Our Animals

How to make your hens like you

Some hens aren’t fussed on humans, while others think they rule the roost and don’t understand why they can’t live with you in the house. Research by a NZ-based animal behaviour expert is now available to show farmers how to make a hen’s life happier.

What it takes to kill a rat

Rats are incredibly smart, and it can be difficult to reduce their numbers if they’ve learnt to avoid bait and traps. But science has discovered the one thing a rat can’t resist, and Sheryn Clothier has successfully put it to the test.

How to care for your pasture this autumn

It's time to make some tough decisions to make sure you make it through autumn. Here are some tips to ensure your pastures stay in prime condition.

Illegal poultry dumping: why setting a chicken free isn't kind

Everyone has seen poultry dumped on roadsides and around parks , but it's a cruel practice that those who love poultry are trying to stop.

How to use the sick chook checklist

When you have a sick chook, it can be helpful to observe all its symptoms so a poultry expert or vet can give you the best advice.

How to care for sheep this autumn

It’s the start of a new sheep year and the breeding season, so start with tidying up the ewe flock before the rams go out.

The basics to a happy hen

What the Animal Welfare codes say you need to do to give your hen the best environment to keep her happy, healthy and productive.

This is why your eggs aren't perfect

At the first sign of an unusual egg – one without a shell, or those with ridges, pimples or strange markings – the popular advice seems to come from everywhere, but most of it is wrong, and worse, could cause more problems. This is why you need to understand the role of calcium.

10 inventive NZers share their DIY coop designs

From a water-powered hen gate to a repurposed trampoline - ten inventive New Zealand chicken lovers share their best DIY  coop designs.

Alpaca farming

Six myths about alpaca

Alpaca farmer David Bridson explains why a few myths are somewhat unfair to the sweet-faced alpaca.

Incredible images of whales stranded on Farewell Spit

At Farewell Spit NZ Life & Leisure staff Cheree Morrison and Jane Ussher saw nature at its most beautiful and most cruel.

NZer saving animals of all sizes on Victoria farm

A multi-tasking Kiwi with a passion for saving animals has set up a special sanctuary on her lifestyle block just outside Melbourne.

12 summer cattle tips

Grow healthy calves and yearlings this summer by reading these helpful tips:

Confessions of an alpaca farmer

David and Heather Bridson love their alpaca, but there are good reasons why they're not David's favourite animal to farm.

12 ways to prevent FE using your pasture

Get a handle on Facial Eczema this season by following these 12 tips.

Why natural products for hens are about to take off

With more commercial farms turning free-range, there are going to be exciting, more natural, scientifically-proven ways to fight diseases for all of us.

Serial inventor's wastewater system could revolutionise dairy industry

He blew up his first methane tank, built a boat in the shape of a saucer, and helped to design a super-efficient water blaster, but Coll Bell’s favourite inventions involve manure, and the more, the better.

chicken coop stencil

Make your own 'Chick Inn' coop sign

Follow these step-by-step instructions to create a Chick Inn Coop Sign, as seen on the cover the Summer bumper issue of NZ Lifestyle Block.

How to look after your sheep this summer

Ensure your sheep are the happiest and healthiest they possible can be this summer with these helpful tips.

Build a chicken coop with a living roof

A DIY guide to creating a green chicken coop.

How to help your chooks in the itchy, scratchy season

As temperatures and humidity rise, so do the creepy crawlies in and around your hen house. Listed below are some ways to be rid pests the natural way.

Super hens or old-fashioned girls?

There are the super-efficient commercial hens, or the heritage birds with colour and longevity, but how do you know which bird best suits you?

The secret life of NZ's bats

They may be on your property right now and they come in peace.

Meet the NZers making our country predator free

The government’s audacious goal of a predator-free New Zealand by 2050 needs to harness clever people and smart technology. Meet some leaders in the field.

lamb injured

How to look after animals in an emergency

How to keep animals calm after a disaster and how to plan for animal evacuation.

5 ways to make stock handling safer

Livestock being moved around a property can become unsettled, and that can be dangerous. Here's five ways you can keep things under control.

How to use horse manure with no regrets

It may not smell the greatest, but your garden will thank you for using horse manure to help it flourish.

Goose

A beginner's guide to geese

When you’re considering security options for your farm, you’re probably considering the obvious: alarm system, gate alarm, dog, automatic lights, security cameras, but have you considered the humble goose?

A guide to NZ's backyard birds

How to identify birds and encourage birdlife in your backyard.

4 things you need to know about the new farming rules

Regional councils around NZ are introducing new rules around farming, and you need to know how they may affect what and how you do things on your block.

The high country station selling merino to NATO

Meet the Williamsons: global merino suppliers raising a tribe of small boys and creating real socks appeal in Omarama.

repurposed chicken coop

Repurpose office furniture into a chicken coop

A West Virginian farmer has some handy ideas for creating chicken homes from an old desk.

sheep in a field

Livestock shots 101

If you’ve never vaccinated your livestock before and not lost any, you’ve been lucky. Vaccination is an easy, cheap and important way of keeping your livestock healthy, and alive.

