Today marks 4 weeks old for Flower, Charlotte, & Sammy! These 3 puppies continue to thrive. We are bottle feeding them 5 times a day. They are all around 1 and half pounds, with Flower slightly ahead of Sammy & Charlotte. In the coming week, we will teach them to lap goat milk from a bowl, We will also begin adding softened food to the goat milk. The end goal being having them completely on dry food by 7 weeks.
We continue to work on paper training with them. Their crate has two areas for them - a clean towel for sleeping and newspaper for potty. They do their business on the newspaper most of the time, but we still keep changing the towel several times day to show them it is a clean spot just for sleeping. In the next week, we will expand their area to include a play area without towels or newspaper.
4 weeks old is also the time we begin deworming the puppies. They received their first dose this morning. This isn't their favorite thing (nor mine), but it keeps them healthy and worm-free before any problems occur.
This is also the time they begin to want to play. Up until now, they were mostly content to snooze between feedings. Now, they want to be out exploring and cuddling. Our children like this age because it means they can play with the puppies! Below are a few snapshots from the week.
And I must end with the pose Charlotte struck for me all on her own today...
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3 weeks old today! (Be sure to click on their pictures to see more pictures of each puppy!) The puppies are growing and changing at a rapid pace. Since they are quite mobile at this point, we begin paper training them with the Misty Method. We have found that the Misty Method has puppies ready for crate training and house training by 8 weeks old. We are continuing to bottle feed them. Below they are taking their bottle, which they do in an adorable greedy fashion (from left to right it is Flower, Sammy, & Charlotte).
They are drinking from premie and newborn human baby bottles. We tried a smaller bottle nipple designed for puppies at first, but they could latch much better onto these bottles. They are drinking goat milk from our Nubian goats. We also add egg yolk and corn syrup to the milk for added nutrition. We chose goat milk as their main source of nutrition due to its reputation for being a universal milk to raise orphaned animals. (We often have people get goat milk from us to raise things from fawns to rabbits!) We've always used goat milk to wean the puppies; this litter is just getting it a bit earlier. We also chose goat milk because it is very gentle on their young digestive systems. And, of course, we chose it because we have a trusted source - our own happy, healthy goats.
The puppies are fed 6-7 times a day right now. Their tummies are small, and it is important not to overfeed. It is better to give small, frequent feedings rather than large, infrequent feedings. Smaller, frequent feedings mimic how dam-raised puppies get their nutrition. We carefully measure 1 ml per ounce of body weight for each feeding, which is the recommended amount for puppies. We have found that our little ones can handle just bit more than that per feeding.
One funny story from this whole experience of bottle feeding puppies...
For those of you who know our family well, you know we only have one daughter, MJ, who is almost 2. I'm just beginning to see her mimic things I do. (Her 3 older brothers tend to mimic Dad, but, not surprisely, she imitates me.) For example, since baby EJ's birth, she's taken a real interest in dolls - swaddling them, feeding them, etc. Well, a few days after we started bottle feeding this litter, I noticed her carrying a small, stuffed puppy around. As I watched her closely holding the puppy on her shoulder, I realized she was trying to burp the puppy (which we do after bottle feeding). So, just a reminder that whoever you are, someone is looking up to you following in your footsteps!
One more thing before I wrap up my post, a special thanks to those of you who have had sent kind, encouraging emails & blog comments our way! We appreciate the understanding & grace you've shown. Also, to those who have asked, Cocoa is through surgery and recovering.
Thanks for stopping by & have a Merry Christmas!
Our household has been busy with our new litter of mini schnauzer puppies, but we still have had time to get our homeschool studies completed. We finished up our elephant unit by making an elephant paper bag puppet.
The elephant puppets are lying on a spider web made by AJ. AJ loves to make things, and I needed a spider web to go along with the song "One Elephant Went Out to Play." (This must be one of the strangest songs ever, but it is catchy.) We used the web and the puppets to play and dance along with the song, and they had "such enormous fun," as the song says.
Following elephants, we moved onto penguins. (We are fousing on wild animals for several units.) I must confess I wasn't overly excited about this unit on penguins, but it has turned out to be one of the best yet! We have had a great time learning about a father emperor penguin's commitment to his chick (and the mother's, too, but the father's is truly remarkable). The lesson to go along with the penguin is to show love to everyone, but especially those in our family (as the father emperor penguin does). We discussed how our daddy shows care for us and painted penguin cards for daddy.
I was pleased with how their cards turned out. Even MJ (above) had fun joining in the mess. But even better than their paint job was all the things they came up to write inside about how Daddy cares for them.
The other exciting part of this unit was a mini-study on icebergs. We made icebergs by freezing water in quart and gallon ziploc bags in irregular shapes. We just plopped them all in 9x13 pan close together. The next day we floated them in the bath tub and dicussed what icebergs are, how they form, and how they are dangerous to ships. The picture didn't turn out to well, but here we are floating our icebergs.
There's been lots of "playing penguin" around our house with belly sliding across the kitchen floor, leopard seals chasing unhappy penguin brothers, etc. The dusting of snow we received last night into today gave us even more of a penguin-y feel as we wrapped up our unit.
Looking ahead to next week, I haven't decided yet when our official "Christmas break" begins, but we'll take a few days off.
Thanks for stopping by!
This post is linked to the weekly wrap-up at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.
Vanessa from Russell Homestead. Follower of the Lord Jesus, wife of my knight in shining armor, mother of 5 wonderful children, and joint-keeper of the Russell homestead. Thanks for stopping by!
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