Hog Butchering

Saturday morning we butchered our first hog. Brian stunned the pig, he and Sarah got him tied to the bucket of Sarah’s tractor. Then Brian lifted the bucket, Sarah slit his throat to have him bleed out.

Hannah and Sarah washing and scrubbing the pig.

We had hoped to do a hog roast, but we don’t have the right set up or knowledge. None of us wanted to risk the pig catching on fire and we couldn’t locate any experienced help. So, we opted to just skin the pig this time.

Sarah readying the pig for gutting.

After gutting and setting aside a bunch of goodies for the dogs. Sarah set to work skinning the pig. Then Brian lowered the pig for cutting.

Sarah cutting off the hocks.

Then we set to work cutting out the pork tenderloins and removing shoulders, belly and hams.

Sarah prepping cuts for Brian and the Sawzall.
We cut and cleaned the meat into portions for roasting.

We cut up some scraps for the dogs and took the organs and other delicacies to the house to cut up and freeze for the dogs in the future. We also washed the pigs feet, head, and ears for the dogs. The English Shepherds will get some along with the big dogs on Raw Tuesdays, our regular raw feeding day. The Livestock Guardian Dogs all got a foot when we finished. We were very pleased to have everything cleaned up by 11 a.m.

Roxie enjoying her pig’s foot in the privacy of the porch.
Moof the hoarder, after I returned the others to Baron and Nova.
Nova enjoying her returned prize.
Harry Wonder “Baron” munching away.

I couldn’t stand how much blown coat was matted on Baron. So, after a visit from a friend to socialize puppies, poor Baron’s number came up. He was so very good with all the brushing. It really came out nice and thankfully Sarah joined me later for the better part of an hour.

One trimmed, defloofed dog ready for a party this coming Saturday.

Gizmo/Mesa “Faces of America” Week Three

Wow, three weeks already! Fall is upon us and the decorations are festive. May our hearts rejoice in the bounty and privilege we have in this beautiful country in which we live.

Mesa, Gizmo, and their brood
Sojourner Truth “Journey” 2# 9 oz Sable Longtail Female.

An abolitionist and women’s rights activist who won her son’s freedom as the first black woman to succeed in court against a white man.
Rosa Parks “Rosa” 2# 5 oz Tri-color Longtail Female

Named by Congress as “the first lady of civil rights and the mother of the freedom movement”. She is most well known for refusing to give her seat on the bus in Montgomery Alabama to a white passenger.
Katherine Johnson “Katherine” 2# 11oz Tri-color Longtail Female.

One of three black students to be the first to integrate West Virginia’s graduate school. After much work at NASA went on to supply the calculations necessary to link the Apollo Lunar Module with the lunar orbiting Command and Service Module.
Sacagawea 2# 5oz Sable Bob-tail Female

Her vast knowledge and ingenuity was the saving grace of Lewis & Clark’s expedition.
Clara Barton “Clara” 2# 12 oz Sable Bobtail Female

A hospital nurse during the Civil war who went on to be the founder and first president of the Red Cross..
Mary Musgrove “Mary” 2# 4oz Sable Longtail Female

A pivotal biracial English/Native American woman that used her mixed heritage and language skills to help negotiate between Native American and English communities in Colonial Georgia.
Booker T. Washington “Booker” 2# 11 oz Sable Bob-tail Male

Last of a generation of Black American leaders born into slavery that was the voice of the former slaves and their descendants. He served as advisor to multiple presidents of the US and was an educator, author and orator.
Abigail Adams “Abigail” 2# 10oz Sable Longtail Female

Abigail is sometimes considered to be a founder of the United States of America due to her vast written interchange on government and politics in her copious letters to her husband, the second president of the United States, John Adams and mother of later president John Quincy Adams.
Harriet Tubman “Harriet” 2# 9oz Tri-color Longtail Female

An escaped American slave who worked as an abolitionist freeing approximately 70 slaves through the Underground Railroad.
Pocahontas Sable 2# 10 oz Bob-tail Female

Pocahontas and her people were instrumental in helping the people of Jamestown establish as a colony.
William Bradford “Bradford” 3# 5oz Sable Longtail Male

Bradford was one of the framers of the historic Mayflower Compact, a set of rules for self-governance established by the English settlers. Bradford knew life without laws could prove catastrophic and to ensure a functioning social structure for society his leadership was instrumental in forming the precursor of a government for the people and by the people.
Chief Joseph “Chief” 2# 12 oz Sable Longtail Male

The Nez Perce chief who replied “From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever” as his dilapidated tribe of mostly women and children surrendered to the U.S. Calvary. Chief Joseph lead one of the most noted trails of battle. For three months the Nez Perce out maneuvered the US Calvary traveling over 1,170 miles and ending only 40 miles from the Canadian Border.
Easier said than done!
Rosa, Sacagewea, Abigail, Mary, Bradford, Clara, Chief, Harriet, Katherine, Pocahontas, Booker,and Journey.

