Thursday, April 4, 2013

Twilight's fast growing brood, and financial reality.

Twilight's babies continue to be a positive thing in our life which is really nice since we had such a rough week last week. Their eyes have opened fully, they are fairly friendly, and Twilight no longer trying to take people's arms off means that we can let friends play with them for a few minutes before she gets upset. We still put the babies in a box and bring them inside to weigh them, but that won't work much longer as you can tell.

We took the day off from weight checks yesterday because with wind chill it was too cold in the morning for us to safely check the babies weight. This winter weather is still going much to our displeasure. We want to start thinking about planting and the like, but while there is still snow on the ground it is not a reasonable thing to do. Fortunately we are starting to actually see bits of the ground, and we can see the end of winter around the corner!

Right now we are planning for the next breeding which will be Dawn with Dorado, and Umbra with Halley and Comet. We are up in the air a bit on when to do their breedings. Halley and Comet are old enough to breed at this point being 5 months old, and Dawn could have been re bred within 5 days of losing her litter. Due to our ethics focus we didn't want to breed her immediately and give her a bit of a chance to rest. She lost the last kit last week, so we could breed as soon as today, but we are thinking to wait at least until next Friday to breed her just to be safe. Before then I need to put private area walls in the current growing out hutch, or build a whole new larger hutch to try our experiment of breeding with two does in a hutch at once so they can share space. Aside from the one fight we witnessed, and two other instances of fur in the hutch since Halley and Comet seem to be getting along just fine. If we can let them be together they'd probably be happier than being on their own. The other option is to go with "Better safe than sorry" given that we are going to be shy on our early summer meat due to losing all of Dawn's litter of ten, make another hutch and separate them so we are certain that there won't be fights, kit killing, or refusal to breed by one. I am inclined to see if we can make it work so we could give at least some of our does a more companion filled life.
The other things we have been preparing for, chickens, are not going to be able to happen this year the way we wanted them to. We ran our finances, and it just isn't realistic to add even $20 a month to our expenses since that cuts into our buffer for bad things happening every month. We are still going to build the coop, and if our finances change we will get chickens. We are giving the chicks we purchased with Michelle Chandler of "Blessed Acres Farm" to her. She has said that if our finances change to let her know and she can give us even just a few of her flock so we can get started with them and learn about chickens We hope our situation changes soon so we can do that, but we can't bet on more money coming in during this economy. One has to be realistic rather than hopeful when it comes to making sure the mortgage is paid, and all of the animals are fed.
So our plans right now are, work on the coop, keep going with the rabbits, and get seeds in the ground as soon as we can. Last frost will be in about a month and a half to two months at which point we will have an explosion of activity. Until then we will be starting seeds inside, trying to prepare ground as much as we can, working on the coop, and getting more hutches made. When I put it that way it almost sounds as though we have enough to do already. Dorado certainly thinks so.


  1. Kate H, formerly of SquillageApril 4, 2013 at 12:03 PM

    If you do want to try the chickens, consider making a financial plan (what you would need for the next year/next 5 years) and putting a fundraiser up on something like indiegogo or another kickstarter like site. Trade fundraising for blogging about the experience, and offer pictures for donations, or such. If it doesn't work, you at least have a financial picture set for when you can afford chickens, and if it does... chickens!

    You do have something to trade the internet for this sort of thing, that is, if you have the time to do it.

    1. We've got a fairly solid financial plan for it so it wouldn't take long to do. I've always just been hesitant to ask for donations, probably mostly out of the "That sting you're feeling, it's pride biting you in the ass." We will have to consider it at the very least. It's hard for me to think of this as valuable monetarily since the concept has been to share information from the beginning, but you know what, I think you're right it is time to consider.