Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The start of something new

Life has taken a lot of turns lately for good and ill, and we've come to a  lot of transition points lately. As we hit a natural transition here on the homestead, the blog has also come to a transition that I've resisted for a few years now. Monetization. Fortunately given new options, it isn't going to be advertising. Before I get into that though, let's look at where the homestead is right now. Obviously a lot of the core of what's going on right now is the rabbits, so let's start there.

The cover photo today are Dawn's babies that I haven't had the time or honestly the inclination to kill and butcher this winter. Dawn likes having company, and thus I've left them in far too long. They need to go soon, and will be going this week. Given that she's going to be bred for spring shortly, that should be resolved soon. Dawn is the first candidate for being moved to a bigger hutch, and having company full time when I have some building time this spring. Dorado is also doing well, and is still very affectionate. Right now though we have too many bucks for our property. We have Herbie and Dorado for Creme D'argent bucks, and Remington Steel and Starry Night for American Blue bucks. There's going to be some competitive breeding going on over the spring and summer, because we aren't going to be having all 4 of them with us one way or another next winter. Honestly we should have done that before this winter, but with the new Critter in the house, our focus was a lot more internal than it should have been. Now that spring is coming, and the Critter is getting more able to live without constant attention we're able to start focusing outside on the Homesteading more again.
The first task that came with spring for the rabbits that I've already taken care of is shoveling out the manure that had collected in a few places in the hutches. It's particularly a problem in the hutches with shelves in them which is a bit unfortunate since the rabbits definitely like having shelves to hop up on, run around on, and rest on. One of the things I'm going to want to do this summer is try to figure out a good way to make the shelves still sturdy but not have the poop staining and mess on the shelves. I'm consider just getting scrap linoleum and trying to cover the shelves with that to protect the shelves, and the rabbits feet. My concern of course is the rabbits slipping on it and falling off, hurting themselves. Everything's a balancing act so we'll see what works as we experiment. With the weather adjusting and the upcoming life schedule we're going to get started breeding this week and weekend.
I am very happy to say that we're
starting to get actual ground showing under the snow and ice in the places that I've been shoveling all winter to get to and from the rabbits. It was always a bit annoying to do the extra shoveling as it snowed so regularly, but it's paying off now for certain. As you can see, I still haven't had time to finish the new 6' hutch that's half done, so I'm going to be finishing that up ASAP this spring since we're going to need the extra room if things don't go poorly with breeding again this year. Even if breeding does go poorly again this year we should have more space for grow outs, and keep trying to move our breeders up into the larger hutches since they are doing better and are happier there.

Over all though, the snow is below dog depth now, which has led to a lot more of the dog being out about in the woods which he has been very happy with as you can see. The snow is still going to take a while to fully melt off, but given that there was finally a night above freezing last night (by a degree) I suspect snow is going to go away fairly quickly, and I'm happy to see it go. There is plenty we want to be doing with the ground, including rebuilding the raised bed from its destruction last year.
The last thing going on right now around the property is the chickens. They're finally out of the run and wandering around. They've been aggressively cleaning up under the rabbit hutches. Well, not so much cleaning as exploding poop and hay everywhere, and eating everything they can get their claws on. We strongly hope that with the chickens going nuts under the rabbits that we'll be able to avoid fly season to the extent we've had it in the past from time to time. If they do manage that I'm going to be very happy with them, and hope that they can do the same thing for our tick population for the year. The dog is still going to be vulnerable because of how far afield he tends to go from the yard, but at least it'll hopefully mitigate the tick population for the Lady of the House and me.

So, run down done, let's talk about the changes to the blog. They're not going to be significant, it's mostly that we are now going to be on Patreon to accept donations. We have had a donation button suggested from time to time, and I've been resistant because I didn't want people to feel that they needed to give to us, and I've always been a bit uncomfortable with charity without doing something. It's been pointed out enough that the blog is doing something that I'm going to give it a shot. We have a good number of reward categories available to choose from in Patreon that include postcards and prints either of photos from the homestead, or art from the Lady of the House. If you have any questions about what's going on with this, or suggestions for things you'd want to see as reward levels let us know. The content is going to continue to be here, and there is no need to go to Patreon or contribute, but we will greatly appreciate if you do. I'm also going to be trying to put up an Amazon wish list for the homestead since that's also been suggested.

All in all, thank you all for reading, following, and helping out.


  1. We put shelves up in our hutches for our rabbits and find they really like them. We have wire hutches and make wire shelves, as the pee and poop can go right through. They run the length of the hutch along the back and if poop gets stuck, we just hose it through. Hope this idea helps. Came over from Cold Antler Farm.

    1. I'm probably going to have to do something like that. I was using the wooden shelves to give the rabbits a chance to rest their feet. While ideally their feet wouldn't have any problems on wire all the time, it's definitely made them happy to have the solid shelves. If they keep pooping on them though, they will have to go, and we'll have to go to the wire shelves as you're doing.

      Thanks for the suggestion, and welcome to the blog!