Shelley-I bought her at 9 weeks old she snapped.at my older dog within moments of arrival.apparently Shelley bossed her mum around. O'Toole Shelley to puppy socialization classes they were extremely worried about Shelley's temperament I was getting very attached to eyelet and ignored advice to take her back to breeder. Shelley obeyed me ... 101%but did grumble at other family members she guarded my shopping my purse and my slippers and she would have bitten had anyone else touched them although I had no problems removing them from her Shelley was 100% with children as long as they weren't in garden or home she was same with other dogs. Shelley was that obediant she once got out the door when in season I said sit which to the disappointed.male dog she obeyed I wouldn't trust a solid near young children under ten but dogs shouldn't be left with young children respect must be on all sides Shelley was our to sleep agex and half with out her and I'm now looking for another solidcolour spanniel.an example; Shelley was once laid on a family members lap enjoyingtummy stroked without warning she leapt towards persons face I heard Shelley growlSpanniels are lovable pets but can be dominant. Their.cute looks make people give in to them luckily I knew what I was dealing and handled every situation. Shelley was good loyal per to me but I often wonder what wolimiuld have happened to that puppy had she gone to owners with limited knowledge. I will always miss Shelley
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Buying chicks/chickens. If you are thinking about buying yourself some chickens the first thing you need to decide is whether you are buying chicks or chickens, there are pro's and con's of buying either first which will be stated further in the review. There are 2 main places that I know where to buy both chicks and ... chickens, if you live in the North East Lincolnshire area there is Lindsay Concrete which is located Wilton Road Humberston, Grimsby, DN36 4AW. Telephone: 01472 210 001. The chickens here can range between £15 - £40. There as far as I am aware they sell full or almost full sized chickens, the place where me and my family bought ours was at Briggs animal market. This is an auction which is early morning until mid day on a Thursday every week. Here you will have all kinds of birds for sale including lots of chickens, cockerels, ducks, bunny rabbits and lots more. Here you buy lots of chicks, you'll look around the lots first then bid afterwards, you can buy lots of 10 chicks sometimes which will be mixed breed or a specific breed, if they're specific breeds you'll usually have less in a box but they are more expensive, these chicks and chickens can go for any money such as 50p for 10 chicks or £15 for 1 chicken.
Pro's/Con's of starting off with Chickens.
There are a few advantages to started off with full sized or almost full sized chickens and this is they will be ready soon or are already laying eggs which is the reason why you get an average person owning chickens these days. Another advantage is you can identify the breed easily and you know that these are all female chickens and you haven't got cockerels lurking around without even knowing it. However there are disadvantages, if you buy adult chickens they won't be tame, this means they'll be scared of you if you go close most of the time of course they'll settle in eventually but they don't seem to be as friendly, also they might not like their surroundings.
Pro's/Con's of starting off with Chicks
The advantages of starting off with Chicks are that they are a lot cheaper as you can pick these up for pence rather than pounds. Also you can tame these very easily because they're so young, it's just like training a puppy. However there are a lot of disadvantages and they are that you have to feed these for months without them producing anything so they are like expensive pets. Also these are tiny and can escape through normal sized chicken wire, so if you've built your coop with this, they will keep escaping as I know this from experience.
Sexing your Chicks.
When you buy a set of chicks whether it's from an auction or a farmer or anywhere really I can guarantee you'll have a few cockerels in your set which you need to sort out and send back because these will only keep fertilizing the chicken's eggs. Sometimes you'll be able to sort these out really early on, if you pick up a chick and lift up its wing, if it is a cockerel it will have a smaller row of secondary feathers under its wing where as chickens only have the one layer of wing feathers.
Breeds of chickens.
Like a lot of animals you will have mixed breeds and pedigree type chickens and show bird chickens. You can find all the standardised chicken breeds on this website http://poultrykeeper.com/chicken-breeds.html This will help you to identify what breed of chickens and chicks you have, so if you ever do sell these on it would be helpful to know what they are. This was really helpful to identify our birds, I know for sure we have some half breeds too such as half silkie birds and used to have a full silkie chicken.
Spot the cockrel
As your pets are now growing up you'll notice that you've missed a few cockerels, these look and act exactly the same until they are older so it is impossible to know as they're growing up. There are several signs that will show you have a cockerel.
1)If you see your "chickens" squaring up to each other trying to make themselves look bigger by sticking out their chests and feathers trying to look bigger.
