The History of The Easter Bunny

easter bunny

Easter Sunday was originally created as a way for the Christian community to come together and celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. However, as modern views continue to chime in and grow in popularity, the celebration of Easter has been altered. A fictional character known as the Easter Bunny has been used to brand the holiday. Now, what’s even more interesting is that the symbol of the rabbit has no ties to the Christian community. So, where did it come from?

Easter aka Eostra

Well, Pre-Christian Germany dates back to the 13th century. During this time, people worshiped several gods and goddesses. One goddess, in particular, is responsible for the branding of the Easter Bunny. Her name was named Eostra. She was the goddess of spring and fertility.

Add Rabbit, Bunny, Hare.

Ancient History has branded this animal as a symbol of fertility. These rambunctious little guys are known for their high level of energy, small bodies, and  perky set of ears.

Meet the Easter Bunny

Originally named Osterhase, this hare was brought to American when the German settlers started to migrate here. The concept behind Osterhase was to reward children for being well behaved. In exchange, they would receive bright colored eggs filled with chocolates and candies. As years continued to pass, people started to catch on and add their own personal twists. The holiday has turned into a family affair to include a big Easter dinner and an interactive egg hunt.

Spring, in general, marks a time of blossom. It’s also a pretty happy time of year.
The snow is melting, people and animals are coming out of hibernation, and we are blessed with the cuteness of newly born livestock. Keep your eye out for these furry little creatures as the continue to pop up around farms nationwide.
baby farm animals

Lisa Podwirny is the owner of Ketchum Mfg. Connect with her on Google+

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Purpose of Cattle Tags

Catttle Tags

What are Cattle Tags?

What could be seen as an added accessory, bling, or earring, cattle identification tags actually serve a far greater purpose. Farms can be a confusing place. Typically farms sit on a good chunk of acreage. And with that, the livestock is left to play and explore their land. Between chickens, cows and pigs, you can just imagine the chaos. Having a structured organizational system in place is important so that you can keep track of your inventory. Ear tags are an easy-to-use and simple solution for any farmer to implement.

What is the Purpose of Ear Tags?

When farm animals are born, they all look alike. As they get older, they continue to mirror the image of their peers. Ear tags are a way for the farmers to identify who is who in their land of livestock. Think of it this with. Ear tags are similar to birth certificates. They let you know who your parents are, when you were born, what your gender is, and what vaccinations you have been given.

The Numbering System

Everyone has his or her own unique method of identification, but the most common system is the numbering system. With this system, it is common to introduce both letters and numbers. The letter would represent the year of birth. For example, if the calf was born in 2012, it would be given the letter A, for calves born in 2013, B, and so on and so forth. The numbers following the letter could determine the litter, number born on farm, or gender. Each system is unique. Once an animal is given an identification tag, they are to rep that tag for their entire lifetime.

Other Uses for Ear Tags:

While cattle tags are the most popular, they are not the only animal that uses this system. Any animal that is raised for profit is typically marked with an ear tag. Pigs, chickens, sheep, goats, and rabbits are common examples.

Animals can also be tagged for research purposes. Flocks of geese or endangered species may be tagged in order to determine migration patterns.

Lisa Podwirny is the owner of Ketchum Mfg. Connect with her on Google+

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

7 Important Pet Safety Tips for Spring

Even though spring technically started on March 20th, the month of April is when it really begins. It’s that time of the year for warm weather, fresh gardens, and enjoying the outdoors with your pet. You can finally take your pet outside and not put on 5 layers for the freezing cold! But as with any change of season, there are always some important safety tips to consider. Let’s take a look at some of the most important ones:

Vet Visit

Spring is a great time to schedule a veterinary visit, especially if it’s been awhile. You can ask your veterinarian about topics like tick & flea prevention, spray/neutering, and more. Your vet will also observe/test your pet for any problems that may have come up during the winter. It’s been a tough winter in the northeast – things can happen!

Watch the Lawn & Garden

Fertilizers, herbicides – all that stuff that helps your lawn stay healthy certainly won’t do the same to your pet. Take special care in keeping your pet away from a freshly sprayed lawn. If your pet starts eating the grass, the results could be fatal. On the same token, certain plants can cause problems for pets. Some plants are poisonous, some will cause allergies, and others will cause choking hazards. Don’t let your pet roam around in an area you’re not familiar with.

Home Cleaning Supplies

Not only is spring the time to get your lawn in shape, but your house as well. Be mindful of all the cleaners you’ll be using to scrub the floor, dust the fans, and more. Make sure your pet doesn’t get into the cleaning supplies, as it could prove fatal.

