We're going to need a bigger kennel! Star the sheepdog gives birth to adorable 14-pup litter so big they have to be carted around in a wheelbarrow

Monday, June 18, 2012 8:35 PM Posted by ms.tk
•Bumper group of pups is twice the size of a normal litter
•Much sought-after dogs are worth £170 each


By Chris Parsons


Room for one more? The gorgeous collie pups were part of a giant litter thought to be twice as big as normal when their mother had 14 youngsters

When a litter of adorable pups is so big they've got their own special form of transport, you know it's a real super-sized canine family.

That was certainly the case for Zoe and Marcus Hooper, whose sheepdog Star gave birth to a whopping 14 pups at their home in Leominster, Herefordshire.

The giant litter of newborn much sought-after collie pups is twice the size of a normal litter, meaning the couple transport their new boisterous family around in a wheelbarrow.


Irresistible: The adorable puppies are worth around £170 each

Hard work: Summer Hooper, three, has her turn transporting the adorable new additions around their new surroundings in Herefordshire

Zoe and Marcus feared Star would never be able to rear what was essentially twice the average litter all in one go.

But with all the puppies in good health, Star excelled as a mother and reared all 14 pups with no problems at all.

Six weeks on, they are ready to be homed with some having already been earmarked for new homes.

Four-year-old Star was bred with Zoe’s father Paul Thomas’ dog, Bob. Bob is the son of one of famous breeder Ian Jones’ One Man And His Dog trial-winners so the Hoopers were hopeful for some well-bred puppies.

However, they got a little more than they bargained for.

Zoe, 31, who lives on land owned by her farmer dad, said: 'We had absolutely no idea she was going to give birth to so many.

'After six hours of labour she had given birth to 10 and then a few hours later, as we were going to bed, she had given birth to two more so we assumed that had to be it.


New homes needed: The much sought-after pups are worth around £170 each, meaning the Hoopers could earn over £2,000 from the bumper litter

New homes needed: The much sought-after pups are worth around £170 each, meaning the Hoopers could earn over £2,000 from the bumper litter

'But when we came down in the morning we counted up 14. We were stunned, but also worried that she might not be able to cope.

'I called up my friend who is a vet and she said that as long as all the pups were of the same size that we should let Star have a go at rearing them all herself, but not to be too upset if we lost any.

'But amazingly she was able to look after all of them. She did brilliantly in rearing them all and we have 14 happy and healthy pups now.'

All but four of the puppies have been found homes already, mostly with farmers looking for a sheepdog of good stock. Each of the dogs is worth £170, coming to a total of £2,380.

Zoe said: 'We were tempted to keep one but we already have two dogs. There’s only just enough work for Star to do with the sheep that Marcus and my dad keep together so we wanted the pups to go to homes where they would have lots to do and could be proper working sheepdogs.

'My daughters, Summer, three, and Izzy, six, absolutely love them. We have been keeping them in the shed but it has been chaos for the last six weeks, feeding them all three times a day.

'I’m pretty relieved that we have managed to home most of them because it’s been very stressful but I know the girls will be sad to see them go.'


source:dailymail

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