Thursday, May 23, 2013

Whelping box plans

Our puppies are growing like crazy.  So far they have all survived living with Jackson which is no small feat.  Last night he caught a chicken, brought it in the house through the dog door and threw it in the whelping box with the puppies.  Sheesh.  He frequently 'accidentally' drops his toys on the puppies or stands balanced in the doorway while watching to see if I am looking.  I think he's trying to make sure that the puppies don't get more attention then he does.  

The pups are in a box in the big upstairs family room.  We put a piece of linoleum under the box and topped it with a rubber backed pad.  The whelping box has been awesome!  I mean AWESOME!  Darren helped me build it using my dad's shop and some wood we scrounged over there.  

Jackson had to test it out to make sure would be useful.
Have a mentioned that he has an obsession with lining things up lately? 
Everything from shoes to cucumbers to cars...
I'll have to post some pictures. 

I wrote all about the box design over at the Family Dog Blog.  

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

We have babies!

One week ago Paisley had her babies!  
True to the Hatch house tradition she had NINE boys and ONE girl!
We actually tend to prefer boy dogs so we think this is awesome! 

The smallest little boy was 12.8 oz and the largest was 1.15 lbs.  
Rustin pointed out that pound for pound that is like a human having a 40 pound baby!
No wonder she has been exhausted.
She has spent the last week lounging in the shady grass with her feet up. 

Paisley labored for a long time and she was completely exhausted by the time the last little guy arrived.  We helped her out by suctioning each little mouth and rubbing the pups dry while she cleaned up all the birthing fluids. We went through about 15 disposable absorbent pads and another dozen towels. Paisley hadn't eaten much at all for a good 24 hours and she refused to eat while laboring so we gave her a bowl of melted vanilla ice cream a couple of times through the delivery to help replenish some calcium and calories. 
 Once they the pups were all delivered wasn't long before each little babe was snuggled in to nurse and they all went to sleep.  So sweet!

As always--the miracle of life is a beautiful thing!

Waiting for babies! The first two were born next to my bed.  
The rest were in the whelping box in the family room.  

Monday, May 6, 2013

Nature vs. Nurture

These blossoms smell delicious.  My sweet smelling backyard can totally transport me to a happy place.  I wish trees bloomed all year round!  Spring is fun. 

So It turns out we only have a 25% survival rate for our little chicks.  Out of eight purchased only two are still with us...

...Completely due to the abundance of chick predators in our back yard.

Really it's mostly Jackson. 
We have fortified the fence around the coop so hopefully
Chick Massacre 2013 has ended.  

 Thankfully some of the Hatch children have a nurturing spirit or we might be questioning our parenting abilities right now. 

Penny is a good mama hen.  She is FLUFFY.  She is so soft and downy I am tempted to snuggle up with her...

I find it somewhat reassuring that I am not the only mother on Earth who gets a bit fluffy when caring for babies...

We are obviously easily entertained.  We spend way too much time watching the mama and chicks.  When Penny finds a particularly appetizing bit of food ie. worm, (did you know chickens can seriously dig? They can...) she does this particular little cluck and the babies come running. 

Twenty-nine days of school left. (according to Benson) 
Woo Hoo!