Oct 13

No, Goats don’t eat tin cans

No, Goats don't eat tin cansPeople are under the misconception that goats eat everything.  I hear this all the time and my response is “ No , goats don’t eat tin cans.” Folks are always surprised when I tell them they are quite picky eaters. I often tell folks they will eat what you have planted, such as lilacs, roses, blueberries, and raspberries. They are browsers like deer (they eat shrubs). They are not grazers, (grass eaters like cows). I ran across this post about the subject, and I thought it was interesting so I decided to share it. 

By Andy Wright on September 18, 2013

In the realm of fun campfire songs, “Bill Grogan’s Goat” is fairly horrifying. The titular goat devours his owner’s shirts off the laundry line, prompting Bill to hit him with a stick and tie him to a train track.

In some versions of the song, the goat gets out of this scrape. In many, he does not. Anger management issues aside, the song illustrates an idea about goats that is firmly entrenched in the popular imagination: Goats will eat anything that isn’t bolted down. They’ll eat shoes, books, McRibs, even tin cans.

Except, that’s not really true at all.

“They can’t eat a tin can or the shirt off your back,” says Sandra G. Solaiman, Affiliate Professor of Animal Nutrition at Auburn University. “They are very curious creatures. I’ve worked with sheep, I’ve worked with cattle, and what I realized is that with goats they are much more personable. They can be pets, they are curious. That’s why they get into everything.”

In fact, goats are actually extremely picky eaters who go after only the most nutritious options available to them.

“They are the survivors because they are very good at finding the most nutritious stuff,” Solaiman says, “They don’t eat tin cans but they will look inside a container and find something and get something out of it.” In other words, goats are resourceful when it comes to finding something to eat. “You’ll see cattle skeletons on the ground in the desert, but [goats] are running around.”

Solaiman says that goats are browsers who go after whatever in their environment will benefit them most. She’s seen them eat the bark off trees, because bark is a good source of tannin which supplies the goats with antioxidants to help ward off parasites and fungi.

One thing goats aren’t crazy about? Hay. While livestock like cattle can get by on the feed, goats need a more varied, nutrient-rich diet.

“If you feed goats low-quality forage, they will play with it,” she says. “They’ll be like, ‘Are you kidding me? I’m not going to eat this. I can lay on it, I can pee on it. But I’m not going to eat it.’ In truth they are pickers and choosers.”

But what about when you wade into a goat pen and every mischievous little mouth is tugging at your shirt? Solaiman says this is just the curious nature of the goat. They do not want to eat your new Brooks Brothers, they’re just checking it out.

The FDA even addresses the myth of goat-with-a-trash-compactor-for-a-stomach in a primer covering the ins-and-outs of keeping goats as pets. In a section emphatically labeled “Goats Do Not Eat Tin Cans” they caution that goats “like small children have a propensity for mouthing or ‘tasting’ any new object they encounter.”

And to hear Solaiman expound on her research subjects is to believe that a bit of saliva on your sleeve is a small price to pay for keeping company with a goat.

“Goats are the most interesting, cutest, entertaining domesticated livestock,” she says. “They are characters.

Oct 13

Rosemary Essential Oil for Improved Memory


I like to use Rosemary essential oil when I want to remember. I often bring some with me to meetings and workshops. It’s neat that you don’t have to apply it to your skin or ingest it. Aromatherapy is so interesting. It’s not hoodoo voodoo as some people (a certain husband who shall remain unnamed) think. There is real research behind its efficacy. As I (and a certain unnamed husband) get more shall we say, mature; we notice that at times our old noggin doesn’t seem to have the same mental recall that we did when we were younger. Ok we forget things as we get older, but rosemary essential oil can help. But first a story about how it got its name. In Spain they believed that Mary and her son Jesus took shelter beneath it as they fled to Egypt to escape King Herod. It was called Rose of Mary, eventually shortened to Rosemary. Cool right?

It is nothing new that rosemary has medicinal benefits. It contains salicylic acid, which is like aspirin. It was even mentioned by Shakespeare as an aid to memory. Until recently it was only thought of as folk remedy. But more and more research is proving that rosemary does indeed improve memory. It not only improves performance it also improves speed. The research is showing that inhaled rosemary essential oil constituents (the parts that make it up) actually can be measure in the blood of the subject. Researchers are doing more studies to see what this may mean for people suffering from Alzheimer’s. Here is another post on the subject of Rosemary for Memory

Did you know that Alabu makes a Rosemary soap? Some people (unnamed husband again?) are not familiar with the herb (except on a roast) thought it was strange fragrance for soap. Try some and tell us what you think.


Oct 13

Living Your Dreams

Are you living your dreams? My brother and his wife are living theirs and I couldn’t be happier for them. Here is a little history. When I was in my late teens I worked at a summer camp in Beaour nestr Mt. NY (by the way that is how I came to be a NYer). When I would get my week off I always ended up on my big brother’s doorstep. You see he had a sailboat. And he and his wife were so gracious to put me up and take me sailing too. That continued for many summers. When they had their son and moved away from the water they sold their sailboat. That was almost 40 years ago. Two years ago his youngest son married a lovely girl whose family had sailboats and they sailed with them on numerous occasions. And I think they fell in love with sailing again.

When my brother retired, he still had his own business that he and his wife operated. Then they sold their business and they contemplated about what they would like to do now. How fortunate, that they both had a shared dream of living on a sailboat. So they bought one. The boat is a beauty and much larger than the one they owned years ago. It is 36 foot and that may sound spacious but let me assure you it is not. Their plan is to sail it down to the Florida Keys for the winter.

We went down to visit them and check out their new home on our way to our anniversary get away weekend. They welcomed us aboard and showed us around which you can do standing at the bottom of the stairs. Then we all went out for a very pleasant sail in the bay. Being the ever gracious hosts that they are, they gave us the best sleeping quarters and they took the bed in the bow (front of boat for those who are not nautically inclined) I slept fine, my 6’2″ husband Dean, not so much. He realized he seems to be getting somewhat claustrophobic as he gets older. Not such a good thing on a sailboat. He finally gave in and went out and slept in our truck. He was able to get some sleep and woke somewhat refreshed around 7:30. I can’t remember when he has slept that late. My brother and his wife made us a delicious breakfast and we said our goodbyes and wished them well.

Because of the wonders of technology, my brother can keep his family and friends updated on their adventure. I video chatted over the computer with them the other day. They were about day 8 into their adventure. I’m not sure I have ever seen them looking so happy! I mentioned to them that they haven’t killed each other, they are still talking and sitting next to each other and they look so happy. They said that they are, the boat doesn’t seem small to them, they don’t miss having a house and they are having the time of their lives; living their dreams. I am just so happy for them and that we can share their journey with them via the wonders of technology.

But it got me thinking. Sometimes we hold onto what we have so tightly that we can’t imagine the possibilities that might be even more fulfilling then what is; definitely something to ponder. I think we are in part living our dream with a little consuming hobby called Alabu. How about you? Are you living your dreams?

Oct 13

Early Bird Special & Contest

Early Bird SpecialEarly Bird Special & Contest

- Are you an early bird shopper?

All orders placed between October 1st and October 21st over $59.00 will get free shipping and be entered into our Early Bird Special drawing to win a $100.00 of store credit to buy Alabu Skin Care products, great for Christmas gifts. That’s it! It is as easy as that, place an order over 59.00 by Oct 21th and you will be automatically entered to win. We’ll see if we can get the goats to pick the winner, who will be announced in the November Newsletter (10/1 -10/21)

(Use this coupon code to redeem Free Shipping on orders over $59:  FREESHIP4Y6M)