Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Meg's Babies - 1 week old

Here are Meg's Babies, that were born on 6/20 at about a week old.  They are about 2 days away from opening their eyes.  We have lost a few and are down to 7 now.

Mama Meg and her babies.

Here are the 4 survivor's from Molly's litter.  We believe they are all does.  They have really gotten tame with the daily handling so a few may become breeders, or sold for 4H when they get a bit older.

About 12 weeks old.

And finally, this little wild thing hopped over my foot while I was choring the chicken coop.  He had been injured probably by the hawks that fly over our property.  Flash only was with us for about 3 days.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

We lost both Lop babies today.  So Sad!  Also one of the Silkies got caught under the feed dish and was trampled by it's brooder box mates.  She is still alive and living in a box on the porch.  She's alert but we're not sure how she'll fair through the night.  I hope she survives as Boy has given her a really cute name...which is Professor Chicken.

Monday Update: Professor Chicken did not make it, nor did one of our Americauna's in the moveable coop.  And by midmorning we had lost the runt from the weaned bunnies (In the pictures a few days ago), and the wild rabbit, Flash.  SIGH.

Hopefully a cheerier post tomorrow!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Life on the farm...

One of the things on a farm that has been the hardest getting used to is all the death.  I'd like to say it is getting easier...but well, that would not be the truth.  We just try to focus on the animals that God is allowing us to raise and leaving the other's in His capable hands.

Apparently Sweetie had 4 babies, as we found a dead kit in her cage this morning.  But the two in the nest were still there, so the orginal count is basically the same.

We lost Miracle, the little gray bunny from Meg's litter.  So we have 8 left from her kindling.

We lost our last Buckeye Chicken last night.  It was about 3 months old, raised from day old.  We bought 4 hens and a rooster. We lost one last week and I had joked that likely the one that was left was the rooster.  Now we will not know.  Losing those were disappointing as well because supposedly they were bred for Ohio conditions.  They are fairly rare and we were hoping to be able to breed chicks for others to have in their flocks.  I'm debating if I am going to try that experiment again.

Our Sumo meat birds (Cornish cross-they are bred to have big breasts and thighs and look like little Sumo wrestlers when grown) are doing well.  They are feathered out and will be going into the pasture coop this weekend.  We've only lost 1 of the 50 of those!!

Just in time too because we are supposed to be getting our Guinea Birds in the mail on Monday.  We had to get 30 (minimum) but only really wanted about 5.  I've had lots of inquiries on Craigslist after them so I hopefully can sell the other 20-25 in this next week.

Thanksgiving, the turkey, seems to be growing well and is doing alright with all the Sumo birds and silkies.  I think I will leave him with the Silkies when I move out the Sumos.  I may even leave him in with the guineas.

My brother-in-law came for a few days.  We haven't seen him since Boy was 7 days old! (He travels alot for work), but he was passing by and stopped in and boy are we glad.  It was so nice to see him.  Man, boy and BIL went fishing and biking.  BIL and Boy went swimming.  All were sad to see him leave.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

More Babies!!

A few months ago, as you may remember, my boss from work gave Boy their Lop Eared Doe, Sweetie.
 She was older (2-3 years), and my 'rabbit mentor' called her a "Maiden."  Apparently if they don't breed in the first year, it's not likely that they will be a breeder.

The day after Meg and Robby spent the day together, Sweetie (the Lop) jumped the wall in the hutch and went to spend some time with Robby.  I marked it on the calendar, but didn't think much about it.  As Meg got wider and wider and Sweetie didn't, I decided my mentor was right.

Then this morning as I was checking on the older babies in the hutch to the left of Sweetie, I noticed that she had pulled fur.  Normally that is the last thing they do before going into labor.  I grabbed a nest box, filled it with fresh straw and the fur from the floor and put it in there.  She immediately started rearranging the straw  (making bones).  I went in to the house for about two hours.  My curiousity got the better of me, and back out I went.  Look what I found....

She had three babies.  One didn't survive the birth.  The other two seem to be doing well.  They are not cute yet and their heads seem so big and their bodies so small.
These pictures were taken within about an hour of birth.

Father: Robbie (Full bred Californian) Mother: Sweetie (Full bred Holland Lop)

Meg's Babies

After 2 tries, our Mama Meg had her first litter on 6/20!!  She had a total of 13 kits, which is huge for a first litter.  Two didn't make it from the birth, and then we lost another 2 in the first day. Then another seemed to disappear, leaving 8.  These pictures were taken at 4 days old.  It amazes me how quickly they grow.  Already they are getting their first sheen of fur.

Boy cuddles one of our "missing" bunnies. 
After inspecting the box today, we discovered two missing.  One was quickly found just outside of the nest box. 
But where was the other one?
Looking around we found a little hollow under the cage in the droppings that was full of dropped fur, and amazingly enough not only was the missing kit in the hollow, but the other one that had been missing for a few days.
This one we call "Miracle".  It's a miracle he was still alive after being out of the box for a few days, and he still had his umbilical cord!!  We are hoping for a miracle that he stays with us after his rough start in life.

So as of today we have 9 live kits from this kindling.  7 white/pink and 2 gray

Friday, June 18, 2010

Making Bones

When a rabbit is getting ready to go into labor, she gets her nest ready.  She will pick up straw and hay in a realatively straight pile and rearrange how they lay in the nest box.  This is called Making Bones, I think because it looks like a dog holding a bone.

I put the nest box and straw into Meg's cage tonight because she should be kindling in the next few days (at least according to my calendar.)  Immediately she began making bones, so we're excited and anxious to see if the "3rd times a charm" is true.  Updates soon!

My wonderful Friends...and gardening update!

My wonderful friend came out with her two girls to "exercise her inner farmer."  What an awesome friend I have.  She brought pizza, and helped me weed my weedpatch...I mean garden.  Sometimes working 3rd shift makes it difficult to be a farmer.  Having friends like Kerry make life worth living.  Thank you, friend!!

Having my friend kick me in the bum...I mean motivate me to get going...I got over 200 tomatoes (19 varieties) planted.  Along with 5 types of peppers, zucchini squash, acorn squash, pickling cucumbers, salad cucumbers, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, watermelon, and cantaloupe.  All were started in our laundry room!

The corn is about waist high, but had a poor germination rate.  The popcorn only has about 10 stalks, and the Inca sweet, and ruby sweet is about 20 stalks.  The weeds are overtaking the bean patch too, so it's hard to see what we have.  The peas did not come on at all which is really disappointing as I spent extra on those seeds.  I got sucked into the hype about how wonderful they grow.  The name should have warned me "Mira-peas"  Your miracle peas...yeah, a miracle if they grow!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

1st Litter Weaned

OH, Hello!

Our first litter of California Babies have been weaned from Mama Molly.  We have 5 beautiful babies starting to get their points.  We have one "runt" that is quickly catching up with it's siblings.

Biggest sibling and runt

Aren't we cute!
We'll know this weekend how many are boys and how many are girls.
Check this post for updates.

If you are interested in a full breed (but not papered) California for fair, pet or otherwise, let us know!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

What will be next......


A barn dance???

Watch and see!!

First Crop

We harvested our first crop today!  Radishes...and man are they hot! 

Anyone want a peanut butter and radish sandwich??

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Down 50%

Sadly, we have now lost 50% of our kits from our first litter of rabbits.  We haven't been able to conclude what is doing it.  It is frustrating, because we expected to lose babies right after they were born...not after they were almost a month old.

We'll be setting rat traps and racoon traps to see if that is what is nibbling on their toes and killing them.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Storms & Rainbows

We had a fun day on the farm today.  Friends of the Boy came over and the three of them spent all day making a secret club in one of the horse stalls in the barn.  (You can see the all 3 boys in the bottom of the picture)

Then, I had to go to work....I went in one of the most wicked storms I have ever been in.  Only to get to work and be faced with Tornado sirens.  Meanwhile at the farm...the storm seperated and went both to the north and south and left them with a gorgeous double rainbow over the barn....