat's preferred scratching materials and orientation, you will be better equipped to buy a scratching post that suits her needs. 2. Provide items that match these preferences Scratching posts of all shapes, sizes, and textures are available at most pet stores. If your cat likes to scratch on carpets, a carpet-covered post would be a good choice. But if your cat prefers couches and other nubby surfaces, a post covered in sisal or some other rope-like material might be your best bet. The scratching post should also match your cat's preferred orientation for scratching. A cat that climbs and scratches on drapes would probably prefer a post tall enough for a long stretch, such as those that mount on a wall or door. However, a cat that likes the horizontal motion of scratching on a carpet might be more likely to use a flattened cardboard box, or a log placed on its side. 3. Make unacceptable items unavailable or less attractive to your cat The only guaranteed way to stop your cat from scratching a given area or object is to block her access to it. Closing doors may be the simplest solution. However, if this is not practical, there are booby traps you can set up to discourage scratching. A tower of plastic cups that topples over when bumped can be placed in front of scratchable items to startle your cat whenever she begins to scratch. Items covered with blankets, sheets of plastic, or double-sided tape also hinders scratching behavior. A more expensive tactic is to purchase an indoor fence that delivers mild, harmless shock when your cat crosses a given boundary. Scratching has a scent-marking component, cats are more likely to re-scratch areas that already have their scent. To help break this cycle, try using an odor neutralizer to deodorize areas where your cat has previously scratched.

Why cats scratch!!!

Many owners complain that their cats scratch furniture and carpets, chew on fabric, or munch on houseplants. These are considered destructive behaviors, which can not only result in the loss of valuable items, but can also be harmful to the health of your cat. One common misconception is that cats are "out for revenge" when they destroy household items. But actually, these innate behaviors occur throughout the course of a cat's normal investigation and play. The good news is that they can be managed. Cats that scratch your favorite sofa or expensive drapes are not on a mission to destroy your home, but rather to satisfy certain innate needs. Scratching is a marking behavior; it allows the deposition of scent from special glands on the cat's paws. It also removes the translucent covering, or sheath, over the claws. The scratch marks, along with the claw sheaths left behind, may also serve as displays of confidence.

Causes of excessive licking in cats/ fur mowing in cats.

Licking comes naturally to cats, but sometimes this normal grooming urge crosses the line into obsessive behavior. If your cat's licking seems excessive in frequency or duration, don't ignore the problem consult your veterinarian. Cats typically spend between 30 and 50 percent of their day grooming themselves and because cats groom frequently, owners usually don't notice a problem until they observe significant hair loss or skin lesions,these type of cats are called fur mowers. Common causes of excessive licking are 1) pain or irritation/itchy. The area constantly linked sometimes gives clue to cause of the itch, compulsive licking at the tail head may indicate a flea infestation, while cats with pollen or food allergies may lick their backs, abdomens or other areas of the body. 2) stress related issues as over grooming is physiological and psychological,thus when physical causes are ruled out ,psychological causes are investigated. The treatment will be to find the underlying cause and treat. contributed by

Hyperthyroidism in Cats.

Hyperthyroidism in Cats:Hyperthyroidism is a very common disease afflicting primarily middle-aged and older cats, also called thyrotoxicosis. Hyperthyroidism is caused by an increase in production of thyroid hormones (known as T3 and T4) from enlarged thyroid glands in the cat's neck. In most cases, enlargement of thyroid glands is caused by a tumor called an adenoma, which is non-cancerous but some rare cases of hyperthyroid disease are caused by malignant tumors known as thyroid adenocarcinomas. Thyroid hormones affect nearly all the organs in the body; therefore, thyroid disease can sometimes cause secondary problems. Thyroid hormones stimulate a faster heart rate and a stronger contraction of the heart muscle. Over time, cats with hyperthyroidism may develop an enlargement and thickening of the left ventricle of the heart. If left untreated and unmanaged, these changes will eventually compromise the normal function of the heart and can even result in heart failure. This means that in some cats with hyperthyroidism, additional treatment may be required to control secondary heart disease. However, once the underlying hyperthyroidism has been controlled, the cardiac changes will often improve or may even resolve completely. Signs usually observed in cats afflicted with hyperthyroidism which may be subtle at first but then become more severe as the disease progresses. The most common clinical signs of hyperthyroidism are weight loss, increased appetite, and increased thirst and urination. Hyperthyroidism may also cause vomiting, diarrhea, and hyperactivity. The coat may appear matted or greasy. more

Feline hyperthyroidism and human health.

