The food diary of litter of German Shepherd puppies who are being raw weaned
Meet the puppies Aged 4 weeks
Hello My name is Ann Ridyard and I would like to share the diary of the litter I am about to raw wean.
That is Mum Shanti with her babies, Shanti is a 3yr old GSD and has been RAW fed all of her life, she has eight puppies who are going to be RAW weaned, this is their story.
I thought this would be helpful to others wanting to RAW wean their litters, this is a tried and tested diet, it produces healthy, happy puppies.
The puppies are now just over 3 weeks old and yesterday, they had their first taste of real food and the reaction was tremendous !!!
DAY 1 : SUNDAY 1st JUNE - MORNING - I want to start the puppies on RAW today, I feel they are ready, to test their reaction and to introduce the taste and smell of real food, I drop a pile of chicken wings into their pen, I have allowed the wings to come to room temperature as I do not want the babies to be put off with freezing cold offerings.
Their reaction is immediate, funny and rather frenzied !! They are desperate to sink their non existent teeth into the wings, but the frustration of having to suck creates cross little noises to be emitted, these puppies are so ready to be weaned !!
As you can see, it was a great reaction, all of the puppies were keen to have a go and we even had a few tugs of war with the wings !! It never ceases to amaze me how a puppy, that is only 3.5 weeks old, instictively knows how to deal with a chicken wing, even at this tender age, they are attempting to anchor the 'prey' with their front feet, whilst attempting to rip and tear with their gums !!!
I leave the wings in with them for 15 minutes and then send Shanti in to clean up and give the puppies a feed, a drink off Mum after every meal, helps them to digest the new food.
EARLY EVENING - Because of the positive reaction I got from them with the chicken wings, I am now ready to give them their first meal of mince, something they will be able to eat, I take a quantity of the wings they tried earlier and mince them up, bones and all.
I then arrange the mince on two plates, into eight little piles and begin to introduce the puppies to their food.
If at this stage, the puppies had not shown great interest in the food, then I would have postponed the weaning process with mince for another few days and would have continued to give them wings to stimulate their interest, however, this litter is quite ready to accept what they are being offered and have no hestitation in diving in !!!
I allow them 15/20 mins of eating time and then send Shanti in, for the clean up!! They have a lovely drink off Mum and are off to sleep faster than you can say Jack Robisnson !! Their first meal was a huge success and I am very pleased with their reaction.
Tomorrow, they will get two meals of minced chicken, one mid morning and one early evening, the trick is not to bombard them, take it slowly, the weaning process should be introduced over four days - they have had one meal on the first day of weaning, they will get two on the second, three on the third and four on the fourth, when we are up to four, they will then recieve four meals daily, and every couple of days a new food will be introduced.
DAY 2 : MONDAY 2nd JUNE - EARLY MORNING - I feed Shanti on two small whole chickens, which have been halved, I bring her out of the puppy pen to give her them and am amused to see the whole litter assembled on the other side of the mesh, getting very agitated and exited as they can smell the chicken !! They are only having two meals today and those will be of chicken, minced by myself, but they are so keen I get another two halves of chicken and place them in their pen.
Their reaction is even better than with the wings, I must get this on video to share with you, several of the puppies are attempting to suck the meat off the bones, which is very sweet to watch. They do not make much of an impression on the chicken, but that is not the point, I don't expect them to be able to eat it at this stage, their incredible interest is great and by continuing to offer them meaty bones as well as minced products, it won't be long before they are able to manage some of the boney offerings, their teeth are just coming through their gums.
I leave them for 15 mins with the chicken halves and then send Shanti in.
MID MORNING - They recieve another meal of chicken mince and completely clear their plates.
Now that they are recieving solid food, they have to be provided with fresh drinking water, so a shallow dish has been added to the puppy pen.
MID AFTERNOON - another minced chicken meal is again recieved with great enthusiasm.
DAY 3 - TUESDAY 3rd JUNE - EARLY MORNING (5.30am) - Shanti is again given chicken halves, she is on around 3 meals a day, pretty huge and she is almost being fed ad-lib, we are almost at peak lactation wih her, the puppies have exactly the same reaction to the chickens Shanti is eating as they did yesterday morning, this will form a pattern and they will be given a couple of halves to practice on every morning !!
Today they will be getting three meals of minced chicken.
They are learning to lap and I have seen several of them drinking from their water bowl.
It is interesting to note that these puppies have gone from Mother's milk to accepting raw chicken, without hesitation, no milky, mushy slops for these babies, I don't agree with feeding milk of any description to puppies, unless there is some kind of problem with Mum's milk, they do not need to be weaned using sloppy preparations, I have seen everything from baby Rusks to milky porridge being fed to their pups by other breeders and I will never understand it.
Milk is not a natural food for puppies - That's an odd statement isn't it ? When the first thing they recieve is their Mother's milk, but after the point of weaning, and other than their Mother's milk, they will never again encounter milk in a natural situation, when a wild dog or wolf weans their young, they do not bring pints of goat's milk back to the den or baby cereal, to help with their puppies transition to real food!!
Instead they regurgitate whatever they happen to have fed on that day, it will be presented to them in a mushed, slightly digested form and that is exactly what I am doing when I present them with mince.
