Needing some advice- breeders and others who have had pups please!

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by bossynbella, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. bossynbella

    bossynbella Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 11, 2007
    Iowa
    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.
     
  2. Chickengal505

    Chickengal505 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 4, 2010
    Bolivia N.C
    Don't worry about them, If the mama dog wants to leave or take a break, she will. My choco. lab never stayed in the box, only came back to feed them and sleep, so don't worry about that. The canned dog food on your finger, is totally fine, on occasion. Otherwise the pups will learn (as you mentioned) to suck fingers all the time. It's fine for her to wine, and you don't have to work on that at all. It will go away as the puppies get older and she gets more annoyed with them [​IMG] so no problems okay? Just don't make a habbit of letting the eat off your fingers or when they get older the'll bite you taking treats ect. [​IMG]

    -Holly
     
  3. carolinagirl58

    carolinagirl58 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2011
    Lugoff, SC
    I don't think I'd let them have any canned food at this age. Most canned dog food is crap. The protein levels are very low, too low for pups and too low for annie. At this age, they need only Annie's milk. Anything lower in quality is just filling them up with junk. Annie needs needs high quality meat based dog food with no corn or fillers. Has the food you ordered come in yet or is this still Alpo food she is getting? Please get her something else. Alpo is pure garbage. Iams is a pretty decent food, 4-Health that is sold at tractor supply is even better. Taste of the Wild is great. If she is picky about not wanting to eat dry food, then soak it with chicken broth to soften it up for her.

    Dont' worry about handling the pups...it's good for them. It will help them adjust to new situations easier later in life. But since Annie doesn't care for you messing with her pups yet, do it when she is outside. I do think 4 hours away from them at this age is pretty darn long though. Don't worry about covering the place where her pups are....she doesn't need privacy.
     
  4. equine623

    equine623 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 17, 2009
    NE PA
    At 2 weeks, no they should not be getting canned dog food. Will it kill them? Hopefully not, but its not a good idea.

    As far as handling, yes they can and should be handled. Gently of course, but toes, mouth, tail, everywhere...they should be touched. For a short session, maybe twice a day and only if mom doesn't get agitated. They need to feel safe and secure always. Once they are more active, eyes open and walking (well waddling [​IMG]) start them on different floor textures, different sounds, smells, etc. The more that gets introduced now the more mentally stable they will be, assuming of course you don't introduce them to fire or helicopter flights [​IMG] (I'm kidding!)

    Why does she want to be away from them? Privacy is fine if she gets a little stressed, that varies dam to dam. As long as she is meeting their needs and doesn't have any signs of mastitis or other issues, she can take a break from them. That again varies dam to dam and also can be temperature dependent so if its hot she might not want to be snuggled up to them all the time. With her whining - does she come over and seem concerned that you have a puppy? I don't see any reason to either encourage or discourage this behavior, unless it becomes overly protective or the puppies seem agitated by her whining. They are still young, once they get a bit more mobile she might just say go ahead, take them please I need a break [​IMG] If it escalates, or she seems to be really upset, then yes limit handling to when she is not in the room. They are still young and she has the right to want them left alone - but as the humans you have the right to touch them. Its a fine line to walk sometimes.

    Good luck [​IMG]
     
  5. bagendhens

    bagendhens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 29, 2009
    Outside the Boundries
    agree wiht the others on no canned food...
    puppies sucking on fingers is fairly normal esepcially if mommas been gone 4 hours...wow, most pups feed every hour to 2 hours at that point...
    as long as shes feedingin i wouldnt worry too much about her being away from the box as long as the pups arnt getting cold, but mabe the blanket has her upset, see if removing the blanket gets her back in the box.
    ive known females who wont go in a covered area because they cant clearly see out in all directions or see whats comming at them...so that might be something to try. otherwise as long as they are gaining (even if its not much) and not getting chilled, i wouldnt worry too muhc on that aspect
    the fact shes whining at you when you handle them is a good thing, shes letting you know shes watching you...as long as theres no growling or agressive/overly protective behaviour its just her letting you know she sees you shes wathcing you and shes not that comfortable wiht you holding them.
    at 10 days old this is 100% normal and she will relax more as they get a little older and more mobile.

