Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Turkeys,Chickens & Cross Stitch

I have been down sick the last couple of days with a nasty stomach bug. However the time has not been wasted, I pulled out my Sarah Hook cross stitch and got some work done on it. I am so close to a finish with it, I think a few more evenings and it will be complete :)

The turkeys and chickens have been moved to their spot in the new coop. They are just loving all of the room that they have . Next spring I will be building a 24'x24' turkey pen in the backyard as I want to get a few Royal Palm's next Spring.

We ended up with 1 tom and 2 hens with the turkeys. However I was not quite so lucky with the Maran's, I got 2 roosters and 1 hen. 1 of the roster will be going to live with the Americana's as those should all be hens.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Rabbit Hutch Makeover

Yesterday I did not get around to making new nest boxes like I had planned - instead I decided to work on the rabbit hutch. Once I started trying to clean it I realized just how bad off it really was.

I decided to get it really clean I was going to have to take a good bit of it apart. Once I started doing that I noticed that some of the wood had begun to rot so I had to cut a few replacement boards.

I have decided instead of using it for a Momma and litter I will divide it into 3 pens that are 2 x 3 and use it to house some of my bucks. It will be the future home of Pee Wee, Moose and Sir Poops A Lot.

I have also decided instead of having plywood for the floor I will have wire. I find that having the rabbits on wire keeps them so much cleaner then if they are on a solid bottom. I have some left over plywood that I will cut into resting boards. 

Just wanted to give you a peek at Fern's litter. 10 of the 12 survived and they are a bit over 2 weeks old. I just removed their nest box yesterday. I added some hay to the cage to prevent little leg being trapped in the wire.

Friday, July 27, 2012

More Babies on the Way :)

Cleo is due to have babies tomorrow.She spends most of her time in the nest box but still no sign of hair pulling yet. She was bred with Sir Poops A Lot.

Today I have plans on building a few more nest boxes. I broke down last week and bought two of them, but at 25.00 for each of them I really don't want to have to do that again ! My neighbor was kind enough to give me some scrap wood from a camper that he is tearing apart and I should be able to make 2 or 3 nest boxes from the scraps.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Freebie and Propagating Blueberries

My neighbor Earl was cleaning out some of the wooded and overgrown areas of his property yesterday and came across this old rabbit hutch. We have no idea just how long it has been sitting there - Earl has lived next to me for 2 years and the man before him never had rabbits that I ever saw.

It is going to take quite a bit of work to get this back into usable shape again. It is quite large - 3 feet wide x 4 1/2 feet long and it is very heavy.

It will be quite a bit shorter when I am finished with it as a good bit of the leg area has begun to rot away.I have some extra concrete blocks laying around that I plan to set it on once I am finished fixing it up.

I have finally gotten around to taking cuttings of my blueberry bushes. It just seems like there is so much that needs to be done here and not much time before snow begins to fly. It is not uncommon to see a good bit of snow on the ground in October.

I took 4 cuttings from each of my 5 plants. I sniped a good 6 inch piece for each of the cuttings.

I then stripped a god bit of the lower leaves off of each cutting. Then I placed each cutting about 2 inches into soil and gave a fairly good watering.

I am not sure how well they will do but even if only 1/2 of them make it that will give me 10 new blueberry plants to put into the ground next year. I plan on keeping them in the house over the winter as I think they will be a bit to tender to deal with our harsh climate here in Maine. I am also interested to see how much they grow before spring right now they are about 4 - 4 1/2 inches tall.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Baby Pictures

We lost another kit of Cali's yesterday - now she is down to 5 babies. I am not sure why the kit passed away yesterday, I have a feeling that Cali may have crushed it somehow. I just rebred her to Sir Poops A Lot yesterday as I really love how the babies from this breeding turned out.

For example this little kit is a beautiful color. At first I thought it was going to be a regular agouti but it is much darker then its agouti sibling. I am interested in seeing if the coat changes as the kit grows. There were also 2 grey's in this litter that passed away - they reminded me of my chinchilla doe in color. I hope I get a few like them in the next litter.

This is the little broken agouti kit from Spotted Momma's litter. I am really liking this one, Baby Red does to - its always the first one she pulls out to hold. Baby Red really wants me to keep it but we are out of space at the moment. 

Here is the larger of the two broken black kits , also from Spotted Momma's litter. This one will be beautiful when full grown. I really like the markings on this baby.

Here is the only black kit from this litter. I really expected her to have more blacks as normally she has 3 or 4 blacks.

This is the runt of the litter that I did not expect to make it. This baby really surprised me and we have named it Miracle, it is still only 1/2 the size of it's siblings. It most likely will never reach the adult size that the others in this litter do.  

