4 March 2020
Once again, it was off to New Hampshire that we drove yesterday. Piper was a very good girl in her crate in the way back and the lovely Lady Ziva sat next to me in her harness and seat belt in the passenger’s seat. At 28.4 pounds, my car knew she wasn’t a handbag. ;>)
Yesterday’s blood draws down at Broadview gave us very important information. By now, you all should know that I’m a data junkie and simply ADORE my spreadsheets, graphs and charts. Yesterday’s numbers confirmed that progesterone levels are on the rise, we are pre LH surge (and ovulation) and I have previous charts to study, in order to begin preparing for breedings next week. People often ask me why I’m willing to drive three hours each way for progesterones. Well, I’ll give you the straight answer: accuracy and timeliness.
The Broadview Animal Hospital has four full time repro vets and at least seven full time repro vet techs – a TOSOH machine that delivers results in 20 minutes AND it gets tested and calibrated every two days. It is accurate below .5ng/ml and above 30ng/ml – so, we’re covered, whether we’re working with fresh, chilled or frozen semen AND whether we’re doing natural, artificial or surgical breedings. This is very important to me. I want accurate information and I want it fast. And I love working with a team of repro vets, any one of whom I trust. And I get all of that at Broadview – so, it’s worth the three hour drive each way.
With Piper at .45ng/ml of blood, we might need three more blood draws on her to assess her peak fertility. As I have only one previous chart for a breeding that did NOT take in April 2019, I’ve got less history to study with Piper. But I can tell you that the love dancing between Koko and Piper has begun and I’ve got behavior to study now, that I didn’t have last year. Piper has been with us in residence for close to 15 months and she has fully transitioned into the regal queen of our pack. Leo x Piper is the plan. Fingers crossed and oranges to Buddha for a litter of vigorous healthy females!
Ziva was at .56ng/ml yesterday and I am guessing that we’ll catch her LH surge on Friday. I’ve got both girls on the schedule for blood draws at 11am and with our Friday numbers? I will make a ‘final’ plan. From where I sit right now? It is looking like an artificial insemination for Ziva with Questa’s frozen semen down at Truesdale’s, sometime early next week. And if we’re lucky? Natural breedings between Leo and Piper in Stowe.
Meanwhile, our weather is now milder and the chickens have started laying for their 2020 season. We get between one and three eggs daily – well, sometimes we get none. Gordon has dubbed them the ‘thousand dollar eggs’. And as with a canine breeding program, the up front cost and effort is very high, with a very slow payback. We’ve gotten twelve eggs out of my girls, in the last two weeks. It’s going to take at least 2,000 more eggs to break even. Hang on – let’s do the math: 5 hens laying 5 eggs daily? Gonna take two years to break even. ;>)
So, with spring around the corner and Daylight Savings Time coming up this weekend? It’s almost time to start thinking about the gardens. We have some lovely daylily beds on the eastern side and raised beds on the southern side of the house for vegetable and herb gardening. Digging in the dirt is both a favorite puppy activity and my antidote for dealing with dirty puppy linens. If Mother Nature looks kindly on us and holds the course? We’ll have puppies, come mid May 2020 and I’ll be planting & sowing seeds before Memorial Day. Sounds like the timing just might be perfect!
Fingers crossed and oranges to Buddha! Here’s to healthy litters for Ziva and Lady Pipes and no surprises, along the way.
Thank you for your interest in my breeding program and for the trust & confidence you all place in me.