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NorthfieldNick

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Posts posted by NorthfieldNick

  1. Melanie, have you considered locking Solo's food in a pad-and-combination locked safe, putting the key in a kong, putting the kong in a pyramid, and then putting the pyramid in the next county? :rolleyes: Apparently, Solo is too smart (nothing new there, eh?). Perhaps he needs a new career in dog toy R & D?

     

    This coming from someone whose dog's method of emptying a kong is to rip it to shreds... Yes, really.

  2. We have a PetSafe door. It works okay, but it doesn't get much use. I have several complaints about it: The flaps are really heavy & if they're not adjusted just right, they get stuck. Not a problem for the younger dogs (they just slam into it), but my sister's ancient BC has trouble pushing it open. The solid plastic cover that fits over the interior to "close" the door falls off all the time. And maybe it was our door, but the door was a pain to install!

  3. I make some part if my income from my sheep flock through breeding stock, wool products, and (most of it) market lamb. What portion of my income comes from sheep depends on how many I have. I cut way down last year- only bred 24 ewes- so it won't be too much, but at one time it was nearly half my annual income. I had sheep before I had a dog, but only a few very people-oriented ewes. Like Julie, I raise some rare breeds (Cotswolds, and I'm seriously thinking about Karakuls), but most of my flock is cross-bred production ewes.

     

    I don't trial, but I'm becoming more & more interested, so may yet try it out one day. I just signed Nick up for some lessons, so we'll see what happens.

     

    I live on a funny little island in NW Washington State.

  4. My Lu, who despite having a zillion food allergies rarely ever gets sick, has the amazing ability to both puke and poop through the bars of her crate. I came home once to find the floor (and phone books... eww) behind her crate splattered in poop, but not a drop was IN the crate.

     

    Now Nick... if anyone remembers, I went through several months of him having explosive diarrhea several times a week. He just poops wherever he is, and usually manages to walk through it. He hasn't exploded (out the back end, at least) since I figured out ANY fish products upset his belly.

  5. I've used a somewhat similar formula, but with raw milk from our dairy cows. The lambs did quite well on it. I had to replace the formula in the bucket often because they were late lambs, it was warm outside, and the milk was no pasteurised. Given that the cows were producing way more milk than I could use, and I dumped the wasted stuff to the pigs, it wasn't a big deal. I lambed early this year, and the red cow apparently enjoys being the size of a whale, so I'm stuck with bought milk replacer.

     

    I think most milk replacer smells like vanilla pudding! It tastes gross, though...

  6. Julie-

     

    We're lucky that we have neighbors & a few friends who will happily milk for us. Our older doe is amazingly picky about who she'll let milk, but we have a short list of folks who she likes. Between my sister & I, though, we usually have no problem taking off for a weekend or so.

     

    We leave the kids on full-time for 2-3 weeks, milking in the morning. Then, we separate the kids at night, milk in the morning, then turn everyone back out together. Kids get weaned totally at 8 weeks (we have a wether who is a great kid-sitter), and we continue to milk just once a day until we dry the does off. It works well, and we're not drowning in milk.

     

    The cow-co-op I'm part of does the same thing, except we have to milk twice a day when the calves are small because our Shorthorns came from a commercial dairy and they PRODUCE!

  7. Hey Diane-

     

    Eifion is due to come over here the weekend of the 20th. I've got 30-odd for him to do. He did nearly 100 sheep on the island last year; I don't know who else has him scheduled. He's so fast! And, um, yes, those arms. I'm such a sucker for nice biceps!

     

    Are you still giving lessons? The tops of Nick's outruns have never been great, they got better, and now it's AWFUL! Slicing, overrunning, diving... gak! We need help!

  8. Okay, I have to put in a GOOD word for goats. We have 4 Nubians, and one Nubian x Saanen cross. They'll stay in ONE strand of hotwire (not that I recommend it- we use it to graze hard-to-mow areas under supervision). We have darn hot fences, and our goats don't challenge them. Our older dairy doe was a bottle baby, but she's not a pest. The rest of our goats were raised on the does, but were handled regularly so they're easy to deal with.

     

    We milk once a day, and let the does raise their kids. Milking DOES tie you down. It takes me less than 40 min to do the whole routine of milking chores, including washing, etc. (Actual milking takes 2 min, literally). I can do the same for two cows in 90 min.

     

    I love our goats. That said, if it's grazing you want, get sheep. Our goats do graze a lot, but they really love the wild rose hedges. If you want to clear your woods out a bit, get meat goats. They're great brush eaters.

  9. No collars, unless we're off the property (not counting my sister & BIL's farm, which is a second home to my dogs, not to mention fenced). Collars are always loose enough to slip off- Lu seems particularly apt to get her collar hung up on stuff outside. I also live on a relatively small island, so if my dogs get loose, they can't go that far.

     

    For non-jingling tags, my dogs' ID tags are from Boomerang Tags. The collar tags slip over the collar, like a riveted tag, but easier to remove or change. The tags aren't as visible on a rough-coated dog, but I'd like to think someone would look at the collar for a tag.

