Tag Archives: the longshot

New Setup For The Chickens!

This whole Ozzy situation has officially gotten out of hand. So Luke and I finally did something about it yesterday.

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Ozzy is my neighbor’s dog. He’s been getting into my yard a lot for the past several weeks and terrorizing my chickens. But now he’s getting even worse about it. So something had to be done.

So, on Thursday night when Luke got home from work we began building a structure to protect them. We didn’t get very far with it that night though. It was pouring down rain and we were under a sever thunderstorm warning and it’s kinda hard to work outside in those conditions. Plus we ran out of daylight pretty quickly, so we had to stop and then continue the next morning.

 

 

 

It was a rough morning. Things weren’t going the way Luke had planned and after our little building project had fallen apart twice we decided to stop, go get some food, regroup, and figure out a better way to go about this thing we were trying to accomplish. Oh and did I mention that it was hot, humid, and super gross out that morning following the thunderstorm from the night before? Yeah, it stayed like that all day and it was pretty awful.

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Anyway, while we were eating we did some brain storming and came up with the idea to get a dog kennel. If we could get one that was big enough the chicken coop would fit in it, when Ozzy wasn’t around the chickens would have more area to roam around in, and when he was we’d be able to lock them up in the coop and they’d be more protected from him. And plus we figured a dog kennel would be easier to assemble than what we were trying to build, so after we ate we ended up at Tractor Supply.

At Tractor Supply we learned that the super fancy dog kennels don’t all come in one DIY kit. You have to buy pretty much each panel individually, which would get crazy expensive crazy fast, because each piece was close to $100 and that wasn’t even including the dog house, ramp, and roof that you could add to this kennel. But after some searching we found exactly what we wanted. A DIY dog kennel kit that came with the WHOLE kennel and not just sections of it, for $200. Not bad! The only thing that wasn’t included in the kit was a top cover though. That came all by itself for an additional $50. I though that was stupid, so I asked Luke if we could just get a tarp to cover the top. He thought that was a really good idea and wanted to know why it took me that long to come up with it haha. So after we loaded up our dog kennel into the truck we went to Home Depot and got a $15 dollar tarp and a few $1.50 bungee cords. That seemed a lot more reasonable than a $50 cover for the kennel. πŸ™‚

So we went home, unloaded the truck, and Luke said he still wasn’t sure how we were going to fit the coop into this kennel once it was built. That’s when I asked him if it wouldn’t just be easier to build the kennel around the coop, because that’s what I thought we were going to do anyway. Haha that was my second fantastic idea for the day, and I’m surprised that my engineer husband didn’t come up with that one all on his own! πŸ˜‰ So we moved the chicken coop to the area we wanted to build the kennel in, and then began to assemble it.

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There is actually grass and weeds in the new spot that we moved to coop to, and the chickens were definitely enjoying it!!

So we did end up running into a few bumps along the road that was putting this kennel together, but all in all it went pretty well. It was definitely a lot easier than what we were trying to do before!!

 

 

We got the frame assembled very quickly, had a little bit of an issue with the gate, but Luke figured that out, and then put up the chain-link! Some dude at Tractor Supply (we are pretty sure that he didn’t even work their haha) told us that putting up the chain-link was going to be a bitch and we shouldn’t even bother buying the kit, but it was actually pretty easy! A bit time consuming, but still, it really wasn’t that hard. And once it was all put together we let the chickens out to explore a little bit (under close supervision from Lily and Finn πŸ˜‰ ) and took a short break before we put the tarp over top of it.

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The tarp ended up being really easy to put up as well, plus it kinda helped it re-enforce the whole thing. Luke also put a steak in the middle of it so that the rain, snow, or whatever should fall right off of it instead of pooling up on it. So now the chickens can’t fly out, nothing else could fly in, and they’ve got plenty of shade and should be a little more protected from the elements in general.