5 fencing jobs you can do yourself

Anyone can build a fence, but it's a science and an art to build a good quality fence.

A guide to gravity fed water systems

If power is a problem, gravity may be your best bet for a reliable water supply.

10+ pasture picks for bees, poultry, pigs & goats

Spring is a great time for sowing new pasture, but what do you choose if your stock are a bit out of the ordinary?

piglets

5 things to know before you get pigs

Pigs are smart, engaging livestock, and they taste great too, but it pays to prepared for their specialist requirements before you take delivery.

Shark attacks, cannibals and Antarctica

Dr Sea Rottman will soon depart on an all-female expedition to Antarctica - just one of many adventures in her life.

How to talk turkey

Turkeys are beautiful birds, work hard to keep your farm pest-free and make a great roast.

calf and dandelion

Success in calf-rearing

It might seem an easy way to make money, but setting up a successful calf-rearing business is harder than it looks.

Fluffy black beauties

There’s a common theme running through Southland block of Margaret Cockeram.

How to post an egg

One of the most economic ways to get a new breed in your coop is to get someone to post fertile eggs.

How to have hatching success

Part of the fun of owning a small flock is hatching eggs, whether by natural means or with a little mechanical intervention.

Dog sniffing plant

40+ things that are poisonous to your dog

You need to keep your best friend safe from dangers around your home, but some of the most toxic things are sitting on your dinner plate.

5 things to know if you had a drought at your place last summer

The after-effects of a dry summer will still be with you this spring.

The tick of no approval

You may think there’s a wee way to go before tick season starts but in warmers areas tick nymphs, just 2mm long, will already be creeping through the pasture and up the legs of your horses, cattle, goats and deer as early as this month.

A baby robin. Photo: Dreamstime.

What to do if you find an injured bird

Sometimes you may need to help an injured bird, and sometimes its best to leave it alone.

Lambing 101

Are your ewes due to lamb? Are you ready? Here are some things to consider.

Animal grave

How to dispose of a dead animal

One of the hardest things to deal with after the death of large animal is disposing of the carcass.

Horse hay feeder

7 ways to save on feed costs

Winter feed can really blow your farm budget. Here are some ways to cut down on your feed costs during the colder months.

mouse hole

Is there a mouse in your house?

Pests are tricky, secretive creatures and it can be difficult to know if you have a small problem, or a really big one.

lamb and chicken

Knit a lamb jacket

You can buy ‘woolover’ jackets to keep newborn lambs warm, but you can also make your own from scratch, or re-purpose an old jumper.

Coop of the month

Goats and chooks live in harmony in this funky recycled coop in Portland, Oregon.

jersey calf

10 ways to raise better calves

Raising calves can be profitable if you keep in mind these 10 key principles.

goat

What to do if a goat eats something toxic

Most goats have a tendency to nibble first, check the toxicity of a plant later kind of strategy to life, and that can be deadly.

Why your livestock can't stop itching this winter

Winter can be a very itchy and scratchy time  for your livestock.

Bo the trained pig.

Does this piglet think it's a dog?

A West Auckland pig breeder reveals it's easy to train a piglet to follow commands.

Lighting up NZ's economy with lasers

Laser technology might be the next big driver of economic growth in New Zealand according to an Auckland University scientist.

Feed your chicken flock fermented food

Kombucha. Kimchi. Kefir. Fermenting food is all the rage for humans, and now it turns out it can be of great nutritional benefit to your flock too.

Swedish Vallhund

Is this the ultimate Kiwi dog?

This 30cm dog might be the ultimate Kiwi canine.

Top tips for buying your first poultry flock

Avoid ruffling feathers when buying your first flock with our simple guide.

mallard ducks

How to pluck a duck

Brush up on your plucking skills for duck shooting season.

Create a worm windrow.

Create a worm windrow

A worm farmer shares his secrets of making money from worms and manure.

concept chicken coop

Coop of the month: Hönshus-1

There's no reason your hens shouldn't live in style. Introducing our coop of the month, the Hönshus-1.

how to give a chicken a bath

How to give a chicken a bath

When it comes to preparing birds for the annual poultry show season, every one gets a wash, dry and blow wave.

how to build a good fence

5 tips for keeping your fences in good condition

A fence is essential on any property with livestock, but not all fences are created equal.

Signs of a healthy hen

Our top tips for buying a healthy egg-laying hen.

Are ducks the new chickens?

If you like the benefits of keeping chickens, you’re going to love having ducks.

Does a cup of tea taste better with Jersey cow milk?

A Waikato farming family takes the cow by the teats and markets its own jersey milk.

caring for sheep in winter

Caring for sheep during the colder months

The unseasonably hot summer means farmers should keep a close eye on ewes this winter.

caring for cow in winter

Winter is coming – so look after your cattle

Poor grass growth this summer will mean lifestyle block owners will need to take particular care of cows this winter.

Alpaca farming

Why we need to start eating Alpaca

Alpacca numbers are rising, reaching over 25,000 in the last few years, which is why this dedicated breeder believes we need to eat them.

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