Time spent in whelping box and Weaning pen surface - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-05-2009, 01:12 PM Thread Starter
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Time spent in whelping box and Weaning pen surface

Hello. How much time does a new dam usually want to spend with the pups? How long are her breaks? Can she wander off for half an hour? Or do you keep her in a small area to really encourage her to stay put?

Second question is what surface are you using for a weaning pen and are you using newspapers? What cleaning agents are you using and how often?

Thanks
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-05-2009, 02:13 PM
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Re: Time spent in whelping box and Weaning pen surface

My females usually don't want to leave the box at all except to eat and a quick potty break the first week. The second week, the begin to spend more time outside the box...I always give them an area outside the box to get away for a bit. At 3, I supplement the pups and begin to switch them over to solid food and Mom usually only goes into the box to give nurse, and then makes a quick exit. By week 4 or 5 they are weaned and only spend time with mom while exploring the yard and hoping to steal a quick snack if she is willing.

I hate using newspaper, or paper period. Just too messy. I like to use towels or fleece blankets in the whelping box, more absorbant and gives the pups better footing. My main whelping box has no floor, I set it on top of horse matting and tuck the blankets under the walls of the box so they stay put. My "back up" whelping box has a vinyl floor so I use that rug no skid stuff under the bedding to keep it in place. I wipe down the area when I change the towels/blankets with Clorox bleach free wipes..gives a fresh scent to the area and quick and easy.

I change the towels/blankets as needed. Depending on the level of discharge the mom has, and how soon or frequently the pups begin to eliminate on their own.

When I start weaning and pups spend more time away from mom, which means my clean up duty increases, I move the pups to shavings....preferably outdoors. If it is winter time (indoors), I make a potty area with shavings and a play area with sheets of white paper I get from a printing place, and area rugs.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-05-2009, 04:44 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Time spent in whelping box and Weaning pen surface

Hi Khandi. What kind of shavings? Thanks for your detailed reply!
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-05-2009, 11:30 PM
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Re: Time spent in whelping box and Weaning pen surface

I use newspapers for the really messy time in the first week. I put a whelping box liner -- like a papertowel, but 4'x4', then I stagger many papers on top of it.

Clean up is easy because of the liner. You just remove the pig rail, then roll it up and put it in a trash bag. I also use clorox wipes, but they have no bleach in them so it will not kill parvo, it just keeps it clean and fresh.

Then I put down a new liner and stagger papers, I use lots.

After the first week, once the bitch stops bleeding so much, I put the fake fleece liner on top of the papertowel like liner. That works pretty good.

Once the puppies start taking themselves out of the whelping box, they start taking themselves through the doggy door into the puppy pen. The puppy pen has a concrete base. I clean it a couple of times a day.

I am generally not in a hurry for the bitch to wean the pups. I let her do it in her own time. I offer food, at first she eats most of it and continues to let the pups nurse, after a while, she lets them eat most of it and just cleans up after them. By eight weeks, the pups may be still hopeful for milk, but they are not depending on it.

Depending on how messy the puppies are, I will eventually make the inside area smaller and smaller so that they are compelled to potty outside. I also stop giving them water inside and start giving them water only outside. Once they drink they pee. It reduces the volume inside.

I use lexit bottles for water. Puppies are awful about dishes. They walk in poop and then track it into their water dish. The dish becomes foul quickly. The lexit bottles hang on the fencing and provide fresh water all the time.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-06-2009, 12:28 AM
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Re: Time spent in whelping box and Weaning pen surface

Like Kandi said, I find the bitches usually start spending time out of the whelping box after the first week. When I have a female (usually a foster) with pups they have the back bedroom which has access to the hallway and then to the garage and side yard. They are free to come and go as they please. I keep their water in the room with them and a bowl in the whelping box as well. This way they always have access to water and when the pups want they can start drinking too. I feed raw so they usually choose to eat in the garage or outside, but can eat in the room if they like.
I use a faux fleece in the whelping box. I have a durawhelp box and the fleece liners that are cut to the size of the box and velcro in the corners so they stay down securely. Even if mom digs, they don't come up. These stay really dry on top so even when they start to pee on their own, the pups stay clean and dry. I started using the adult incontinent pads under the fleece to absorb the excess urine, this really makes clean up easy. I also use these for whelping as they hold alot more moisture and are cleaner/more sanitary than newspaper. These are really helpful when the pups get older especially keeping things dry overnight. ijust wipe the box down with clorox or lysol wipes which are easy or I use an organic spray and paper towels since there usually isn't much clean up. I have been lucky that the bitches I have had keep their puppies and their area very clean!
When the pups are 3 - 4 weeks old they start going outside during the day and when they are 5+ weeks they stay out day and night usually as I live in Southern CA near the ocean so the weather is pretty mild. I will usually let the mom decide when she wants to wean. I will to supplement with goats milk/puppy gold mixture after 4 weeks if mom is handling the feedings ok as I don't feel the need to rush the pups on to solid food. I do give the moms a goats milk/puppy gold mixture with a few cups of water a few times a day to keep their milk production up without taxing their bodies.
I have used wood (pine) shavings in the past and am not wild about them as the pups like to eat them. I switched to paper shavings that worked better as they absorb more liquid and are easier to scoop (plus you can flush them down the toilet). One of my friends used some kind of pressed pellet that worked well, but I haven't been able to find them. I have a bathroom that opens to the yard enclosure that the pups have gone in so they just go outside or they are in a kennel are with "easy turf" which is very easy to keep clean, just hose and go!
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-07-2009, 01:28 PM
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Re: Time spent in whelping box and Weaning pen surface

I use regular pine stall shavings. Have not had a problem with the pups eating them.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-07-2009, 01:30 PM
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Re: Time spent in whelping box and Weaning pen surface

I should add I have a big 10 X 20 area for them...so covering it thick with shredded paper is not an option. The shavings keep them clean and smelling fresh! It is so easy to clean the pen with a simple small stall rake.

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-07-2009, 02:15 PM
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Re: Time spent in whelping box and Weaning pen surface

For Brood box footing I used the rubber backed industrial rugs like you find in groceries... Usually cut them in half and alternated. Washing was easy... just clip them to a fence and wash down, then hose off and let them dry... The great thing was the good footing for the babies while Mom couldn't "fluff" it up.

Once The lil buggers were taking over my garage area I also used Pine shavings with no problem (20+years) What I loved about them was that you could put a filthy wet mudhound in there after a trip to the river... and 1/2 hour later they'd be dry and clean. Sure saved a lot of clogged drains in my tub! They're also not terribly expensive I could bed the Garage 3-4" deep with just a couple of bags.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-07-2009, 04:41 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Time spent in whelping box and Weaning pen surface

Great ideas. We are only a week old at this point but I need to source out my supplies moving forward.
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