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Lily, who was raised on a farm, has some legit herding training, and grew up around chickens and therefore knows how to handle herself around them, is a big fan of this new setup haha. Now she can get in the kennel with them and keep an eye on them and kinda sorta herd them a bit. πŸ˜‰ Finn thinks it’s pretty neat too! And although he’s got some pretty impressive instincts, he’s never had any kind of herding training, and is young and excitable, so he’s not allowed in there with them. At least not yet. But he seems to think that it’s pretty neat that they can move around more, so he can kinda follow them around a little bit more.

 

 

All in all we’re very happy with how the dog kennel set up ended up working, and like I said, now the chickens have some more room to roam when Ozzy isn’t around to bother them, they’ll be a little bit more protected from the elements, and when Ozzy does get into my yard they can just be put into their coop and then he won’t be able to be as close to them or jump up on or scratch at the coop anymore. So that’s pretty freaking sweet!! I mean, it does kinda suck that we had to go through all of this trouble because of someone else dog, but still, the chickens end up benefiting a lot from it, so at least there’s that.

Alright then, now I have to get up on my soapbox and talk about whyΒ herding/working/high-energy/highly intelligent breeds of dogs don’t make good pets unless you’re prepared to deal with them and know 100% what you’re getting into with certain breeds of dogs. Because that’s the problem with Ozzy. He’s a heeler or a heeler mix. So he’s a herding dog. He’s pretty smart, full of energy, and he’s also bored and lonely because he’s left out in my neighbor’s backyard all day while he’s at work. That is basically a recipe for disaster when it comes to these kinds of dogs. You CANNOT get a high-energy/intelligent breed of dog and expect them to just be content running around a yard by themselves all day. They’ll end up getting bored and then doing things like barking excessively, digging, tearing stuff up, or escaping into your neighbors yard and terrorizing her chickens and rabbits, and playing with her 2 high-energy dogs who are out there a lot (haha Lily has separation anxiety, so she’ll only hang out in the backyard if Luke or myself go out there with her).

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My dogs know how to behave around the chickens and don’t want to kill/chase them. Lily and Finn just want to herd them/guard them, and Dean wants nothing to do with them. Ozzy wants to make them move, chase them, and then probably rip them to pieces. This photo was taken right before Finn started fighting Ozzy, because Ozzy was bothering his chickens. Finn thinks his job it to keep the chickens safe and that’s exactly what he was trying to do.

After seeing the way my dogs behave and how smart they are, a lot of people who see them actually end up telling me that they want a border collie (or something similar) as well. And honestly I tend to try to discourage them because these types of dogs need a lot of exercise, attention, and mental stimulation. Like, A LOT. They are happiest when they are working. And when they aren’t they become problems which is why a lot of them end up in shelters labeled as “hyper” or “aggressive” or with “behavioral issues”. So that’s why I think that unless you have the time, patience, knowledge, and energy to care for a dog that’s a herding/working/high-energy/highly intelligent breed, most people would be better off with a different breed of dog. And remember that this is coming from someone with 3 border collies and thinks that they are the best dogs in the world haha. But they are not for everyone. Luke and I spend a lot of time making sure that they get the attention that they need and that they all have “jobs”. We also take them to an off leash dog park almost every weekend.

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They don’t just get to run around all willy nilly at the dog park. They’re constantly being told to come, sit, stay, and do other tricks and commands, to keep them mentally stimulated and to make them feel like they’re working.

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But they also get to play around a little bit while we’re there. πŸ™‚

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And whenever possible we like to take them to new places and put them into different situations. So they’re prepared for pretty much anything and always know how to act, no matter where we are or whats going on.

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When we’re at home fetch is a way of life and is taken very seriously.

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Individual walks happen pretty much everyday, regardless of the weather. The longer the better, although shorter ones will suffice if pressed for time.

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It’s not exactly easy, but Luke and I have gotten pretty good and wearing them out!! πŸ™‚

Ok, I’m done now. But obviously this is something that’s near and dear to my heart and it drives me crazy seeing a good dog turn into a problem. In almost every situation it’s not the dogs fault, it’s the handler. Because trust me, my dogs are fantastic! And I’ve met a lot of amazing dogs, but they don’t come that way. You have to MAKE them that way. And that’s a lot easier to do when you get a dog that you know with out a shadow of a doubt that you can handle and provide everything that it could possible need. That way you’re life will be a lot easier and you’ll end up with an amazing dog.

