Meet Mum and the kids, this is Tayzee's third litter, she is an excellent very experienced Mum who is a delight to watch with her babies.
Thursday 7th February
It's been a funny old day today and I am still a little puzzled........
The pups are 3 weeks old today and at around 10 am this morning, Tayzee vomitted in the pen directly outside the whelping box, which she has access to whenever she likes, she has been getting fed three times her normal amount and I assumed I had overdone it. I cleaned up the mess and then set about the kitchen dishes etc. I could hear her puking again a little while later and I had to clean it up again - she seemed her usual bouncy self, didn't look ill or lethargic, I shrugged and took one of the other dogs out for a walk.
When I got back there was the most enourmous fuss going on in the back room, one of the puppies had managed to heave itself over the whelping box barrier and was throroughly getting stuck in to a pile of puke, Tayzee looking very pleased with herself, was presiding over this and the dogs outside the pen were very exited to see one of the little ones for the first time.
She has 6 puppies, who are all nice and plump, she has plenty of milk, oodles of it in fact............So why has she decided to do this? I still haven't worked it out, as the pups were not noisy or unsatisfied, quite the contrary, they have been a happy, contented bunch up to this point sleeping or suckling. Everything is just as it should be, but I can't have her puking up everywhere, so I thought I would respect her wishes and make a start (great isn't it, when a dog is telling you how to do your job who says dogs are dumb??)
I take a pound of chicken mince (Durham Animal Feeds) out of the freezer and set it in a bowl of hot water, to soften. I then lock Tayzee away from them until I can feed the mince, I am determined she will keep her lunch down lol and not regurgitate it for her fat little pups!
About 2 hours later I manage to get enough mince which has defrosted, for a first feed, it is at room temperature, so I arranged it on a plate in 6 blobs.
They fall on it like they have never been suckled, what a hungry little lot they are, Tayzee who has been locked away from them for nearly 3 hours now is getting extremely agitated and wants in - the pups have demolished the chicken mince and I didn't even have time to take photos She fusses and sniffs and makes sure all trace of food is gone from the box and then settles down to give them a feed and a thorough wash at the same time..........
Weaning has begun !! *makes a mental note to take chicken out of freezer for tommorow's offerings*
Friday 8th February
The whelping box has been taken down and they are confined in a pen indoors 10 ft x 5 ft - plenty of room for them now they have begun to feed, their bed is a piece of vet bed down the bottom end of the run, which they snuggle up on
They will be getting two meals of chicken today and a dish of water has been added to their pen.
Thankfully, since I have started to wean them, she has stopped regurgitating her food. I still don't know why she did this, but seems quite happy now.
In vew of the fact that she decided they were to be weaned a little earlier than I would have liked, I have slowed the process down. My usual method, which starts when they are around 3.5 weeks, is to give 1 feed of chicken on day 1 of weaning, 2 on day 2, 3 on day 3 and 4 on day 4, sticking at for for the remainder of the weaning.
Saturday 9th February
I stick at 2 meals of chicken mince today, one mid morning and one mid evening.
Sunday 10th February
Again they receive just two meals of chicken mince today.
Monday 11th February
Today they go up to three meals, still on chicken and spaced out throughout the day.
Tuesday 12th February
They will be getting just 3 meals again today, we are still on minced chicken and it is all going very well, they are eating just under 225 grams or half a pound per feed, between the 6 of them.