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Category archives for Farm animals

Keeping peace with predators can cut livestock deaths

When predator animals like tigers, lions, bears and wolves attack livestock animals like goats, cows and horses, you need to kill off the predators to reduce livestock deaths, right? Wrong.

A Sherlock-Worthy Look at an Ancient Horse Mummy

Tiny marks and deformations reveal clues to the ancient cultures that rode these plains for millennia.

Steak Story, Part 1: The MosCowBoy

The ribeye steak was called the MosCowBoy. When I cut into it, juice squished out onto the ceramic plate. Each tender bite made my taste buds light up with all six of the essential flavors (sour, salty, sweet, bitter, and especially umami and fat). This was five years ago, in June 2011, when I’d just finished…

Apocalypse Paused: Scenes From Soviet-Era “Ghost Farms”

Picture two giant farms: one the size of France; the other the size of Wisconsin. That is how many acres of agricultural land sit fallow in Russia (45 million) and Kazakhstan (35 million).   The 250,000-acre Chilinka Collective Farm, in northern Kazakhstan, was once known as an oasis on the steppes. It was home to 500…

Tazy: Speedy Dog of the Steppes in a Race Against Extinction

“Faster!” Zhylkybai Aga said. The driver increased the truck’s speed to 25 m.p.h. Zhylkybai leaned out the window and whooped at his dog, named Akbakai, who loped alongside the vehicle. The lanky dog was hardly exerting himself. My first impression of Tazy, a Kazakh dog breed, was that it looked like a bag of bones. But now, in…

The Haunting Origins of Horse Culture in Mongolia

Peer inside ancient burial mounds and discover a connection that goes back two thousand years before Genghis Khan.

The (Questionably) Honorable Kazakh Tradition of Livestock Theft

With 2,500 head of livestock, it can be hard to notice when a few go missing. Especially for Dauletgali Zhaitapov, whose business Kaz Horse Mugalzhar LTD operates on 75,000 acres of unfenced rangeland in northern Kazakhstan. During fall roundup, Zhaitapov realized his horse herd was 100 animals short. These weren’t just any horses; they were…

Seeds, Soil and SMS: How Mobiles Promote Resilience Among Small-Scale Farmers in Africa

Despite producing more than 70% of the world’s food, most small-scale farmers live on less than $1 a day. Typically, they lack access to finance, traditional markets and much-needed agricultural products. Not only that, many also live in remote areas without Internet access meaning they have no way to access vital agricultural advice or information, either. In…

Unsurprisingly, American Explorer Terrible at Milking Cows

Cross-cultural explorer and National Geographic grantee Chris Bashinelli tried to live as Mongolian nomad for a month and found himself face-to-butt with the nomads’ livestock. He quickly discovered that “when your face is a few inches from a cow’s teat and a few feet away from the cow’s kicking legs, it isn’t exactly the most comforting environment.”

March 8, 2015: Bee Stings, Tiger Farms, Deadly Sugarcane and More

This week on National Geographic Weekend, join host Boyd Matson and his guests as they survive moose and cold temperatures to win the Yukon Quest, live in the wilderness for 8 months with moth-eating bears, photograph bees, learn about Mayan achievements, investigate China’s tiger farms, understand Nicaragua’s sugarcane worker health crisis, study the sunset’s colors, myth-bust “clean coal”.

The Karoo Predator Project: Mitigating the human-wildlife conflict

Farmers, scientists and photographers are working together in South Africa’s Karoo to look for ways to ease the tense relationship between farming herds and natural predators.