2)These will start making weird noises, it will start to sound like a choking noise at first but will then start to take shape into a cock-adoodle-doo.
We have had so far around about 8 cockerels and we waited until all the chickens had grown up a bit before doing anything about it, what we did is we went them back to the animal market to be auctioned off again, if yours do end up being cockerels these will make their noise all day and especially all night, this woke me up at all kinds of the morning. So of course you have to be considerate of your neighboughs because it will also be waking them up.
Housing your new pets.
Of course you want your new chickens to have a such freedom as you can give them and plenty of space to move around. You can buy chickens coops ready made up, you can buy different styles if you type it into google images lots of quite cool designs will come up. We decided we wanted a lot of pet chickens so my dad being a handy person decided to build one. He built basically a shed with an A-pex roof also we put in 2 big windows to let in enough light for them. We then have the basic human door, with a cut out bit at the bottom big enough for a large chicken to get in and out, this does has a flat propped up open so at night we can shut them in saftly. Inside their house you need to give them egg laying boxes they will only sit on these when hatching an egg, on the side of the house my dad created a sticking out bit with two lids, this allows us to lift these up and get the eggs without having to go inside the hut. Inside your going to want to give them a few things to perch on, we had an old shelving unit we put in there and they love it also you'll want to place straw or some type of similar bedding. The birds do huddle together when they sleep but it will just make them more comfortable.
Next we have the run, you can buy these with the coops anyway but again we made out own, making the frame out of sturdy wood we bought the average chicken wire with the big holes (of course we started off with small chicks so they kept running through it) so if you do start off with chicks make sure you get the small holed chicken wire. Our run is the same size as a shed but turned around so the whole thing is an L shape. In here we put down Bark for the summer, but once winter came we've had to play slabs over the top because it got all mushy with the rain and their mess but we'll be back to bark in the summer. In the run we have several large tree trunks with los of places they can stand on it, and in the corners we have bits of wood so they can perch.
Cleaning out the chickens.
Like all pets these are very messy, we fully clean out our chickens once a week and thats by purring them in the run and hosing down the coop and putting fresh bedding down we also put fresh bedding down mid week) we then just swill the run down as well but every couple of months you'll want to change the bark or whatever you have down in the run because it will be messy and smelly and your pets deserve the best clean bedding and flooring all the time.
Problem with foxes?
You will undoubtedly attract more foxes than usual so it is a must that you either have the coop it self off the floor and securely locked all around or that if it is on the floor the foundations are deep, our coop has thick concrete slabs on their side underneath and around the coop, so if foxes do try and dig, they're only going to get to the concrete, again in the run the bark is laid on concrete so again they will only dig to there because they can't get through. There isn't really anything you can do to keep them away but we like to put our leftover food outside so the foxes eat that and so far it's worked for them not to sit outside our coop.
Feeding your chickens.
Of course chickens love things like corn this does include sweet corn and other vegetables with you can try them on. But you can buy the large 1K sacks of food pellets which is what everyone I know uses this is around £10 a bag and depending on how many chickens you have, this can either last a long time or not, we go through a bag every week, they also love grass seed, I live next to lots of farmer fields, so in the summer although I shouldn't I do go for a cheeky walk and just grab a couple of handful of their barley and whatever else because they love it, we do buy boxes of grass seed to feed them because they go nuts for it. To help keep your chickens healthy, buy a tub of meal worms as well these will last you ages. A lot of people don't do this but my garden is a third of an acre so we have plenty of space, we let the chickens as well as the ducks out for an hour or two depending on the weather into the garden. You do have to sit out there and watch them (this will stop foxes coming in your garden) but in doing this the chickens will peck at the ground and eat bugs, slugs, worms and allsorts saving you your pellets for later on.
Free range freedom fling chickens.
Your chickens are of course free range chickens, they should be take care of properly and bought up happy, these need plenty of room to run around and that's why we let these out in the garden but other people don't have the time or space for this but it doesn't matter as long as you have a big enough run then it's fine. Believe it or not CHICKENS DO FLY, well it's more of a glide, but they glide really far and hide considering it's something they don't do, they don't fly away and if you do let them into the garden you can train them to go back into the coop on their own rather than running all over the place, because if you start chasing after them they'll get scared.
Unhappy chickens means unhappy eggs.
If your chickens are scared or stressed, you have a big problem that needs sorting straight away, there are signs of this.
1) They start distancing themselves from the rest of the birds
2) They start plucking their own feathers out.
This is something you want to avoid at all costs because it could mean saving their life, to avoid this you need to keep them calm and this can be done by simply holding the chickens and comforting them, like all animals they love this, because we tamed our chickens from babies ours are really friendly and will jump on you and sit on your shoulder and even come in the house if we're not looking. Also you need to make sure these are locked up at night so the foxes won't keep the chickens on edge. You chickens won't lay eggs if they are stressed or unhappy.
When they do lay eggs, at first they will be weird and jelly without a real egg shell, but it doesn't take long for them to take a proper egg form and will be small at first but as they become more used to it they will get bigger, the eggs are so tasty, the yoke is a vibrant orange unlike normal eggs where it's all wishy washy colours, although it will get to the point where you're getting 8-12 eggs a day it is a little overwhelming so we sell ours to people we know. You'll find that this doesn't pay off however, we sell half a dozen for £1 and since August until now we've only accumulated £75 in egg money.
Overall, chickens can be hard to handle if you don't have the time to take care of them, they don't need any specific attention but they do need feeding often and always cleaning out and of course if you can tame them so they're friendly then that's a bonus. They are very quirky and each one has its own personality, when we first bought ours we used to sit around for hours at a time messing around and watching them without even knowing how long we'd been there. I'd say that these are definitely an animal for an older person to take care of because they'll have more time on their hands compared to someone like me. These don't pay off, you can't sell their eggs so that they pay for themselves unless you have a lot of chickens but that doesn't matter because they're brilliant animals and one's I'd recommend for anyone to get.
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I've always been a dog lover and imagined that I would own one at some point in life. My parents always had one as a pet when I was younger, and a few years ago my Mum lost her pet West Highland Terrier, and she decided she needed a new dog to keep her company, and she bought a female Chihuahua. While these dogs are seen a lot nowadays ... as accessories for celebrities, I was aware of the breed, but wasn't really familiar with them. My Mum's new fur baby was an absolute delight and great company. My Mum decided to also get a male Chihuahua so that they would be good company for each other. While not intending to breed the pair, the inevitable happened when the female came into season, and within 9 weeks we were expecting a litter of pups.
I knew before the pups were born that I would want them. I planned to be good and not fall in love, but these little dogs really do get under your skin and make you fall in love with them.
Chihuahuas are small dogs with big hearts. When fully grown, they are between 2-7Ib in weight. They are originally Mexican, so they have a very distinct appearance with a pear shaped head with huge ears that would help them stay cooler in a hot climate. They can look quite comical as they are almost the same size as the dog's head.
You can get short haired or long haired dogs. My dog, Murphy, is a long haired like both of his parents and the other 3 pups from his litter. He has really unusual colouring being mainly white with black spots on his body and then black patches round his eyes with a hint of brown. His brothers were all a chocolatey brown colour, so he stood out to me from the start and I couldn't help falling in love with him.
The breed are a good pet to have. Some have a reputation for being very snappy. I have to admit, Murphy can be 'bitey' on occasions, but like any dog, they need to be trained to make them behave in an acceptable way. It is tempting to skip training as they are small and cute, and it has also been very tricky to train him as he doesn't remember it that well, but we have persevered and made some progress over the months he has lived with us. Toilet training has been really hard, and he still finds it tricky. The problem is that he is not very vocal about telling me he needs to go out. He will go to the back door and if I do not notice that, then he will just go there. If I stick to a regular routine and put him out when I start to see him sniff round, then we do manage it. Some people think Chihuahuas are not really trainable, but the truth is they are like babies and need more time spent training them then other dog breeds that I have had experience of.
When we got Murphy, I did research online and consulted with my Mum about what was the best way to look after him. Being small, I was very aware that he could get hurt because my children are only 3 and 5 and don't always look down. We decided that the best thing to do would be to get a crate for Murphy to sleep in, and as a space of his own for through the day. My Mum has done this with both her dogs since she got them, so I didn't think this cruel. I know that they get tired and have had enough quite easily and if given freedom to choose, like to have some quiet time.
