Thursday, June 27, 2013

Kittens 101: Weeks 3 and 4

I can't believe it! The kittens are a month old! Sadly, that means there is only one more month before they go to their new homes! I will miss them, but Paisley will probably have a 2nd litter before we know it.

They are growing so fast, and have changed so much!

Here is what you can expect in weeks 3 and 4:

Week 3:
  • Their ears will no longer be folded, but will point up
  • Their eyes will start to turn blue 
  • Their sense of smell will start to develop
  • Towards their 4 week birthday, you will want to think about getting a litter box for them, or you may notice little accidents here and there, as mama cat won't have complete control over it anymore, especially if she has a large litter
  • They will start to purr a lot more (so precious, let me tell ya)
  • Their teeth will start to come in
Taking their first walk outside...

Week 4:
  • They will learn to stand up, walk, and RUN in the 4th week!
  • They will start to play with one another, which is pretty funny!
  • They will begin grooming themselves
  • Mama cat will start leaving them for longer periods of time, but she should still quickly respond to them when they cry
  • You should be able to tell their gender by now, but it really can be tricky. I was able to tell by myself, but if you can't, you could go to your local vet. The vet in our area will tell us for free!

WATCH OUT! Your mama cat is now able to get pregnant again. If you don't want another litter of kittens, make sure she stays inside all the time until the kittens are weaned (at 8 weeks old), and then take her straight to the vet to get spayed! We will be letting Paisley have more kittens, so expect to see a post about that later this year.

These 3 little girls are just adorable! Their personalities are starting to come out, which is hilarious. 

Can't wait for more of these little cuties in the future...

Friday, June 21, 2013

My Favorite Real Food Waffles

Last week I found myself really craving waffles. However, I have really been making an effort to eat real, nutritious, and healthy whole foods. I told myself that if I was going to make waffles, they needed to meet those requirements. That meant NO waffles from a box or a mix. Nope, I was going to make them from scratch.

So off I went, looking for a good recipe...

I ended up taking a traditional recipe, and swapping out a few ingredients. It was super easy!

First, I cracked two farm fresh eggs into a medium-sized bowl.

Then I added whole, raw goat's milk

Then came the melted extra virgin coconut oil...

Then a big spoonful of raw honey...

And a little bit of salt, cinnamon, and baking soda. 

After stirring, I added a mixture of unbleached flour and baking powder...

And stirred it just until the clumps were gone.

Then I poured some into my preheated waffle iron. I use this brand of waffle iron, and definitely recommend it.

They turned out beautifully! I didn't add quite enough batter to the iron, hence the funny shape. But otherwise, they were perfect! 
Here's the full recipe:

  • 2 large, organic eggs 
  • 1 3/4 cups organic milk (preferably raw)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey (I used raw)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached flour ( both whole wheat and all-purpose work)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • toppings of your choice

I think a variety of toppings would taste great with these waffles, so use whatever you like! My favorite topping? A warmed mixture of pure maple syrup and butter. Mmmmm.....delicious!

Even Paisley wanted some...

And so did Chloe...

So go ahead, give 'em a try!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Meet Chloe: Our Farm Dog

Love those golden eyes...
Meet Chloe!
I am sure I will be mentioning Chloe a lot in future blog posts, so I thought I should introduce her to you.
Chloe is our beautiful, 3-year-old Chocolate Lab. We got her as a puppy in 2010 after losing our other dog in late 2009 to a car accident.
Chloe as a puppy-May 2010
Isn't she a cutie?

She is a crazy girl, though! SO full of energy. She loves to swim, chase cats, play fetch, chew up sticks (occasionally in the house when I'm not watching *ahem*)....oh yeah, and be the CENTER OF ATTENTION all the time!
Chloe in the snow- 2012

We love her so much, she is like a member of the family.

For those of you who live on a farm and are searching for a new dog, I would highly recommend a Labrador. I am no dog training expert, but with some time spent training her when she was little, she:
Has never killed a chicken...
Has never chased/killed a goat (or any of the animals for that matter)...
Is very good and gentle with kids...
Has never set foot on the road when she wasn't supposed to...
And for the most part does what she is told...

Labs don't eat much, don't really need to be groomed, aren't outrageously expensive, and are all-around great dogs in my opinion. They do need exercise, however, so please make sure you will be able to provide that before purchasing a Lab.
A fat dog means an unhealthy dog, which means vet bills, and vet bills are EXPENSIVE!