 

Whew! I didn’t mean to go onto a tangent like that, but I think the more that things like that get said, the better!

Anyways, after our building adventures were done we were finally able to spend the rest of the evening in the glorious air conditioner!! And that night someone live-streamed most of The Longshot’s concert that happened last night on Billie Joe Armstrong’s Instagram account, so obviously my little fangirl heart was as happy as could be! It looked like one hell of a show and I’m super duper jealous of anyone who gets to see The Longshot live, because they aren’t coming anywhere near where I live haha. But it is nice to at least get to see it on my phone. πŸ™‚

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Haha between getting another root canal and this big project, I haven’t gotten a lot of running done this week. But it’s all good! I felt like I could use a little bit of a break from all of the gross summer running anyway. πŸ˜‰ Plus all of the work we did putting together that dog kennel for the chickens hardcore wore me out!! When I woke up this morning I decided that I wasn’t going to do shit today, and so far so good!! πŸ˜‰ I’m very much on board with having the laziest Saturday ever!!

I hope you have a fantastic day and a great Memorial Day weekend!!

Your very dog obsessed friend,

~Ashley

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*squee!!!!!* Finn was so little!!!!! Haha he wasn’t a very cute puppy though. πŸ˜‰Β 

 

 

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Weekly Recap: April 23rd-29th, 2018

Holy cow we’re already coming up on the end of April! It seems to me like January and February went by super slow, but now the months are starting to go by faster. Haha our perception of time is weird. πŸ˜‰

Anyway, this week was hard. I kinda figured it would be though, at this point I’m kinda upping my mileage and trying to build a decent base for my upcoming half marathon training cycle. Kinda don’t even want to think about that right now though, because I’m thinking I might have to do a few back to back long run days which might not be very pleasant haha. But gotta get myself ready for my back to back half marathons in November! And I’ve also got another 5k coming up on May 12th. I’m feeling pretty good about that race though! Oh and in July Luke and I are going to be going to Branson, MO on another vacation with a bunch of family members. All of that on top of everything else I’ve got going on (caring for my chickens, hanging out with the neighbor kids that just show up at my house now, the garden, the dogs obviously, everyday life, blogging, etc…) no wonder it seems like time is starting to speed up!

Okey Dokey then, lets get this week recapped!!

Monday:

  • 3 miles with a few strides at the end
  • 20 minutes of strength work

I was feeling motivated AF on Monday. That’s what all you crazy kids are saying now a-days right? AF? I don’t understand pop culture anymore! Send help!! πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ Haha for real though, I was ready to get shit done on Monday! Although I really didn’t have much to get done that day. On the scheduled for me was 3 easy miles, which I did followed by a few strides because I think those are pretty fun! Then did some strength training. It wasn’t a long session but it was a hard one haha. I ended up regretting that for pretty much the rest of the week…

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Tuesday:Β 

  • 2 miles

Hahahahaha I totally faked my way through the workout I was supposed to do on Tuesday. So much for being motivated AF, right? πŸ˜‰ Ugh, it was just so sunny and warm out. Gross… That’s right ladies and gentlemen, it’s that time of year again! I’m not going to stop bitching about the weather until it starts getting cold again. So buckle up, because complaining about being hot and miserable is my favorite summer pass time. Anyway, at least I got the miles in on Tuesday.

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Wednesday:Β 

  • 6 miles

Ah hump day. Some stuff happened on this Wednesday.

So first off, I woke up tired and sore from that strength workout that I did on Monday. Fun times, but I knew it was coming haha. Ugh I really didn’t want to run on Wednesday, but the only thing that got me out the door was knowing that getting in my miles now is only going to make this year’s round of half marathon training that much easier. Plus my dad and brother ran 6 miles last night, and that was my plan for Wednesday anyway, so obviously I had to do it. I mean, I couldn’t let them beat me. πŸ˜‰

Also woke up with this song stuck in my head;

That’s not super relevant, it’s just a good song and I wanted to share it with you. πŸ˜‰

