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Everything posted by OurBoys

  1. It's been a while since we've taken the dogs for a walk/hike but they've never been allowed to scavenge for a number of reasons....I don't trust most strangers, I don't trust my dogs to not pester somebody if they think they have food (not everybody likes dogs plus I don't expect people who do to put up with it), I'm not going to take the chance of them getting something that might not agree with them and I don't want my dogs thinking a walk/hike is for foraging. Liz gave you a couple of great commands that really do come in handy. Also, there are some evil people out there. http://www.pisgahareasorbs.org/2014/03/probe-under-way-in-asheville-area-pet-poisoningin-bent-creek/
  2. Well, I'm just a stay-at-home housewife who dabbles in the stock market so genetics aren't my field either. In fact, I find it very confusing so if anybody with more knowledge wants to give their opinion, I'm open.
  3. Actually, he didn't say double merles are sterile. He said "......deafness is often associated with the merle (dapple) gene, which produces a mingled or patchwork combination of dark and light areas. This gene (M) is dominant so that affected dogs (MM) show the pigmentation pattern, which is desirable in many breeds. However, when two dogs heterozygous with merle are bred, 25% will end up with the MM genotype (i.e., Table 1). These dogs usually (emphasis mine) have a solid white coat and blue irises, and often deaf and/or blind, and are sterile." The fact the Westminster Rough Collie has a pigmentation pattern (though not much) and not a solid white coat tells me he's Mm and not MM which could explain why he's not sterile. And even if he was MM, the writer of the article states there's a 25% chance-not a 100%.
  4. Tommy Coyote, the color of the dog's fur doesn't dictate whether the dog is deaf or not. It's the pigmentation of the dog's skin inside the dog's ear that determines if a dog is deaf or not. Naturally, the more white fur a dog has, the less pigmentation in its skin it has. But, with that said, even solid white dogs have some pigmentation (black nose) which is why they can still hear. Here's a link that explains it better than I can. http://www.lsu.edu/deafness/genetics.htm The link also confirms Liz's post in regards to puppy's ear canals being closed for weeks after it's born.
  5. OurBoys


    I am so sorry for your loss, Kristine.
  6. ^^ this. We got our dogs 2 yrs. apart. It wasn't planned. It just worked out that way. And it's worked out great for us. When we adopted JJ in '04 we were told he was 2 yrs. old. For the first 2 yrs. he was an only dog. It gave us a lot of one on one time with him. We took him to obedience classes, hiking, played ball and Frisbee and took him with us every chance we got. In '06 my DH & I moved my mom in with us after her double mastectomy. I would even take him with us 2-3 times a week when I took my mom in for her radiation treatments. It gave us a chance to really bond closely. After my mom finished her treatments I felt like I suddenly had my brakes put on. I went from waking up every morning thinking "Where am I going today?" to "Wait, I don't have to go anywhere" so I started thinking about getting another dog. Besides, with everything we were doing with JJ, the one thing we couldn't do was play with him like another dog could so we adopted Jake. Him and JJ became instant buddies. JJ loves "road trips". Jake, not so much, but doG forbid if he gets left behind. Even to this day when we take the dogs somewhere Jake will sometimes look at JJ to see if a person or the path we're walking is ok. If JJ's happy, Jake's happy. JJ really helps Jake settle in quickly. Spacing the dogs and their ages apart also helps with the vet bills. Jake goes for his annual checkup in August, JJ goes in Sept and Josie goes in Oct. JJ is 11 now and Jake is 8 so they get a wellness checkup vs. a regular checkup where they check their liver, kidneys and thyroid. It would be nice if their checkups were spaced 2 mos. apart vs. one right after another but it's still better than taking both or all 3 in at the same time. Also, you never know what the future holds but I'm hoping I have at least a couple of years between each dog leaving us. It would be extremely hard on us if any of them leave us close together.
  7. Congrats, Kris! I love it you're that much closer to living your dream. Keep us updated!
  8. That's true. Unfortunately, there are a number of owners who think their overweight dog(s) is/are at an ideal weight. I think sometimes when I take one of mine to the vet the vet has seen their quota of overweight dogs for that day because they make comments like "(fill in the blank) is at a great weight!" or "(fill in the blank) has great muscle tone!" jb, a dog can gain weight even if you don't feed them a lot of fat. JJ was our first Border Collie. I loved have such a smart dog. We took him to basic, intermediate and advance obedience classes. We did our "homework" almost every night. He definitely got his share of treats. Weight gain sneaks up on you. DH & I kept telling ourselves JJ's weight gain was muscle because we also played Frisbee and ball with him a lot and took him on hikes. His foster mom finally set me straight. I put JJ on a diet. He lost his extra weight and maybe it's overkill but I check to make sure I can feel his ribs every day when I pet him.
