Thursday, November 1, 2012

No Babies, and Blog Goals

Dawn still hasn't had babies yet. She should be popping soon, perhaps as soon as when we get home today. It is always tough to tell with her, and apparently with any rabbits. She is big, and has made her nice nest. She is also eating a lot, which is usually a good indication. That said, we will see. We are especially interested in seeing what comes out of a breeding of Dorado Right and Dawn Below. Genetically we know what will happen, Creme babies. But what will they look like as babies, and will they grow more slowly than the cross breeds between Dawn and Umbra?
I am expecting them to grow more slowly, and not be quite as robust. Umbra is a particularly good buck from what we can tell from his production, and talking to Michelle Chandler. He is an incredible starting point for us. I will be very curious how this breeding program goes, and tracking their growth. The closeness of relation between Dorado and Dawn is obviously a concern for us, but not such a big one for just meat and fur production. I will also be very curious about the temperament of the babies with Dawn so gregarious and Dorado so shy.

Blog Goals
So, we know what our homesteading goals are, but what are the blog goals? As we go in to winter there will be less active work going on with homesteading. I will be working on the designs for the chicken coop, and working on the studio in general. I need to figure out how to write about the planning process well, and in such a way that people won't be bored by what is going on!

We have had a bit over 7,000 views in the year and a bit we have been keeping the blog, and I think that's awesome. It means people find the information at least vaguely interesting. That said, I want to keep being interesting, informative, and useful. The whole point is to let people learn from our mistakes as we learn, and see our planning process. The first part we've been able to show, the second hasn't come up as much over the summer.

So here is my intention for the blog as winter comes in. I am going to be quite busy with work, but I will make sure to keep up my two a week post schedule. I am going to be trying to have solidly researched information for the blog. I will also just keep updates going on "This is where we stand, and this is what life is throwing at us" as the winter comes in. A few things I intend to have up over the winter once researched enough to be useful.

* Seed Saving, with individual posts on more complex parts of it.
* Plant Breeding.
* Different chicken litter methods (Yes, there are at least two).
* Predator discouragement to protect livestock without just killing the predators which is inefficient.
* Herbivore discouragement to protect our planned garden for next year and beyond.
* Clever uses for pallets and the bits taken from them.
* Planning the coop
* Planning for a root cellar. This will probably be a few posts because it's a tough project but important long term.
* Considerations around an outhouse regarding placement, health and safety, and simple things like comfort. Benefits and problems, etc.

Is there anything else we have been doing that people are interested in me writing more about, or giving more detail about? Let me know so I can keep people informed.

Thank you all for reading.


  1. I love reading your adventures! But I live in a city, so most of the gardening and rabbits isn't practical for me. We're part of a CSA to get local produce and support our neighbor. Pretty much anything you learn and want to share regarding with recipes, canning, and storing produce would be really helpful to me!

  2. Knowing how many days Dawn *usually* goes between breeding and kindling can be helpful. Or it can be irrelevant, alas. But I sure hope she took! Good luck :)

  3. When I was breeding mice it ususally took me several rounds to figure out who was faster (either slightly shorter gestation period, or more promptly receptive to mate), but since mine were all housed as pairs, it was usually a case of wean babies promptly to make room for new babies. (Helpful hint: mouse babies are almost ready to wean when they are at the "popcorn" stage, ie they jump all over the cage (and out!) like popcorn.)

    I'll be very interested to see how your predator deterance (sp?) goes. The Mass Wildlife page's suggestion of wrapping your electric fence in bacon to keep away bears seemed very strange.

  4. I ran across this a while ago, it might amuse/inspire you at least for a bit: