Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The babies are out and moving around, so are the chickens . . .

For a few moments I wasn't sure what photos to start with, but in the end you can't go wrong with a handful of baby bunny. The one Above is one of Halley's kits that is JUST starting to open it's eyes. Right now Halley's kits are still just barely at the opening their eyes stage. Twilight's just a couple days older on the other hand are already moving around.

It's tough to get good photos of moving blobs of nearly bunny, but here's the best one I could get. Twilight doesn't like the babies being out and attempts to lick them until they go back into their nest which they've expanded out into the wandering area. Reason number lots to put that bar across the entrance to the nesting area to keep them in until they can fend for themselves! It is good to see them up and around though, we've got 14 healthy kits with good weights so we're happy right now.
For now Halley's nest is full and the babies are really only able to flop around and squeak when picked up. They don't really have motive power yet for which I'm sure their mother and aunt are grateful. All 8 of them are of healthy weights at least which is a good sign, so there it is. The big thing I'm thinking about with rabbits right now is the commercial side of it. I offered Halley and Comet to the folks over at Crabapple Farm and they said they'd have to think about it with eye to the commercial side since it's either a 4H project, or a money making thing for them, not the in between sort of thing it is for us. I unfortunately can't find the notes I'd taken thinking about it as a commercial venture so I can't just put those in the post for today, but expect to see my thoughts on rabbits commercial side Thursday.

One of the pieces of data I don't have that is important for a commercial view of things is finishing weight on the babies. We only took that measurement once, and since then we've been focused on the early weight measurements to try to insure greater survival rates. With the larger babies and teens we've given up on weights because they're too stressed by it, and there's too much already going on to keep up with it day in and day out. The picture Right is a good, though less chaotic than the real thing photo of daily interaction with the teenagers. All of the other photos had dark or light blurs lunging up at me, this is the only one calm enough to count as a usable picture! Fortunately the babies have gotten so they don't jump on each other as much, so you can get photos of them in a row together instead of just seeing blurred mob scenes. They still tend to sit on the food instead of beside it, but when you're not using feeders that's just something that happens, and is a reminder that I Need to get some sort of hanging feeder set up for hay and pellets for the growing out hutches for next year if I can't do it right now.

We had an unusual greeting this morning when we went to feed the chickens as you can see. We tied up the dog so he could be outside, but not with us when we went to feed the chickens so he wasn't tempted to harass them, and turned around, and up came the girls from the garden. It was sort of an amusing sight, thus the quick photo I got of them streaming out of the garden. I guess last night I forgot to close the coop door. When we checked the coop was open, but the run wasn't. The whole bunch of them flew over the fence because they wanted out. The Lady of the House has suggested putting a tarp over the top for the time being. As soon as they lay they probably won't be flying over the top of the run anymore, just due to egg weight. Bottom Left was one of my favorite parts of the morning which is why I included it despite the blurry cruddy nature of the photo. The Lady of the House acting as the pied piper of chickendom with all of the girls following her readily back to the run. It was a funny thing to watch.
We got the last, or maybe second to last harvest of tomatoes for the season to make salsa for the wedding of a couple of friends. We decided to just get a quick photo of some of the tomatoes we got out of it. I love the bright green of the Green Zebra tomato in there with the oranges and reds. Good salsa, but next year we need to be more disciplined about preserving more than a couple gallons of frozen tomatoes. Last but not least, I just wanted to share a photo that tickled the lighting designer in me. The blazing cut of light through against the hard shadow of the house was something I enjoyed seeing this morning just before we left, so for those who enjoy lighting like I do, here you go, enjoy. Thursday we'll be back, and I'll see if I can pull together the ideas and information we had about making money off meat rabbits, and of course more baby pictures as they all open their eyes and move around.

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