Thursday, November 15, 2012

The babies are growing well

The babies continue to grow, and are now getting to be an adventure to control as we do weight checks instead of being primarily worried about keeping them warm while we do weight checks.

One of the things that is difficult to tell in these pictures is just how fluffy these babies are. They are far more fluffy than other babies were at this age. The reason for that is fairly obvious, it's quite cold. Last night was another night where the water bottles were frozen solid by the time I woke up. I'm looking forward to getting the money together to have the crocks which will be easier to work with and less likely to have a moving part break than the water bottles. Not having moving parts to break and all.

The temperament of these guys seems to be fairly good. They don't get upset at being handled and haven't really squeaked about handling since day two. I'd been talking about how I was worried at their slow growth rate before. Well, it turns out that not doing an actual comparison between the sets of statistics we have makes for me looking silly. While they are on average smaller than Dawn's last litter, they are growing quite well. At this point they are on average smaller than Dawn's second litter and larger than the first.
Litter 1 Day 13: 129.83 grams
Litter 2 Day 12: 179.6 grams
Litter 3 Day 13: 146.86 grams

So at this point they are doing better than Dawn's previous  litter of 7, but not quite as well on average as her litter of 5. This is also while the temperatures are on average 30 degrees colder, and the days significantly shorter. I guess what I'm saying is that my concern about their growth is unfounded. Unsurprisingly more babies means that the milk is spread around more which means that there is lower individual growth. At some point when I have time I'm going to have to do some calculations to see the actual total weight of the litters, and see how close they are between the litters of 7 and the litter of 5. Just something I'm a bit curious about. So, by this point with the babies furred out and eyes open I'm not as concerned about making sure they get through the winter safely.

The babies are still at that awkward stage. Below you can see one on the scale and how out of proportion their heads seem to their bodies. Right is my hand for scale. I can fairly easily hold three of them in one hand without worrying about squishing them.

I had been hoping to have more to talk about today, but the things I have been wanting to get done rely on me doing physical work. Chainsawing wood to length. Working on shelves, moving hutches to their new winter locations. I can't do any of that right at the moment though. I managed to, somehow, between working, sleeping, and homesteading stuff injure my right shoulder. What I did, I'm not exactly certain, but I have been treating it carefully. It has mostly healed up which is fortunate, but this week will be less productive than I might like in terms of actually getting things done.

If you are interested in the weight chart you can find it here.

On the other hand I have been getting things done that aren't quite as immediately tangible. I ran into a gentleman from where I used to live, and we ended up talking about homesteading. Finding other people who are into similar things are great opportunities for sharing information, learning experiences, and skills. We were discussing potential trades, opportunities he knows about, and coming out to see what we are doing and us going to see what he's doing. So it is always good to get more information.

In the same vein, we probably won't be able to go to this though we'd like to, but if you are in the Western Mass area you should consider it if you are free tonight. The UMass Permaculture Group is hosting a showing of a documentary on the water wars called "Flow: For Love of Water". The showing is tonight at 6:30 to 8:30 PM on UMass Amherst campus. It is completely free, so there's no reason to not go other than lack of access or previous engagements, or  . . . . well, you get the idea. If you can, go watch.

I hope to have more going on for y'all next week. Stay warm, and be well.

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