First Litter - Questions

Share your joy! Here's the place for newly owned HOFs to announce births and adoptions.

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Joey
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First Litter - Questions

Postby Joey » Sat Jun 05, 2010 6:12 pm

I'd like to announce that there are 3 new additions to my household - the very first litter of Gidget and Roscoe! Born June 2, 2010. =D>
Babies.JPG
Gidget & Roscoe's first litter!
Born June 2, 2010
(One day old!)
Babies.JPG (139.07 KiB) Viewed 6796 times


I also have several questions as this is my "first" litter as well - although, I've been a HOF for about 7 years now..

1) Is it OK to handle newborns?
I've been taking them out for about 2 minutes since day 1- just to get some quick pics and then putting them back. Gidget is in FULL nesting-mode so she pulls at my arm hair. However, today (day 3) - the babies are much more squirmy & squeeky - so she caught me and promptly took one back to the nest. I quickly put the other two in with her as I'm partly afraid that she may hurt them in transit.

2) Do the babies need stimulated while under Gidget's (mommy) care, or will she see to it by licking them? Will I need to at any point?

3) At what age (if any) should I pull them from Gidget - to tame them?

4) Should I modify Gidget's diet at all while she's nursing? She doesn't seem to be eating nearly as much as she has recently...

5) How long do I need to keep Roscoe (daddy) isolated from the litter? I have secluded him since day 1 (in a cage beside the others), but Gidget kicked him out nearly a month ago anyway and hasn't wanted anything to do with him.

My final concern is for Gidget. She is a very young mother (just over 8 months old) - in fact I was surprised she could even have babies already! All the literature I read said maturity is approximately 1 year. If gestation is 40 days, then she got pregnant at 7 months! I got her on November 1, 2009 - just weaned, so I'm pretty confident about her age.

Not surprisingly, she seems frantic. In the day she is mostly OK, but at night she jumps around (even more aimlessly than usual). Can I do anything to help calm her? She is closely bonded with me and lets me touch her babies and still comes into my shirt. Now, instead of settling in she just wants to pull at the fibers and my arm hair (I'm certain she's over-run by maternal hormones). Is this normal for a new mother?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I love this site and have referenced it since 2003 when my first furball got me!
Thanks,
Joey

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Re: First Litter - Questions

Postby Joan » Sun Jun 06, 2010 10:53 pm

Joey wrote:..
1) Is it OK to handle newborns?

It's generally better to leave then alone the first 2 weeks. Taking them can stress out mama.

Joey wrote:..2) Do the babies need stimulated while under Gidget's (mommy) care, or will she see to it by licking them? Will I need to at any point?

Mama will do everything ... she needs no help.

Joey wrote:..3) At what age (if any) should I pull them from Gidget - to tame them?

I never pulled mine, just took them out daily for a little while once their eyes opened and always left one with mom. Judy pulls hers and she can tell you about it.

Joey wrote:..4) Should I modify Gidget's diet at all while she's nursing? She doesn't seem to be eating nearly as much as she has recently...

Make sure she has calcium available ... cuttlebone, etc. Get some wax worms and mealworms for her. Pet stores have them.

5) How long do I need to keep Roscoe (daddy) isolated from the litter? I have secluded him since day 1 (in a cage beside the others), but Gidget kicked him out nearly a month ago anyway and hasn't wanted anything to do with him.[/quote]
If the cage is large enough, you don't need to isolate him. If small, wait until the pups start coming out on their own. I've never heard of a dad hurting pups, but I have heard of a female killing a male.

Joey wrote:..My final concern is for Gidget. She is a very young mother (just over 8 months old) - in fact I was surprised she could even have babies already! All the literature I read said maturity is approximately 1 year. If gestation is 40 days, then she got pregnant at 7 months! I got her on November 1, 2009 - just weaned, so I'm pretty confident about her age.

Youngest female to give birth that I know of was 4 months old. Eight months is not usual, but certainly not unheard of.

Joey wrote:..Not surprisingly, she seems frantic. In the day she is mostly OK, but at night she jumps around (even more aimlessly than usual). Can I do anything to help calm her? She is closely bonded with me and lets me touch her babies and still comes into my shirt. Now, instead of settling in she just wants to pull at the fibers and my arm hair (I'm certain she's over-run by maternal hormones). Is this normal for a new mother?

First litter are usually the most anxiety provoking. She OK, just let her do her thing.
"A lot of people spend time talking to the Animals, but not that many people listen. That's the real problem! ... Winnie the Pooh

Judy C.

Re: First Litter - Questions

Postby Judy C. » Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:33 am

Joey wrote:
At what age (if any) should I pull them from Gidget - to tame them?

Joan answered:
I never pulled mine, just took them out daily for a little while once their eyes opened and always left one with mom. Judy pulls hers and she can tell you about it.


Hi. Yes, I pull mine at 4 to 5 weeks and hand feed formula, and around 5 1/2 to 6 weeks start giving them solids in addition to the formula. I play with them a lot, and carry them around with me wherever I go, so that they are very socialized and tame when they go to their new owners. I will readily admit to 'spoiling them rotten' while I have them!

