Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Two litters, and two blanks.

The weekend has passed, and more babies have been born to Halley which you will be able to see below as black blobs. Dawn and Comet on the other hand have not given birth, and we're starting to be fairly certain that at the time they were bred Dorado was heat sterile!

It's unfortunate but not crippling to us since with Halley's litter with Umbra we have 15 on the ground right now. We are deciding at the moment whether we should attempt a re breeding with Dorado right now and risk an early November litter. If we were to do so it would only be with Dawn since Halley and Comet will be going away soon to make room for new stock coming in from elsewhere. right now our inclination is to risk it, as long as we don't have the melt and freeze cycle with LOTS of snow we should be ok. The picture Above Left shows what most of the pictures of babies look like, namely flailing blurs of active babies slamming themselves around trying to fling themselves to their deaths. So far we haven't let any of them do so, but it's always something we try to be very conscious of.

Left is the nest of Halley complete with babies. I couldn't get a great photo because it's been fairly cold and I don't want to expose the babies to needless temperature variation. Given that Halley had 10 kits, and Twilight only had 5 living kits, I moved the two largest kits from Halley to Twilight and fostered them off to have litters of 7 and 8. So far that hasn't been a problem on either end, and all of the kits are growing well. We've been doing weight checks in the afternoon for warmth reasons, so I don't have a today weight update on the kits for folks, but I'll include the numbers from yesterday, and hopefully by Thursday I'll have the spread sheets up and running.

Twilight                                    Halley
115                                          103
106                                          93
102                                          92
93                                            90
90                                            82
84 (Foster)                               80
76 (Foster)                               64

So far they are all doing decently enough, and Halley's smallest babies have grown significantly since their birth, so here's hoping they both do well! I don't have more photos of Twilight's litter right now due to her attentiveness requiring everything with her kits to be a two person operation!

A final rabbit update, if you remember the concern about the runt from the teenagers, it seems to have recovered and by that evening was jumping on its siblings and cousins heads to get at the food dish and was all over the place. Crisis passed for now!
The chickens have been a continuing adventure for us as we learn more about them, and their proclivities. We have a somewhat strange thing going on with them, they aren't really eating their food. We've halved and halved again their food for the day, and many days they aren't eating any of it. We are assuming that because they are free ranging they get a good wide diet of things that jump, fly, crawl, and grow in the woods. Our main concern is making sure they get enough calcium, but I point out that they eat enough driveway gravel we probably shouldn't have to worry about that. I suspect they eat many rocks we don't see as well as the ones we do. Obviously they will be eating more feed come winter when there aren't bugs around, but it's kind of a nice concern to have that our ever growing chickens barely eat any feed!
And the garden, it's slowly winding down on its own. The Kale seems totally unaffected so far, the tomatoes are eeking out a few last fruits, and we're hoping the squash manage to ripen up so we get Something from them! We've also harvested the second to last potato bucket, and got another good solid crop of multi colored potatoes. We're going to be trying our garden potatoes soon. So for now, a good day to you all, and I'll have more updates on the kits at least Thursday!

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