Saturday, June 30, 2012

Cleo's Babies 3 weeks old

I just can't help myself, every time I walk past Cleo's pen I just have to stop and play with the babies. It never fails to amaze me just how quickly they grow.

They seem to get cuter and cuter each day. I have pulled their nest box so now they snuggle in the back of the cage with Momma. They are starting to eat a good bit of pellets now, I find myself refilling the J-feeder a couple of times a day.

It's such a hoot, every time I open the door they run right up to me and want chin rubs.It won't be but a few more weeks before they go off to their new homes.

We have a new addition to the rabbitry, her name is Cassie. After she settles in for a few days I will post some photo's :)  

Friday, June 29, 2012

Piggie Dilemma

Meet Bacon and Porkchop. They run about 125 -150 pounds and these poor babies are siting in a 10 x 18 foot swamp! I guess I did not use to much forethought when I built their pen as it sits at the base of a small hill.  

Every time we get rain it drains off of the hill and right into their pen. I have tried several method to divert the run off around their pen but have had no success and it remains a mucky nasty mess.   

We have decided to try to lay a pallet floor on one side of the pen but still have a couple of kinks to work out. Me and Larry will be working on that project today.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Bunny Update

Just a little rabbit update, as you can see I really need to get off of my behind and get out there and clean today. I also need to get some nest boxes filled and ready to be put into cages as I have 3 does that are due on the 6th.

This is Fern, my Flemish/Californian cross. She is due to kindle the 12th of July. The last time I bred her she missed so I am really looking forward to some babies from her this time. She was bred to Sir Poops A Lot, my Flemish/Lop cross.

This is Bob my California buck, he is such a sweetie pie :) He always runs up to the front of his kennel wanting chin rubs.

This is Hershey, a chocolate doe of unknown parentage. I picked her up from the local feed store last month as an 8 week old kit.She will be 4 months old on July 15th, I am really liking her growth. She looks like she will be about 10 pounds full grown. I will get some better photo's of her for my next post.

This is Sir Poops A Lot, he really is much larger then he appears in this photo. He is 6 months old and about 8 pounds.As soon as I can find a nice buck to replace him I will be doing so. He tend to throw all Agouti and REW babies and I was hoping he would have a bit more color in the babies. I really am not a fan of Augouti or REW.
If you notice in this picture his cage is falling apart. I bought several cages from Tractor Supply and they just do not hold up. For 30.00 you would think they would last longer than a couple of months! 

Cleo's babies are doing so good! They are now almost 3 weeks old and I am puling the nest box today.In the next post I will get some close ups of the babies, she has 1 little black baby in this litter that I am just in love with. If it is a doe I very well may keep it.

In this pen we have Sammie ( from Fern's last litter - only Harlequin in the litter, doe), White Toe's ( from Cleo's last litter, buck), Pee Wee and Moose ( two babies I bought last month) and 1 left over from Spotted Momma's litter ( white buck). I am separating them out today and they will all be going into their own cages.
I am pretty disappointed as it turns out Pee Wee is not the buck that I thought, but instead a doe. I was really hoping that Pee Wee would be my replacement for Sir Poops A Lot but I guess I will just have to keep on searching!

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Monday, June 25, 2012

Meet Pip and Pop

This is Pip and Pop at 7 weeks old. They are the Daughters of Spotted Momma, my broken Agouti Rex and Muffin my friend's gold tip steel Lop.These girls are so hard to tell apart. 

Above is Pip, she has one ear completely down and has more white on her than her sister does.

Pop's ear's kinda stick out to the side and she has a good bit of black over her back. These babies are the start of my Velvet Lop project. I also own their 1/2 brother Sir Poops A Lot. My 9 year old named him that as the whole trip home he left "presents" in her lap. 
These were the only spotted babies in the whole litter and 2 of the 3 that even displayed the tendency for the lop ears. Right now their momma is bred to Sir Poops and she is due on 7/6/12 - I am pretty excited to see what she has as I will be keeping a male from that litter to breed to Pip and Pop.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

A Lot Happening

Cleo's babies are doing so good. They are now 12 days old and are starting to explore the cage quite a bit.

