In the evenings, we gather the puppies into this bin and take them to get weighed. The weights are recorded and each puppy is inspected before it goes back into the whelping box. With large litters, it's important to make sure that they are each getting enough to eat.
It's hard to get a clear picture of a puppy getting weighed. They wiggle a lot - especially when you take them away from their cozy, warm siblings! :)
I can't remember the last time I wrote a "Farmwife's Journal"! But in case you are wondering, I am still a farm wife and here's my journal entry for today. :)
After finishing school with Ben and Jonny, I was ready to tackle my list of things to do. One thing
I 've had on my list for weeks is to make Fire Cider, both for our family and for my parents. I got the recipe from Mountain Rose Herbs and altered it a little. It's an apple cider vinegar tincture that you use for treatment of just about any illness. It's potent stuff! I have not made this exact recipe before, but have made some similar recipes. All I did was combine the following:
1 cup of grated ginger
1 cup of grated horseradish root
1 large onion
20 cloves of garlic (I grated them skins and all with my electric grater)
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1 lemon (I keep lemons whole in the freezer, and then I just grated the whole thing while still frozen)
4 tablespoons of rosemary
2 tablespoons of thyme
and 2 tablespoons of turmeric powder all in a half-gallon jar. Then I covered the whole works with apple cider vinegar and mixed it up well. (All of the ingredients should be organic.) I put a lid on the jar and put it in a dark place for one month. When it's done, I'll stain out the pulp using a cloth (squeezing well) and will add as much honey as needed. Then we'll take it by the tablespoon when we feel we are coming down with something. I will store it in my refrigerator. It will keep longer...like years.
My Fire Water tincture.
I dug my horseradish, for the above recipe, from my herb garden this afternoon - boy is that potent stuff. One whiff and your whole head is cleaned out! Since I had some left over from my Fire Water recipe, I went ahead and made a tincture with that too. I simply covered the grated horseradish with brandy, capped and labeled the jar, and put in the cupboard. It will be there for six weeks, and then I will strain it and use it for any head congestion that shows up. I store my alcohol tinctures in dark bottles (that I usually buy from Mountain Rose Herbs), and keep them in my cupboard.
Along with my kitchen work today, I made a fun treat for Emily and I - pumpkin spice coffee! A friend brought us a pumpkin pie this past weekend (thank you, Lori!), so we needed some pumpkin coffee to go with it. :)
Coffee break with my girl.:)
This recipe was inspired by an email I received from the Bulk Herb Store. I looked at the ingredients and then came up with my own way to make it. Here's what I did...
Put 8 cups of water in a sauce pan. Add 2 cinnamon stick, 1 teaspoon of nutmeg, 1 tablespoon of ginger root (chopped up), 1 teaspoon of cloves, and 1 teaspoon of organic orange flavoring. Bring this to a boil, reduce heat, then cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Then put 4 tablespoons of ground coffee in a French press. Once the tea is done, pour it over the grounds, add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and a tablespoon of brown sugar. Push down the press and let it sit for 4 minutes and then add cream and enjoy.
Beauty and her puppies are doing really well! They are beautiful, and she is an amazing mom. When one group of puppies has been nursing long enough, she will readjust so the puppies fall off the spigots and that way the other group can latch on. :) God has given these animals amazing instincts, and it is fascinating to watch! :)
Beauty has labored for about 12 hours and has had a dozen gorgeous puppies! I was able to be with her when puppies number 11 and 12 were born. It was pretty exciting! I sat there and massaged Beauty's head while she had them. So far we have seven boys and five girls - wondering if there is one more yet to come. She's a great mom! Here are a few pictures.
Beauty Rose of Housman Farms started having puppies this morning around 3am. Mike and I watched her last night from our warm, cozy bed via our puppy cam. :) She had been pretty restless that evening, so we left the camera on all night. Our children woke up this morning to the familiar sound (coming from our camera) of little puppies whining - they love that sound! :)
At this point, she has had nine beautiful puppies. So far, they are mostly white. We have not checked to see what the ratio of boys to girls is yet, as we don't want to bother mom too much. We did give her an "energy drink" this morning though. :) Having that many puppies can take a lot of hours, and mom can get pretty tuckered out.