Oh and we also traded in our piece of shit SUV for a truck. Haha I talk about that here if you’re interested. But now we have a vehicle that’s not completely falling apart and that actually has heat! If you read about our adventures traveling to Colorado on Thanksgiving or to Illinois for Easter, then you might recall me saying that we spent a crazy amount of time freezing our butts off because the SUV’s heater didn’t work. But that’s not a problem anymore! πŸ™‚

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Thursday:

  • 4 miles

My legs were still feeling sore and tired on Thursday. Still got my run done in the morning though! And good thing I did too, because Luke ended up leaving work early on Thursday and once he got home we drove to Illinois because he wanted to show off his truck to his dad haha. But since Luke had to work on Saturday we didn’t end up staying in Illinois for very long.

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Friday:

  • Rest Day

So our one day in Illinois ended up coinciding with my rest day really well haha!

On Thursday I stayed the night at Luke’s dad’s house, then on Friday they went to Luke’s grandparents’ house to fish, but before they did that they dropped me off at my grandma’s house. So I spent most of Friday hanging out with her, our dogs, and my uncle. Then around 4 pm we packed up the truck and drove back home.

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Saturday:

  • 10 miles

Oh man, I wasn’t entirely sure I was gonna make it through this weeks long run! Friday may have been a rest day, but spending 5 hours in a truck isn’t exactly relaxing. Plus I don’t likes drinking a lot on long car rides because I don’t like having to stop to pee haha. But my run actually ended up going alright! It was hot, slow, and kinda not so fun but I got it done without too many issues! πŸ™‚ Plus when we got home on Friday night my Honey Stinger and Nuun orders where waiting for my on the front porch, so I got to try out a few new things during my run on Saturday.

After my long run I spent a lot of time doing nothing haha. But that evening Luke and I ended up going bowling with my brother-in-law and his girlfriend. That was fun, but I was pretty tired haha.

 

Sunday:

  • rest day

Oh boy was I ready for this rest day!! After our short trip to Illinois, my long run, and then our bowling adventure I’m pretty darn worn out!! My legs are feeling surprisingly good though. They’re a bit tired, but not as sore as I thought they were going to be. Anyway, since I didn’t have to run I took some time to re-dye my hair. It’s a super long process so it’s hard to do it on days when I run. But I got it taken care of today. πŸ™‚

Total Weekly Mileage: 25.33Β 

This week was a total success!! Hit my weekly mileage goal, did all of the runs that I wanted to do, traveled to Illinois and hung out with some family, went out and had some fun. It was a good week all around. πŸ™‚ I’m excited to see what I can make happen next week!

 

 

Totally Rad Wednesday

Is anyone else a little bit obsessed with all of the gifs for the stories on Instagram? Because I kinda am. πŸ˜‚

 

 

It has in fact, been a totally rad day though! I got so much done!! Haha I still have a piss ton of other stuff I need to do though. My brother-in-law, his girlfriend, and her kids are coming over at some point this weekend (and fingers crossed my brother-in-law will finally take all of the shit that he left in our spare bedroom when he moved out 9 months ago. Oh did I mention he never told us he was moving out? He didn’t even pack up his shit or anything. Just left a huge mess for Luke and I to clean up. Which we did. We even boxed up his stuff for him.), and my house is kinda of a disaster haha. I’ve got a pretty decent start on things though! But before I got to any of that, of course I had to get my run in. πŸ˜‰

Spring has finally made it’s way back to Kansas, so oh boy is it windy! That made running a little more difficult than it normally would have been, but holy cow did I have fun! I basically did a quality workout with a couple of strides thrown in at the end and it was a lot of fun! It was pretty hard too, but in a good way and not in the I’m still sick and feel like I’m dying way, which was nice. And I am still kinda sick, but today has been a vast improvement and I could definitely tell during my run. πŸ™‚

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My peach tree is blooming and looks super pretty right now, so obviously I had to take my very Instagram-y post-run Garmin photo with it in the back ground. πŸ˜‰

It was a really good run! Afterwards I was full of energy and ready to tackle my big project of the day; cleaning out the spare bedroom. That’s where the rabbits, ferrets (although they had to be temporarily moved) live, and where we had been keeping the chickens in their brood box. The thing is, they had not been staying in the brood box. They’ve basically had full run of that room for about two weeks now. Luke and I wanted to move them out of the house and into their coop when that started happening but it was still really cold out and they were still to young to be out in the cold like that without a heat lamp or something, but if we had done that they wouldn’t of had much room in their nesting area and it probably would have ended up getting too hot for them anyway. But anyway, it’s finally starting to warm up again but more importantly they have all of their feathers now, so last night the chickens graduated to their coop.