Slugs are taking over my poor garden. It seems like it does not make a difference how many slug traps I set out in the garden I am still picking off about 50 - 60 slugs every morning.

Despite the darn slugs the garden is still holding on. However my broccoli has gone to flower. I think I will try it again in the fall. It was doing great up until we hit a few 80 degree days. I think I still have a lot to learn about doing a garden :)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

It's Getting There

Progress is slow but steady on the new hutch. We are a bit further along than this photo shows. We really need to hurry up as yesterday while we were working on the hutch I heard the chicks making quite an awful ruckus and went to go check on them. It was a fox raiding the nest that my little black hen was sitting on. 

It kind of worries me that this fox would come right up into the yard during daylight to steal an egg. If this had been the first time this fox had done this I would not be quite so worried but this is the third time in two weeks that this fox has come into the yard in the middle of the day.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Rabbit Hutch Construction Underway

Well let me start this post with the disclaimer that in no way, shape or form am I anything near being a carpenter. Little man and I started construction on the rabbit hutch late yesterday afternoon when he arrived home from school.

  The dimensions of this hutch are 6 foot wide by 12 foot long. It really is much straighter then it appears in the photos. On the front side it will have 4 pens that are 3 x 3 foot. On the rear side it will have 6 pens that are 2 x 3 foot.I will wire around the bottom of the hutch and that is where I will house some of my growing chicken population. If my math is correct the chicken area will have 72 sq feet of area and should allow me to house 6 to 8 chickens.

So far we have used 6 2x4x8's and 2 2x4x12's - I figure we will need at least 5 more 2x4x12's and then maybe 12 to 14 more 2x4x8's. That means I need to make another trip to the lumber yard for some more 12 footer's. It will be slow going on this hutch as it is only me and little man working on it. I hope the rain holds off this weekend so I can get some more work done on it.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Babies Everywhere :)

Cleo's babies are doing wonderful. It looks like we ended up with 3 Augouti, 4 red eye whites and 1 black. This litter is very different from her last litter even though she was put with the same male. I am a bit disappointed that there are no red's in this litter

A couple of days ago we picked up a couple of baby ducks from someone selling them in the parking lot of Tractor Supply. They are Pekings and supposed to be 1 male and 1 female. My daughter is thrilled with them :) our other duck Oreo is also thrilled. She is always talking to them and herding them where she thinks they need to be. The babies have not strayed far from Oreo's side since we bought them.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

New Babies

        Cleo or as she is known here around the homestead "Red Momma" graced us with 8 beautiful babies this morning.It will still be a few days before I know what colours they will be. Some people amaze me by being able to tell the colour of newborn kits, however I am just not that talented.

Our Flock Grows

         Our little flock is growing by leaps and bounds. I went to our local feed store yesterday to pick up some corn for the hogs, some hay and a bag of pellets for the bunnies and well they just happened to have an incubator full of baby Ameraucanas. I couldn't help myself so I bought 6 of them. At 1.50 each I thought it was a good deal - though I highly doubt they are  purebreds.

      It will be nice to see nest boxes full of green and blue eggs come fall. They are all supposed to be pullets , I hope the man was right.In other news I have picked out the spot that I want my first chicken yard to go.If this rain ever lets up I will be able to begin building it - though the weather forecast for next week says no rain - I sure hope they are right. 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Our Little Flock

