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.
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.
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.
Then we set to work cutting out the pork tenderloins and removing shoulders, belly and hams.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Here is a link that explains the purpose and instruction of each protocol.
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 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.
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.
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.
The puppies are gaining, but not as quickly or as consistently as we would expect compared to a smaller litter. Cat’s super power is getting the puppies to eat at a good rate. So, we put Brian to work stimulating the puppies to void before putting them back to rest. Mesa could do a little better keeping them clean so we switched the Early Neurological Stimulation cold to a scrub with a nice warm cloth. We want the pups to associate clean smells among themselves so they void out of the nest as soon as they’re ready.
We chose “The Faces of America” as a hopeful reminder of what makes the United States “us”. Our nation is truly a melting pot to rejoice. People of every kingdom, tribe, and nation coming together with all the their diversity of gifts, talents, and work ethic, all to better each of our life’s circumstances. This is who we are, fallen people who sin and stand upright. One nation under God with liberty and justice for ALL. May we all love our neighbor’s as ourselves.