Friday, August 31, 2012

Quick update!

Are you wondering what is going on?  Three posts in ONE NIGHT!

This evening while I was milking, my Man told me that two of our 6 pregnant bunny mama's have kindled!

Boy's Lucie had 2 kits.

Mopsy, Sr (my Red NZ that we've had the longest) had her litter (her third).  This time she had 5 kits.  3 black, 2 grey.

Right on time....tomorrow we should have some more!!  I'll update then.

You need cheese..... that you are totally cracking up!! 
(Shout out to DH for finding this video tonight!) 
Almost everyday, I make farm cheese.  I haven't gotten the courage up to make any of the other kinds.  (OK, I made Motzerella one morning and even took pictures for a tutorial...but it totally flopped, so those pictures are currently in limbo).
However farm cheese, you can't really mess up.

Heat your milk up to 160* to 180*.  Pull it off the heat.  Put a splash of vinegar in it.  Stir until it clabbers (seperates).  Let it sit for 30 minutes.  Pour off whey.  Pull the cheese apart, salt.  Smush back together and put into cheese bag.  Let drain for 30 minutes. 
Eat!  Defeat mouse traps!!
(BTW, the cheese actually squeaks!)

Progress on 101....

We're past the half-way point of my 1001 day challenge...gulp.  Need to kick it in gear!!

Out of 101 items....

14 completely done
30 in progress
57 not even started (GULP)

With $10 on the line for each unfinished item...I don't have $570....yikes!!  So....

Without looking....pick a number between 1-101 and put it in the comments!

By the way....17 weeks until Christmas......

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Our new bunny, Niki

The Thrianta rabbit is one of the newest breeds to be recognized by the American Rabbit Breeder's Association in 2006. Thriantas (pronounced Tree-an-ta) are known as "The Fiery Red Rabbit" or the "Fire of the Fancy". They have a beautiful orange-red coat and brown eyes. Thriantas are between 4-6 lbs, which makes them a good small sized pet rabbit.

The Thrianta traces its history back to the Netherlands in 1938, when Mr. H. Andreae, a school teacher, began developing the breed as a tribute to Holland's royal house, the House of Orange. Bred from Black Tan, English Spot, and Havana rabbits, the Thrianta was accepted in the Netherlands in 1940, but the original standards, stipulating a hint of tan coloring under the orange top coat, made the breed difficult to maintain. World War II also took a toll on the Thrianta population, as the Netherlands were invaded by German forces just days after the breed's first official recognition. By 1966, Thriantas were no longer listed in the Dutch standards.

Thrianta rabbits look like a larger rabbit in a small package. For those interested in the longer ears and sweet personality of the large breeds, but don't have the space. You might be interested in these fiery rabbits. They probably come with a higher price tag though, since they are still fairly rare and hard to find ($75-$100).


Milk, milk, milk

So What do you do with your time?  Mine seems to always involve milk.
We are only getting a gallon and a quart (about) per milking.  I say only as when she if fresh it could be upto 5 gallons per milking.  I don't know what to do with the 2 1/2 gallons a day I get now....good thing there will be a calf to help out!
Here's last nights milking.  See the line about 2 inches down?  Yes, above that is the thick cream that I shake into butter.  Below is whole milk.   

Almost every day I make farm cheese (Fast, easy, and hard to mess up).  It tastes like a really mild motz.  I think I like it the best when I mix chives into it.   It's wonderful on PIZZA!!  Every other day (about) I shake butter.  This past Tuesday, I tried canning butter.  (Post coming)
Boy making butter!


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The new rabbits..

My Man and Boy have really gotten into the rabbitry this summer.  We started out the summer with two rabbits: Spot, the pet lop buck of the Boy.  He has been a survivor, I think because everyone that comes onto the farm either holds or pets him.  Then there was Mopsy, the red New Zealand doe.

Mopsy had a litter of two in April:  Mopsy Jr (a red doe cross) and Jacob, Jr.  A white and red 'broken" (Which means he has spots).

Jacob, Jr.
Mopsy had another litter in June.  8 kits: 4 red, 4 broken.  They mostly have floppy ears like their dad.
All the broken are girls and 1 red girl.  We had an unfortunate accident and ended up having one of the boys for lunch....long story....some other time. 

We've sold the solid red girl. 
The "girl" cage
We wanted to get a male New Zealand so we weren't using Spot to breed as he is very small and ultimately we are breeding rabbits as a protein source.  So Jack and Jill because a part of our herd:
Jill is the broken black, Jack is the solid black buck.
Well then, along about July, Man decided that he would like to breed Florida White rabbits.  They are smaller than the New Zealands, but have a great feed to meat conversion.  Finding a breeding pair was quite a challenge and Man hunted and inquired for a month.  Finally for his birthday, I went and picked up:
Lightning is the Buck, Sally is the Doe.

In the meantime, we needed to add cages.  Man and Boy went up to Manfield and got two really nice sets.  The next day he found a nice breeding White New Zealand near Waldo
Waldo...otherwise known as Killer (sorry blurry picture)

Boy decided that he wanted to be just like Dad, but breed rabbits as pets, so he needed a pure bred Holland Lop Doe.  We found a nice one on Craigslist.  He did all the email correspondence and arrangements.  Lucie was added to our farm.

Then a week later found a family that was getting out of rabbits not far from us.  They had a nice 6 cage set up with all the accessories....the only thing came with 3 more rabbits.  And all different breeds than the ones we currently have:

A Lionhead, named Snowball (or Wiz) I personally think the name should be Einstein:

A Thrianta Doe named Niki.  Seperate post about this one as it is a fairly rare breed and I have some more info to share.
 And a little Black Polish...that I don't seem to have a picture of named Scottie-dog.

You would think we were would be silly!  Then we went to an animal auction last week.  Man wanted just 1 white New Zealand Doe for Waldo.  Boy won a Black Holland Lop that is already pregnant (and due this week).  Two white New Zealand Does, and my broken red New Zealand Doe, Speckles. (no picture of Speckles, yet) of now...we have 19 rabbits, with 6 of them expecting litters in the next two weeks.

Friday, August 17, 2012

UG...poison ivy again!

Well, here it is mid-August....I"ve been a neglectful blogger.  Once I get out of the habit it's hard to get back into it.  I told myself that I needed to get going on the 101 list again.  I've finished two in the past month, but the ones that seem to be niggling at me are the ones that have to do with me being more regular about blogging.  It's not that I WANT to neglect my two faithful readers *wave* but.....well, you know.  So, since school will be starting soon and we know that means I will have less to do (snort), I will make it an assignment to blog daily.  Gasp!  Maybe do another blog hop and see if anyone else wants to see what I have to say...anywho...

When we first got Bessie Moo, I was under the influence of Steroids.  I could do ANYTHING!  I even thought I could walk a reluctant cow 5 miles in 98* heat.  (More to that crazy story soon!)  But as all good things must come to an end...the taper ended and no more meds.  That made me just a bit sad.  I was so excited because the steroid had actually helped my Trigeminal Neuralgia seizure become less frequent. I started to feel like the "old me".  I had lots of energy and got stuff done.  But then it ended and the seizures came back...and I don't know if it was because I had briefly felt like my old self, that I crashed so hard...but when the pains started again and nothing was getting done and I was tired when I got up in the morning, I became very depressed.  My wonderful doctor upped my seizure stuff that, though it works, makes me "unable to operate heavy machinery", like say the alarm clock.  I joked about getting poison ivy again.....this was not the intention....I promise.

Do not me!
I weeded the front garden two weeks ago.  It was a jungle.  I have no idea what I pulled out and feed to the cow.  She ate it all.  Two days later, I had poison ivy.  Obviously, that is what was in the jungle.  So I've dealt with it and tried not to itch for 10 days.  Today it needed to be addressed.  My DH saw my one arm and urged me to go to urgent care or something.  Luckily, my doctor was in and I was able to get an appointment (her last of the day!)  Steroids and antibiotics.  Poison Ivy with an infection.  So....that's the bad news...the good news is that for at least the next 2 weeks (starting tomorrow) I might actually get something accomplished!  WooHoo...Stay tuned.  Also, I made a promise tonight that I would get to posting all these posts that are sitting in my "To-do" so there are pictures to go along with the stories.  I'm going to date them to when they actually happened, so you might want to check back a few  weeks from time to time if you don't want to miss any of the posts.  I will also let you know if I pre-date a post so you can go find em!

Love y'all!

Friday, August 10, 2012