Our Turkey And Maran Chicks

Some of the mix breed chickens

    Here is our little flock - well all but two hens that have decided to go broody and hide. If it does not rain today I really need to go out and hunt for them. I am pretty sure that they have gone up to the hill to lay.
    The turkey's and Marans are doing great. As you can see they are out growing the grow out pen that I have them in - it is 48 by 48 inches. I need to hurry up and decide where I am going to put the new chicken house and get to building it.Going out 3 to 4 times a day to move the chicks to fresh grass is getting to be a bit much.
    I found a man here in Athens who sells rough cut lumber a lot cheaper then I can buy lumber from Home Depot or Lowes and I don't have to travel 50 miles in my gas guzzling truck to get to Waterville.I need to sit down today and figure out how I want to divide the chickens and how I am going to build the pens. 
    I am really wanting to keep the Maran's away from the other chickens as I do not want my mixed breed rooster to fight with my Maran rooster or for him to breed my Maran hens.I hope by this time next year I will have some baby Maran's to list on Craigslist or in the Uncle Henry's.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Spotted Momma's Litter 3 1/2 Weeks Old

Spotted Momma

Black Male

Broken Female - I am thinking about keeping her

Agouti Male

    These babies are now 3 1/2 weeks old and doing wonderful. Spotted Momma had 8 babies - not to bad for a first time mom. However she did end up killing 2 of those 8 babies. I ended up fostering all 4 of the California's litter to her and she is doing a great job raising all 10 babies. 
    I recently rebred her to my California buck Bob and she is due to kindle on the 6th of next month.I also rebred the California doe the same day to my Agouti buck Sir Poops A Lot. In the next couple of months I will begin to hunt a Rex male to add to my rabbitry.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Lone Duck

           Meet Oreo our lone duck.At the beginning of the Spring this year the neighbor's 2 Pit-bulls got loose and made their way over to our house where they wiped out our flock of ducks. We ended up losing 6 ducks to the dogs. 
    This morning I was looking at Craigslist and at our local tractor supply there will be someone Saturday selling baby ducks.They are Pekings and I was hoping for Muskovies but baby ducks seem pretty hard to find this year, so Pekings it is.
     Meet Bob our California buck. I try to let each of the rabbits have a good 20 to 30 minutes a day of time out of their cage. They have been cooped up the last several days due to nasty weather.Bob is soon to be a first time daddy. I bred him with 2 does a few weeks ago and they are due to kindle on the 9th of this month. Today he is being put with my Rex doe as her litter just turned 4 weeks today.
     My seeds that I bought off of Ebay arrived yesterday. I hope that the rain holds off today so that I can start them. They are herb seeds. I bought White Horehound, Motherwort, Lime Basil, Tri Colour Sage and Bee Balm.They will live in containers for this year as I still have to figure out an area to put my herb garden. I really want it out in the front yard but that is a good ways from the house and I am afraid that it will not get tended to being so far away.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Raising Rabbits

Moose - 6 week old female Lionhead Cross

Pee Wee - Brother to Moose and largest of litter

     A lot of people have asked me why rabbits.I personally hate plucking a chicken or duck, it is so much easier for me to take 10 minutes and skin out a rabbit than to fuss around forever plucking poultry.Not only are they easier to dress out but their poo makes wonderful fertilizer for my garden, no sitting it on the compost pile waiting for it to cool down.
     Last year I purchased this little trailer and 4 acres with the thought of getting back some of the old ways and maybe living a bit healthier in the process. I come from a very long line of farmer's and I really don't want that to slip away. When I was younger we lived on the family farm for a short while until my great-grandmother passed away. That farm was sold off and our family has nothing to show for it. 
     When I was first looking at purchasing land I went down to Augusta to see if there was anything left of the old farm. Sadly where the farm once sat so grandly there now sits a tidy sub division. So I went further north and was able to get this small amount of land for a very god price. It will be paid off in 4 years :)
     Process here is a bit slow as I am trying to pay this off as quickly as possible. A little bit at a time is my motto. I have my garden in and have started fencing it in. I have bought all of the lumber to build a 12x12 bunny shed to house the rabbits. And out of pallets we have a very nice 8'x16' pig palace that holds Bacon and Porkchop.
     We currently have 5 mix breed chickens (4 hens and a rooster), 3 Maran chickens,1 duck,2 dogs,3 Black Spanish Turkey's, 2 mix breed pigs that will go into the freezer this fall and 9 rabbits with one having a litter of 10 in the nestbox.