Monday, May 22, 2017

How I Keep Up with My Active Dogs - Exercise

I previously wrote about how I use food to fuel me to help succeed and keep up with my active dogs. Exercise also helps me to keep up with my dogs, and make the most out of my days. It, like food, contributes to my overall health.

Like everyone else, I am busy. I work, have dogs, cats, chickens, and acreage. I have family and friends. But I choose to take care of myself, and make time to exercise.

I don't workout for hours on end. I don't take time away from my pets or other responsibilities for it. But I make time for it. I workout anywhere from 3 to 6 days per week, for 30 minutes to an hour at a time.

I spend very little time on the treadmill, elliptical, or other cardio machines...but I do lift a lot of weights.

Friday, May 19, 2017

American Journey Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil #ChewyInfluencer

There are not many supplements I offer my dogs, but fish oil, especially wild salmon oil, is one that I have no qualms about giving.

Some question why dogs, particularly those fed a raw diet, need a salmon oil supplement. I supplement with salmon oil for a few reasons:

  • It has natural anti-inflammatory properties.
  • It's good for their skin and coat.
  • To offset the high levels of Omega 6 fatty acids that are present in non organic/non grassfed meat.
The nice folks at sent my crew some American Journey Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil to try out.

I tend to offer Neeko more salmon oil than the boys, because of her joints. She was more than willing to try this out.

It has the distinctive salmon oil smell. Never use salmon oil that smells rancid, and salmon oil should be stored in a cool, dry location. It is wise not to purchase more than you can use in a 6 week time period.

This comes in a convenient squeeze bottle with a drip-free cap, to save the mess!

The first time I gave it to her, I offered it over a dinner of turkey hearts, she had no problem taking it.

My one qualm is with the dosing. I followed the label initially, without looking at the amount of DHA + EPA. According to the label, Neeko needs approximately 10 tsp per day, which is 50 ml. Fortunately, I have a handy little liquid measuring cup.

I then read the label more closely. Each tsp contains 855 mg EPA+DHA. The commonly suggested maintenance dose for raw fed dogs is 100 mg EPA+DHA per 10 lbs of body weight per day. The therapeutic dose is 300 mg EPA+DHA per 10 lbs of body weight per day. So Neeko needs approximately 900-1000 mg of EPA+DHA per day, which is nearly accomplished in just one tsp. So this bottle will last her nearly two months, which I consider a bargain.

A word of caution regarding salmon oil for dogs (and people) - It is an inflammatory process that causes both clotting and wound healing. So dogs (and people) on high doses of salmon oil can experience delayed wound healing and delayed clotting times. 

Overall, I am pleased with this product. I know the benefits of supplementing with salmon oil, and I am happy to offer my girl a product that is sourced and produced in the USA from wild caught salmon.

I was provided with complimentary product. All opinions are my own. 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Cooking With My Dogs' Food - Turkey Heart Stroganoff Recipe

Organ meats were once a stable of many people's diets. They have fallen out of favor for a variety of reasons, likely mostly due to our squeamish associated with eating something identifiable.

There are many and well-documented reasons to eat organ meat. I am not at all opposed to it; I actually enjoy eating liver on occasion.

Organ meats are typically much less pricey than other cuts of meat, because they are less desirable. I pay 70 cents per pound for turkey hearts. 

One organ meat that I had never had until recently was heart. I decided to change that. 

The turkey hearts I purchase for my dogs are actually processed and intended for human consumption. They come in 30 lb cases which I thaw and portion out. While portioning out the most recent case I received, I put aside some turkey hearts for my own use.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Black & White Sunday

I love this "little" dog. He is always up for an adventure, and so much fun. He is lighthearted, goofy, sweet as pie, and so very brave.

I don't even know when it started, but I call him "Doodle." He responds to it, as well as his name. It's cute, much like him. A dear friend of mine thinks it's hilarious that I call him "Doodle." What's funny is that this same friend refers to him as "Peanut."

Faolan, Doodle, Peanut. Whatever you call him, he's my sweet little boy.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

On an Easter Egg Hunt

I currently have two hens that are laying. I have some Buff Orpington teenagers who should start laying any day now.

Esther and Polly. Esther is the boss of everyone.
Esther and Polly are both considered Easter Eggers. Easter Eggers are not a breed of chicken, but a "mutt" chicken which carries the gene to lay blue, green or pink colored eggs. Both of these girls lay beautiful baby blue eggs.

I have nest boxes. Three of them, in fact, which should be plenty. Until recently, there was no issue with laying eggs in the nest boxes. These girls both give me about 4 eggs a week. Esther lays a slightly larger egg than Polly.

Those are fake eggs in the nest boxes, to remind them of where they are supposed to lay. 
I recently went several days in a row without a single egg. I had various thoughts. Maybe they were going to start molting soon was my first thought.

Finally, I began to look for the eggs. I went on an Easter Egg hunt.

I have a large chicken coop. It is in one of my barn bays. It probably measures 12x6, and is quite tall counting the eaves and ventilation areas.

I did a thorough inspection of the coop, hunting for Easter Eggs.

I found them, and they weren't in a nest box...

This cell phone photo doesn't do the color of the eggs justice.

These ladies had made themselves a nest, decorated with guinea feathers, at the back of the coop, behind the roosts.

It then dawned on me why they weren't laying in the nest boxes...

Because babies!

I have some young girls (5-6 weeks old) who only recently moved into the coop. I put new baby additions in a dog crate in the coop for the first couple of weeks. I do this to "coop train" them, and to allow the bigger girls to get used to their presence. This time around, I apparently placed the babies too close to the nest boxes, which is why Esther and Polly took it upon themselves to make their own nest.

I have had the crate door open the last few days. Last night when I did the final check on the chickens, all of the babies were up on the roosts with the big girls, so the crate will be coming out today or tomorrow.

Hopefully Esther and Polly (and soon the Buff Orpington gals) resume laying in the nest boxes. Hopefully this will end my Easter Egg Hunts.

Monday, May 8, 2017

After the Rain

If you follow us on social media, you know that central Indiana has basically been through a monsoon. It rained for 9 days in a row. Mostly all day rains, with some heavy storms.

I was going crazy. My yard was soaked, with grass and weeds growing lush. Too soft with too much mud for me to cut. The dogs were going crazy. Too much mud to let them out in the big yard, too much rain for walks.

This weekend, we got a break.

It was 60 degrees and sunny both days. Mud be damned, I let the dogs out into the big yard.

After spending Saturday completing some much needed barn chores, I took Faolan for a nice long walk on our property Sunday.

I let him lead the way, and he led me to the creek immediately.

After all the rain, it was too deep for me to cross in my Bogs, and too cold to cross otherwise. But he had no problem going in.

After the rain, the water is brown and fast. There was still mud everywhere. But everything is green and lush, with wildflowers and beautiful weeds everywhere.

The sunshine was much needed, long overdue. The rain was cleansing, but the sun was freeing.

I could have spent Sunday doing some needed chores - cutting a ton of grass, weeding, weed eating. Instead I choose to spend my beautiful day off with my beautiful dogs.

I have no regrets. The grass could wait.