The Great Debate…To Goat or Not to Goat

Dogs, cats and hamsters are the leading pets in American households; however one type of pet is increasing in popularity. Goats have many practical advantages over cats and dogs and are among the friendliest type of farm animal.

Goats, like sheep, produce milk. However, unlike sheep they are people friendly and enjoy the attention from their human companions. Often times goats will come up to you, usually wanting a treat, but they will be goatsjust as happy with a good petting.

Goats milk is not only tastier, sweeter and richer than cow milk, but also healthier. Though it does have more fat than cow milk, the fats in it contain more omega-3 fatty acids, which help prevent blood clotting, reduces inflammation, and helps prevent cancer cell growth. In other words, the “good fats”. In addition to these advantages, people who are lactose intolerant can often tolerate goat milk. Though goat milk only has about 10% less lactose than cow milk, it is enough to make a difference for a lot of lactose intolerant people. This means that those people can get the benefits and nutrients of cow milk, with added benefits of goat milk.

Goats can also make money. A single goat will produce 15 gallons of milk a month that could be sold to friends and family. In order to sell milk, you do have to pasteurize it, and you will have to have the processing area inspected at least once a year. You can also own a fiber goat. Goat fiber is very popular, though many people don’t realize that they have goat fiber clothing. There are two main kinds of goat fiber. Mohair, which only angora goats produce, and cashmere, which all goats produce. Cashmere, the more common of the two, is a soft under layer of fur for winter that comes off in the spring.

Goats are cute, friendly, and practical making it one of the  fastest growing pets of the farm animal variety.

 

 

Advertisements

Turkey Thawing Tips to Ensure a Safe Thanksgiving

Gobble Gobble….Turkey TipsThis Health Tip brought to you by Parrish Medical Center will ensure that your Thanksgiving guests will have an enjoyable dinner without the worries of becoming ill from a contaminated turkey.  

­

(HealthDay News) — You don’t want Thanksgiving guests to become sick from contaminated turkey, so make sure you thaw your holiday bird safely. The U.S. Food Safety and Inspection Service offers this advice: Thaw the turkey in the refrigerator. Allow 24 hours per 4-to-5 pounds of turkey, and make sure the bird is stored in a pan or container to prevent contaminating other food. Cook within one to two days of thawing. Place your frozen turkey in a leakproof plastic bag and submerge in cold tap water, changing the water every 30 minutes. Allow about 30 minutes of thawing time per pound of turkey, and cook immediately after thawing. Thaw your turkey in the microwave according to the instructions on the package. Make sure you cook the turkey immediately after microwaving. Keep turkey frozen until you are ready to defrost. – See more at: http://healthbridge.parrishmed.com/health-tip-safely-thaw-thanksgiving-turkey#sthash.8cIjNUr6.dpuf

 

 

 

Black Bears in Florida Communities

A common sight in Zoos and National parks is a Black Bear, however, sometimes we can see them in our own backyard. Several Leland communities have daily encounters with these real life teddy bears. Black bears, who are protected under the list of threatened species, are the only bears found in Florida. Black Bears are similar to other types of bears with the exception of their genetic and skeletal makeup. Their fur color is black but bear-backdoortheir muzzle is brown and some have blonde or white “blazes” on their chest in varying shapes and sizes. The height of the bear will vary naturally and also depends on diet. Bears who rummage through trash cans and consume food intended for humans typically grow larger than those who don’t due to the high caloric value. Larger populations of the Black Bear can be found in six core areas due to urban development of their natural habitat. These areas include Elgin, Apalchicola, Osceola, Ocala and the St. Johns, Big Cypress and the Ever Glades.  Preventing
bears from becoming a new resident in your community starts with you. Here are five tips that you can use to prevent Black Bears from being drawn to your home.

  1. Don’t leave pets or pet food outside at night.
  2. Keep all waste in airtight bags and consider bear resistant bins.
  3. Hang any bird feeders out of their reach.
  4. Keep garage doors closed and motion lights off.
  5. Consider the use of an electronic fence.

If you do encounter a Black Bear in your neighborhood please contact your local fish and wildlife conservation commission.

