Monday, March 9, 2009


I'm so excited!
I mentioned in my dog days of summer post that I really wanted a male dog. Chris and I have gone back and forth about a dog vs. a puppy. I've been scouring kijiji looking for both. We've missed 2 dogs by hours, and I'd sent off an e-mail to an ad about 6 puppies a few days ago, but hadn't heard anything so I afraid they were already gone...
but tonight I got an e-mail back from the owner. The puppies won't be ready to go until the end of April. she's excited that we'll be taking one to an acreage, she told me I could come out next week and take a look, have a cuddle and have my pick out of the litter.
I'm so excited!!!!

some excellent websites

so I was cruising around looking at sheep and Chicken stuff and found a few interesting and informative stuff.
I found Miller Hatcheries a hatchery with 2 Alberta locations
This was the first time I heard about beak trimming on Chickens.
I guess it...

It stops cannibalism, saving lives and annoyance
It stops fighting - the birds is literally disarmed
It stops feather pulling - preserving a good grade of bird
It stops feed wastage - birds can't pick so they receive a balanced diet
It stops egg loss - a major plus for the egg producer
It stops the nuisance problem of toe picking.
Beak trimmed birds tend to be quieter - fear of other birds is eliminated

I also checked out UFA the farm supply store, and found out they carry all the fencing supplies I think we might need for sheep. As well as the feed, and waterers and fed for chickens. They also had a link for miller hatcheries- which has got to be a good thing.

Another website I thought was a good resource for sheep was sheep 201 ~ a beginners guide to raising sheep
which has a ton of links to explain sheep fencing, handling, different breeds and more resources than I can even fathom right now.
and the website which is affiliated with sheep 201.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

More research

Although we've been running around like crazy lately, I did manage to find a pretty cool website/resource about chicken off a link from kijiji
Murray McMurray Hatchery
will actually ship out day old chicks (although they are in the states- so I may have to look for a closer to home source)
but they also have a great resource section with all these cool books- there is even a book on how to build your own chicken plucking machine.
Although I'm thinking baby steps right now this is the book that most interested me...

I like the fact that it sounds like it will be about farming on a small scale. Most of the books I've seen expect that your going to start out with entire herds of cattle or hundreds of chickens....

so the fact that its backyard- makes me think it will be talking smaller scale animal care.

I managed to reserve this (although I'm on a wait list) and about 12 other books from the library last night on line. I'm hoping to get some reading done about, animal fencing and needs before we get out there, since the idea of getting sheep to keep the grass under control this summer keeps coming up in our household. The problem is I know less about sheep than I do about chickens!?!?


Chris has been off for 4 whole days and you would think that I'd have had more time to actually do some blogging or something....but we've been running around like crazy trying to get all the mortgage stuff lined up- blah- that's been a nightmare. And we we're back out on the property Thursday afternoon for the house inspection- that went well. Although they think the hot water tank is on it's last breath, and the back deck is "under built"

I think we're going to have a hard time convincing Nathan that the house doesn't come with all its current animals

this is what he spent his entire time doing during the inspection...

The little girl who current lives there, has had this cat since it was a kitten and has always put it in the doll stroller. So the cat loves this, and would sit waiting for another ride whenever Nathan stopped pushing.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

waitin' on the DOG days of summer

Other than a bunch of organizing (I'm desperately trying to get all our "excess" stuff into the garbage to to the thrift store before we get out there) I didn't do a whole lot of Acreage-y things today. Being Sunday all the people (home inspector, lawyer etc) are closed.

The only Acreage relate conversation I really had was with my Dad, about dog or dogs.

I'm convinced that a Male dog will be a little more territorial, and more aggressive to strangers, so to feel safer I'd like to add a male dog to our family.
I've been told the younger you get them, the more likely they are to be territorial, and protective of the family.

I'm a little concerned about training another dog.

So far we have raised a total sucky, and I'll be anyones friend if they pet me dog.
She's gentle and sweet but I really don't see her being any "protection" or even intimidating for that matter.

I'm concerned about raising a second dog to be the same way.

Basically I would like a dog that will hang out around the house and be racing to meet any cars that come in the driveway while barking and carrying on, so people will think twice about getting out of their cars.
But I need to be able to call them off immediately
and ... I've met other Farm dogs that will stop such behavior as long as the person cruising in calls the dog by name...which would be excellent if I'm not there when someone we do know shows up!!!

~Any suggestions on how to get such behaviors out of a new dog?

My other concern is for Maggie (our dog already) as well as a new dog...I'm really not sure how to convince any dog to stay just on our land? I've noticed Dogs don't get a fence concept- if they can get through it, it's a minor inconvenience but not really a there is another doggy concern

If anyone has any ideas of how to train (or re-train in maggies case) a farm dog, to do these types of things I'd be grateful for advice?!!?