Chloe has her own way of staying fit...If we don't take a few minutes in the day to let her run around and play outside, she will be crazy and hyper in the evening until her energy is gone. Not fun for us when it happens, but it reminds us to play with her earlier in the day! It's better than her being lazy and overweight, though, that's for sure. 
Tired Chloe
 She is a great girl, and I look forward to many more fun-filled years with her...

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Kittens 101: The First Two Weeks

Paisley's kittens turned 2 weeks old today! It's already going by way too fast! It is so cool to watch them grow and develop. For those of you that have or are expecting to have kittens in the future, here is what you can expect in their first two weeks of life:

1. They will begin to open their eyes, and some kittens may open their eyes completely by the time they are two weeks old. NEVER touch their eyes or try to help them open; this could cause a serious infection. Even though their eyes are open, they are actually still nearly blind as their eyes aren't able to focus for a few days after opening. They are also still deaf, have no teeth, and no sense of smell.

The kittens look a little strange when they are beginning to open their eyes, but once they do...

They are way too cute!!

2. Mama kitty will still take complete care of them, including cleaning them and taking care of "potty time". Make sure she always has plenty of clean water and food so she can keep those babies fed!

3. They may also start sitting up and moving around a lot more. Ours are already trying to walk!

4. It is now okay for you to start picking them up and holding them carefully for a minute or two at a time. Ours really don't like being held yet, but Paisley is okay with it.

5. They are still not able to keep very warm, so if it is cold where you live, I suggest keeping them either in your house, your garage, your barn, or anywhere that is somewhat warm. We have chosen to keep ours in the house for a few weeks, until they start needing a litter box. This is just to keep them safe from the many predators in our area in Oregon.
Kitten #1

Kitten #2

Kitten #3. They all have blue eyes at this age.

6. If you have had kittens many times before, you may be able to tell their gender, but it can be tough. We are pretty sure we have all girls!

That's pretty much it for now. They still don't do much except stare at you with those big, blue eyes!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Kittens 101: The Pregnancy and Birth

Pregnant Paisley

We just had a litter of kittens born on the farm! This isn't our first, so I've had quite a bit of experience with cat pregnancies and deliveries, as well as watching the kittens develop. This inspired me to start a Kitten 101 series on the blog! Keep checking in for weekly posts about raising kittens.

This is Paisley, our 9 month old cat. She just had her first litter of kittens! I first suspected pregnancy when I felt little bumps in her tummy. She never got very big, but towards the end, it was very easy to see and feel the babies move. She also started to eat a LOT more. But one morning she started acting very different. I was reading a book, and she jumped up on my lap and started purring, something she'd never done before! She did that for about 5 minutes before I noticed something else (this is where it gets a little gross). She started leaking a lightly colored, thick discharge (her plug), and then a clear,watery fluid. At that point, I quickly threw a few blankets and towels on the floor, and moved her before it was too late! Soon after that, the contractions started. Here is a picture of what that looks like:
Having a contraction
As you can see, she looks very tensed up, and her back is slightly arched. These contractions will continue for about an hour before the first kitten arrives. But keep in mind that all cats are different. Paisley was very quiet during the contractions, but I know from experience that some cats aren't!
Almost exactly an hour labor started, kitten #1 was born. She came out backwards, but both ways are normal. Mama kitty will quickly lick baby off, as well as eating the afterbirth. Be sure to count the number of placentas she delivers, as a retained placenta can cause severe infection, or even death! 
Eating the sac 

Kitten #2

Less than 5 minutes later, kitten #2 arrived. They can't breathe until mama kitty licks the gooey stuff off of their nose and mouth. DO NOT interfere unless it is obvious that she is neglecting it.
Kitten #3 coming out!

Cleaning off Kitten #3

Not long after, Kitten #3 arrived! Paisley only had 3, but they usually have 4 or 5. Sadly, it is not uncommon for their to be a dead kitten in the litter. I am so thankful that that didn't happen. There is also a chance of her abandoning them. This is almost always caused by too much human interference. Therefore, do not touch them unless there is an obvious problem that only you can fix, or unless you KNOW that your cat is totally fine with it. You know your can better than anyone else, so you be the judge. If your cat is okay with it, just pet them, don't pick them up for the first 3 or 4 days. They will be blind for one to two weeks, but will still move around a lot.
All 3 babies nursing

Once you are positive that she is done, move her into a clean space, and wash the dirty blankets and towels immediately.