by Doris Donnerman
(last updated February 17, 2009)
In the story Charlotte's Web, the kindhearted Fern rescue Wilber, the poor runt of the pig litter. Unfortunately not every runt has a Charlotte to save it, and so as a pet owner, it's your responsibility to make sure that the runts of your litters get their fair share of food.
We all know what a runt is: it's the baby of the litter that is too small to make its own way. Often the runt can't get the food it needs and so it often dies. If your pet has a runt in its litter, you'll want to ensure that the runt gets the food it needs. Use these couple of tactics when dealing with the runts of the litter and over time, you'll see a runt grow up big and strong!
The biggest problem with runts is that they don't get an equal share of nutrients. Ensure equal feeding by splitting up the runts' food into little muffin cups. By making sure the pups don't eat out of the same bowl, you completely avoid unequal feeding. The runt will get its fair share and not have to fight for its food. Sometimes the siblings can get pretty nasty and competitive!
Another tactic you can take is to feed the runt separately from the rest of the puppies. Take the runt away from the rest of the litter and feed it before you let the rest of the puppies in. If the runt eats before the rest of the litter, then he won't have to worry about fighting for his food! Give him a fair chance and all will be well! Having a runt doesn't need to be a hindrance in your dog-raising and it doesn't have to be the end for the puppy. Just make sure the runt gets the proper nutrients in the proper amounts and you'll be able to see the puppy successfully grow up to the size of its brothers and sisters!
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