Insect Bites

You know how insect bites are a big pain for humans – especially the ones that make you concerned? That same concern should be taken if your pet is bitten, too. Make sure serious insect bites are treated.


A lot of people wait until its summer to open up the pool. Some like to get it done with in the spring. Remember, pets should never swim unattended.

Open Windows

When you keep the windows open, make sure there’s a screen so your pet isn’t tempted to hop out. Now is the time to fix those broken screens!

Pet Tags

Pets are ready to get out and run around by the time spring rolls around. You’ll want to take them to a lot of new places – the dog park, a mountain, a nice walk on a new street, etc. And that’s all perfectly fine, as long as you keep an eye on them and they’re tagged. You certainly don’t want your pet to get lost!

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

The Benefits of Animal ID Tags

We sell identification tags for many different animals here at Ketchum. We make dog tags, cat tags, cattle tags, poultry leg and wing bands, and more. But what’s the purpose? It’s 2014, there’s probably some app you can download on your iPhone, right? Not exactly. Check out these benefits of animal ID tags:


We make a plastic sales tag that comes in very handy for livestock auctions. If you’ve ever attended an auction, you know that there are a lot of people and a lot of animals. It would be virtually impossible to make order of it all without a way of identifying the animals. Our tags come in very bright orange, white, and yellow colors. You can order them blank or numbered; they’re perfect for any auction.


When it comes to farm animals, accountability is extremely important. You need to monitor animals to make sure they’re healthy, you have as many as you think you do, etc. ID tags are at the root of the system when you’re keeping track.

However, many animals won’t stay on one farm their whole life – they’ll more then likely get shipped around in the process before the grocery store. At that point, accountability is, potentially, even more important. If your animals need blood tests before they leave your farm, or they need to be checked for disease, it’s important to have them all properly accounted for. Plastic ear tags, metal ear tags, neck tags, etc. are all humane ways to identify certain animals.

Lost Pets

ID tags can save your pet’s life. If your pet gets lost, an ID tag is really the only way it could be brought back to its owner. Put your dog’s name and your phone number on the tag, at the least. The person who finds your dog will be able to comfort them by name.

Other Uses

Our tags are so durable and high quality that they go beyond being useful for animals. We had our tags being used to mark the gate positions at a ski resort. After all, they are tags — they can be used to number anything!

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Recognizing & Caring for a Sick Pet

sick puppy

It doesn’t come as a surprise to any of us when I say that this winter has been brutal. We have faced piercing cold temperatures and have been pounded with snow. We also, have had some surprisingly nice days. It’s always a nice thing when the sun comes out, but its not nice when your head starts to pound and your nose starts to run. As adults, we know our bodies well enough to feel “sickness” approaching. Children are able to voice their concerns when they start feeling ill. But, pets? Do you know your pet well enough to know if something isn’t right? And how are you supposed to care for them when they are feeling under the weather. Check out these tips and be alert of some of the symptoms.

How to Tell if Your Pet is Sick

Always a clear sign that something is not right with your pet. While it might just be something simple as coughing up that green grass they snuck in at the park, it could also be something a little bit more serious. As unappetizing as it may be, you must investigate the materials. Are there colors? Undigested food? Liquid only? These key observances will help aid your veterinarian into determining the cause. Same goes for diarrhea. As gross as it may be, pay attention.

Change in Appetite:
Whether an overly excited eater is suddenly not interested in dinner, or a super picky eater is suddenly eating everything in sight, a change in eating patterns can pose a serious problem. There could be experiencing a virus or have a digestive problem. Be observant, these poor guys can’t always tell us what they want.

Other Physical and Behavioral Symptoms:

- Watery eyes
- Unease of balance
- Ear discharge
- Irregular or lack there of bowel movements
- Excessive panting
- Coughing

The list is long, and the possibilities of physical and behavioral indications could be anything and may differ per breed/per pet. Trust your gut. If you think something is wrong, go to a vet. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

How to Care for Your Sick Pet

If your little guy or gal is under the weather you might want to make some small changes around the house to help nurse up a speedy recovery. If your vet gave you medications, make sure you know how to distribute them properly.

Quiet Time:
Personally, when I’m sick, all I want to do is bundle up in my coziest PJ’s and snuggle in my bed. Make a similar room for your pup. Clean up their area and fluff up their pet bed with clean, warm, and dry blankets. Make sure there is always fresh water available.

Bath Time:
Splish Splash, let’s take a bath. If your pup is down in the dumps or is not feeling ill, maybe a small sponge bath rinse is just what the doctor ordered.