Hyperthyroidism, now common in domestic cats, was unheard of in felines until the late 1970s, when veterinarian Mark Peterson noticed similarities between a patient's symptoms and the signs of hyperthyroidism in humans. Veterinarians around the world began to diagnose the condition in cats while research was beginning to link the condition to fire retardants known as polybrominated diphenyl ethers(PBDEs) and because humans and cats live side by side, scientists are increasingly concerned that the feline disorder is a harbinger of a threat to human health. A study showed that found relatively large quantities of PBDEs in several types of cat food, particularly seafood-flavored canned foods. Another study in Illinois discovered that pet cats had higher PBDE levels than feral ones and that hyperthyroid cats tended to live in homes that were particularly saturated with the flame retardants. In 2015, a Swedish team found that hyperthyroid cats had significantly higher levels of three types of PBDEs in their blood than healthy cats did. Last year, researchers in California reported a similar result: Total PBDE levels were higher in cats with hyperthyroidism than those without. Sick animals can be sentinels, warning of looming threats to human health. In case of household chemicals, cats and dogs, which tend to spend nearly all their time in the home and happily hoover up whatever detritus falls on the floor, may be particularly useful sentinels. Our household pets are exposed to many of the same kinds of chemicals that we are,and the effects we are observing now is a signal of the same causes on our health. Today, senior cats are routinely screened for hyperthyroidism, and about 10 percent will be found to have the disease. Owners can choose from a variety of treatments, including drugs, surgery or radioactive iodine, which destroys the hyperactive thyroid cells while sparing the healthy tissue. source

Saturday, May 20, 2017

The facts about the meat contents of pet food.

The meat content in pet food is increasing by the day but the facts about this increasing trend is shocking. Pet food manufacturers are finding it difficult to produce dry pet food with high meat content which is in high demand as 95 percent of dry pet diets are manufactured using the extrusion process. The process of extrusion is tedious and comes with a lot of disadvantages on the quality of the food. The various ingredients for dog and cat food are sheared,and mixed heated under high pressure then passed to the extrusion machine. This extrusion method used to make kibble is suitable for lesser ingredients and not chunks of beef that are used for the food. Extrusion denatures protein thus changing structure and also reducing the nutrient value of the protein. Vitamins are also destroyed during this process of extrusion and also there is starch gelatinization in all pet dry foods. When starch is exposed to high temperature during extrusion it melts and this helps to bind the kibble and also promotes expansion of the product. Its important to note that starch is essential in the production of kibble as its the binder,the source of starch in the food also pose different levels of risk. A study showed that using cereals in dog foods is detrimental to health because of anti-nutritional factors .The research according to Animal Nutrition Group at Wageningen University in the Netherlands also shows that extrusion conditions and the type of starch used can affect glucose and insulin response in dogs after a meal of dry food. The additives used in preparation of kibble has also been linked to carcinogenic effect in pets.

Rogers flour sold by Costco in Canada linked to new outbreak.

Rogers flour sold by Costco in Canada linked to new outbreak. Another E. coli O121 outbreak traced to flour, this time Rogers brand, has sickened at least six people in British Columbia where public health officials are urging consumers to check their homes for the implicated flour. Rogers flour Canada CostcoAs of Friday evening neither the company, Rogers Foods Ltd. of Armstrong, British Columbia, nor the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) had posted a recall of the flour. The six people became sick from February through April. “A sample of flour from one of the ill people was tested by the (British Columbia Center for Disease Control) BCCDC Public Health Laboratory. The flour was positive for the same strain of E. coli O121 as seen in all the illnesses,” according to the public warning from the BCCDC. more

BrightFarms recalls leafy greens, herbs because of metal pieces.

BrightFarms recalls leafy greens, herbs because of metal pieces. Urban greenhouse grower BrightFarms Inc. of New York City is recalling an undisclosed volume of packaged salad greens and herbs because they may be contaminated with pieces of metal “as a result of construction.” The recall covers only leafy greens and herbs grown at BrightFarms’ greenhouse farm in Elkwood, VA, according to the recall notice posted on the Food and Drug Administration’s website. more

Friday, May 19, 2017

Why should you cook for your pets?

