I have been back and forth checking on Queenie ever since she 1st started pulling hair for her nest. For 3 long days I have been popping in and giving her treats and belly rubs. Making sure her house is draft free and cozy and ready for new life. So as Sunday wore on, still no babies. I decided to go inside, lets face it it was freezing out there! I decided to make some delicious Apple Pie Egg Rolls for dessert. It IS Sunday Night Football you know, and my hubby, Art is a HUGE fan. I just had this thought creeping into my head she was going to have them and I was missing it. So I went out to check on her, and dang it, wouldn`t you know it she had them!
Now, being her 1st litter, I really didn`t expect that large of a birthing. Was I wrong, that girl is a freaking Rock Star! 13 kits on her first go round! INSANE. Sadly 3 of the new kits were outside the nest on the grate freezing. 2 died but one little runt was still alive. frozen and stiff, but breathing. I immediately popped the poor thing inside my shirt and into the good old momma`s bra to get it as warm as possible as quickly as possible, while still leaving my hands free. I cleaned up her cage and made sure she had fresh hay and water, and disposed of the dead. Gave her some kisses and rubs and headed inside with the cold little one. Sitting in front of the heater I blew warm breath onto him and rubbed his body till he started squeaking and squalling at me and was finally toasty warm. His attempts to nurse on me elicited some pretty funny comments from the hubby. “That ship done sailed little man , a LONG time ago!” Hardy har har, he thinks he`s a comic. I returned him to mom and tucked him amongst his siblings to make sure he stayed warm, closed her wind guard up and left her to care for them for the night.
Early this morning, I have to say, I spent at at least an hour inside in the pre-dawn dark drinking coffee, anxious to get out there and check on them. My normal mornings Im pretty much dragging my butt about going out into the cold dawn, not today! Thankfully all was well and seemed in relatively good health. Well, they were all alive to say the least. Got momma her warm water and fresh hay and proceeded to pull the kits out to count and examine them. Most are just fine, happy wiggly fat bellied babies. There are a few Im concerned about, 3 of them seem to be smaller and no fat bellies. After photographing them (see pic above), I placed them all back with the smaller ones on top of the big ones in the hopes they get a feeding before the others can take over. I will be going out and annoying them all Im sure, many times over the coming days. Now I know for many this may not seem like a big deal. But for us, this is our first official new life born on our homestead! And frankly, Im dancing on air!