Saturday, September 5, 2009

Airedale puppies

Kat had a litter of 11 puppies last night. Mother and children all appear fine, and in good form. We'll be feeding her a lot of food to try to keep her weight up as much as we can, but when you're feeding 11, she's going on the puppy diet.
They're about 5 hours old at the time of the photos

For a whelping box we just get a refrigerator box, cut it about 18" up, and then cut another piece off to form a new bottom. We'll cut a little door in one side so mom can hop in and out, and line the inside with old towels and blankets. Blankets are easiest to grab out and wash; we change the bedding 5 days after birth. Until then she can keep up with the puppies waste, but after you'll need something absorbent.


StefRobrts said...

Congrats! Aerdales aren't a dog you usually think of as a 'farm dog'. Why did you choose that breed, and how do they do on the farm - not counting the chicken-eater of course ;) Do you find it difficult to find homes for the pups you don't keep?

Bruce King said...

We usually sell the pups for $400-600 each.

StefRobrts said...

That's a pretty decent return.

So what do they do around the farm? Aren't they naturally rodent-hunters? Do they have any herding instincts?

Bruce King said...

As a farm dog, they're very interested in rat control, and varmits in general; raccoons, possums, coyotes. they work fairly well to get a hog out of the bushes, and having a dog by your side makes handling the sheep easier.
They're pretty tough minded; getting hurt really doesn't seem to put them off at all, which is a bit of a problem because I have to watch them to see if they're actually really hurt and pull them out of whatever it is they're doing.

They keep the coyotes out of the area around the buildings I think, by their presence. Where I lose animals is out in the pasture, away from the buildings.