The health of your pets is basically in your hands and like they say food is medicine. Nutrition is vital to growth and development of your pets and also nutrition plays a vital role in health and wellness of your pets,so with this back drop you must ensure you feed your pets properly. Pet nutrition was mostly left to commercial players,in the pet food industry before of the surge pet food recalls when many discovered that whats on the label is not healthy causing deaths or the food was contaminated at the source e.t.c Read about pet food recalls here, The recent surge in pet food recalls has encouraged more pet owners to try home cooking for their pets to help them stay healthy and live longer. Why should you cook for your pets? 1) To be sure of the content you are providing as many brands have a flavor with recall issues. Home cooking ensures you know the source of ingredients,the quality( fresh,human grade or discarded) and the proportion of the ingredients. A recent survey showed that cats on dry food had a risk of diabetes,as the kibble is loaded with more carbohydrates than needed. 2) home cooking helps to monitor of certain health conditions in pets. Commercial products especially grain-based pose a risk of aflatoxicosis,thus you preparing your pets food with high grade ingredients can remove risk. Allergies are another reason to do home cooking,many products have unnamed ingredients or masked contents which stimulate allergic reactions in the pet. 3)Home cooking also comes in handy when you are managing certain conditions in your pets such as obesity, arthritis, kidney disease ,diabetes etc. Home cooking will allow you use appropriate nutrients at right weight and combination. 4) Home cooking ensures your pets have access to wholesome nutritious food without any food additives or coloring. A recent study showed that there is an increase in cases of chronic diseases linked to food additives in pet foods,so if you want to feed your pets truly natural foods go with home cooking. see

Australian cat food pulled after illness and deaths.

Australian cat food pulled after illness and deaths. In Australia, every can of Best Feline Friend cat food has been pulled from pet food retailers Petbarn and City Farmers, reported the Herald Sun. The removal of food was prompted when reports of alleged deaths and illness in cats filtered in. more

Nutrish faces lawsuit over natural dog food label.

Nutrish faces lawsuit over natural dog food label,because of noncompliance to guidelines on feed control . The term natural is defined in the pet industry and will allow addition of vitamins,minerals and trace elements,but with the disclaimer that with added vitamins,minerals and trace elements prominent on the product. Nutrish is alleged to have misleading labels on their wet and dry dog food packaging.They used deceptive marketing by prominently labeling the products as natural, despite containing “chemicals and artificial and/or synthetic ingredients, which are well-known unnatural, artificial additives and preservatives. The company used the following phrases made with simple, natural ingredients" ,"No artificial flavors or artificial preservatives," ,"Natural Food for Dogs with Added Vitamins and Minerals" while the food actually contained ,L-ascorbyl-2- polyphosphate, Menadione sodium bisulfite complex, Thiamine mononitrate, "natural flavors," and a variety of caramel color. source

Clean label rating site misleading pet food consumers.

A clean label rating site is misleading pet food consumers by wrong endorsements and reviews. Pet owners want to know whats in the food and the benefits to pets,so when a site claims a particular brand is good many rush over boosting sale of brand ,but not necessarily the health of pets. The clean label mode of operation,or what they actually do , or claimed to do, was to test more than 900 cat and dog food products for 130 potentially toxic chemicals, including the heavy metals arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury, and adulterants such as melamine, and rank the products, apparently based on the levels of those substances. This does not have anything to do with the products’ labels? absolutely nothing,because many of the substances they supposedly tested for naturally occur in soil and may show up in minute amounts in anything grown in soil, as the clean label company are not providing any data as to the level of these substances in the food. more

Otago University reveals how to make vegetables last longer.

Otago University reveals how to make vegetables last longer.New research from the University of Otago has revealed the best home storage methods to lengthen the shelf life of vegetables. The research found that the simple act of wrapping a cut avocado in cling wrap and forming a tight seal against the avocado flesh was enough to see it last up to four times longer than an uncovered avocado half. It also found that brushing the avocado flesh with lemon juice or olive oil, a trick many people swear by, was actually detrimental. Another key finding was that carrots could last for up to 10 times longer if stored in an airtight container lined with a paper towel compared to being stored loose in the fridge. more

A new initiative ; the seed library.