However, I am set up where I can separate the momma and babies completely when I pull the babies. That way they can not hear each other, and both mommas and babies stay a lot calmer and happier. If I didn't have the outdoor cages and couldn't separate them so far from each other, I would probably do it as Joan does.

Enjoy your babies - the first six weeks or so are absolutely magical! Flyer pups can have you trained and wrapped around their little finger before their eyes even open - you never even know what hit you! :D

Judy C.

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Re: First Litter - Questions

Postby Ardilla » Mon Jun 07, 2010 1:19 pm

I didn't pull mine to hand-feed them, as I wasn't going to adopt them out and didn't need to have them on formula for the new HOFs to use as part of the bonding experience. However, I did start handling them regularly to tame them. I did peek in on mine before two weeks because my Penny was unusually calm, even though it was her first litter. In normal circumstances I would not mess with them for the first couple weeks because, as Joan said, it can stress the mama.
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Re: First Litter - Questions

Postby Joey » Thu Jun 10, 2010 12:00 am

Thanks for the input!

Against advice, I have pulled the little guys for a pic (they're one week old!). All appear to be doing well...
OneWeek.JPG
Gidget & Roscoe's first litter!
One Week Old
OneWeek.JPG (138.7 KiB) Viewed 6717 times


Gidget (Mama) seems to be doing OK too. I've been giving her playtime with lots of bits of toilet paper (nesting material) - it distracts her from pulling my hair! She seems somewhat calmer now. I've put a blind between her cage and Roscoe's, because she gets irritated very quickly when she sees him! She's still friendly towards me and visitors, and appears to be a good mother.

I'm sure I'll have more questions - thanks again for the feedback.

Cheers!
Joey

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Re: First Litter - Questions

Postby rover » Sun Jun 13, 2010 8:47 pm

Wow! Congratulations on your first litter! They are so cute! I hope all goes well with them!

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Re: First Litter - Questions

Postby Joan » Sun Jun 13, 2010 10:09 pm

Do you know the ages of the pups when each photo was taken?
"A lot of people spend time talking to the Animals, but not that many people listen. That's the real problem! ... Winnie the Pooh

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Re: First Litter - Questions

Postby Joey » Wed Jun 16, 2010 8:47 pm

I am pretty sure they were only 1 day old in the first pic, and the second was taken six days later (age = 1 week). I plan to take another pic tonight - two weeks... I'll share. Also, I've referenced you page for aging pups and development appears to be similar.

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Re: First Litter - Questions

Postby Joey » Thu Jun 17, 2010 2:01 am

UPDATE - 14 Days Old:
Day 14.JPG
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Re: First Litter - Questions

Postby Joan » Thu Jun 17, 2010 10:31 am

They are growing fast!
"A lot of people spend time talking to the Animals, but not that many people listen. That's the real problem! ... Winnie the Pooh

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Re: First Litter - Questions

Postby Joey » Thu Jun 24, 2010 1:37 pm

Here they are again - 21 days old! They're very squirmy now and constantly fight to be at the bottom of the pile! The two 'larger' ones are girls (right most, and center), and the small one is a boy...he's the most feisty of all (he's on the far left). The girls seem pretty mellow which is odd considering their mother has never been. Gidget (mom) is still aggressive towards Roscoe (dad), but has never seemed to mind me handling the babies. Now she'll even watch me take them out and just carry on with her business.... which lately seems to be building a new nest in my curtains. Sometimes she gives me a look like "please give me a break." I expect they'll have their eyes open in the next few days...

P1060643.JPG
21 days old!
P1060643.JPG (188.86 KiB) Viewed 6589 times


P1060650.JPG
Everyone wants to be at the BOTTOM of the pile!
P1060650.JPG (190.44 KiB) Viewed 6589 times

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Re: First Litter - Questions

Postby Joey » Thu Jul 01, 2010 11:40 am

Another UPDATE: 28 days old... All have their eyes open and they're crawling around more and more every day. Gidget had to check things out... I picked them all up (including her) and she started cleaning herself so I assume she wasn't too upset. Hopefully her tail fills in again when she's done nursing!

Day 28 (3).JPG
Day 28 (3).JPG (203.3 KiB) Viewed 6537 times


Momma Rescue.JPG
Momma to the rescue... or not!
Momma Rescue.JPG (198.5 KiB) Viewed 6537 times

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Re: First Litter - Questions

Postby Joan » Thu Jul 01, 2010 12:43 pm

These pictures are so great.
"A lot of people spend time talking to the Animals, but not that many people listen. That's the real problem! ... Winnie the Pooh

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Re: First Litter - Questions

Postby Joey » Mon Jul 12, 2010 6:35 pm

This is from last week - 5 weeks old. They're more and more playful everyday but still startle quickly. The male is in the middle, so he's content.
Day 36.JPG
5 weeks old
Day 36.JPG (190.4 KiB) Viewed 6490 times

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Re: First Litter - Questions

Postby rover » Sat Aug 06, 2011 8:49 pm

Thanks for posting the pics of them growing up! It is really cool to see how they grow each week!!!!


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