Thursday, February 21, 2013

Out of meat.

There are a lot of things going on right now with food politics, and our life in general. Topics range from the Ag Gag bills that are going around to the Monsanto case being seen in the supreme court, and of particular interest to us bills proposing that rabbits be banned from being eaten since they are a popular pet. Right now though, our focus is preparing to butcher this round of babies.

The Lady of the House this morning said that as much as this round of babies is going to be harder to butcher because we've gotten to know them quite well, and they have a lot of personality, she can't wait because we've run out of meat. Now we can still buy meat if we need to, but buying good ethical meat isn't cheap. The result of that is being mostly vegetarian for the past three weeks since we ran out of rabbit meat. The last thing I made with rabbit was the ginger rabbit recipe from a few days ago. So this Saturday we are going to be butchering the 5 babies from this litter that we aren't keeping for breeding. If we were just feeding ourselves we'd still have meat left, but having friends over for dinner, and giving some away to friends and family is what put us where we are now. We don't mind doing it, but it reminds us that we shouldn't plan breedings for enough for us, we should plan for social reality!

Right now we have one major problem with butchering the babies. There's feet of snow on the ground. It is going to be very difficult to bring the rabbit somewhere the other rabbits can't see for me to do the killing, and that's a problem. As we've said over and over in this blog, doing things well for the rabbits is our primary concern. In the summer I go off to the side of the house that can't be seen by any of the rabbits to do the killing. Right now everywhere that's clear and within a reasonable range is visible by at least some rabbit. My plans to handle this, bring out a tri fold privacy screen to block off the view of the one hutch that can see the porch, and do the killing there. I haven't seen the effects of killing a rabbit in view of the others, but I suspect there'd be trust issues with the rabbits in the future. As it is, the babies get less trusting of me as I bring individuals away that don't come back. That awareness in the rabbits is why I have discarded my idea of "just kill them one at a time as we need food."

The next thing we are preparing for is more snow. Trying to watch the weather reports days ahead, and we could be getting hit with yet another 12" + snow this weekend. We're hoping it isn't that bad, there are things we need to and want to do this weekend! Fortunately we've gotten fairly good at clearing snow, it's just a bit of an adventure with the ice under it.

Finally, we are trying to figure out the finances to plan the chicken coop. Obviously having chickens will provide eggs that we can eat, and potentially sell. That said, it isn't an investment that will pay off any time soon, which makes figuring out where to scrimp and save that much more difficult when we're already a bit tight. So there it is, where we are right now. Hopefully Tuesday I'll be able to discuss the Ag Gag bills and why they concern us so much.

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