Mesa and the Struggles of a New Mom

Well, Mesa’s impatient brood had her in a pickle last night. We had to put a little taller entrance into the pen due to the puppies pig piling and making a near breech. This made it a bit awkward for Mesa to get in and situated without stepping on her puppies. She was just too slow and they mobbed her, poor girl couldn’t figure out how to get situated.

Poor girl doesn’t know which way to go
“Help!!!! I just want to lie down to feed you?!”

Puppy Culture Firsts: Lapping From a Bowl

“Katherine Johnson” was struggling with her bottle feeding when the nipple got plugged from the yogurt in the formula. We had been planning on introducing the litter to the bowl later in the day, but this was a good first opportunity for us. With Hannah’s assistance, Katherine caught on quickly.

“Katherine Johnson”

We were encouraged by several more experienced breeders to use The Leerburg puppy formula https://leerburg.com/bottlefeeding.htm over The Puppy Culture recipe. We have been blessed to find a local goat farm that we are bartering our homegrown pastured raised broiler chickens for raw goat milk. We use whole milk yogurt, raw egg yolks, Karo Syrup and the raw goat milk, the puppies love it! I’ve been wanting the stainless puppy feeding pans, but I felt they were quite large for such young pups. Providentially, I was at Menard’s the other night while the girls were in town for youth group and I found these smaller feeding pans; https://www.menards.com/main/pet-wildlife/pet-food-bowls-food-storage-mats/van-ness-slow-feeder-stainless-pet-dish/sssf1/p-1567060215626-c-8330.htm The two smaller pans cost less than one large one and have the rubber rim to help hold it in place. Honestly, the stainless is plenty heavy and should last for a long time to come….,with care; not if we run them over with the tractor! We use the regular Leerburg stainless dog bowls, but tractor abuse is not covered under warranty.

Formula supplies

We were so successful with Katherine we decided to give the whole litter a chance during outside time.

Stephanie basking in puppy kisses while I warmed their formula.
Puppies trying to find the goods all over Hannah
Drawing the puppies to the milk formula
Puppies eating their fill

Well, what a successful mess! We were glad to feed them outside, but as much as I had hoped with the smaller bowls the puppies still were a sticky milk covered mess. So, a bedding switch while the puppies were out, then a sponge bath before they were settled.

Clean content puppies all snuggled in

Puppy Culture Firsts Going Outside

The weather has been absolutely delightful. Very cool nights with warm sunny afternoons. So, after a busy, fun filled weekend and a exhausting day trip, I needed some grounding time. What better opportunity to take twelve busy sweet bumpkins for their first exposure to the great outdoors.

Out we go!
Rosa was the first to tumble and toddle off the blanket.
Cat giving all the pups a chance to experience the grass.

Quickly, we found the stress a bit much, and helped the pups back to the familiarity of the blanket. All this could not be done without the help of the girls! Hannah and Stephanie were off screen and Cat is a wonderful assistant.

Puppy cries for comfort

Well, then the hard part came, for a good 45 minutes we talked and cuddled puppies in the sunshine. Cedar came by a couple of times and tried to mother the puppies, but Mesa has no tolerance for her right now. After her banishment she begrudgingly gave Mesa the safety bubble she demands and we all settled in for some deep relaxation. Even Sarah and Cara were able to join us when they got home from work for the day.

Puppy Culture Neonatal Period

We have purchased the Puppy Culture program to help us prepare the puppies we raise to become better canine citizens. By nature we have done some of these things, but our goal is to be proactive in the best timing and setting for the puppies.

We even recruited our out of state guests in helping with Puppy Culture Protocols.

Initially we postponed the Early Neurological Stimulation – ENS due to the number of puppies and their struggles in the first week while Mesa established her milk supply. On day eight we began to institute the ENS protocols. Here is a chart of their first eight days.

Mesa x Gizmo “Faces of America” litter through day eight.

Of course, after I’ve messed up numerous times, I read the suggestion in the workbook to chart in pencil. Between the excitement of new puppies and the anticipation of Ravine’s litter, along with the supplementing and care the first week was pretty much a blur making sure we learned which puppy was which! With the advent of week two we began to formulate a rhythm to the process of weighing and implementing the ENS protocols.

