Thursday, October 11, 2012
Delight's Arrival, Rabbit Reproduction, and Carpet!
As you can see, she isn't entirely thrilled with the idea of a camera, being watched, or anything of the sort. This isn't just when the camera is out. When anyone comes out she immediately makes use of her private area. She isn't constantly stressed, she just seems to enjoy being in a private space when she isn't %100 sure what is going on. As we got past the first day she has relaxed somewhat, and will watch while I feed the others. She has also discovered hay. I think she only eats half of it as she throws the rest around like a toy. It is almost her favorite thing out there. Here favorite thing is fresh greens. Even just normal grass pulled from the yard. It is one of the few things that can get her to stop being a little hand shy and come out despite the presence of a person right there. As you can see she has a relatively delicate face. The Lady of the House has wanted a Cinnamon doe since before we got started with actually having rabbits, and you can probably see why. She is a beautiful girl with distinctive markings. I was not for having a Cinnamon since we are aiming for pure breeding now that we have checked out qualities and temperaments of animals, and since we are going to be using the furs for blankets. She however has come up with a compelling argument that I have no way to contradict. When bred to a Creme, they will produce fur that looks like Creme fur, so for that reason since we are primarily meat breeding it is not inefficient since they will still be good meat and good fur.
As I mentioned in the title, rabbit reproduction is on our minds, and not for the normal reason. No, it's not that we have rabbits magically getting pregnant, it is that we can't get rabbits to get pregnant! As the Lady of the House mentioned, if this were a rescue we'd be up to our ears in babies, every one of the does would get pregnant by looking at her funny, and we would be swamped. Instead, we are having serious difficulties getting the does bred to the bucks. Dorado, the Creme that we are using right now can't seem to understand how to mount a girl. He can hump backs, faces, sides, everything But where he's supposed to go. When we try to help him out he Still can't get it right! The girls are starting to get annoyed with him. Delight beat him up this morning and had to be pulled off of him. We are going to continue trying until he manages success with someone. We know he Can do it since he successfully bred Dawn with really no problems at all once we turned her around under him.
We are concerned at this point because female rabbits need to get pregnant and have babies before they are too old, or their first litter can kill them. This is obviously a fairly serious concern for us because we don't want to cause harm to the rabbits, and we can't afford to have rabbits that aren't breeders in our herd. This would especially upset us with Twilight since she is really friendly, charming, and beautiful. We'd like her to be part of our herd for some time to come. So we are going to keep trying until pregnancy occurs, and hope it is sooner rather than later. If it comes down to it we will just bring the does inside for kindling using dog crates or the like to contain them.
The studio is actively in use for the primary part of its job, art space for the Lady of the House. It isn't fully complete missing a few portions. One is the wood stove which is obviously important. The second, the living room/entertainment area. That was being held up by not having carpet down. Now we have had the carpet for months, and it's been waiting for various things to be finished. The lighting, cleaning up the dust from the drywall, and then all of that was done. Now I've never installed carpet before, and I don't exactly have all of the proper tools for it even if I had. So at the point where it was ready to do, I was a little nervous. I didn't want to mess it up. Due to that hesitation I ended up delaying for almost a month between being cautious, and lack of time. Finally last night I decided to just dive in, and if I messed it up, I messed it up, and have to try again. Even if I had to cut down some of the carpet and shrink the area, so be it. Waiting wasn't making it better. Laying carpet is neither difficult, nor easy. It is conceptually simple, and physically challenging to do by yourself. I'm not going to tell you how to lay carpet, because I don't know how to do it correctly! I can say, it would have been much much easier if we had been using adhesive.
What I can tell you is that dogs make it more difficult. Step one was putting down the tack strips, and that was easy enough. Keeping the dog off the tack strips seems like it would be relatively simple but apparently our dog lacks normal dog things like response to pain as he trotted over them, picked them up in his mouth, and so on. I suppose I shouldn't be shocked since he has absolutely zero hesitation to plow through a rose bush, raspberry bush, or barberry bush to get at, well, anything. That said, putting down the tack strips was not what he made most difficult. Step two is putting down the carpet pad. This step should be the easiest step since it is rolling out the carpet pad, stapling it down a bit, and taping the rolls together at the seams. In theory, very simple. Unfortunately, apparently Rico thought that the carpet pad was the best thing ever. He would dive on it, roll on it, lie on it, drag himself across it, try to pick it up. You get the picture. Dog things during human work time. There were a few points where he tore holes in the pad, but that isn't too bad in the scale of things. In the Top picture in the section you can see him "helping" me hold down one side of a carpet pad. Overall though it wasn't too bad.
Step three though was the most difficult in concept, and most difficult in execution. Without the help of our boarder this would have been a MUCH more difficult task. She claims she barely did anything, but the barely did anything mattered a lot. 240 square feet of carpet weighs a lot. I Can pick it up and carry it. You know what you can't do when you can just barely lift something? You can't place it precisely. This is where I come to the one piece of advice I have about laying carpet. DO NOT MAKE THE AREA THE EXACT WIDTH OF ANY DIMENSION OF YOUR CARPET. There are a few reasons for this. First is the simple fact that it leaves zero room for error. The second reason, carpet isn't necessarily square. In our case it is only off by a little bit, but that's a bit of a pain in the ass in the long run. Beyond that difficulty, we could NOT keep the dog off the carpet while we were working with it. Above Right you can see him in the middle of a running dive roll onto the carpet to rub his everything on it. The reason the Lady of the House could get this awesome action shot? It was common. At least we know he will enjoy being in the studio!
And in one last note, we had our first fire of the season on Monday. It is nice to have. It is an atavistic sort of pleasure at watching fire burn. The fact that it efficiently heats the house is a distinct bonus for us. The fact that it also gets the cat to stop trying to vampire our warmth is a secondary bonus. As you can see Below she is happy, with her radar dish sized ears soaking up every joule of thermal energy possible.