After your pet heals, they will be full of energy and you can both get back to your daily routines!

Lisa Podwirny is the owner of Ketchum Mfg. Connect with her on Google+


(above photo taken from fox news)

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Understanding Accountability Tags

accountability tags

Accountability systems are used nationwide and for a variety of different reasons. A common example you can relate to is using an accountability system when taking a class field trip. Teachers will hand out name tags or passes to children prior to start of the field trip, collect the passes when they exit off the bus, and then hand the passes back to the students once the field trip is over. The passes that remain will alert the teacher of who is missing.

Typically speaking, if you are in charge of another human being… it is important to have some sort of tracking and accountability system in place.

The concept of this type of system is no different for firefighters. However, instead of going on field trips, these brave men and woman are fighting dangerous fires.

Each year over a hundred firefighters die in the line of duty. It is extremely important to stress personnel accountability on the fire-ground for safety purposes. Through out the years there have been many different types of systems in place. And as technology continues to evolve, different options continue to become available.

The most common method of a firefighter accountability system is the use of identification tags. Tags are simple, efficient, inexpensive, and can be customized. They also come in different colors to assign different roles. For example, using a two tag accountability system is very popular.

One tag is used to indicate that the firefighter is on the scene, while the second tag is used, like an “entry permit”, to account for the firefighters that enter a building. Upon exiting the building, this tag should be immediately retrieved by the controller of the scene.

When correctly placed, a solid system will help the incident commander know how many people are on the scene. They also allow tracking of what each firefighter is doing and where he or she is doing it. Fire-ground scenes without accountability in place can result in chaos and increase chance of death.

Lisa Podwirny is the owner of Ketchum Mfg. Connect with her on Google+

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

A Cats Meow. Understanding The Feline.

thinking cat

We all know that your furry feline has a mind of it’s own, but how smart is it exactly? A cat’s intelligence is determined by its ability to learn, solve, and adapt to its environment. It might be safe to say, if you can understand the cat’s brain and how it works, you might be able to better understand your furry friend and all of their antics.

The Cats Brain

A cat’s brain is separated into different areas that each performs specialized tasks. Feline’s are smart because each area is interconnected and can rapidly share information. Every part of their brain is working together quickly which enables your cat to quickly think on its feet. In most cases, this allows them to manipulate the situation so that it favors them the most.


Cats have the ability to store both short and long term memory. In their world, practice makes perfect and they learn best by observation. Have you noticed that after so many times, your cat will  just start to open up doors and cupboards? It’s not a coincidence… they are secretly watching your every move. As a kitten, they pick up tips and tricks from their mother. As they mature into cat status it is all about trial and error.

Cats are not motivated in the same way dogs are. Dogs have been trained to guard, protect, herd and assist. Cats, being the opportunists they are, slowly take their time to investigate every alley and blind corner. Who knows where their prey might be hiding in the real world?

Similar to dogs, different types of breeds have different type of personalities. The only difference is, most people don’t ask “what type of cat is that” because to us, they are all the same. Here are a few of my favorites and some traits to be aware of.

maine coonMaine Coon:
Also known as the American Longhair, the Maine coon is the second largest breed of domestic cat. Commonly known as the “gentle giants” these beautiful creatures can be spotted with long elegant fur. They are extremely personable, easily trained, and just like being in the company of a human. Although not your typical lap-cat, they are more considered your best bud.

These little leopard creatures are so stunningly beautiful, but they also have a mind of their own. Before you go ahead and adopt or purchase one of these guys there are a couple things to keep in mind. They might cuddle, when it’s convenient for them. Their idea of a good time is climbing, chasing, and investigating. Think rambunctious when considering this type of breed.

Oh my goodness, can these sweet little munchkins get any cuter? Seriously? I can’t even take it sometimes. Incredibly intelligent, these adorable kitties will test your skills. They love to jump, and are pretty good at it considering their long legs. The Siberian kitty will also find ways to talk to you. A purring machine when it feels loved and a chirping noise to exchange in a quick convo.

Lisa Podwirny is the owner of Ketchum Mfg. Connect with her on Google+

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

How to Housebreak a New Puppy

dog-potty-training-tipsSo, you’ve recently added a new addition to your family. Now what? It’s time to potty train your four-legged pal! Housebreaking a new dog can be frustrating. But with a little persistence, you can make potty-training your dog a cinch!

