Letters – Our readers write: Summer 2016

Letters published in the Summer 2016 edition of In The Hills magazine.

June 20, 2016 | | Departments

Camel Food

Re: “Zoo Food” [spring ’16]. In my quest to meet the nutritional requirements of my Bactrian camel Nazar, imagine my surprise to find exactly what I needed on my doorstep and to find the products were being milled by a company I’ve trusted since starting my racehorse training career in 1982. Going on four years now, Budson Farm & Feed Company in Erin has kept Nazar supplied with fresh Züküdla Herbivore Cubes at a price point below many brands of processed horse feed.

When I purchased Nazar, well-meaning people advised, “just feed him like a horse.” My training told me this was wrong, but just how difficult would it be to meet the nutritional requirements of a camel in Southern Ontario?

Contact with the Metro Zoo led me to a nutritionist working with Züküdla who suggested their Herbivore Cubes. Sceptical that I was being pointed at “the best substitute” to a correct diet, I researched the product. It checked all my boxes and even included “camel” on the bag tag, along with antelope, bison, elephant, gaur, hippopotamus, kudu, llama, tapir, rhinoceros, yak and zebra.

Nazar is thriving on a diet of Herbivore Cubes and fresh fruit and veggies, as well as the opportunity to browse and enrichment activities that fulfill his need to travel across the vastness of East Garafraxa Township.

I would also like to acknowledge Nazar’s medical team, Dr. Rex Crawford and Dufferin Veterinary Services Professional Corporation, who have so much camel knowledge, it never ceases to amaze me.

Nazar is priceless and what a relief to find these excellent people have made it so easy to give him the high standard of welfare he deserves.
Beverley Frank, East Garafraxa Township

Beverley Frank with Nazar.

Beverley Frank with Nazar.

Editor’s Note: We couldn’t resist asking Beverley Frank for more information about her camel. This is what she told us:

You ask why a camel? I’ve had horses for 50 years with many of those years as a professional. I am more than qualified to say, “horses are a poor design.” Twenty-five years ago I decided camels were much better engineered and I started my search. I could have bought a dromedary at any time, but I really wanted a Bactrian and they are very rare. I am also a hand spinner and fibre artist, and there’s about 25 pounds of fine undercoat on Nazar, which I make into sweaters and such.

So I searched and hired animal brokers to search for me, and watched camels being shot from planes in Australia and slaving on riding strings in Egypt, being used as food in Mongolia and lastly, as prisoners 
in petting zoos. Camels helped create the civilized world long before horses were useful. They deserve respect.

When I found Nazar, it was with a huge leap of faith that I bought him. The price was staggering and I didn’t know if he’d kill me with his huge tusks [incisors]. He’s a complicated animal, much more intelligent than a horse and has strong opinions. Nazar took two years to trust me, but he looks on me now with a much softer eye and we’re good friends.

Hat Mystery

Re: “A Tip of the Hat” [spring ’16]. This is not an answer to your question, “What’s This Beanie’s Story?” but about why someone would roll up newspaper inside their hatband as Major Justice did in his military cap. The story doesn’t say whether it’s one layer or more. If it’s long and more than one layer, it would be to make the hat slightly smaller, to fit better. Or maybe as an identification tag (since it was signed).

Very interesting article with great photos.
Lisa Garber, Mulmur

Home on the Range

A huge thank you goes out to In The Hills for such a wonderful write-up about our ranch in your latest issue [“Good Sport: Home on the Range” spring ’16]. Thank you to Nicola Ross for truly capturing the ranch and everything that we do here. And another thank you to Rosemary Hasner for taking such beautiful photos. We had such a great time talking to both of them and showing them our beautiful horses.

We have another big thank you to give to our amazing friends/boarders for saying such kind things about their experience here and for giving up some of their time to Nicola.
Carl Cosack, Peace Valley Ranch, Mulmur

It was a blustery day when Carl “Crusty” Cosack took writer Nicola Ross for a ride across the high hills of Peace Valley Ranch. Photo by Rosemary Hasner / Black Dog Creative Arts.

It was a blustery day when Carl “Crusty” Cosack took writer Nicola Ross for a ride across the high hills of Peace Valley Ranch. Photo by Rosemary Hasner / Black Dog Creative Arts.


Have You Kicked Your Grass Habit?

We’re talking lawn grass here. In The Hills nature writer Don Scallen is researching an article on alternatives to lawns. He would appreciate talking to readers who have replaced all or large portions of their lawns with something else. This might include meadows, vegetable gardens or other ecologically sound alternatives. If you have found a way to turf your turf, Don would like to hear about it. You can reach him at dscallen at cogeco.ca.

Online In The Hills

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