A new initiative has been instituted and its called the seed library. The initiative by the Bay College Library will give members of the community a chance to grow vegetables, fruits, flowers, and more while saving money on seeds and providing a wide variety of seeds. The Bay College Seed Library officially opened for business after materials for the program arrived at the library earlier this month. The seed library program allows people to “borrow” seeds from the Bay College Library. Once the seeds used by seed library participants have grown into new plants, participants will collect seeds from these plants and bring them back to the library. more

Avian influenza questions up-most on producers mind.

Avian influenza has spread all over the world with outbreaks reported in many countries and human deaths in others, suggesting that it will challenge poultry production on every continent for along time. Producers are worried about trend and wonder if the incidence is a sign that the virus is a global potential threat that cannot be tamed. Producers are concerned that avian influenza posses a greater threat to the global poultry industry than it was a decade ago?. The largest factor that could make avian influenza more severe is the rapidly growing global poultry population. Population and income growth around the world is dictating larger flocks and bigger operations, but the level of biosecurity isn’t increasing at the same rate, especially in smaller,operations in the developing world. Producers are also wondering about the risk implication of having more birds,a larger operation.? The size of farm or number of birds does not increase or decrease risk,what matters is the biosecurity level of farm and compliance level of farm hands. The most common question is the method to keep free-range and pasture chicken free from avian influenza virus?. The quest to go cage-free and have free range birds is a major foci of bird flu virus as many outbreaks started from free range birds and spread to commercial farms. see The continuous risk of raising free range birds can only be minimized with proper surveillance and monitoring of health status of birds. Education and training on proper management technique will go a long way to reduce risk of exposure and consequently spread of virus.

Sanderson farms say no to antibiotic-free chicken.

Sanderson, the poultry company reiterates its commitment to taking care of chickens by not denying them antibiotics. Sanderson Farms CEO Joe F. Sanderson Jr. reiterated that the company has no intention of moving into the antibiotic-free chicken market. Sanderson said it is a decision supported not only by the company’s management, but its veterinarians as well. Sanderson also noted that veterinarians in general do not advocate denying sick animals antibiotics. Sanderson said he is aware many consumers in geographical markets such as New York and Boston place a higher value on chicken raised without antibiotics, but in Sanderson Farms’ primary markets in the Southeastern United States, “antibiotic-free is not a big deal, and organic is not a big deal.” source

Tuta absoluta returns to Nigeria.

The Gombe State Agricultural Development Project (ADP) says that the tomato pest, Tuta Absoluta, has seriously affected tomato harvests in three of the state’s 11 local government areas. Mr Abba Dreba, the Pest Control Officer of the ADP, told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Gombe on Wednesday that the affected local governments were Akko, Kwami and Yamltu-Deba. “The tomato pest started ravaging tomato farms since last year but the ADP was not aware of this until this year; this is because tomato farmers in the affected local government areas were ignorant of the pest. more

Basque university develops tomato ripening measurement device.

Basque university develops tomato ripening measurement device. The research by the UPV/EHU's Department of Analytical Chemistry has used a portable Raman spectrometer, an instrument widely used in other fields such as analyzing works of art, to monitor tomatoes. This is useful because tomatoes ripen in various phases in which the color of the fruit undergoes changes By using this mobile measuring device that analyses the molecular composition of the fruit, the producer can monitor tomatoes in situ and find out when they have reached their point of optimum ripeness. see

How to use a soil blocking machine to grow crops.

An Italian company,Marconi grows crops,herbs and salad of high quality and density using a soil blocking machine. The introduction of a soil blocking machine enabled Marconi to achieve an improved market position and higher than ever returns. The FL'EX PP22 Soil Blocking Machine produces consistent and stronger soil blocks much more quickly. This automation solution enabled Marconi to realise a higher quality soil block immediately. see

The benefits of lemon grass.