When the pups are old enough, in a wild situation, Mum will bring back small carcases, or chunks of meaty bones, by providing my puppies with plenty of boney products, alongside the minced ones I am offering, their bone eating skills will develope to the point where a minced meal can be replaced with a meal of chicken backs, carcases or wings and they will actually be able to deal with them, just as they would in a wild situation.
I expect my puppies to be able to do this efficiently at around the 5 week point.
By the time they are 7 or 8 weeks, they will cope with lamb ribs.
DAY 3 - TUESDAY 3rd JUNE - MORNING (8.30am) Their first minced chicken meal of the day is again recieved with great enthusiasm, I can barely get the door of the pen open as they crowd it, 15 mins later we have two clean plates, but I send Shanti in as usual to clean up and provide an after dinner drink, it amuses me to see one puppy, who has found a blob of chicken mince wedged under a plate, he ignores Mum and her bulging teats and concentrates his efforts on retrieving the chicken, only after he has got it and eaten it, does he toddle off to join in with his siblings, who are still drinking and getting a good wash off Mum !!!
LUNCHTIME (12.30) - Minced Chicken, empty plates.
LATE AFTERNOON (4.30) - Minced chicken, some left -
DAY 4 - WEDNESDAY 4th JUNE - They will be given four small meals today, I do not give them chicken halves early this morning, when Shanti has her first feed as I think 4 meals is enough to cope with for their little tums today.
Although they are not eating a great deal of the chicken halves, what they are eating will be pure meat, with no bone, the mince I have made contains the bone and just for a day or two I am going to leave them on their four small meals. Tomorrow a new food item will be introduced - tripe.
MORNING 8.00am - Chicken mince - gone in 10 mins !!!
12.00 PM - Same again !! gone in 10 mins.........I haven't put the quantities I am feeding, as for every single litter, it will be different. What you are aiming for is the pups to be given 15 mins feeding time, at which point the food is taken up and no more is offered until the next feeding time. If your pups are clearing what you are offering them in the alloted time, then up it slightly for the next meal and so on. What you should be seeing at the end of every meal is a tiny bit left, if not, then you are not feeding enough.
Always allow Mum access to puppies after a meal to help them to digest it.
4.00 PM - There is a little left after 15 mins of eating at this feed, so they have been given a perfect quantity.
8.00 pm - Again, we have a little left after 15 mins.
The pups have got through 4 meals today, at this point I should mention that they are producing perfect miniature poos. I have found that in the past when I fed commercially, as soon as weaning began, the Mums would no longer clean up the pups faeces. Since I have been feeding raw, I am noticing that Mum will still clean up after them, even when they are eating solid food and this I find interesting.
DAY 5 - THURSDAY 5th JUNE - 7.00am - Minced chicken for breakfast, which is made short work of, the pups leave a tiny amount, but Yogi is ensuring that this goes too !!
9.00am - I decide to give the pups some large marrow bones to exercise their developing teeth on, they have missed their chicken halves for two very early mornings now and I think they will be enthusiastic for the opportunity to get those little teeth working again.
I remove as much fat from the bones as I can.
I am not expecting them to be able to make much of an impression on the bones, indeed, and adult dog would have trouble actually eating them, but for knawing practice, they are ideal.
There is also quite alot of meat on the bones, sinew, scraps of fat and tissue, it will be a challenge for the pups to try and remove it.
They are extremely keen to have a go !!!
And a good time was had by all !!!! After about 20/25 mins, the puppies began to fall asleep, time to remove the bones and let them have a nice nap, before the introduction of their new food item..... Today I am replacing one of their chicken mince meals with minced, best beef tripe, I am looking forward to their reaction and will have the camera ready !!
11.30 - I arrange the tripe around the edges of the plates, soon they will be too big for the plates and we will move onto feeding troughs. I have used a pound in weight.
As you can see by the pictures - it didn't last long, next time they get tripe, I will give them a little more !!!
Mishka is still not convinced she has finished !!!
3.00pm - They will be getting a meal of minced chicken again for this meal, it is a faimilar food they are used to and when introducing new items to the menu, they should be stabalised by a tried and tested food. I am still unsure if there will be any kind of reaction to the tripe by the puppies and will be watching any stools for any kind of change.
7.00pm - Tripe again for their last meal of the day and again we have a very good response !! No issues with poos either, we would have been seeing effects from the first lot of tripe by now, through their little systems had it not agreed with them. Tripe is a brilliant food for helping the puppies to develope their live enzymes to aid digestion as tripe is bursting with it. However, puppy cannot live by tripe alone, as part of a diet plan it is brilliant, but I wouldn't use it as a foundation.
DAY 6 - FRIDAY 6th JUNE - 6.00am A meal of chicken again this morning, they are trying beef later on and so the chicken will be given before and after, as with the tripe.
If at this stage I were to end up with runny poo as a result of new foods given, then I would switch back to chicken for every meal until the stools were firm again, depending on how runny the stool actually was, red meats can produce, darker poo ( please see Pasha's raw feeding diary )
10.00 am - I give them 1.5lbs of minced beef, I am using brand which contains the all important bone but no more than 10 % (DAF Durham Animal Feeds) There is never any hesitation with these pups, no matter what is on the menu, they seem to just dive in and enjoy, in a record 8.5 mins, the whole lot all bar a few morsels is gone !!!!!
2.00pm - They get chicken again and probably because they were little piggies with the beef, they leave more than they usually do on their plates, this is of no concern and they will probably be ravenous by the next feeding time.
Pardon me for talking about poos again but it has to be said, these puppies are producing the most perfect little poos !!!! I thought I may have got a change with introducing the beef, but no, very constant and uniform throughout.
6.00pm - They are indeed starving and I give them another 1.5lbs of minced beef, which disapears even faster than the first lot they had today !!!
8.30pm - They are given a whole chicken chopped in half, they are not really hungry and I haven't given it to them with a view to it being a feed, it is more for enjoyment and a couple of the puppies begin tugging at the halves and chomping on them, this last about 15 mins and they are fast a bo bos. Shanti gets the chicken, which has been knawed at slightly.
DAY 7 - SATURDAY JUNE 7th - 6.30 am - We are just having a plain chicken day today, they start with mince and make a pretty good job of clearing most of it.
10.30 am - Chicken mince again, eating well.
3.00 pm - " " " " "
7.30 pm - The puppies are doing so well with their new diet, this week has gone exactly according to plan, tomorrow they will be getting minced lamb for the first time. I am a little dubious about giving them the lamb as it is very rich and could cause a change in their motions, however, as it is to be part of their ongoing diet, now is as good a time as any to see if they cope with it.
I am feeling confident, as they have coped with everything they have been given so far, they are producing perfect little poos still......we will see !!!
DAY 8 - SUNDAY JUNE 8th - 6.00 am - We start the day with 1.5lbs of minced lamb, with the bone minced into it. the puppies are mad keen, this is the most desperate reaction yet !!! The lamb is gone in 5.5 mins !!!
They are still mouching around for more, but I am reluctant to give them any more of the rich lamb at their first sitting of it until I am sure of their systems reaction to it, instead I compromise and give them a dollop of home made chicken mince, which they eat some of, but seem a little disapointed it's not more lamb !!
10.30 am - As you will probably have realised by now, I am not rigid with my feed times, they are flexible within a reasonable time. It is important that puppies do not go too long between feeds and at this stage, they will remain on four feeds a day until shortly after they leave me, but the times the feeds are given vary slightly as this is a home situation, not an institution and as with any home, things crop up !!
It also gives future owners a little flexiblity when their new pup arrives. The important thing is, the pups are getting all they need, within the time frame of a day and we take each day as it comes.
They will be getting chicken mince for this feed, just to counter any reaction we might have had to the lamb, fingers crossed there is non.
They have another feed of lamb and end the day on chicken mince again, the introduction of lamb has been fine, the pups have coped brilliantly with yet another new food item and I am delighted at their progress.
DAY 9 - MONDAY JUNE 9th - I wake very early and the pups hear me at 5am I give them some chicken carcases to have a chew on, while I have a cuppa, it is too early for a proper feed, now they have had the carcases, I will wait until around 7am to give them a feed, they will be able to make an impression on the carcases as the bones are very soft, but it's far too early for photographs !!! I will try to get some another day.
7.00 am - Chicken Mince, some left, but I expect that this is because they all had a good nibble on the carcases earlier on.
12.00 pm - I wait longer before serving the next meal of chicken mince and they happily tuck in and only leave a tiny smidge.
4.00 pm - Most of their meal is eaten and I am pleased with this because today, the weather is incredibly hot, this can sometimes have an effect on little appetites, but the competition of the feed is on and they all do well.
With giving them lamb for the first time yesterday, I have fed chicken all day today and will give them chicken mince also for their last meal. I am pleased to say, the puppies had no adverse reaction yesterday to the lamb and tomorrow I will be giving them rabbit for the first time.
7.30pm - Chicken mince - the pups ate well
DAY 10 - TUESDAY 10th JUNE - 6.00am - The pups start the day with their chicken mince and then proceed to batter each other, they are really playing now, their little legs running the length of their pen, won't be long before they are ready to move into an outside kennel, with indoor and outdoor run attached, they are a little confined in the house, for safety reasons and it will be good to let them explore.
10.30am - Oh my did they enjoy the rabbit !!!! I gave them 1lb on each plate and then watched it disapear !!
Frozen rabbit mince can look very brown in places when it is defrosted, it's normal and nothing to worry about.
As you can see, they like rabbit !!
2.30 pm - I decide to give them chicken carcases to have a munch on, they will be getting boney products daily from now on, but serving them on newspaper is tricky, because they stick !! I really need to be thinking about getting the puppies outside and depending on what today's weather brings, I may well move them out today...........
They really enjoyed the carcases
6.30 pm - Chicken mince to finish the day.
DAY 11 - WEDNESDAY JUNE 11th - 5.30 am - Very early start today, pups are given a small amount of chicken mince and then a quantity of chicken backs as they are still hungry, I will be encouraging the eating of boney products daily to the point were we will completely replace one meal with wings, carcases or backs and instead of just having a munch, they will actually be consuming.
I have made a boo boo and taken lamb instead of beef out of the freezer I would have given them beef again today, but lamb is fine, they will be getting it at around 10 am. That's the thing with this diet, it does allow flexibility - balance over time is what we aim to achieve and so it is really of no matter that it's lamb again today !!
10.00 am - Lamb is served !! not a morsel left !!! they have been given 2lbs between them which is ample, they just love the lamb !!
The weather is nice today, so I decide the time has come to move the puppies outside......
Of course Shanti has to supervise the move and a few tasty chicken back help with the transition. The pups seem quite happy in their new accomodation !!
As you can see the sun shines straight into this pen at around 11am until about 1pm ish, it didn't take the pups long to discover the cooler shavings filled side to the pen..
They decide it's comfy enough to go to sleep in....
And are soon all flat out .....fast asleep, Awwwww.
When they are big enough, which won't be long now, they will have acces to this run, which is shaded all day.
3.00pm - Chicken mince for this meal, they are not really interested in it although a few make an attempt, i'm not surprised, it's been a big day for them and they have had quite a lot of food already, not to worry, I'm sure they will make up for it on the next feed. It could also have something to do with the fact that they were wormed today also, for this I use a completely natural product, but it still may have upset their little systems.
I will leave them until around 7.30 pm, before I try again and this time they are on lamb again, so no doubt it will be clean plates all round.
7.30 pm - A tiny bit of their lamb is left !!
At around 9pm, the weather turns a bit wild and it starts to rain, it is their first night out and I wanted it to be a nice one, we bring them all back in and settle them back in their indoor run, everyone is asleep before the lights are out, wonderful what a little fresh air will do !!!
DAY 12 - THURSDAY JUNE 12th - 5.30 AM I give the puppies some chicken backs to munch on in the indoor pen, they chew for about 20 mins, have a play and go back to sleep, I will wait until about 8ish before putting them out again.
7.30 am I put them out with their feed a little earlier as the sun is shining, they seem pleased to be back in the outdoor pen and seem more interested in exploring it again, than the two plates of minced tripe I have put down for them, there is 1lb on each plate and they eat around half, I remove the plates and leave them to play, checking on them half an hour later and only Mishka and Stan are still awake and playing in the covered run, the others are all snuggling down for a sleep in the shavings.
I will leave them until around 12.00 until I give them their next feed, I want to see some enthusiasm again !!
Shanti wants to get in with them, so I let her and they have a long sleep together.
12.00 pm Chicken mince for lunch and 8 hungry little puppies get stuck in !!!
4.00 pm Tripe is recieved with more entusiasm than this morning and a good attempt by all is made.
7.30 Chicken mince to finish the day
Tonight, the weather is a lot milder, I was going to bring them in again late on, but decide instead, in view of the calm night, to leave them in the outdoor arrangement. Shanti still spends all night with them and is still happy to.
DAY 13 FRIDAY 13th JUNE - 5.00am I check on the puppies very early and they are all playing, Shanti had heard me get up and I could see her peering out of the pen waiting for my arrival. The pups are quite happy, but on seeing me all begin to howl !!! They must see me as a giant bowl of minced lamb !!! It is too early to give them a proper feed, I don't want them to get into the habit of expecting their breakfast at 5.00am, their new owners might not approve !!! So to quieten them down a couple of chicken carcases are hastily deposited in the covered run !! It does the trick...........
7.30 am It's minced beef again today, seemingly another great favourite, I think the pups react so well to the red meats they are offered, as the backbone of the diet is white meat, they probably view the chicken mince as boring as they get it so often, but I am using it at the moment as a cushion, to surround the different foods being introduced and to stabilise.
Huge enthusiasm is shown for the beef and the plates are empty in minutes all bar a few morsels.
The most difficult part of this diet is getting organised and remembering to take out of the freezer what you will need for the next day, yesterday, I forgot to take out the pups chicken mince When I realised early this morning, I removed 1lb packs of minced turkey instead which will defrost alot quicker than the containers of homemade chicken mince, the pups won't mind a bit, it will mean they get beef for their next feed too !! Until he turkey mince defrosts.
The weather looks dodgy today, which is a shame, I wanted to let the pups play in the outdoor run, but unless it is warm enough they will not enjoy it. Looks like they will be confined to quarters until we get sunshine, or the nip goes out of he breeze, small pups hate the cold.
12.00pm To the puppies delight they are presented with another two platefuls of beef, oh joy !! It disapears very rapidly.
4.00pm Their first taste of turkey mince goes down very well, which I am pleased about because with forgetting to take their chicken mince out of the freezer, they will be getting it again later !!
7.30 pm They really like the turkey mince and feeding time is soon over.
Time for a play and to see Shanti !!
Shanti lets me know when she wants to get in with them now, although she does still spend overnight with them and that will continue for a while yet.
DAY 14 - SATURDAY 14th JUNE 6.00am - Back to boring chicken mince!!!
I have been waiting for a really nice day, so I can let the puppies out into their run and todays the day !!
I lift the flap up and lots of little faces peer out at their new boundaries. They have to be lifted out as the drop is a huge step for a little puppy, some kind of ramp is going to have to be made, these pups weigh a ton !!!
They take a few minutes to calm down, the big wide world is a scary place even if it is only a pen 10 x 15 foot !!!! The pen that they are in allows the other dogs to come and say hello, if you are brave enough to make it to the gate !!
9.30am - I am pretty sure they are going to be more interested in the pen, and saying hello than eating, but I give them a selection of carcases and backs
just in case anyone is hungry, a couple of pups have a go at them, but three backs are left on the plate untouched, I have a feeling the exitement has been all too much and they will be going to sleep very soon !!
Mishka and Saskia are the bravest, as I make my way out of the pen at the other end, they are both hot on my heals, with the other pups looking on in awe !! They will soon all investigate every inch of their boundaries, but it's been another big day in their little life and I leave the backs in with them for a while and let them all go to sleep.
11.30am I serve up a dish of chicken mince, some of the puppies have had the backs and carcases, some have been too exited and some don't know which they want !! I only give the one dish because very obviously some of the pups have been eating the chicken pieces, they are probably not going to eat much, but I try anyway.
We do have interest being shown, but Carla prefers the chicken back she is munching on.
All left over food is removed by Shanti, who pays a visit about half an hour later, Shanti then settles down for a sleep in with her puppies, she has decided to stay with them for a while, which is fine.
4.00pm - Rabbit for tea and two plates with 1lb on each is met with huge enthusiasm, the plates are cleared so fast, I decide to feed just a tad more, as they are still hungry.
8.00 pm - Chicken mince to end the day on and they leave some of it.
DAY 15 - SUNDAY JUNE 15th - 5.45 am - I know it's really early, but when I look lout of the window, I can see that the pups are awake and Shanti is wanting to come out to relieve herself. I let Shanti out and immediately the mighty chorus starts, they are screaming for breakfast !!
I charge back into the house and charge back out again, Shanti is hot on my heels and we collide at the kitchen door !!! No harm done, but I am desperate to shut this racket up, before the whole neighborhood is woken up !!!
They demolish 2lb of minced beef in about 2 mins, it's a record !! I trudge back into the house for some chicken backs to put in for them, they are obviously still hungry !!
I leave them all chomping happily and go to find myself a much needed cuppa !!
Over the next few days, I will be mixing their feeds up a little, so that their other meals are not always cushioned by the chicken, every new food we have already introduced is no longer a new food, I have have had no alarming reactions to any of the different types of meats they have been given, so now I am able to feed all with confidence.
Having said that their next meal is chicken mince !!!
10.45am - As they had rather a large breakfast, I will leave a good gap to ensure their little appetites are ready for another work out.
Chicken mince is served and well recieved !!!
3.00am - Minced beef again and the lot is cleared
They have been in the outside run for most of the day, at around 6.00pm I check on them, to find they are all fast asleep indoors, and somebody has been having a lovely time with the shavings from the next compartment !!
It doesn't take long for them to work out I'm there !!
Everybody goes back outside for an early evening play and Mum joins them, photos of this can be seen on my main website :- HERE
7.30pm - The day finishes on chicken mince, some left.
DAY 16 - MONDAY 16th JUNE - 5.30 am - An early start again and the pups have fresh, minced best beef tripe for breakfast, this time they polish off just short of 3lbs between them.
10.00am - Chicken mince for this meal and quite alot is left, this has happened a couple of times now and I will monitor this carefully over the next few days, with a view to feeding 3 minced meals a day plus chicken pieces.
3.00pm - I give them chicken mince again as I was not impressed with the amount that they ate at the last meal, this time they make a much better impression on it, although there is still some left.
8.00pm - The pups have had visitors and are late with their last feed, which just happens to be a favourite - minced beef, they are given 2.5lbs and clear the lot all bar a few morsels.
DAY 17 - TUESDAY 17th JUNE - 6.00am - Chicken mince to start the day, and the pups eat a good amount.
They are having lovely days of eating, sleeping and playing, I'm sure the fresh air tires them out more !!
11am - The pups are given 2.5 lb of rabbit mince and demolish most of it.
3.30pm - They are about to get heart for the first time, it is a chopped mixture of lamb and ox and I just know the pups are going to love it !!! I decide to let them have a few raw eggs for the first time today too and select 4 to go with their meal.
I divide the mince, beat the eggs, pour the eggs all over the heart and then I crush the shells of the eggs as finely as I can and mix them into the heart and egg. This immediately adds natural calcium to a dish that didn't contain any. Egg shells are a brilliant source of natural calcium.
The puppies were in 7th heaven and really enjoyed their meal.....
There was no hesitation with the puppies, they just dived straight in and didn't come up for breath until we had clean plates......
Mishka, Stan and Saskie are not convinced it's all gone !!!! Stan, having finished off what's on the plate he is working on with Mishka, tries to check out the one Saskia is busy licking every last morsel off, she is not happy about it and takes position over her plate !!!
They are obviously still hungry, they are given half a dozen chicken backs and spend the next half hour or so happily squabbling over them, it wouldn't matter if I put 50 in, they would still think the one their brother or sister had looked more interesting than theirs !!!
By 4.15pm they are all flat out fast asleep in the shade in the outside pen . Some of the chicken back are half the size they were when put in, the pups are really dealing with them now.
8pm - They finish the day on rabbit mince and eat most of it.
DAY 18 - WEDNESDAY 18th JUNE - 6.30 am - The boring stuff is back !!chicken mince for breakfast.
11.30 am - I give them minced beef for this feed, they love all the red meats and devour it in their usual style !!
2.30 pm - It has been a boring day for the puppies, it's poured down for most of the day and they have been confined to the indoor run and sleep house, maybe it will clear later and they can come out for a play.
They have minced beef again, to make up for their confinement !!
6.30pm - It has stopped raining, but their outside pen is soaking, it is quite warm, so I let them out anyway, they are jubilant in their freedom and frolic around the soaking run, needless to say we have eight soggy, but happy puppies 15 minutes later They finish the day on rabbit mince and stay out for a while longer playing before retiring to a nice comfy bed of dry shavings.
DAY 19 - Thursday 19th June - 6.30 am - The pups are only with me for another week before they start to go to their new homes I am confident that by this time they will have covered pretty much everything I wanted them to, today they will be trying fish.
Sometimes I have problems getting fresh whole sprats, when this happens I use the next best alternative which is canned oily fish, in this case it will be sardinnes, it's about time we got some omega 3s going on in this diet, I am going to mix the sardinnes with the boring chicken mince !! I will probably open 3 cans and they will be in tomato sauce. Fish in oil can be served too, but I just happen to have tomato sauce and so that is what they are getting.
For this meal chicken mince is served on it's own !!
In my experience, raw weaned puppies do not go on to be fussy eaters, because they are trying lots of different foods in the early weeks of weaning, they are more ready to accept new tastes and new textures than a puppy used to one type of food.
11.00am - I change my mind about the sardinnes being added to the chicken, instead I add them to a very firm favourite - lamb and it all disapears faster than you can blink, they have shifted around 2.5lbs of mix
3.00pm - Tripe is given, the puppies are really fond of this now too and it is eaten with their usual relish !!
Around 5ish, when I am feeding the other dogs, the puppies kick off as if they want some and so they all end up with lamb bones to try for the first time, they are very impressed and although at this stage they do not stand a chance eaing the bones, they have a great deal of fun trying to.
I apoplogise to any new owners if their puppy has been missed out, I was settling into a nice photo session and the heavens opened, so the puppies had to be put back into the indoor, along with bones before they got wet, but as you can see from the pics I did manage to get, the lamb bones were well recieved.
7.30 pm - The puppies get a last meal of chicken mince and make a feeble attempt, they are not really hungry and all start playing instead !!
I have a feeling the time is coming to reduce to three meals per day, plus bones.
DAY 20 - FRIDAY 20th JUNE - 6.00am - The puppies are 6 weeks old today, although they still get a feed of Mum now and again, they are weaned, she will continue to visit them right up until the day they leave, but they have very sharp teeth now and are non too gentle about getting her teats to part with the milk which she is still heavy with.
Although she is a truly excellent Mum, it would be cruel to shut her away with them now and so she has the choice as to whether she wants to join them or not, she can jump in and out as she pleases and to be honest, she goes in less and less and usually only after they have been fed to see to the cleaning up !!They start to leave me next Friday and over the weekend....... Shanti has been fantastic, I couldn't have asked for more, but I think she will be happy to settle back into normal family life and begin enjoying her walks again once the babies have flown the nest !!!
They start with a breakfast of minced beef and pretty much demolish it, I leave them with several meat filled hooves and they spend the next half hour happily investigating and squabbling over them, by 7.00am everyone is back alseep !!
Today, I am reducing the puppies meals from 4 minced meals to 3, they will of course still be getting their daily bones as well, in the form of chicken wings/backs/carcases and should progress to breast of lamb etc, in their new homes.
12.00 pm - The puppies have rabbit for this meal and I end up having to get more out, because they demolish the lot !!!
I will need to play round over the next few days adjusting, because their meals have been dropped from 4 to 3, I need to make absolutely sure that the three mince meals they are still getting contain enough food to satisfy.
6.00pm - The same thing happens at this meal, it is gone faster than you can blink, I go back for more Tonight I have given them minced lamb.
8.30pm - It's a beautiful night and the puppies are all out playing in the run, I throw in some chicken backs and they all have a munch, I'm glad, because they will be getting no more food until tomorrow morning and Shanti is not going in with them tonight
DAY 21 SATURDAY 21st JUNE - 6.00am - I am pleased The puppies had a good, quiet night and didn't wake up too early !!
They are all starving - poor little mites, they kick off something wicked when they see me - especially when they clock the two huge plates of Turkey mince I have for them, there is 3lb between two plates, so roughly that gives us 48 ounces between 8 puppies and equates to approx 6 ounces each, obviously some puppies are greedier than others, but at the moment it would be fair to say the puppies are consuming approximately 18 ounces of food per day - each. Which is 1lb 2oz added to this, is any of the bones they eat, which at the moment, can't really count as part of their consumption as they are still learning to eat them !!
There is no turkey mince left on the plate at all !!! I return with a dollop of chicken mince just to see if they really are still hungry and a couple ( Lexie and Ben !! ) have a nibble, satisfied that they are satisfied, I let Shanti in with them for the first time since 9pm last night, they are delighted to see her and she obliges them with a drink
Because I have now knocked one of the mince feeds off, I will serve bones after the morning feed and after the last evening one, this morning they get a section of beef ribcage, they are not going to be able to consume this bone, but what they will do over the course of the day is pick at it, pull at it, play with it, tug at it, get all the scraps of meat and sinew off and give their teeth a good work out in the process, just because they can't eat a dense, hard bone like this, doesn't stop them from having a real good try !!! This is also one of the best forms of exercise a puppy can have at this age, you would be amazed at how many muscles are used trying to anchor, eat or tug at bones.
I did get a few pictures from outside the pen of them with the ribcage but it is getting increasingly difficult to get into the pen with them to take the photos as they loose interest in whatever bones they have and decide to chomp on me instead !!! It used to be just Mishka who would be hanging off my trousers, now all of them do it, and moving from one side of the pen to the other is becoming a real challenge !!!!
12.00pm - Please note that instead of 4 - 4.5 hours between feeds, they now have a 6 hour gap between, in a couple of weeks, the middle feed of mince will also be knocked off and replaced with a bone feed.
For this meal they have minced lamb, another very firm favourite, again they demolish practically every last bit !!!
6.00pm - Rabbit for tea, again a scramble to consume it faster than you can blink !! They finish off with chicken backs and are not particularly happy because it's started to rain and they can't play out !!!
DAY 21 - SUNDAY 22nd JUNE - 6.30am - The pups start the day off with chicken mince, after which I give them some chicken pieces, there is a selection of meaty pieces, backs and carcases, they have a chomp for around 20 mins and then fall off back to sleep.
Anti clockwise Ben at front, Lexie, Mika and Bonnie Bonnie
Stan tucking in and Yogi looking on !!
Giz a bit then Stan......
Stan left, Ben right
Lexie front, Mika and Ben
Bonnie pulling tongues !!!
Mishka (ears on their way up!!)
Ben front, Stan rear
12.30pm - Tripe for lunch, with eggs !! The puppies really love egg
6.30pm - Minced beef with added heart for tea, followed by a selction of beef bones, it has actually stopped raining for a while an so the pups can come out and have their bones in their run, they do love to get out for a play before bedtime.
The puppies are getting wormed again tonight, this time I will do it after their last feed, so hopefully it won't affect their appetite.
DAY 22 - MONDAY 23rd JUNE - 5.30am - The puppies wake early and they want their breakfast !! They are given minced beef tripe and polish off the lot, hooves with tripe for dessert !!!
11.30am - They have minced turkey for lunch and this time I add a small amount of fresh raw liver, it's lamb's liver and it has been chopeed up very finely and added to the mince, the puppies go for it !!!
3.00pm - I give the puppies a quantity of lamb bones to have a chomp on.
6.30pm - The puppies finish the day on rabbit, another very firm favorite.
DAY 23 - TUESDAY 24th JUNE - 6.00am - The boring stuff is back !! chicken mince for breakfast, the puppies are no longer as keen on the chicken mince as they now appear to be over meaty chicken pieces, given a choice, they will go for wings, carcases and backs over mince. Just to test the point when I fed them this morning, they were faced with a plate of chicken mince and another plate of chicken parts, 6 out of 8 puppies went for a wing or a carcase, the remaining two after eating a small quantity of the mince then also decided to go for a chomp on some 'proper' chicken !!!
An hour later, they have shifted 4 carcases and 6 chicken wings, all that is left are a few scrappy bits of bone from the wings, which I remove.
You would be amazed how much their bone eating skills have improved over the last few days, they can crunch their way through any part of the chicken pieces which I offer.
I would just like to take this opportunity to go back to the subject of stools As the puppies are recieving barely any milk from Shanti now, the milk is no longer helping them to digest, they are doing it all by themselves, but please be aware that when a raw fed dog/puppy goes to the toilet it can be very different from a commercially fed one going.
The raw fed dog will appear to be constipated, he will appear to be having difficulty in passing his motion........... Tthis is because you are used to seeing commercial or cooked motions produced !!
He is not constipated, he is not in difficulty, he will pass the stool and give his anal glands a work out at the same time, something which does not happen as effectively with commercially fed dogs But it will take longer for him to pass his motion than if he were commercially fed. The more bone content his diet has, the drier the poos will be, which will take longer to deliver.... it is not constipation !!
If it is worrying you, feed a small amount of natural yoghurt, or some minced tripe, either of these will ease the offending poos passage !!
12.00pm - For lunch today, it's minced beef, it's been dry all morning and the pups have been playing out, they eat their beef and crash out in the shade.
All the other dogs now go to the mesh gate of the outside puppy pen to greet the puppies and the puppies are very sociable, the dogs have all been allowed in with the puppies individually and the respect the other dogs have showed them has been tremendous, everybody has been gentle with them and their experiences of other dogs so far has been a positive one.
6.00pm - It's a still night and so the puppies can play out until it starts to go dark, sometimes they choose to 'play in' but the trees further up on the embankment have been shedding leaves into their pen and the puppies run around with them like flags.
They are ready for their tea but tonight they dont get their usual mince, I give them lots of meaty chicken pieces instead, they are now efficient enough at eating the bones to make a meal of these chicken pieces and not just use them as practice for their teeth.
There is something very satisfying about watching eight small puppies all tucking in to their chicken with the relish of an older dog, this is the point we have been working towards.
Just to check they are all satisfied, at around 7.30pm, I place a small quantity of minced turkey in with them, and a very feeble attempt is made by 3 or 4 of them.
DAY 23 - WEDNESDAY 25th JUNE - 6.00am - The puppies are more than ready for their breakfast of minced lamb, they polish it off with the speed of light and finish the meal with 8 juicy lamb bones for dessert. Every puppy secures himself/herself one and finds a quiet corner to enjoy it.
Although they absolutely love the lamb bones, they won't actually be able to consume them completely yet. My 5 month old shep can demolish one of these bones in around 15 mins, and has been able to for a while now, but the puppies are less than two months old and it will be a good few weeks yet before they will actually be able to crunch and eat the harder bone which is lamb.
At this stage breast of lamb would be a better choice for whole consumption, but the puppies do so enjoy working on the bones they have been given and their appetitie has been satisfied by the minced lamb, these lamb bones present them with a challenge and I will leave them in the pen for a couple of hours to see just how much is actually eaten.
10.30am - The puppies are all asleep, but the lamb bones have been stripped of meat, fat and sinew and some of the ends have been knawed at !! As soon as they are aware of my presence, they let of a chorus, all scrambling to be picked up and loved, these puppies are so ready for their new homes I just wish I had another half dozen pairs of hands to dole out the cuddles with !!
I decide to leave the lamb bones down as now the puppies are awake a couple of them have started to munch on the bones again, so I leave them to it.
12.30pm - I give them minced turkey for lunch, and again it's cleared, I give a small amount of cottage cheese and the puppies think it's ice cream !!! They love it
6.00pm - Minced beef for tea, followed by turkey necks, they seem quite full, but are fascinated by the turkey necks and are using them like tug toys !!! A couple of the puppies loose interest in tugging and want to try eating.......Lexie and Ben.......these two are right little chunks !!! I leave the turkey necks down for a while and the other pups follow Lexie and Ben's example and taste their new delicacy !!
DAY 26 - FINAL DAY - THURSDAY 26th June - This will be the final entry in the puppies diary, they are seven weeks old tomorrow and over the weekend they are all going to their new families I will miss them like crazy, but I really hope the new owners will keep us updated on their diet, how they are getting along with it and how the owners are finding it in comparison to the usual diet of commercial food many of them have fed their dogs on before.
Of all he days I could have truly messed up, it would have to be on the last day of the diary last night, I almost comitted the cardinal sin of not taking the food for the next day out of the freezer, I remebered at around 10.30pm last night and hastily removed all the mince I would need for today into large bucket, then I got distracted again and forgot to set the blocks out of the bucket, individually to defrost This really is the hardest part of this diet and no matter how good you think your routine is, there will be the days when you forget......just like me !!!!! If this happens don't substitute with commercial, go to Asda etc and get some fresh chicken wings to tied you over, or keep a stock of tinned fish in your cupboard. Tinned fish and eggs yolks with the shell ground in is a fine meal - It contains both Omega 3 and 6, a whole array of essential vitamins and nutrients and by adding the shell ground in you are also delivering a dose of natural calcium - brilliant and so simple !! And excellent for an emergency
When I came to feed the pups this morning only the top two pound of rabbit had defrosted, but the pups are shifting around 4lb at a mince meal now
6.00 am - I give them the 2lb of rabbit, a little cottage cheese and then a chicken wing each, they are happy with that and all goes quiet .......
By the time lunch comes, they will be starving, but we have a special treat instore , yesterday, in Asda, I managed to get some whole fresh sardinnes at a very reasonable price, I bought lessthan £10s worth and ended up with a whole heap, I'm not going to mince them, I'm going to try the puppies on them chopped in half first, to see how they get on. If the weather allows me to, I will try and get pictures, it's raining today though If the puppies can't manage them whole just yet, I will run them through the mincer and add to a mince later on for tea, and will give them something else for lunch....the rabbit will have defrosted properly by lunchtime too !!!
For the benefit of their new owners - The puppies have tried pretty much all I have to offer, their diet over the last few weeks has been varied and balanced, if they were still in my care over the next week I would probably let them have a small amount of kidney and perhaps incorporate some veg into the plan. This is something you can do, but when you do, make sure you pay attention to the rules and everytime you feed a new food, stabilise the effect with chicken. For goodness sake don't make the mistakes I have with kidney, it is great to get a small amount into the diet regularly, but please refer to Pasha's diary (found in tabs at top of page) to see how easy it is to go over the top with the kidney, we do not want hosepipe diahorria !!!!!
11.00am - They are given lunch a little earlier because of my blip earlier !!
Unfortunately, my plan to give them the fish whole went out of the window, when the heavens opened and it poured down, so the fish had to be minced, added to another mince and then served in bowls
As you can see, they are reasonably priced
We obviously didn't use all the fish, what has been added to the mince equates to around a couple of teaspoons each per pup, the remainder is tubbed and frozen and added to my store.........
The puppies polished the lot off, but were not happy because they were still grounded due to the rain
6.00pm - The pups enjoy a meal of tripe, but don't enjoy still being confined, they love so much to get out and play, also they have all been brilliat with their toilets, going out whenever possible to peform
Hopefully we will have a better day tomorrow for the start of their departure from Krisannrio.
That's me done, I really hope you've enjoyed reading the pup's diary and it has inspired you to raw feed your own future litters, additions could be made to this page at a later date....... if I get some nice raw feeding photos from their new owners !!!