Consumer Qs

When is state’s next auction of rehabilitated horses?

Consumer Q’s is prepared by the Georgia Department of Agriculture, Gary W. Black, Commissioner.

Q: When is your next auction of rehabilitated horses?

A: The Georgia Department of Agriculture’s next auction will be held Nov. 16 at the Mansfield Impound Barn, 2834 Marben Farm Road, Mansfield, GA 30055.

The horses may be inspected at the facility beginning at 10 a.m., and the sale will start at approximately 11 a.m. The sale catalog with photographs and descriptions are on the department’s website at If you have any questions, contact the department’s Equine Health Office at 404-656-3713. Office hours are Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The auction is pursuant to Section 4-13-7 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (Humane Care for Equines Act).

Horses currently planned to be auctioned are: Hope, an eight-month-old palomino filly; Jack, a nine-year-old red dun Quarter Horse gelding; Hatchett, a five-year-old black-&-white mare; Judge, a 15-year-old blue roan gelding; Creek, a 5-year-old bay mare; Gilly, a 10-year-old buckskin gelding; Cody, a 12-year-old dark bay Thoroughbred gelding, tattooed; Pistol, a six-year-old gray Arabian gelding; Zack, a nine-year-old bay gelding and Moses, a 22-year-old sorrel gelding. * * *

Q: There are a lot of turtles in my farm pond, but not many fish. Are the turtles eating them? What can I do?

A: The wildlife experts we consulted with said that turtles in your pond are not responsible for your lack of fish. Actually, turtles do not seriously affect fish populations. Studies indicate that the diets of most water turtles contain less than five percent fish. These studies further show that most of the fish eaten are dead at the time water turtles find them.

You may need to take steps to enhance your pond’s conditions for fish. Consult a pond expert to help you determine how to move forward to get more and larger fish in your pond. For example, you may need to provide more cover for the small fish or suitable places for the fish to lay eggs or perhaps you need to improve the water quality. Your county Cooperative Extension office may be able to help. 

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Q: How long does it take to bake a pumpkin? What is the best way to bake one? Can you cook it in a microwave oven?

A: Pumpkins are easy to cook, and fresh pumpkin is better and more versatile than canned. Here are two methods, but there are many variations:

Select a pie or sugar pumpkin, not a giant pumpkin bred for carving or ornamental purposes. Wash the pumpkin with water and a vegetable brush to remove any dirt from the outside. Cut the pumpkin in half and remove the seeds and any filaments attached to them. Place the halved pumpkin, cut sides down, in a pan. If you don’t have a big enough pan, cut the pumpkin into fourths. Add water to the pan to cover about ¼ inch of the pumpkin. Place it in a 350° oven for one hour or until tender. The exact time will vary depending on the size and thickness of the pumpkin. Let the pumpkin cool, then scrape out the soft flesh with a spoon and discard the rind.

To cook it in a microwave oven, follow the same initial procedures but cut the pumpkin into smaller pieces. Place the pieces in a glass bowl and cover with microwave-safe plastic wrap. Cook on high until tender, about 15 minutes. Move the pieces around twice during cooking. Cool, then scrape out the soft flesh with a spoon and discard the rind.

You can substitute butternut squash for pumpkin in recipes. Because they are smaller, they are easier for some cooks to handle. You cook them the same way.

Look for Georgia Grown pumpkins and winter squash at farmers markets or when you visit farms in the fall. 

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(If you have questions about services or products regulated by the Georgia Department of Agriculture, write Arty Schronce ( or visit the department’s website at

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