Lemongrass (Cymbopogon) is a tall perennial plant from the Poaceae grass family, which thrives in tropical and subtropical regions, such as in India, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, China and Guatemala. This plant grows in dense clumps and has bright green, sharp-edged leaves, similar to grass. Lemongrass is a popular flavoring in Asian cooking — added to curries and soups, or paired with beef, fish, poultry and seafood. Fresh lemongrass is also used to make lemongrass tea. Lemon grass is used to make a refreshing foot bath. Add two drops to a bowl of warm water, and soak your feet for 10 minutes. If your feet are aching, add 2 tablespoons of Epsom salts. Lemon grass can be used as message oil,this is done by mixing with almond oil. Lemon grass can be used to kill fleas and lice on dog's coat. This done by spraying diluted lemongrass oil all over his coat. You can also soak his collar in it, add it to his final rinse after shampooing, or spray it on his bedding.13 Do not use lemongrass oil on your cat, however, as it can be very toxic to felines, and even cause liver damage to them over a period of time. more

Thursday, May 18, 2017

East meets West in Indonesian fusion food.

From a restaurant serving burgers and pizzas made with local noodles to a social media star giving street food a touch of haute cuisine, a new wave of innovative chefs are putting a modern twist on Indonesia's traditional fare. New eateries have sprung up rapidly in recent years in the capital Jakarta offering a wide array of foreign foods to cater to a growing consumer class which has emerged after a long economic boom. But rather than focus entirely on cuisine from overseas, some chefs decided to fuse the new influences with age-old Indonesian foods.more

Growing edible fungus is a thriving industry in NE China.

Edible fungus is an ingredient in most Chinese delicacy,thus the growing of edible fungus is thriving fast. The fungus has long been a popular ingredient in many Chinese dishes and also used in Chinese medicine thus growing edible fungus has become an important industry in some regions of the country. Greenhouses are springing up in the country where the edible fungus is grown see

Feline diabetes incidence increases when dry food is the diet.

A new study has shown that feline diabetes incidence increases when dry food is the diet. The study shows the risk of cats fed with dry food developing diabetes ,even cats with normal weight fed with dry foods have a risk of developing diabetes. The study which was conducted by an online survey,had various questions such as age,breed, diet,exercise,neuter/spay status,body weight,medication,exercise and behavior.The result of the survey further provided a platform for classifying the cats based on diet,with cats fed dry food in a section,cats with wet food in another and those fed a combination of the 2 diets types. The research showed that obesity was a precursor for feline diabetes but also that cats with normal weights fed with dry food were at risk of diabetes. The underlying cause is that dry food(kibble) is rich in carbohydrates and all these carbohydrates breakdown to sugars which triggers diabetes. Cats should be fed on low carbohydrate diet and even treats with high carbohydrate level should be avoided.

AI-infected poultry hits grocery shelves in Russia

AI-infected poultry hits grocery shelves in Russia: Russia’s veterinary body Rosselkhoznadzor has discovered several batches of turkey infected with highly pathogenic avian influenza (AI) on supermarket shelves.

Benefits of feeding soaked hay to horses with certain health conditions.

Hay refers to grasses ,herbaceous plants and legumes that are cut,dried and sold to be used as animal fodder. Hay is commonly used in horses, ruminants, rabbits and guinea pigs. Hay is commonly made from grasses,but can also be made from legumes. Farmers also make hay from barley,oats and wheat plants are also used. Hay is usually fed to animals in pen or stalls instead of allowing them to pasture. The benefit of feeding hay is that animals have constant access to feed even when conditions such as drought is experienced and also its the main feed of grazing animal,hence it can supply 100% of fodder required. The process of making hay makes it dry and dusty making it difficult to feed some animals especially those with respiratory conditions hence several methods have been employed to reduce the dusty nature without reducing nutritional quality. Soaking hay is an accepted and most common method of presenting hay to animals. There is a proper method of soaking hay before presentation as soaking for about 30 minutes will reduce the nutritional value of the hay. The key ingredient that is manipulated when soaking is the nonstructural carbohydrates which can either make or mar the purpose of feeding the hay. In obese horses, soaking the grass hays before feeding will reduce the nonstructural carbohydrates in the hay,thus help manage weight as less feed will be consumed by the horses as the moisture content will also promote satiety level thus managing the weight of obese horses. Horses with hyperkalemic periodic paralysis(HYPP), a genetic condition associated with high levels of potassium resulting in muscle twitching and paralysis. Soaking hay reduces the level of potassium it contains,thus feeding soaked hay will be a remedy for horses with HYPP. Horses with insulin resistance and equine metabolic syndrome are sensitive to increase in carbohydrate can be fed on soaked hay to reduce the level of non structural carbohydrates thus preventing laminitis. Horses with pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction(PPID) better known as Cushing's disease ,should be fed with hay with less than 12% non structural carbohydrates .This can easily be achieved by soaking hay to reduce the non structural carbohydrate level . The benefits of feeding soaked hay to horses with certain health conditions outlined above can be sabotaged if soaking is not done properly. Soaking of hay for as little as 30 minutes reduces the nutrient level thus making it useless and of no benefit,hence soaking should be done quickly for about 10-15 minutes to get desired results.

