Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Surprise kits, disassembling, and garlic sprouting.

Surprise, rabbit kits already! We were expecting our first litters on the 22nd and the 23rd, but it turns out I was correct that I took Dawn's son out of the hutch with her and her daughter later than I should have. Interestingly enough, it wasn't Dawn that was bred, it was her daughter. Fortunately she was old enough I don't feel bad that she's having kits. There are only 3 kits, but they're all healthy. They were born 76, 76, and 69 grams. Today they were 90, 89, and 87 grams just after feeding so they are doing well. We are expecting 2 sets of kits tomorrow or the next day, and another set the day after. We'll see how that goes, but we should have lots of baby rabbit pics. That said, we had a lot other than that going on over the weekend.

As you may remember from last week I've started helping take down the pieces of a friend's family homestead operation. Saturday we started getting on the heavy work, and were going to do more on Monday before it ended up raining all day. On Saturday though with a small crew of helpers including the Lady of the House's father, the owner of the farm we're pulling down, and a friend who came from working an overnight, we got a good amount done right quick.
We divided up into working crews to make sure we were more efficient. The 3 of them were working on taking the shed part of the goat barn down since that had to come down before the main barn for safety reasons. As you can see Above Left it came apart fairly efficiently. Below Right you can see that it's entirely gone by the end of us working for the day. I spent my day mostly working on other things, namely taking apart the goat condos on the other end of the field which I did most of before my screwgun battery ran out. I also took down the chain link fence panels that had been a kidding area, and the first 100' of fence in the easiest to remove section. Removing 6' tall wire fence of any kind is easy enough when it comes to just taking down the fence off the fence posts. The hard parts are getting the fence posts up which I haven't done yet, and re rolling the fencing. Doing it solo was probably not my best idea as the bruises attest, but I didn't tear myself up too badly which is nice at least.

At the end of the work day, we ended up with a full truck bed, and a loaded trailer of materials. The owner of the farm was kind enough to haul all of the stuff back to our house for us and help us unload. As you can see it was a lot of material, and that big thing on the trailer on the left side of the picture is the 100' section of fence. I only managed to roll it down so far, it ended up about twice the volume of the pre-rolled 100' fence sections. My conclusion, there Has to be a better way to do this, and next time if I can I'm going to see about getting some sort of core to roll the fence around to see if that helps.

While I'm happy with how much we got done, I am somewhat frustrated that I wasn't able to get more done on Monday because of the rain. There is a lot to do there, and time is not on my side, or their side. They need to get everything down for house sale purposes, and I have a lot to get done around the house, to include setting up what I'm pulling down from there. Realistically I also really need to do some planning on exactly What I'm going to be doing with what I bring back since I'm not going to be rebuilding exactly what I'm pulling down. That's partially due to our land not being their land (obviously), and partially because we don't have the same needs they did. We're aiming to have pigs and dwarf milk goats. They had Boer meat goats which is a whole different set of needs. The fence is easy enough to plan, but the barn space is going to take a bit of thinking to implement, though with the materials that'll help us a huge amount.
Back at home other than the kits that have recently been born, things are going fairly well. It's mud season in full swing with is a little annoying from time to time. The chickens have been out and about in all weather which led to them being soaked to the skin yesterday due to wanting to be out so much. Today I discovered that one of the most pitiful/funny sounds in the world is a rooster sneezing mid crow. I can't imagine it's any more comfortable than hiccuping mid burp, or the other way around. He seemed so offended at his own biology.
The chickens have also been eating everything that exists, but somehow surviving their occasional ravages some of our garlic has started to come up! Just a few bright green shoots scattered through the bed we planted them in early November not long after Critter's birth. We should probably look into using some of the fence we're pulling up around the garden to keep the chickens out. Though to be fair, chickens consider non covered fences a suggestion rather than a demand. Either way, if we want our seedlings to stay alive we need to think about it.
See y'all Thursday, hopefully with more good rabbit news.

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