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!
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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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