Meet the Team: Angela Middleton

Angela Middleton, daughter of a military family, was born in Frankfurt, Germany in 1966. AngieAfterwards her father was transferred Georgia where she lived until moving to Casselberry, Florida where she grew up and went to school.  Accounting has always been a passion in her life. She began her accounting career as a teenager when she worked as a bookkeeper for one of the major furniture stores in the area. She then moved on to work for a CPA, and later went to managing Contractor Associations. As a young adult she went into business with her mother. Together they sold and taught decorative art at their store locations in Kissimmee and Casselberry. This eventually led Angie to start teaching decorative art at the national level. She has published 3 “How to Books”, collaborated on 3 others and was featured in Better Homes and Gardens magazine. After her mother’s health failed they closed the stores and she went back to her career in accounting.  She is married with 4 children and has one grandchild.   Both she and her husband are very involved with raising funds for various charities and non-profit organizations and in 2012 coordinated an Annual Book Drive for the Florida Sheriff’s Youth Ranches.

Angie has been with Leland for over 11 years and says Leland is just an extension of her own family.

Does Your Community have Resident Coyotes?

Coyotes in Central Florida
Coyotes in Central Florida

Coyotes are interacting with the residents of central Florida at an increasing rate.  This is primarily due to the fact that the increase in the construction of new neighborhoods is  cutting into their natural habitats in the surrounding wooded areas. These animals, who once had many acres to live and hunt are now being “downsized” into small sections surrounded by humans.  The coyotes are finding themselves with little hunting grounds and are frequenting the developments to find their next meal looking at food sources such as garbage cans and small house pets left out unattended at night. Coyotes have become emboldened by the fact that they have been unopposed in this area for so long, and are starting to become more at home as nighttime bandits in neighborhoods.

Residents have been advised to take precautions such as keeping their pets on leashes when they walk them, do not let their pets out unattended at night, and to carry an air horn or other loud noise maker  that would startle and scare the animals away if approached. Residents have also been urged not to go out by themselves when it is dark outside and if they do encounter a coyote, be as “large” and loud as possible (stand tall, wave your arms and scream and yell loudly).  For more information on what to do if you encounter a coyote please visit http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/coyotes/tips/hazing_guidelines.html

Barking Up the Wrong Tree

Did you know 15% of pet owners have had a neighbor complain about their fluffy friends? Here at Leland Management we receive consistent complaints about neighborhood dogs from residents. Ranging from barking to bathroom choices, we have heard them all with one resident distributing flyers throughout his community and another starting a petition.  While it’s true some owners might be inconsiderate and not care how the noise affects others, most are simply not aware of the barking or that their neighbors are annoyed. Hurt feelings, anger and frustration — on both sides — make for a very stressful situation. Here are a few tips that we have found are helpful for both parties.

  1. A common trigger for consistent barking is boredom. Before you leave the house plan a walk or play session with your dog to stimulate his attention.
  2. Leave treat filled toys around the house that present a challenge for your dog. The time and energy spent with the toys will distract him/her from any outside stimulus.
  3. Buy an anti-barking collar. This may seem harsh for an act that comes naturally to dogs but there are non-pain collars that produce desired results by emitting a vibration when he/she barks.
  4. Finally, take an olive branch to your neighbor and explain that you are working on the problem and would appreciate his or her feedback. Your neighbor can be a great help in solving the problem, since he or she is home during the day and might be able to help you identify when your dog is barking. Ask your neighbor to keep a log ofdog-barking when and how long your dog is barking, and if he noticed anything that might have triggered the barking in the first place. This might be the detective work you need to get to the bottom of the barking, as well as a way for your neighbor to be part of the solution.

Leland and your community association manager are not able to step-in in this area. If you feel the complaint needs to be addressed by someone other than your neighbors the best thing to do is call city hall.

For more information about ways to curb consistent barking visit http://www.petfinder.com/dogs/dog-problems/dog-barks-left-alone/

Here Wild Piggy Piggy

Florida Feral Hogs
Florida Feral Hogs

Wild hogs (also known as feral hogs) are the topic of our third installment in unusual animal sightings in Florida communities.