We'll keep you posted on the final count, and try to get some pictures posted soon. :)
Dog: a domesticated carnivorous mammal. Yes, your dog is a carnivore! And carnivores eat raw meat and bones. It's hard for our domesticated minds to grasp the fact that dogs never used to eat food from cans and bags, but with the growing health problems in this country -both in humans and animals - it's time to take a look at the diet!
When we tell customers to feed their puppies raw meaty bones, they usually say, "I didn't think you could feed dogs bones. Won't they choke?" No, your dog won't choke. Most dogs eat bones like we eat chips - "crunch...crunch" and down the hatch! :) It's pretty amazing to watch! The key with feeding bones is that they must be raw. Cooked bones can splinter and cause problems, but raw bones are very nutritious and good for your dogs teeth. Just make sure your bones are not too large. Chicken wings are a fine food for puppies!
In the same way that we must eat what we were designed to eat in order to be healthy, your dog must eat what it was designed to eat to be healthy. We would not expect a child raised on processed foods to be healthy, so why would we expect that of our animals? Raw foods are best for everyone! While it may not be possible to feed them raw meat all the time, even supplementing their diet with raw meaty bones will help.
Beauty is getting big! It's funny how dogs can hide their pregnancy until about 10 days before their due date, then they suddenly look huge. We noticed Beauty looking large a couple days ago. :) She had seven beautiful puppies in her last litter. Any guesses for this litter?
The gestation period for a Pyr is about 60 days. Yep, that's it! A bitch can whelp from up to one day prior to her due date or about three days after. Ladies, don't you wish it was that short for us? While there are obvious differences -the short gestation and large litters- dogs do experience some of the same things we do when pregnant. They can feel sick in the early part of pregnancy and not have much of an appetite, and they also lose much of their coat after they whelp, like we lose our hair.
For those of you on our waiting list, we will be sending you a link to our puppy cam after they are whelped so you can watch Beauty's pups with us! :) We are so excited!!
Some days there are projects that need to get done around here that require me to veer from our regular school schedule. I am pretty strict about routine, so I don't veer too often, but one day last week the boys got out of doing school. Actually, life is school, so they really didn't get out of anything - it just felt like they did. :)
I have a couple perennial beds that desperately needed to be redone. For a couple years now, I have been wanting to dig out the plants in the beds and put in new plants. Not only were the beds over-grown, I also didn't particularly like the plants in them either. In the fall I think about redoing them, but with our school schedule, there is never time to do it. But this year I decided it was time for a lesson in propagating perennials! :)
In the morning, the boys and I headed out to the garden shed with a gardening book and some coffee - chapter one "Propagating Perennials"! The first question, "Mom, what does it mean to propagate perennials?" We learned that and much more - what time of year to propagate, different methods of propagating and tips for a successful transplant. I had to talk fast in order to keep my boys attention, and I had to keep reminding them that they would have a test on what they learned. We agreed that if they both got 100% on the test, I would make them homemade pizza and we'd watch a movie. That kept their attention! :)
We had a great day! We dug out the beds, divided plants from other beds and transplanted them to their new locations. Both the beds that I had been dreaming of redoing were done! Yeah! My boys are hard workers. :) The following morning, I wrote the test. Would you believe that they both got 100%? Food is a good motivator for growing boys! LOL So last Friday we had our pizza and watched a movie.
When you home school, it changes your perspective on everything you do. It all becomes a learning experience, instead of just another job. Each day we have the opportunity to impart knowledge, skills, and most importantly truth into our children. Life is school, so have fun teaching your kids! :)
Why hello there! After taking a needed break from blogging, we've decided to give this a try again! If anyone even looks at this blog anymore. ;-P Now that I (Emily) have graduated, I have all this spare time on my hands (NOT!) so thought I would try freshening up the blog a bit, or even (gasp!) posting.... no promises, though. ;) And maybe Mom will post too. ;-) It's been a very busy summer and blogging has been pretty low on the list....obviously. But hopefully we will be posting more often now. What would you like us to post about the most? Every day life? Health? The dogs? All of the above? Leave us a comment and let us know! We'll be back soon. :)