How to use nutrition to heal sick horses.

Nutrition is vital for growth and development in horses, but sick horses also need a healthy plan to stay alive,healthy and recover fast. Sick horses can be difficult to manage if the proper combination of feed is not presented as certain conditions require restrictions of certain food groups to aid healing. Horses with respiratory diseases such as heaves and inflammatory airway disorder should be handled with care as these conditions are intensified with inhalation of particles. Feeding horses with these conditions will require altering typical feed or changing presentation of feed to reduce possibility of inhaling feed particles. Horses with these conditions can be fed using hay cubes or soak the hay for about 10-15 minutes before presentation. Horses can also be fed steamed hay,which will reduce the intensity of dust particles and also sterilize the hay by killing any pathogen in the hay. Hay can also be presented in pelleted form to reduce the chances of inhaling dust particles. When horses have chronic kidney disease ,the aim will be to avoid dietary protein but encourage the normal eating and drinking .Horses with chronic kidney disease fed on dietary protein will urinate excessively thus putting further pressure on kidneys thus protein is not recommended also the amount of calcium must be reduced so as to decrease the amount of substance the kidney must excrete in urine. The horse should be fed high quality hay or keep horses on pasture. Horses that have been off feed for a while or had feed that had restricted energy requirement are prone to hepatic lipidosis which is life-threatening. Horses must be encouraged to eat and a balanced ration presented. The feeding regimen must be aggressive to get the horse back in shape,this can be achieved by using hand feeding or passing of a nasogastric tube.

Horses: The benefits of boots and bandages in horses.

Boots and bandages usually for support and protection. Horses are active animals usually sporty,so its only logical to strap on boots when off to the field,sport track or generally when in transit. The extent of injury on limbs are also reduced when in boots as opposed to being bare footed. Bandaging works for support,protection and also as a source of pressure when horse is injured. Horse lovers and owners use bandages and wraps to apply pressure to a wound to stop bleeding by encouraging clotting and protect that wound from contamination. Wrapping a leg wound will reduce swelling as keeping the swelling down is the most important aspect of the healing process.

Study shows that kicks from shod horses can break bones.

Never stand behind a horse,never.This is one of the most ,if not the most common tip in equine class and on the field. The force of a horse kick can be fatal aside from bone damage,and its common knowledge that a kick from a shod horse will inflict more damage than from a bare foot horse. A new study by Swiss researchers has confirmed that a kick from a horse with metal shoes comes with a much greater risk of fracture to another horse’s long bones than a horse with plastic shoes,but with risk significantly minimized if the horse has no shoes at all. This is why its important to keep horses barefoot on the hind limbs when in groups on pasture .

Fracture: Tiny bubbles used to heal non-healing fractures in pigs.

Scientists have used a new procedure employing tiny bubbles to heal bones in pigs. The scientists embarked on research to find an alternative to bone grafts for bone fractures. These scientists have developed a much needed alternative to bone grafts that could help alleviate the long-term hospitalization, disability, and considerable costs to the health system associated with non-healing fractures. Bone injuries sometimes fail to heal completely resulting in nonunion fractures resulting in attempts to ensure healing by using bone grafts. The procedure is painful and most bone grafts donated usually fail to integrate. The researchers devised a two-step gene therapy method coupled with FDA-approved ultrasound and microbubbles that completely healed nonunion fractures in pigs within eight weeks of treatment. This technique is safe,minimally invasive but promoted complete bone healing.