 

 

At night they have to be locked in the nesting area (so they’ll be quite and for their own safety), so that’s where they spent the night and then this morning when we woke up Luke opened the door to the outside portion of their coop but they didn’t make their way down there until a little after 2 pm haha. But once they got down there they pecked and scratched and the dirt to their little chicken heart’s content, and once they got tired of that (and probably a little bit cold in the wind) they made their way back into the nesting area. So this transition has gone just about as well as it could have and they seem pretty happy to be outside! But that still left the spare bedroom to be cleaned…

Oh man, was is a mess in there! There was wood shavings, chicken feed, feathers, and poop everywhere. And I’m pretty sure the poor rabbits were getting annoyed with the chickens just roaming around that room. The last couple of days they had taken to roosting on top of poor Runes cage. I’m sure she wasn’t a fan of that.

Anyway, I swept, mopped, scrubbed, vacuumed, and mopped the floor again in there. I also cleaned both rabbit cages while I was at it, because why not. Haha plus Rune likes to chase the broom while I’m sweeping and weirdly enough likes the vacuum. Daisy is not a fan of either of those things though, so she stayed safely in her cage while Rune got to run around and help me clean for 2 hours hahaha.

 

Yeah, that first photo isn’t even a “before” photo. It was a “I’m almost done” photo. It was bad… Rune was having fun though haha. There is still some chicken poop stuck to the floor. Kinda gross, I know, but I’m gonna need a putty knife or something to scrape it off with, so Luke’s gonna get me one on his way home from work. Still though, its a vast improvement! πŸ™‚ I’m very glad that the chickens are finally outside in their coop. Won’t have to worry about having a huge mess like that anymore. Also, just ignore those blinds. My brother-in-law’s dog tore them up, along with the screen in the other window, because my brother-in-law just left him behind and didn’t even come get him until 4 months after he’d moved out and Luke told him he had to take him. Apparently after he abandoned his dog a bunch of people were telling him that was a shitty thing to do, but it still took him 4 freaking months to come get him…I’m just he’s finally gone. My dogs did not like my brother-in-law’s dog at all.

And just for the record, I don’t just leave the rabbits in dog crates without any sort of bedding. I keep several old sheets in their cages and the both like to dig and tunnel in them. They were just in the washer when I took this photo haha.

Another project Luke and I want to start is fixing up our rabbit hutch (it’s in bad shape so I can’t use it) and maybe even building another one. Our rabbits don’t get along so they can’t be housed together… I like being able to leave them outside in the hutch when the weather is nice, but can’t really do that at the moment. So for now the rabbits are stuck inside. Hahaha luckily they aren’t as messy as the chickens though!

Whew! After doing all of that I was pretty beat! Cleaning up the chicken mess was a lot of work and I had done a relatively hard workout before hand! So once I was done cleaning I showered, ate lunch, and took and hour long nap. That was nice. πŸ™‚

After that I worked on a few blog posts, did a little bit of yoga, and then got some more cleaning done. Not a lot, but hey, it was something. πŸ˜‰

I’m just feeling pretty great all-in-all. We’re (hopefully) finally getting my brother-in-law’s shit out of our house and finally moving on from the whole all around terrible experience of him living with us for 2 years, I got a lot done today, my peach tree is blooming,Β  I’m finally starting to get over this cold/upper respiratory thing both Luke and I have had for a week now, he says he’s starting to feel better too πŸ™‚ , and I had a great run.

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See? It’s been a totally rad Wednesday. πŸ˜‰ And I hope your’s has been too!

~Ashley

P.S.

New favorite band! πŸ˜‰