Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Friends old and new, learning, growing, enjoying, and aspiring.

Today is going to be a big picture light, especially given just how much went on this weekend. This morning was one of those days where I was just dragging every moment. That to be fair, hasn't really changed even now but there it is. This weekend was really busy for us and mostly in good ways!

We had the good folks from Crabapple Farm by on Saturday morning where we showed them around our rabbit operation as they are getting started with rabbits of their own, and obviously having something to look at gives ideas and a starting point. It was great showing them around and explaining what we have going on and how it works. We went ahead and bred Dawn and Twilight while they were there to give them a norm on that since timing matched up. I personally really enjoyed being able to show what we have to knowledgeable people, and still be able to answer most questions usefully. They also were a great help to us because they are farmers with a focus on health and ethics. They were able to walk with us around our mess of a yard and point out what is good to eat, what we should wipe out, and some things that are normal or abnormal that we didn't know! For instance, it turns out our squash is doing just fine, it's just been an odd year. They showed us how and when to harvest our peppers which is really simple, but knowing for sure we aren't doing it wrong is helpful. They also pointed out lots of "weeds" that if we control properly will be useful, helpful plants.
We may be providing them with the pair of blue sisters we have in the current teenagers hutch depending on what they choose to do. One of the things that could be really wonderful about them getting into rabbits is having another nearby breeder of Cremes of Blues that we can trust to have good quality stock to trade and interbreed with. We were really happy that they sounded like they wanted to do the sort of half way colony style we've been testing out with Halley and Comet since it seems to be working out. Halley and Comet themselves will be butchered out once the newest litter they got pregnant with yesterday (hopefully) is weaned since they aren't good stock in terms of temperament which is a fairly major concern for us. Depending on what the folks from Crabapple Farm and others we are in contact want from us we are hoping to keep a pair of blue sisters from one of the groups we will have before the end of winter, but may end up keeping a pair of cremes with exceptional temperament and conformation since we have quite a selection. I have to admit, I gave another look over Crabapple Farm's website and saw internships and am considering whether such a thing would be possible in the future, I would love to learn their style of farming since it meshes so strongly with our own ideals. Take a look at their whole farm plan on their main page. They're doing what I in concept love and want in the long run.
Aside from having them visit and learning much, we also had other friends over who have rabbits as pets and spent a while interacting with our rabbits. I am always glad when folks with pet rabbits don't mind our set up. We also got to share with them our (other than cilantro) entirely from our own garden salsa which has come out REALLY good, and I pester the Lady of the House to make it every chance I can. The specialness of being able to have our own food that tastes good, is healthy, and we know is ethical is really reaffirming what we are doing despite the really really rough year we've been having.

So some how despite all of the chicken pictures I've gotten to here without mentioning the girls! We have good news and bad news about them. They are growing well, and should be laying their first eggs soon. They are big, relatively friendly, trusting, and will follow you around most of the time. The bad news, they know how to and somewhat regularly do just let themselves out of the run. They do so by flying up to the roof of the coop and just going where ever from there. So we have good strong powerful flying chickens who 99.9% of the time are content in their run, but it means when they decide to be out they're out. Basically, it adds a construction project for me. A roof to the run which will come in handy in winter anyhow, but is just one more thing I didn't want to have to make time to do.

Hopefully we'll have lots of good photos for you on Thursday!


  1. I can show you how to trim their wing feathers to they can't fly out. Much easier than construction!

    1. That's a greatly appreciated offer, thank you very much and we definitely should learn how to do so. Given how much we free range them we have the intention at this point to keep their primary flight feathers intact JUST in case they need to get out of the way of a predator and have the presence of mind to do so. We'll see how long we continue to do so.