1. Be consistent

When it comes to housebreaking a dog, it’s important to be consistent. The idea is to develop a routine for your pet. This way, he will know exactly when it’s time to eat, exercise or go to the bathroom. Puppies need to go out often. As a good rule of thumb is however old the puppy is in months, he or she can hold it for that number of hours plus one. For example, a three-month-old puppy can only hold it for four hours. Therefore, it’s important to be consistent with potty breaks!

2. Use the “potty” cue

The most common method of housebreaking is teaching your dog to go potty outside of the house. Look for pre-potty signs, such as walking in circles or sniffing the floor and take your dog out immediately. The easiest thing to do is pick the puppy up and take him outside. This step is important so that the puppy doesn’t have any accidents on the way. After you place the puppy outside, give your “go potty” verbal cue. When the puppy goes to the bathroom, praise him with a happy voice or treats.

3. Stay calm

Remember, puppies have accidents! Rather than scolding your puppy for making a mistake, try to remain calm and assertive. This will allow you to teach your puppy the “right way,” rather than displaying negativity. If your puppy happens to go to the bathroom inside, simply distract him with a light touch or sound, pick him up and take him outdoors immediately. Punishing your pet can lead to instability and behavioral problems.

4. Crate train

Many pet owners are weary of crate training. However, it’s very natural. In the wild, wolves live in dens. The den is their home where they sleep, raise families and hide from danger. They also do not go to the bathroom in their dens. Similarly, puppies view their crates as their “dens” and do not soil them. During crate training, puppies should be placed inside their crates when their owner cannot watch over them. This could be while the owner is at work or out of the house. An important rule when crate training is to always take the puppy to the bathroom before and after they go in their crate. Also, no food or water is necessary in the crate. A blanket and chew toy will suffice just fine.

5. Exercise often

Loving your dog goes beyond the hugs and kisses. You can show your dog love by giving him plenty of exercise. Puppies especially have a lot of energy. If they don’t get the chance to burn it off, they can demonstrate negative behavior. On average, most dogs need between 30 to 60 minutes of exercise a day. Therefore, a walk around the block won’t cut it! Allow your puppy to exercise both their mental and physical muscles. Hiking, playing Frisbee and long walks are great exercises to do with your new dog.

Lisa Podwirny is the owner of Ketchum Mfg. Connect with her on Google+

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

The Importance of a Regular Grooming Routine

grooming your dog

No body wants to be the owner of a smelly dog or kitty. However, bathing your four-legged friend can be both a time consuming and difficult process. With these reasons, many people overlook the chore of daily grooming. I have noticed it is not until extreme odors pop up do pet owners take the responsibility of bathing their pet. I urge you not to wait. Dog grooming can be fun for both owner and pet. Here are some tips to help make it more enjoyable.

Take a Walk

Never try and groom a dog when it has a lot of energy. There is a good chance your dog does not like bath time. If he has a lot of pent up energy, He will wiggle and wobble and run, and be very hard to handle. Take the dog for a walk before hand, or bring it to the local dog park to run around. A tired pup will be more likely to cooperate.

Keep Treats Nearby

Give your dog treats and praise them while you work. By doing this, you will help create a more positive experience. The more enjoyable the activity, the more likely they will be willing to participate in the future!

Brush Before Bathing

Don’t be tempted to skip this step. While daily brushing is important, brushing before a bath is more important. I like to think that when I am brushing out a dog, I am giving it a nice little massage with the bristles of the brush. Depending on your dog breed, certain brushes work better than others. Experiment with the different variations and see what works best for you and pup. A thorough brush out will remove dust, dirt, and will also loosen tangles. If you come across a mat that just cannot be untangled, cut it out! Wet tangles are mush worse to brush out than dry ones. So get them out now while you can! 

Brushing Guide:

Long Haired Dogs: Brushed Daily
Short Haired Dogs: Brushed Weekly

Splish Splash Time For a Bath

Most dogs should be bathed at least once a month. Depending on activity and dirtiness, more bath time would be appropriate. Cover your grounds ahead of time and make sure you are stacked with towels, escape routes have been blocked out, and your are dressed in either a waterproof apron, or raggedy scrap painting-like clothes. When bathing, be sure to use plenty of warm water. Start from top and work your way to the bottom. Massage the soapsuds into the skin and fur.  Pay attention to the neck region where your dog wears his collar. When the water starts running clear, you are nearing the end. Grab one of those towels and blot your pup down to soak in excess water. You may need a couple towels, but regardless of your attempts it is safe to say that epic water shake down will occur. Be ready for it.

It’s up to you whether or not you want to air dry or blow dry your pups fur. If you do choose to blow dry, make sure it is on the lowest or coolest setting. Grooming your pup is more than just a show and smell. A clean dog is a comfortable dog, and comfortable dogs are happier.