Wild hogs have become so prevalent in central Florida that they are becoming an increasingly large burden for state officials.  The wild hog population has reached over 500,000 and they can be found in every county in Florida.   These hogs are large (100-200 pounds) and cause problems for farmers, residents and  state officials.  Besides carrying diseases that could affect livestock, crops and people,  the hogs are causing tremendous damage to the landscape, our neighborhood gardens and crops.  They are doing this through the process of rooting, which is basically like plowing, causing millions of dollars worth of damage to Florida’s public lands, neighborhoods and farms.

To help curb the problem, the state has decided  to hire USDA approved hog control agents  as well as local trappers to deter hogs from specific land that they are trying to restore. They are hoping that this measure will help keep the pigs off the farms and out of the neighborhoods although, pig sightings have become more and more common.   If you come in contact with or see a wild pig, be cautious, they often attack when they feel threatened (which is more likely to happen near humans or household pets).  For more information on wild hogs please visit the University of Florida website http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/uw322

Unusual Animal Stories From a Florida Community Association

Neighborhoods in central Florida get a lot more unusual animals than you would think. In the Royal Highlands community in Leesburg, Florida they have seen it all from cows to coyotes to pigs. One resident told us that one day she got a call about a “drunk” cow wandering around the streets. She says that the cow was acting in a drunkenly manner due to the fact that it had eaten a few Lantana plants.   In the same association a landscaper saw a group of piglets calling a thicket on the main boulevard home. I think it is safe to say that both the landscaper and the piglets were both very surprised. The animals we see around here vary greatly from the local species of alligators and squirrels to the not so local species of pigs and coyotes.   In the next few weeks we will be sharing unusual animal sightings from around Florida.  Do you have an unusual animal story, please share it with us.

Pigs seen at Royal Highlands Community Associaiton
Pigs seen at Royal Highlands Community Associaiton

The Florida Sandhill Crane

We have been fortunate the last few months to receive many pictures of beautiful Sandhill Cranes (and their adorable babies) from around the communities we manage.  These magnificent birds have become an unofficial resident of almost every community in central Florida, and even though they can be bothersome at times (causing complaints about walking out into the roadway regardless of traffic) they are a large part of central Florida living.  Generally these well loved birds are found everywhere in the community,  in your backyard,the playground,  crossing the street, or at a local golf course.
The Florida Sandhill Crane, scientifically known as Grus Canadensis Pratensis, is a charcoal gray color throughout their life except during breeding when there feathers become worn down and are seen as an ochre color. The average adult male weighs 10.1 lbs and the average adult female weighs 8.9 lbs. Although there large height (80 to 120 cm) may not lead you to believe it, the large wingspan of the crane (5.4 to 6.9 feet) allows them to soar on high altitude winds for long periods of time with just the occasional flap of the wings. Sandhill Cranes use loud trumpeting calls, often compared to a French rolling r, to communicate with each other. Unfortunately almost every species of this magnificent bird, including our very own Florida Sandhill Crane, are on the endangered species watch list due to the birds being to comfortable around humans. 
These birds are magnificent and awe-inspiring in many ways…they truly are a Florida treasure.  

Florida Sandhill Crane
Florida Sandhill Crane


Florida’s Animal Residents: Alligators

Florida’s Animal Residents: Alligators
With over 1.25 million alligators swimming through Floridian waters, it is no surprise that we often have some unexpected run-ins with Florida’s state reptile. From the pool at Riviera Bella in Debary to the pavilion at Keene’s Pointe in Windermere, alligators are making their presence known in our local communities. With laying season, late June to early July, in full swing it is important to heed some safety tips from the fish and wildlife commission. Remember to never feed alligators; this causes them to lose their fear of humans and become more aggressive. Keep children and small pets away from unsafe bodies of water and if you find a nest do not approach it. Mature alligators are very protective and territorial and may attack if they feel their nest is being threatened. If there is an alligator in your community that you feel may be a nuisance, please call 1-866-FWC-GATOR (866-392-4286) to have your local fish and wildlife conservation remove the alligator or call your community association manager for assistance.