Each puppy daily received a three-five count on their backs (supine position), here is “Katherine Johnson”.

Here is a link that explains the purpose and instruction of each protocol.

Holding “Sacajawea” in the head down position
Here “Sacajawea” is receiving the thermal stimulation.

We most certainly didn’t perform all the protocols perfectly, but I will say we have a pile of very sweet, calm, receptive puppies that just fall asleep in your hands on their backs now.

The completion of ENS

The puppies are now toddling around so we’ve tried to designate sleeping and potty areas. With this size of litter I think it is a little more difficult. Although they can all fit on their bumper pad nest, they often overflow onto the pee pads which isn’t making the delineation between clean and dirty as concrete. Overall, they are doing a good job of trying to clear the nest to do their business.

Puppies in their bumper bed and evidence of baby attempts at eliminating out of the nest.
Mareya and Cat bottle feeding a couple of puppies before bedding change…, again!
Mesa topping the puppies off

Ravine/Gizmo “9/11 We Remember” Week One

Todd Beamer Black/White bobtail Male
Mark Bingham Seal/White Bobtail Male
Pia Hofmann Tricolor Longtail Female
Brenda Berkman Sable Bobtail Female
Sonia Agron Sable Bobtail Female
Carol Orazem Tricolor Bobtail Female
Terri Tobin Sable Longtail Female
Moira Smith Sable Longtail Female
Kathy Mazza Tricolor Bobtail Female
Yamel Merino Sable Bobtail Female
Carey Policastro Tricolor Longtail Female

Gizmo/Mesa “Faces of America” Week Two

Sojourner Truth “Journey” Sable Longtail Female. An abolitionist and women’s rights activist who won her son’s freedom as the first black woman to succeed in court against a white man.
Rosa Parks “Rosa” Tri-color Longtail Female Named by Congress as “the first lady of civil rights and the mother of the freedom movement”. She is most well known for refusing to give her seat on the bus in Montgomery Alabama to a white passenger.
Katherine Johnson “Katherine” Tri-color Longtail Female. One of three black students to be the first to integrate West Virginia’s graduate school. After much work at NASA went on to supply the calculations necessary to link the Apollo Lunar Module with the lunar orbiting Command and Service Module.
Sacagawea Sable Bob-tail Female Her vast knowledge and ingenuity was the saving grace of Lewis & Clark’s expedition.
Mary Musgrove “Mary” Sable Longtail Female A pivotal biracial English/Native American woman that used her mixed heritage and language skills to help negotiate between Native American and English communities in Colonial Georgia.
Clara Barton “Clara” Sable Bobtail Female A hospital nurse during the Civil war who went on to be the founder and first president of the Red Cross.
Booker T. Washington “Booker” Sable Bob-tail Male Last of a generation of Black American leaders born into slavery that was the voice of the former slaves and their descendants. He served as advisor to multiple presidents of the US and was an educator, author and orator.
Abigail Adams “Abigail” Sable Longtail Female Abigail is sometimes considered to be a founder of the United States of America due to her vast written interchange on government and politics in her copious letters to her husband, the second president of the United States, John Adams and mother of later president John Quincy Adams.
Harriet Tubman “Harriet” Tri-color Longtail Female An escaped American slave who worked as an abolitionist freeing approximately 70 slaves through the Underground Railroad.
Pocahontas Sable Bob-tail Female Pocahontas and her people were instrumental in helping the people of Jamestown establish as a colony.
William Bradford “Bradford” Sable Longtail Male Bradford was one of the framers of the historic Mayflower Compact, a set of rules for self-governance established by the English settlers. Bradford knew life without laws could prove catastrophic and to ensure a functioning social structure for society his leadership was instrumental in forming the precursor of a government for the people and by the people.
Chief Joseph “Chief” Sable Longtail Male The Nez Perce chief who replied “From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever” as his dilapidated tribe of mostly women and children surrendered to the U.S. Calvary. Chief Joseph lead one of the most noted trails of battle. For three months the Nez Perce out maneuvered the US Calvary traveling over 1,170 miles and ending only 40 miles from the Canadian Border.

Puppy poses

The line-up

Yesterday we discovered almost all the puppies in line. Cat sprung into action to capture their cuteness. She had a couple of dissidents to contend with, but got them all lined up.

Close up of the cuties.
Smushes

I am amazed at how quickly the pigment fills in on the puppies. Their little feet and faces are so pink when they are born. Already their noses are jet black, except “Journey” who has a teeny pink spot on her nose on the white half of her face.

“Booker” T. Washington striking the pose.