The Outdoor Community banner

Raising a litter now ??

2101 Views 18 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  CasB
I have a gyp due in 4 days. Never had a litter this time of year. Welcome to all comments concerning where to have them, bedding, heat lamps, etc. Right now I have the whelping box in an old milk parlor, no heat source, not air tight. Other option is move her to the cellar. Any opinions?
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
What ever you have to do to keep a consistent warm temp for the pups away from drafts but with adequate ventilation...
We got a peice of plywood,cut into 4 pieces, made 4 walls, used 2x4 for pig rails, and used a heat lamp. We put this in the living room, granted it wasn't pretty, but it was convenient for us, no going to check them as they were right there with us.
Kept paper fresh so little odor.

This wasn't a hunting breed, but nevertheless.
I raised my litter in an old shipping crate that was about 5X5. I put in the pig rails and had a heat lamp hanging above the crate. When it was chilly I closed off the door with a flap and 75% of the roof with plywood so that only the light could get in that corner. I kept a cheap thermometer on the side of the box and checked it every now and then. Icould lower the light if it was too cold, or raise it if it got too hot. If the pups were cold would would find them right under the light huddled together or with mom, if they were hot they would be spread apart in the shady part of the box. Really make sure they don't have any draft. It is tough the first few days for them to regulated their temperature.

My female had 7 and raised 7. It was her first litter.
I would bring her in the basement myself. I use a shipping crate also with a heat lamp. I have seen people use the plastic kiddie pools with great results. It is very easy for the mama to keep clean.
I would do like Andy said use the basement. After two or three weeks when their eyes are open and they are able to move better and it should be warmer till then, try the milk parlor with a heat lamp. By that time they should be able to move closer to the heat if needed. Place the lamp a day or two before with a thermometer under it to see how your temperture is. I use a thermostat to control my heat lamp with pups.
I use a wading pool and heat lamps inside somewhere.
One thing I did that seemed to help was I used powdered goat milk kid formula for the momma and the pups when they started eating. Can't say for sure if it helped or not but everyone sure was healthy and the mom recovered amazingly well.
CasB, there are many setups/ways to whelp pups. Using a plastic swimming pool is inexpensive way to whelp a litter. It provides a great enviornment for the mother and the new pups.

I have raised 3 litters in a kids round plastic swimming pool and plan on using this method again on May 1, 2013. I have had excellent pup survival with this type of a setup.

I set it up in the basement (out of drafts and uncontrolled cold temperatures and has a good source of lights, convienient to check pups and mama).

I go to a carpet installer and by sufficient amount of scrap carpet (like Berber- carpet with short knap) that will make 4 round pieces to put in the bottom of the pool. I place only 1 (one) piece of carpet at a time in the bottom of the pool. To clean the carpet, I take it out in the back yard and use the garden hose to clean it and let it dry. I also place 1 piece of carpet UNDER the pool (to be a barrier to the cold from the basement floor).

I get a lamp/shade for the infra red bulb (get an extra bulb, in the event yours burns out 10 minutes after Tractor Supply closes for a long holiday weekend). I drive a finishing nail in a floor joist above where I intend to place the pool. I use a plastic chain from the nail to the lite. The plastic chain allows you to conviently make very small adjustments in the height of the lite.

IMPORTANT- The height of the light determines the temperature where the pups are.

I set up the pool with carpet and lots of sheets of newspaper a few days prior to the intended whelping date. I place a thermometer on the newspaper and turn on the lite. I adjust the chain until I get the desired temp where the pups will be.

The whole bottom of the pool doesn't need to be at the desired temp. Mama and as the pups get older will crawl out from underneath the lamp from time to time.

By changing the carpet and hoseing it off you shold be able to keep the oder to a minimum.

CasB, what ever method you choose to whelp the pups, best wishes with the pups and your mother to be.
See less See more
Get the goat colostrum. Vet told me it is used now for all species and great for pups as it contains antibodies the pups will use after weaning. Start momma on it now. Get it at Tractor Supply and it is in a blue bag??
Here is the setup I'm using. I got it from a friend of mine that has been breeding Brittany's longer than I have been alive.
We are expecting this Setter litter next week, Momma is checking it out now.
See less See more
I've got a seneca whelping kennel. It has a heat lamp built into the kennel, a pig rail, and the box is fully insulated. It's a great set-up for whelping pups in. This winter I put a heating pad in it for the pups when it was really cold. No bedding until the pups were 4 weeks old, and then I only use newspaper.
She sure is showing. Alot of them keep you guessing right up to the last minute.
Penny starting have them this morning at 7:00am. Was up to 4 by 8:15am. I'll post the final count when she's done but I'm thinking she'll have 10.
Looks like the final count is 7. All appear healthy and Penny is doing a good job with them.
I spoke too soon. Just went to check on her and she's now at 9. Maybe she'll get to the 10 I figured on originally.
good for you . i'm sure donna is happy to have some kids around , helps with the empty nest syndrome
See less See more
She'll be even more thrilled when she realizes I'm keeping two!!
1 - 19 of 19 Posts