  10. Bill, I don't think we're deficient in iodine... but beets aren't brassicas! I know how you feel about goats (you just haven't met our wonderful, well-behaved flock yet), but our goats cleaned out the gigantic overwintered beets with no troubles. Then again, they also made fast work of a wild rose hedge...

  11. I think I've said this before, and I think Bill told me it must be something local, but we have some trouble if our sheep eat large amounts of beets or chard (they're both Beta vulgaris, just chosen for different things). We have seriously deficient soil, and the beets seem to throw our sheep's systems out of whack. They get generally mopey and listless, but it goes away soon after being taken off the beets. Just wanted to let you know, just in case.

  12. Back in slightly-less-adjusted days, my separation-anxiety riddled Lu got left loose in the house by my BIL (THEIR house, not mine!). Lu managed to open their pantry & empty the lower shelf of all food-stuffs. She didn't eat a thing, but hid bags of nuts, etc all over the house! We found food behind the wood pile, under desks... even found a bag of chocolate (!) under a shelf in their bathroom when they moved two years later! She's better adjusted now, but Lu is still always in a crate when I'm not home.

     

    It must have been the first spring I had Nick, so I'd only been working him for two months or so (he was not quite 3 at this point). We were shearing sheep in the shed, and to exhaust them, I'd just send the sheep past the pen and out an open door. At one point, I'd just tipped a large & grumpy ewe and was flattened by a dozen newly-shorn ewes. After I was through cursing, I looked up to see a very happy brown dog looking at me like, "I found the loose sheep! I brought them back!... Um, oops?"

  13. For all his wonderful work ethic, my Nick dog has a few confidence issues. He's a strong dog, but he had trouble putting pressure on sheep in tough situations- say, when a heavy ewe would turn to face him. I knew the ewe would turn if he pushed, but he didn't. We've done a ton of work, setting him up to succeed, and I've seen Nick's confidence soar. He's even facing down ewes with lambs now.

     

    I'd done some packed pen work with him before, and it was pretty much me walking around inside the pen with me between Nick & the sheep. A few weeks ago, my sheep were having a "let's be as rotten as possible" day and refused to go through the chute they've been through a thousand times before. I sent Nick into the pen, just to walk up behind the sheep to push them a little, and to my surprise, he went all the way around and peeled the sheep right off the fence! After I finally got done drenching the sheep, I decided to see if that was a fluke or not, ans sent Nick in to bring the sheep out of the pen. He did it, but he bit each and every sheep on his way around the pen. Not a hard grip, just a little nip on the hocks.

     

    Is this something I need to worry about? Will it get better as his confidence continues to increase? Or was it actually proper behaviour in a pen tightly packed with 50-odd sheep, most of whom couldn't see the dog coming around them?

     

    I'm so darn proud of this little dog! My old dog was a quitter, he's one of those few collies who is truly happiest being a pet. Nick has no quit, none at all. He just keeps getting better as he matures (he'll be 5 in June). We moved my friend's 60-ewe flock through a narrow trail (two sheep wide or so) in the woods this week- Nick couldn't see me ahead of the ewes, most of the time, I couldn't see him. I knew there were a few grumpy old ewes in the back, but we made it with no troubles at all! Totally made my day :rolleyes:

  14. There may have been some weed in the hay that caused irritation in your sheep's (sheeps'?) mouths. That would explain the blood on the walls. They probably rubbed their faces on the walls trying to get rid of whatever was irritating them, and cut themselves up in the process. I've never seen it with sheep, but I've watched my horses mash their faces into walls when they got into a nasty weed in our pasture.

  15. Nick is also an "if it fits in my mouth, I'm going to EAT IT!" dog. It drives me nuts! He eats dust bunnies, and then gaks all over trying to get the fuzz out of his throat.

     

    After some observation, Nick's eat-everything phases seem to occur when he hasn't had enough exercise for a period of time. I was fairly sick last week, and the dogs were pretty sedentary as a result, and Nick was back to eating everything. A good hike & a some stockwork on Sunday, and he's quit.

     

    Just an idea, in case Shiner's eating is episodic. Good luck! We had a dog with a blockage as a kid- it was not fun.

  16. My perspective, from a mid-20's, BS from a darn good school, living on my own, two dogs, and a ton of livestock.

     

    Wait on the puppy.

     

    If you don't want to go to college right now, don't. I wish I hadn't. I was NOT ready. Now, at 27, after having lived on my own for a number of years, supported myself, I am ready to go back. I know what I want to do with my life, or at least what I want to do with it right now. I pretty much have to start all over. I'll end up with two BS degrees, because I was so out of sorts the first time around that my transcript is terrible & won't get me anywhere.

     

    Before I can get on with things, I have to figure out what to do with: 2 horses, 70-odd sheep, a flock of chickens & ducks, all the requisite livestock equpiment. And then I have these two dogs. Talk about making housing diffcult!

     

    Waiting sucks. It really does. But I guarantee that, in the next few years, you will change more than you ever thought possible.

