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Sustainable chicken housing focus of new UC Davis study

Sustainable chicken housing focus of new UC Davis study

DAVIS - The University of California, Davis, and Michigan State University have received $6 million from the Coalition for Sustainable Egg Supply to support research on the sustainability of laying hen housing in the United States.

The first study of its kind, the three-year "CSES Laying Hen Housing Research Project" will explore the interactions and tradeoffs among food safety, worker safety, environmental impact, hen health and welfare, and food affordability aspects of three different housing systems. Information generated by the research is expected to help egg purchasers and producers make objective, science-based decisions as the egg industry evolves in response to consumer needs and desires.

The goal of the Coalition for Sustainable Egg Supply is to evaluate the viability of various laying hen housing systems.

Calling all hogcallers

Calling all hogcallers

Contestants will flex their voices in the Dixon May Fair Hogcalling contest Friday, May 6.

Contestants have one minute to coax the hogs to them using only their voice.

Points will be awarded on creativity, originality, audience response and hog response.

Hogs will be provided by the Pryor cousins: Katelyn and Karli Pryor and their cousins, Alison and Garrett Pryor, all of Dixon. Karli’s hog is the 4-H champion and the reserve grand champion.

The judges include Mary Harris of Vacaville, president of the Dixon May Fair Board of Directors; Hendrick Crowell of Fairfield, member and past president of the fair board; and JoAn Giannoni of Dixon, secretary of Friends of Dixon May Fair.

The contest starts at 2 p.m. and admission is free.

The contest takes place at 655 S. 1st, Dixon , CA.

UC Davis awarded $2.6 million to research mad cow disease

UC Davis awarded $2.6 million to research mad cow disease

A UC Davis research team has been awarded $2.6 million by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to carry out research aimed at reducing the incidence of bovine respiratory disease, or pneumonia, which is the leading cause of death in beef and dairy cattle.

The funding comes as part of a 5-year, $9.2 million USDA Coordinated Agricultural Project, which involves collaborators at UC Davis, Texas A&M University, Washington State University, University of Missouri, Colorado State University and New Mexico State University. The project is led by James Womack , the W.P. Luse endowed and distinguished professor at Texas A&M.

The extension component of the project will be headed by Alison Van Eenennaam, Cooperative Extension specialist in animal genomics and biotechnology in the UC Davis Department of Animal Science.

Endangered sturgeon rescued from Yolo Bypass

WOODLAND, CA. - A team of biologists and volunteers rescued a dozen endangered green sturgeon from shallow waters in the Yolo Bypass on Tuesday.

"These are big, magnificent fish," UC Davis fisheries biologist Mike Thomas said. "They're primitive, prehistoric dinosaurs."

The sturgeon were trapped as high water receded. The fish, up to 7 feet long, were unable to use a fish ladder that helped many other species make their way back to the nearby Sacramento River.

Biologists believe poachers had already killed one of the green sturgeon and speared another.

"It's imperative that we get these fish out of this particular side channel and back into the main stem of the river so they can continue up towards Redding," Thomas said.

Yolo County Animal Shelter offering pet discounts in April

Yolo County Animal Shelter offering pet discounts in April

WOODLAND - The Yolo County Sheriff's Department Animal Services Section announced that from Tuesday, April 12 through Saturday, April 16, give a shelter cat or dog a new beginning and give yourself a special companion that is searching for a lap or sofa; it is a winning combination!

There will be special promotional pricing during the event for all available dogs and cats of $75.00 for dogs (an additional cost of $10.00 for license will be required for Yolo County residents) and $55.00 for cats. This fee supports the cost of spay or neuter, testing for Heartworm for dogs or FELV/FIV for cats, rabies vaccines, DHPP and Bordatella vaccine for dogs and FVRCP vaccine for cats and microchip for both!

If you are not able to adopt a new companion, the animal shelter appreciates donations of liquid laundry detergent and Frontline or Advantage.

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom announces rare walrus pregnancy

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom announces rare walrus pregnancy

VALLEJO - One of the world’s most familiar animals is also one of the rarest of any found in a zoological park or oceanarium facility. Rarer still is the possibility of a birth, yet Six Flags Discovery Kingdom is awaiting its first Pacific walrus calf in a matter of weeks. Among the 17 walruses currently living in U.S. facilities, the park’s three individuals are also among the few that are still viable breeders.

"There have been no more than 11 recorded walrus calves born in North American zoological facilities since 1931," said Michael Muraco, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom’s Animal Care Director. "In fact, so little is known about reproduction in walruses, that in the past two years we have made great strides in understanding more about both reproductive anatomy and breeding strategies between males and females than has ever been recorded.

Pet owners cautioned against giving potassium iodide to animals

Pet owners cautioned against giving potassium iodide to animals

Pet owners anticipating the possible movement to the West Coast of radioactive material from Japan's damaged nuclear power plants should not give their dogs, cats or other pets potassium iodide tablets, cautions a UC Davis veterinary cancer researcher.

"At this point there is no risk to pets in California stemming from radiation released from the tragedy that continues to unfold in Japan," said Michael Kent, a faculty veterinarian who specializes in radiation cancer therapy.

He noted that UC Davis' William R.