Monday, August 31, 2015

Our First Egg!

On Saturday we got the first egg from our chickens!!!

To help the chickens know where to lay their eggs, I placed golf balls in their nesting boxes. Apparently, chickens like to lay where other chickens have laid before, so the balls are supposed to mimic eggs, and it worked! Tater Tot the Rhode Island Red hen laid her first egg right next to a golf ball.

Tater Tot's first egg! (+golf ball)
Chewy was very interested in the egg, of course!

What's that? Can I eat it?
On Sunday, I caught Tater Tot in the nesting box rearranging the hay for her next egg.

Tater Tot the Rhode Island Red hen
This time, the golf ball got buried in the corner.

Tater Tot's 2nd egg
Today, she laid another egg. Three eggs in three days! A chicken's first eggs can be abnormal as their system kicks into gear, but Tater Tot did very well!

Tater Tot's 3rd egg
So far, we have only eaten her first egg. We cooked it along with an ungraded farm fresh egg and a supermarket XL free range egg for comparison. The first egg is always the smallest, so Tater Tot's is the little one at the top:

Her eggs are getting the tiniest bit bigger each day. They should eventually be XL. Chewy only cares about eating them, though!

I can has?!?

This is the face he made after his first bite of Tater Tot's egg (we shared it). I think he was pretty pleased!

Cadbury the Red Star hen is almost ready to lay eggs, too:

Cadbury the Red Star hen

And, just for fun, my favorite chicken, Poopiebutt the Easter Egger hen, with floofy cheeks:

Poopiebutt the Easter Egger hen
I love that the chickens look right at my camera! They are such funny creatures.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Product Review: The Green Pet Shop's Cool Pet Pad

This summer has been ridiculously hot and humid here in New York, so keeping cool has been a top priority for Chewy. In pursuit of this mission, we tried the Cool Pet Pad by The Green Pet Shop.

The Green Pet Shop's Cool Pet Pad in Large

The Cool Pet Pad contains pressure-activated, non-toxic cooling gel. When a dog (or person/other pet) rests on the mat, it absorbs their body heat, resulting in a cooling effect that lasts for up to 4 hours. It "recharges" automatically after a short period of non-use. The Cool Pet Pad is available in 4 different sizes (S-XL, $24.99 - $84.99).

The Cool Pet Pad feels cooler than our tile floor, and stays cool. Here is Chewy rolling around on it after some crazy nighttime zoomies in the yard:

How to chill a Chewy

I do think that Chewy stops panting sooner when he is using the Cool Pet Pad, so it appears to be an effective cooling product. It is comfortable and not too cold for even my non-fur-covered self. It's a great mat for cuddling with your furbaby on a hot day, when it would otherwise be unbearable.

The larger sizes of the Cool Pet Pad do have some weight to them because they contain more cooling gel. Nevertheless, since it's not a bulky mat, it is very portable and can easily be used in the car, on furniture, and in crates, as well as packed for travelling. I sometimes move it around the house so Chewy can have access to it wherever we're hanging out.

Chewy doesn't seek out his Cool Pet Pad, and typically only lies on it if I tell him to, if someone sits on it with him, or if it happens to be in one of his favorite lounging spots. Left to his own devices, he nearly always ends up moving to the floor within minutes. Perhaps he feels sufficiently cooled?

Looking happy on the Cool Pet Pad, and looking happy off the Cool Pet Pad

Even though Chewy doesn't really prefer to use the Cool Pet Pad, he does claim it as his. Whenever I put it on the ground, he makes a point to lie down on it immediately as if to say, "Yep, this is mine!" He does the same thing with his beds and mats after they have just been washed.

One caveat of the Cool Pet Pad is that the material on the outside absorbs dirt easily. Chewy played around in the dewy grass, and when he came home and walked over the mat, he left some visible paw prints. The instructions say to clean with a soft cloth, mild soap and water. I tried wiping the pad with just water and also with soap, and both methods required some elbow grease to make the spots fade substantially. I also worry about the material absorbing the soap, since Chewy licks everything.

Paw prints above The Green Pet Shop logo

The dirt problem could potentially be solved by wiping Chewy down when we come in the house, but I would not be willing to let him chew/eat anything stinky or messy on the Cool Pet Pad for fear of staining. Even just his saliva leaves visible marks. The Green Pet Shop sells a cover for the Cool Pet Pad, but it would be an added cost.

I also wish the Cool Pet Pad had an anti-slip backing so it wouldn't slide all over the place. Chewy, being a dog, likes to run around the house, and if he runs fast enough over the mat, it shoots across the floor.

We originally received a Medium Cool Pet Pad, which was less than half the size of a Large. It nearly disappeared under all of Chewy's fluff! Be sure to pay attention to the sizing information if you are considering the product. It did make for some silly pictures, though!

I fits...right?

We give the Cool Pet Pad 3 paws up. It does what it claims to do, is easy to use, and is also comfortable for humans (they make a human version, too), but I found it hard to keep clean, which can be a problem when your dog loves to play outside or is messy.

3 paws up for the Cool Pet Pad!

Disclaimer: We received a Large Cool Pet Pad from The Green Pet Shop for review purposes. We did not receive any monetary compensation for this post, and all opinions shared above are our own.