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Two New Does & Some Progress

This doe is 5 months old and is a American Chinchilla. Yesterday at the Athens Family Fun Day I met a breeder a couple of towns over who has a small heard of American Chinchilla's and I was lucky enough to purchase these two doe's.

This is 1/2 sister to the above doe, she is mixed with a California, I just love that she is broken. The man I purchased them from will have a purebred buck for me in about 2 or 3 months. I am hoping that these two does will be a great addition to my meat rabbit program.

I was so proud of my youngest boy yesterday. He marched in the Athens Parade with his Sea Cadet batallion. He looks so grown up in his uniform.

"Bump" is the boy on the very end. He wants to grow up to join the army like his uncle , Bump's older brother who is 15 has plans to sign up with the Air Force when he turns 17. Bump just recently returned from a trip to New Hampshire where he spent 4 days eating and sleeping with the Blue Angel's. He just loved that trip and came home with autographs and so many stories.

The chicken coop is coming right along, I was able to get the top put on the nest box area and frames in the door. I was also able to start on the roof. It still has a ways to go but it is getting there. When the sun goes down a bit I will continue to work on it :)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Rabbit and Chicken Coop Update

Fern's litter is doing great, they are now 8 days old. However we did lose 1 of the runts the other day, I am guessing to the nasty heat we have been having here.

Sadly we have also lost 2 of Cali's litter also to heat stress. I have been running 3 fans to try to keep everyone cool, next year I believe that I will take a break from breeding during the hottest part of the summer.

Work on the chicken pen is coming along at a snails pace, I really thought I would be finished with it by now.

Yesterday I finished attaching the chicken wire around the outside of the pen and started to frame in one of the doors. Today my goal is to finish one of the doors and to get the top onto the nest area.

I am finding that I am not very handy when it comes to electric tools lol :) I can't cut a straight line with the skill saw to save my life, but I will muddle through this project the best that I can.

I find however that my chickens seem to be liking the progress on the coop and they don't seem to mind if my cuts are far from perfect.As soon as I finish this side I will be putting my Marana's and turkey's in then starting on the second side :)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Trip to the Ocean

This weekend we took the kids down to the ocean. We went to Old Orchard Beach. 

We stayed for 9 hours and the kids really had the time of their life :) I went a bit camera happy and snapped close to 500 pictures.

We however did all end up with nasty sunburns even though I was diligent about keeping sunblock on everyone.

One reason that I love Old Orchard so much is that they have a nice sized amusement park right there. But boy haven't the prices really gone up. I bought 20 tickets for 24.00, that gave the kids 3 rides each.

Baby Red loved the Carousel however her older brother, Bump, was not so impressed. He loved the Bumper Cars though.

He really enjoyed the Cars and went on 2 times :) Baby Red was not so impressed with them and went back to the Carousel.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Baby Update

This is Cali's litter - they will be 1 week old tomorrow. The litter has 4 auouti kits and 4 black kits.

All 8 of these babies are already spoken for. Cali has been a wonderful and attentive momma.I am pretty sure that she is genetically a black rabbit under her California markings. 

This is Spotted Momma's litter, they also will be a week old tomorrow. These babies are also spoken for. She had 5 red eye whites, 2 black spotted , 1 agouti spotted and 1 black. Sadly she killed one of the REW's so she is left with 8 babies.

She is not the best mother, I have kept 2 of her daughters (Pip and Pop) from her last litter that I will be replacing her with. I hope they have better mothering abilities than their mother does.

Fern graced us with 12 beautiful babies yesterday morning. I was lucky enough to be out there while she was having them - quite the experience :) I am pretty sure that the 3 light one will be harlequins. I will know better in 4 or 5 days. 

It also appears as though she may have a couple of blues, agouti's, and blacks in this litter as well. I might be reserving this whole litter for myself. If I do some will be kept as future breeders and others will go to freezer camp.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Blueberries :)

These are the blueberry plants that I put in this Spring. The chickens seem to love blueberry leaves and at one point had stripped all three bushes of all of their leaves.

I still have 2 more plants that need to be put into the ground. I picked them up the other day - they were on clearance at a nursery that I stopped in at in Skowhegan. I was able to pick up both of the new bushes for under 5.00 each!

I have a huge front lawn - about 1/4 of an acre, my goal is to fill it with blueberry bushes. I was surfing around on youtube this morning and saw a video that shows you how to propagate the blueberries by taking cuttings. I am going to give it a try at some point next week. If it works out it will save me a bundle of money. I figure that I can fit around 50 more blueberry bushes in this area and that sure would add up to a bunch of $$ if I end up having to buy them all.

I picked this aloe up on a yard sale this Spring. When I first got this aloe it was so tiny. It now needs to be repoted into a gallon pot and is growing a baby :)When I first got it I really doubted that it would even survive as it had been frost burned so badly.It did end up losing a few of the lower leaves but has done better than I ever thought it would!