     

    Enjoy the dogs you have now. Get out there & live life like you think you want you. You'll learn a lot, I promise. It won't be long before you settle down into yourself. That's a good time to get a puppy.

  17. My dogs eat the whole-grain (not pellets) chicken feed all the time. It comes out looking just like it went in... They also eat chicken turds like they're a rare delicacy. We've never had any problems.

     

    I do, however, wish that they'd generalise "Don't eat chicken poop!" to ALL the chicken turds, not just the one currently in front of their faces.

  18. LGDs, or a .22. Groundhog tastes like gamey turkey.

     

    I know this because we had a serious groundhog problem in Maine when I lived there. I kept threatening to cook one for dinner if we ever got one before the dogs did. One day, I was presented with a GH that the farm owner's son had shot. So I skinned, gutted, and cooked it. Groundhog stew is pretty good!

  19. Back from the vet.

     

    Lu has shiny teeth, although the vet said they weren't bad to start with. I went ahead and had them cleaned & checked just to be sure.

     

    They took another sterile urine sample for culture. Poor Lu had to get stuck three times today.

     

    Lu is on antibiotics again, and we'll change them if need be when the culture/sensitivity report comes back. If that doesn't show anything, then I'll take her back in for a contrast x-ray.

     

    Lu had blood work done the last time we were there, and back in November. All normal.

     

    Thanks for the thoughts & suggestions, everyone!

  20. I've been doing some reading this morning & have a few things to discuss with the vet.

     

    Diane, I went & looked up my records, and Lu is due for a dental exam. This practice has done a ton of dental work on my sister's ancient BC, so I'll ask them to check Lu out tomorrow. My sister's dog is also on the DES, although it's not working so well anymore (The Stinky Old Dog is at least 15...)

     

    This last course of antibiotics was 3 weeks.

     

    Gak! This dog is going to send me to the poor house! She's lucky she's cute :rolleyes:

  21. Lu, my 8-ish yr old GSD mutt, has a recurring UTI. It started in October, and she's seen the vet once a month for it since then. The vet did a sterile culture, checked for stones & crystals- there were none. The culture showed that the infection was responsive to the antibiotic (Zenaquin). Lu is allergic to penicillin & pen-class drugs, so treatment with those are out. I've had her on cranberry pills for the past month or so, as well.

     

    The infection seems to clear up on the antibiotics, but it reappears 4-5 days after the last dose. I can tell it's back by the blood in her urine.

     

    She is on Proin for older-spayed-female incontinence. She WAS incontinent before the infection, and that has gone away. This is a dog who asks to go out to vomit, so I know something was up- she HATES to pee, etc in the house.

     

    Lu seems to be fine otherwise. After the last round of antibiotics, she has had more energy and has been more willing to run around with Nick. She's back to being her usual pushy, snarky, grumbly self (no, she's not exactly a model citizen).

     

    I have been having a little trouble with her weight. Normally, I have to watch Lu because she gets pudgy easily. Lately, I've had to increase her food to keep her at a good weight. She's lean, but in shape and toned.

     

    We're headed back to the vet on Friday. Same practice, but we're seeing a different vet. I'm going to talk to her about other approaches, and if I'm not satisfied, I'm going to get a second opinion. I love the practice I use, but this is driving me nuts!

     

    Any ideas? Could this be food related? Lu is the world's most allergy-ridden dog (or at least in the top 10). She's been eating about half CA Natural Chicken & Rice and half raw for about a year with seemingly no trouble. She is allergic (as in, actually vet-tested allergic) to: beef, pork, soy, eggs, dairy, potato which cuts out a lot of kibble brands.

     

    Any suggestions anyone can offer would be appreciated.

     

    Thanks!

  22. Before I had my truck, I hauled sheep in the back of a minivan. I had one ewe who tried to climb in the front seat many times. She spent the entire ferry ride here with her face squashed against a window hollering at passersby. The looks people got when the very large "dog" in the van "baaaaaa-d" at them were hilarious!

     

    When I was in high school, my best friend & I used to ride our horses to a local ice cream shop. We once rode through the drive through at McDonalds. The woman in the window thought it was the funniest thing she'd ever seen, especially when my friend's enourmous palomino QH stole her hamburger! (He also had a thing for ham sandwiches. He's a wierd horse.)

  23. I'll second Julie's plug for the ALBC. I, too, raise rare-breed sheep (Cotswolds), and I love my heritage-breed chickens.

     

    The preservation of many rare breeds needs better planning, I think. Like many commercial show sheep, I'm watching the Cotswold breed turn into a useless sheep because of show "standards" and the desire to win. A breeder in the registry I use who shows heavily pumps so much feed into their sheep that they had a TWENTY-ONE pound ram lamb last year. They were SO excited about his size, until he developed terrible joint problems from being so large. Who wants a sheep that needs a ton of grain to manage? Especially a heritage breed! My theory is that some people start showing (or get hooked on showing) rare breeds because the classes are often smaller, and the winning is easier.

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