I bought a 30inch crate. This is a medium size crate, and is a bit bigger than Murphy needs, but I wanted room for a small bed, and space to put down some newspaper in case he needed to go to the toilet in the night. This arrangement has worked well for us, as even when we first got him, he didn't like his bed to get dirty and he went on the paper. Overnight he stays here with the door shut, and when we go out and leave him, he also goes in. Through the day, the door is left open and he comes and goes as he pleases. His preference though is to snuggle on someone's knee if he can get chance to, or through the day he also likes to get on the top of the settee and sleep in front of the window where he can watch up the street, and warm himself in the sunshine. For a dog, he is quite cat like.
Chihuahuas like many breeds have their own little unique things that you need to watch out for. The first difference is that they are small, so they need to eat little and often. I tend to feed him dry food and not let him snaffle too many titbits off the kids. I make sure there is always food and water down for him through the day so he can help himself when he wants it. He likes to eat a few kibbles here and there rather than a big meal. If I see him eat lots, I make sure he goes outside about 15 minutes later.
Their small size also means that they can have low blood sugar issues especially in the first 12 weeks of life. This scared me to death as stressful events, such as being taken away from Mum to a new home, or being around loud noisy children, could mean they go into a coma. My Mum just told me to watch out for him going listless, and you are supposed to give them something sweet to bring them round. Luckily it never happened.
The main problem we have noticed is that he has now got all of his adult teeth, but some of his baby teeth have not fallen out. If I left this he would get problems with bad teeth, so I am going to need to get the vet to pull them out. This could be contributing to him being a bit 'bitey.'
I've also been careful not to let him jump about too much as their little legs are prone to the knee joint popping out of place if they land too hard. We noticed him limping once, but I think he just bruised something as a bit later that day he was walking fine again.
Like most dogs, Chihuahuas have a need for entertainment and being walked. While most commonly seen being carried in handbags, Murphy positively thrives when we go out, and I find myself nearly jogging to keep up with him. He can get a bit scared when other big dogs bound over to him, and he can feel the cold so he wears a little jumper I knitted for him, but he can cover a couple of miles easily, and on one rare outing did five miles. He did sleep well after that one.
I have a puppy harness for him rather than a collar and lead. I bought both, but found that the collar just slipped off, and even the puppy harness is too big for him really. I adjusted it to the smallest it would go, and he can still slip out of the head section so I needed to adapt it to make sure he doesn't run off while I am walking him. I've since read that this breed are better on harnesses anyway as they can get collapsed tracheas from the force of a collar on their little throats.
Other problems I am aware of from mine and my parents ownership:
pregnancy - about 70% of pregnancies result in an emergency caesarian for the female. This is because the dogs have big heads and small pelvis regions. This was true for my mum's litter. She was advised cost to be between £400-1000 depending on if it were day or night. She nearly lost her dog, and had to have it sterilised at the same time to avoid further pregnancies. Also, you have no idea what size litter you are having, as the dogs are too small to see during an ultrasound procedure. Birth weights for these pups were between 4-5oz. They were really tiny. 4 pups is really rare. Mostly there is 1 or 2. The vet was amazed my Mum did not lose any pups in the first few weeks of life.
security - this is a popular breed with a high price tag. Pups are anything up to £2000 for pure breeds with kennel club registration. At first I was a bit scared with Murphy as everywhere we go, people are obsessed with him. I see them looking at him from cars we pass, and in the vet one lady picked him up off my knee. I am worried that someone will try and steal him to sell, so I have had him micro-chipped and make sure he is never left outside.
injuries - they are small, and easily hurt. Don't get me wrong, Murphy quickly gets out the way if he sees you coming, but he has run in front of me when I have been walking him and I have stood on him. My Mum had one pup run into the island in her kitchen, bumping his head. She didn't realise he had done this so took him to the vet as he couldn't stand up. Typically this was in the night and cost a fortune. She has also had problems with her eldest male getting a tennis ball stuck in his mouth and not being able to get it out, so that was a vet trip. One of the pups also had a problem as his testicles didn't descend properly, which is more common in the smaller pups.
I have made sure I had an insurance policy for Murphy just to give me peace of mind that I won't need to pay for costly treatment in an emergency.
My overall inpression of Chihuahuas are they are a lovely breed. They are ideal if you have a lot of time to input into them and will thrive and bring joy into your life. I would not recommend them if you think they are just for carrying round like an accessory or you haven't got time to walk or train them or you will find you end up with a snappy bad tempered dog just like you can with other larger breeds. Go into owning a Chi with your eyes fully open to the pitfalls, and you should have a new best friend.
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