    in terms of holding them i have to 100% disagree with the person who posted on the other forum to you.
    i handle my puppies for a minimum of 1 minute form the day they are born. by handle them i mean i touch their toes, their ears their noses, i pet them gently and let them sniff me (they cant see but they sure can smell) as they get a little older i increase the time im touching them, i dont hold them for 5 minutes straight untill there about 2 weeks old, but by a week im holding them for 2-3 mins at a time at least 3 times a day.
    ive found early handling and stimulation (touching toes ect) makes for a much easier to handle puppy
    however you do have to pay attention to both the mother and puppies comfort levels and if there seems to be any discomfort (whimpering, lots of wiggling, antsy ect) then call it quits for the day and start again tomorrow...

    my personal thoughts on raising pups is pay attention to the mother, if you know her well and read her shell let you know what your doing wrong and what your doing right.

    ive never had a female be that dissassociated with her pups, but i think id try removing that blanket before i jumped to any conclusions about her mothering skills. [​IMG]
     
  6. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm

    I dont think I would feed them off my finger but giving them tastes of other food is harmless as long as they are not getting a lot of junk. With a house dog that knows you an trusts you you can handle them a lot. In a kennel breeding situation you may be better off leaving them be till they are older.
     
  7. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    It is perfectly normal for her whine about you taking her babes. Usually what I do, is take the pup, hold it and pet it talking to the mama dog, carry it over and let her smell it and you together. Most of the time this stops the whining. Sometimes I will sit with the mama and a couple babies together, playing and petting. It makes the mama more comfortable that you aren't doing anything different with them than you do with her.

    Yeah, canned food? No. I am sure the small amount you gave them is fine, but get some puppy replacement milk and have it in the house. Even if you never use it, you will be surprised what you may need it for. Like an abandoned baby raccoon. [​IMG]
     
  8. Sunwren

    Sunwren Out Of The Brooder

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    May 1, 2011
    Ocala, FL
    First, those puppies should be handled every single day from the day they are born. It is called Early Neurologic Stimulation (http://bordercollies.omegan.org/breeding/ens/) and can make all the difference in the world in how well the adult dog turns out.

    Second, if you have to feed them at this age, take a very good quality kibble (Not grocery store kibble), put it in the blender and pulverize it and then mix it with canned evaporated goats milk (not condensed, I like the Meyenberg brand and get it at my grocery store (http://meyenberg.com/index.php?page=evaporated-milk), make it a soggy mush and feed it to them in a very shallow dish. If they are showing any interest in food at such an early age they are not getting enough milk from their mother and supplementing won't hurt them if you use goat milk/kibble mush. But don't push them, if they are not interested it is always best to let them nurse at this age. I try not to wean until four weeks but my last litter had to be started at two weeks because the dam was not producing nearly enough milk for her litter of nine. Their systems cannot handle canned food or even just kibble, it needs to be mostly milk based. I have had horrible luck with store bought puppy formulas and do not recommend them at all.
    (the other option would be to add a raw egg yolk, a tsp of corn syrup and 2 tbsps of plain yogurt to a cup of goats milk and feed that to the puppies if you feel they need to be supplemented).

    Edited to add that I can ALWAYS tell when a litter wasn't handled from an early age. Those puppies at eight weeks are the ones that submissive pee and cringe and can't be stacked when being evaluated [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2011
  9. pbjmaker

    pbjmaker Overrun With Chickens

    May 9, 2008
    Central Iowa
    I have only had 2 litters of puppies here so I'm no expert - but both were handled from day one and were well socialized once they started getting shots. We kept two of them and my vet complimented me on how well they stand for exams and she could do anything with their mouths. So yes do handle them and make sure you "mess" with their mouths, paws and ears.

    Lily will only let me mess with the pups at first and will snap at anyone else. After a couple of weeks she seems to appreciate other people taking them off her hands - it seems to happen when they start crawling around.
     
  10. Heathero617

    Heathero617 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 1, 2011
    Mosheim
    I'm going to chime in and agree with some and disagree with others.

    First off, she trusts you, thats why she whines instead of running and attacking you when you handle the pups. Best thing would be to call her over or go to her with the pups as you handle them let her sniff, lick and take them if she wants to. Let her be in control of them.

    Secondly, they are a week old? No food other than mama's milk what so ever. Their stomachs are not ready to digest anything else. If need be, get milk suppliment, but that is all. You may set them up for digestive issues by giving them solids and animal protine so early on.

    Thirdly, you may want to move her welping box to another location if she's leaving for long periods of time. If this is her first litter, she may not know exactly what she's to do. Oddly enough this does happen. Dont' force her back in, but you can try and lure her in so that she might get the idea to stay put. But if she's coming back to feed, then shes got the main gist of it.

    Good luck with those babies, they are beautiful. I absolutley adore Beagles! OHHHH the singing!!!!!
     

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