Thursday, April 21, 2011

Flash Farming

Husbandman and I may not be known to let grass grow under our feet, but we do usually do things rather methodically, calculated, planned, over-planned and almost always over-researched.

But this year seems to be different.  Without meaning to, it seems as though we're blitzkrieging on new enterprises.

So Mona spontaneously got bred.  And we spontaneously brought home Brownie, another rabbit for breeding, when some friends offered her to us.  This leaves us with 2 filled rabbit hutches, neither with a nest box, neither with enough room for the mother and her 6-week old weened young and no suitable pen for said young.  With Mona due in just over a week, I have ordered three 20"x26"x6" wash basins for nest boxes (because I don't have time to build something).  It gives us about 7 weeks to build a pen large enough for the weened young.  We intended to breed Brownie pretty soon, but that may be put on hold for a bit now. (whew!)

Then Doby kidded last night.  I wasn't expecting her to kid until May or June, but a couple days ago I realized her time was immanent.  I was quite nervous for her as she's just over a year old and still rather small.  That she was bred to a dwarf goat eased my mind only slightly.  But my worries were for naught.  She birthed about midnight last night without a peep.  I knew what happened only by Angel making some odd confusing noises and figured she was baffled by the "miraculous" appearance of a new charge.  She stood vigilantly by them the entire night though.  So now, in the midst of everything else, I'm milking a new goat 4 times a day.  She's not great on the stand yet.  More nervous than interested in food.  To narrow through the hips to make udder access easy.  Just all around, not that fun right now.  I'm also not sure how long we'll be without milk in the next year as the 3 present milkers dry off and we appropriately space their lactations now that the buck's "services" can be planned and prevented.

A couple days ago, the people we bought our bee hives from came by to give us a tutorial and check on the hives.  Turns out they've gone gangbusters in there and are already busting out of the original boxes.  We need to add a box to each hive pronto... meaning we need to build them first!  So tomorrow morning, Husbandman will ferociously build, tomorrow afternoon I will ferociously paint and Saturday we will quietly and calmly install.

A few days ago friends asked if we wanted some new chicks.  We did the math and decided,yes we could use some fresh layers to see us through the lean time this winter when daylight and molting could bring us to less than a half dozen a week.  So now we need to figure out which pen will be our brooder and then hold our growing birds... which means no pen is available to even buy some time with the young bunnies.

Then today, I popped on Craig's list (hoping to see a rabbit hutch for sale to save us the time and energy to build one) and found muscovy ducklings for sale locally.  I've never seen muscovy ducklings for sale!  Hatcheries require a huge order and a pretty penny each.  I asked the people selling if this was something they would likely keep on hand.  No such luck.  They're only available a couple times a year from hatcheries and they grabbed these on a whim.  So, this means we're probably going to be bringing home muscovies again rather soon.  We'll brood them in the dog crate until their ready for the old turkey pen outside in the pasture.  And one of those rabbit nest boxes I ordered will probably wind up a duck bath.

And those same friends that gave us Brownie, and asked if we wanted to order chicks with them also asked if we wanted a really nice Suffolk ewe.  Apparently this ewe has been shown at the county fair and has had 2 sets of twins in her 4 years of life.  Her present owners just want a good home for her.  So, we're now considering bringing on a new ewe that would have more likelihood of twinning and slaughtering both Nina and Daisy (knife to the heart twice!!!) this fall.  We don't want to overwinter 3 breeding ewes.  Should we take this ewe, we'd keep her and Esperanza for breeding (and of course Valentino too).

So guess what we're doing this weekend.


  1. I can tell that you have been hanging out with the Reynolds Nation...

  2. It seems like the same is happening to us too lately

  3. WOW!! Better read then "Little house on the Prairie"..LOL ..Good choice for the Rabbit boxes.