Archive for November, 2009

PETA’s plan for Uga

Not an Alapaha.

A robot!

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Dad bagged this nice 8-point white-tail buck at a little after 5 PM on Thanksgiving Day.

They didn’t get big by being stupid.

But every once in a while, one slips up.

And that’s what happened to this one.

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Thanksgiving ham was the main course. The pigs were butchered as soon as the coolness of November settled in.

Of course, the winters now are so mild that November isn’t the best month to butcher hogs.

Of course, that also assumes that people still keep pigs to fatten for their own use.

It’s now much cheaper to buy it.

Keep in mind that for centuries, the main source for red meat for most people was the hog. Hogs could be fattened on acorns  or beechmast and table scraps. 

In Medieval England, commoners were given the right to use the forest for their pigs in the Carta de Foresta. The practice of turning pigs out into the forest for forage is known as pannage.  The rights laid down in that legal document provided a modicum of economic rights into the English common law. So the reliance of English peasants on the pig as a food animal was a major cause in developing the peculiar form of constitutionalism that would provide the basis for democracy and rule of law in the Anglo-Saxon countries.

They didn’t need to have large areas of forage to feed them, as was the case with cattle. Cattle were also necessary as draft animals and milk producers, so it was not a good practice to raise such a large animal simply to eat it.

In fact, it would not be until the development of the English longhorn in the eighteenth century that people would have a specialized breed of beef cattle.

Pigs fed us through the generations. If your ancestors were from Europe and were of  the Christian faith, they most likely knew the taste of pork but never knew the taste of beef.


Of course, my grandpa told us that they used to eat ruffed grouse for Thanksgiving.  Having eaten that particular bird, I can say that they taste far better than either wild or domestic turkey.

Of course, I don’t think anyone has ever bred ruffed grouse in captivity. They are often quite curious  and easily-tamed birds, but their peculiar diet of buds is very hard to replicate in captivity.

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Black-and-tan dapple dachshund. Photo by Erwin Loh.

From Dog World

Dachshund breeders in the UK and the Kennel Club are to be commended for this action.

Maybe the next step will be to allow dogs with somewhat longer legs so they don’t move around like weasels or mink. After all, this is still a working breed. The smallest doxies are supposed to go after rabbits in pipes and tunnels. Their small size has a function.

There is nothing wrong with this color in dachshunds. It just should be bred responsibly.

Important note: The dog above is a single-dapple. Her sire was a black-and-tan dapple (silver dapple in every country but the US) and her dam was a solid red.

Let’s hope other merle breed fanciers get their acts together.  Dapple and merle are the same color genetically.

Another breed that comes in merle (and may be a descendant of the Dachshund):

Blue merle Cardigan Welsh Corgi. Photo by Muu-karhu.

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It’s Thanksgiving, so I have to do something on turkeys.

And turkeys, like a lot of gallinaceous birds, have these unique courtship motor patterns.

They do display them at relatively early age.

The adult version is far more dramatic:


Sometimes hen turkeys will go into this same motor pattern and gobble:


Now, turkeys can be made to gobble at virtually any weird sound, and it is also easy to get them to puff up and display.

However, the actual strutting behavior is a courtship motor pattern.

Of course, it is nothing like the courship motor patterns of the sage grouse, which is far more bizarre. The following was filmed using a “Fembot” sage grouse hen:


Over the generations,  certain hens in various chicken-like birds have selected for unusual motor patterns in their mates.   If a male can develop such weird behavior and have such extravagant display plumage, he must be a healthy bird with good genes to pass onto the next generation. Of course, she’s not reasoning that way, but her brain is wired to find these features attractive or at least somewhat novel. Eventually, the “aesethic sense” becomes as deeply ingrained in her DNA as the display motor pattern is in the male.

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God Loves a Terrier

Another scene from Best in Show:


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In the woods surrounding my house, a melanistic white-tailed deer has been spotted running with its normal-colored mother.

It’s one of this year’s fawns.

If I can get a photo of it, it will be posted.

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