Lisa Podwirny is the owner of Ketchum Mfg. Connect with her on Google+

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Homemade Dog Treats for Valentine’s Day


Giving your canine companion a box of chocolates for Valentine’s Day is simply out of the question. How about spoiling your dog with a tasty and healthy homemade treat? Here are five easy recipes made with all-natural ingredients!

Mini Heart Dog Cakes

Show your pup how much you love him or her by making these delicious mini heart cakes!

The Ingredients:
For the cake:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup butter (or 1/4 cup vegetable oil)
  • 1/4 cup all-natural peanut butter
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons all-natural honey
  • 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk

For the frosting:

  • 8 ounces of low-fat cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray mini heart cake pan with non-stick cooking spray and set it aside.
  3. Mix the flour and baking soda. Add the peanut butter, vanilla, honey, and oil/butter and stir. Add the buttermilk, 1/4 cup at a time. Stir in carrots.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the mini heart cavities, filling each one about three-quarters full.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes, or until cookies turn golden brown.
  6. While the cakes cook, prepare frosting by beating the cream cheese, vanilla and cinnamon together. Once the cakes have cooled completely, frost.

Tip: Drizzle melted peanut butter on top of mini cakes and add shredded carrots for extra sweetness!

Cinnamon Honey Hearts Dog Biscuits

With a touch of honey and cinnamon, this sweet treat has just the right blend of sugar and spice for your favorite doggy!

The Ingredients:

  • 1/4 Cup Water
  • 1/4 Cup pureed Banana
  • 1/2 Cup plain Yogurt
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey
  • 1 Tablespoon Canola Oil
  • 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Cup Oat Flour
  • 1/4 Cup Rice Flour
  • 1 Cup Wheat Flour


  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Mix the cinnamon, oat flour, rice flour, and ½ cup of wheat flour. In a separate bowl combine water, banana, yogurt, honey, and canola oil with an electric mixer. Add the dry ingredients and mix until well blended.
  3. Place on a floured surface and roll to desired thickness. Use cookie cutters to create shapes from the dough.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes, or until cookies turn golden brown.

Tip: Turn off oven and leave biscuits in for a couple hours to make sure they are completely dry and crunchy.

Carob Doggie Delights

These doggie delights are baked and hand decorated, with love, to ensure a beautiful and delicious snack for your Valentine!

The Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 Cups Wheat Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Rolled Oats
  • 1/4 Cup Carob Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon ground Flax Seed (Optional)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey


  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Mix the wheat flour, rolled oats, carob, flax seed, and baking powder. In a separate bowl combine egg, water and honey. Add the dry ingredients and mix until well blended, forming a stiff dough.
  3. Place on a floured surface and roll to desired thickness. Use cookie cutters to create shapes from the dough.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes, or until cookies turn golden brown.

Tip: Make this Valentine’s Day extra special by melting carob chips in the microwave or double boiler and drizzling over treats.

Banana Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits

Bananas are packed full of amino acids, electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals, making for a perfectly healthy Valentine’s Day treat!

The Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1-2 mashed bananas
  • 1/2 cup water


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mash bananas and mix in the whole-wheat flour and peanut butter.
  3. Stir in water until the batter is mixed well. The dough should be dense and a little dry. Add extra water or flour as needed.
  4. Place on a floured surface and roll to desired thickness. Use cookie cutters to create shapes from the dough.
  5. Place onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, about 1 inch apart.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until cookies turn golden brown.

Tip: Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature, or you can freeze extras and defrost them as needed.

Beefy Heart Dog Treats

Your four-legged friend will appreciate the idea of adding a little meat in their cookies!

The Ingredients:

  • Vegetable oil, for cooking
  • 1/2 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 3/4 cup beef stock, tomato juice or water
  • 1/4 cup canola or olive oil, plus extra for cooking
  • 1 large egg


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Add vegetable oil to skillet and cook the beef with garlic over medium heat until no traces of pink remain. Set aside to cool.
  3. Mix together the whole wheat flour and cornmeal. Stir in beef. In a separate bowl, whisk together the beef stock, oil and egg. Add the dry ingredients and mix until well blended.
  4. Place on a floured surface and roll to desired thickness. Use cookie cutters to create shapes from the dough. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until cookies are springy to touch

Tip: Use unsalted or low sodium beef broth for the healthiest treat for your pet.

Lisa Podwirny is the owner of Ketchum Mfg. Connect with her on Google+

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter