Hello, first of all most of you are familier with Annie and her five pups by now, but in case someone isn't I have included a link to the thread on her and her pups. https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=479988 https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=483726 https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=506587 https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=524907 I have a few questions and tried taking them to another forum I belong to from the UK but am not getting the response I need, I know many of you have had litters of pups so I am going to ask you all the same thing I asked them. "Hello,everyone! The pups are doing good, so is Miss Anne, but I have a few questions. We put a blanket up over half of the table her box is under, to give her more privacy, since then if we take a pup out to hold it she wines, and wines, and wines and wines. She can be laying across the room and as soon as she sees us pick up a puppy she wines, she doesn't usually even get up to come over she will just sit there and wine. She doesn't do this if we are just taking them out to weigh them, but anytime we just want to hold them, I even sit right by the pool with them, they don't wine or cry, often times they stay sleeping. I am glad she is worried about them, but I want her to know that we can and will be picking them up. So I guess that's my first question, is this totally normal or something I need to work with her on? Yesterday I got out her treats and everytime she was quiet when we had a pup out I gave her a treat and told her good girl. Not sure if that was the right thing or not. My second question is this. Did I teach the pups a bad habit?? The other day when Anne was gone for close to 4 hours they where starting to cry, I had mixed up some canned dog food for Anne before she took off, and so I put my finger in the canned food then in the pups mouth. Squealer especially went nuts for it. Green and the boy are uninterested but the other three like it. So I have continued to do it once a day. Mainly for Squealer because she is having the smallest gains. However, now every time you pick Squealer up she starts searching for your finger, last night she latched on even though there was nothing on it! Should I stop feeding her that way? Am I making it so she will always think fingers are for suckling? or will this go away as she gets older? I read that is how you introduce them to food, but they are still a bit young I suppose, they will be two weeks old on friday. Anyway, couldn't find the answers in my books so I thought I would ask you guys, who have been through it all multiple times. Thanks for listening, and in advance for any advice. Melissa" that is word for word what I put on there. The only reply surprised me. "Melissa, this is just my humble opinion based on 32 years of experience of breeding. Leave the puppies with their dam without being handled other than to check them over - they are her brood at this age not yours ... yet. Why was she away from them for 4 hours at just 10 days of age? Unbelievable! No wonder they started to cry. They must have felt abandoned as at this age they need their dam's warmth and milk supply. As for feeding - their digestive systems are no way near being up to taking solids at this age and you are doing more harm than good. For everyone's sake, leave Anne with her babies - she knows what she is doing and clearly although you are trying to do what you feel best, you don't. Please do not take offence at this very valuable piece of advice from someone who knows what they are talking about." that is the reply I got, and this was my reply, yesterday, no one has commented since then. "No offense taken. I should of given the back story just didn't want to retype it all when it is in my other post of her pups at 1 week old. She got out of our fenced yard and took off for almost 4 hours. She has stopped being with them all the time since about 1 week. She now mainly lays on the floor away from them except when feeding them.. So no one really handles the pups till.... when? As my books say they should be handled for at least ten minutes each, every day. - Guess I was wrong about what needs done. I am not sure it really upsets her for us to hold them, I honestly was thinking it was more of a touch me not them thing. But I'm probably wrong.- Melissa" - I hope I haven't broken any rules here doing this copy paste thing, but I didn't say names, so hopefully its okay. Hoping for a diffiniative answer. Am I really not suppose to handle them other then when they get weighed? We love snuggling them and have been since the beginning, we just usually only do it when she is outside, and I just noticed her reaction the other day and wondered if I needed to work with her about it, or just only handle them when she is outside so as not to "upset" her, though I wouldn't say she is overly upset, the whining just gets a bit annoying.