  9. In my mind I visualized 3000+ chickens in a 1/2 acre area until I read toney's post. Now, every time I read free range from a commercial standpoint, an image of a lot of chickens in a barn pops to mind. I can't help but believe there's really not much difference in commercialized "free range" and confinement. The fact the FDA wants to treat them as the same also gives me that impression. Too often, we (the general we) treat the symptoms without address the cause. Sometimes man is his own worst enemy.
  10. I agree. JJ is 22" and his ideal weight is 52 lbs. Once you work your fingers through his double undercoat you can feel his ribs. Structure makes a difference too. Jake is 21" and his ideal weight is 42" but he has a long body. Josie's ideal weight is 35 lbs even though she is only 19". She has the barrel chest of an Aussie but has a nice tucked waist of a Border Collie. I can feel the ribs of both of them.
  11. That's horrible, Julie. Like you, I wouldn't shoot a hawk but you reminded me of a conversation Les and I had one time. For years he would tell me we needed a shotgun. I would always ask him why. He would say for protection. I would then tell him I didn't need a shotgun for protection, I had a .38. One day when we were talking about chickens, he told me we needed a rifle. When I asked him why, he said "If a coyote or fox is trying to get to the chickens you want to be able to shoot the varmint without blowing a hole in the chicken coop or fence". I couldn't argue with that. I think they are pretty bad around here now too. One night I was on the back deck washing down a rug. It's not unusual to hear a cow every once in a while but that night a number of them sounded like they were in distress. After they finally quieted down I heard the strangest animal noise. The next time I drove past the cattle ranch they had a couple of donkeys in with them. Lynn, thanks for posting that link. It was interesting.....and scary.
  12. Julie, you don't have a problem with hawks? I also read UV light kills Salmonella (tho I couldn't understand how much and how long it takes). http://www.mnwelldir.org/docs/uv_light/uv_light2.htm
  13. Well, after reading that article I can see wild birds being a problem. With that said, I'm glad I'm not going to be a large commercial producer. You also gave me another reason to use bird netting other than keeping the hawks from taking any chickens.
  14. I appreciate the fact they included movable or stationary housing but when it comes to wild birds they say "4. How can I prevent wild birds from entering an outdoor access area? There are several options to prevent wild birds from entering an outdoor access area. For example, the entire outdoor access area can be covered with solid roofing or with netting, such as that used to protect farmed game birds or berry crops. If you choose to use this option, the covering should extend to and connect with the top of any fencing structure. There should not be any gaps between the netting and/or roofing and the fencing, and care should be taken to prevent wild birds from roosting on any pole or structure supporting the netting. Other options that might prevent wild birds from entering the outdoor access area include temporarily confining layers during periods of wild fowl migration, limiting layers’ access to the outdoors to hours when wild birds are not likely to be present, usage of noise cannons to scare wild birds away and maintaining attractions such as feed and water in areas where they do not attract wild birds. In addition, Section III.A.1 of the December 2011 Guidance identifies a number of measures that can help keep wild birds away from the areas where laying hens reside, including layout and placement of the poultry house; preventing amassing of spilled feed; and proper disposal of trash and manure. The presence of wild birds in an outdoor access area indicates that this route of exposure of the flock to SE is not adequately controlled. Therefore, FDA recommends that the presence of wild birds within the outdoor access area prompt implementation of further facility-specific biosecurity measures, such as those described above, in addition to any measures of this type that your farm already has in place." That's a lot of netting. And noise cannons? Won't that scare the chickens as well? Yeah, you're right.
  15. Ok, wait a minute. I stepped away from my computer for a few moments and thought about this. Wouldn't the FDA regulations force companies to treat their chickens like this?
  16. I can easily visualize the chicken frenzy that would ensue if a chicken found a mouse trying to cross the field they were in. And I'm glad they set the limit at 3000 chickens and over but I can't help but wonder if the regulations will put some chicken farmers out of business. I know they would no longer be considered organic but if free range chickens were fed a medicated scratch, would that help keep down either Salmonella's?
  17. No, that I believe. Can Salmonella enterica be detected in a blood test? But it looks like they didn't distinguish between free range and caged chickens fed who-knows-what. I think my biggest mental block is believing free range chickens are healthier than caged chicken and healthier chickens are going to produce healthier eggs.
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