Monday, September 5, 2016

It's important to have good neighbors

  One of the greatest things about our house is we got to meet our neighbors while we were buying it. We really liked them. Still do, not just because they sold us the house but they are just amazing people. Something else we've started noticing about this town is that everyone seems to know everyone else. A lot of people grew up here and stayed here and kept those connections. Its one of the neatest things. Anyways, our super cool neighbor happens to know our other super cool neighbors... if you count someone who lives a couple blocks away a neighbor? We were 'gifted' some animals! I put the gifted in quotes because we did offer them some money but they'd only take half of what we offered and we really didn't offer much since it was in between pay days and after a trip or two to TSC and Sams Club. Basically we bought the last of the animal feed off of them. 

  First we got some more chickens. A lovely black australop hen who was sitting on eggs and her 6 adorable fluffy chicks. As well as their two lovely little bantam cochin roosters. Technically we didn't really need any more roosters but our kids are scared of our big roosters and these little guys are super adorable. I'm wondering if we should get rid of the other roos and just have bantam roos from now on. We didn't move the momma hen's nest since her eggs were all ice cold and we thought they were probably not viable anymore even if she decided she wanted to try to sit on them with the upheaval of moving. She's doing a good job of taking care of her little chickies and the move doesn't even seem to have fazed her one tiny bit. We are keeping her in her own nursery pen until her babies are older since we're afraid to add her to the rest of the flock with babies. I just would be heart broken if one of those little fluffballs got hurt because I didn't take precautions. 

  At the moment we currently two of our hens that have gone broody as well. One of our black australops has been sitting on her eggs for a little over a week and one of our mystery chickens joined her yesterday sitting on her own little nest in another corner. I'm hoping that they are successful and we don't have to buy chicks any more and deal with brooders. I love the idea of the mom's raising their own babies, it is one of the cutest things to watch.

  We didn't only get gifted with poultry either though, we also go some goats. Two gorgeous does. Wonderful milking does no less. Not old or sickly ones needing to be retired but young ladies in wonderful condition just before breeding season starts. I honestly thought it was too good to be true but they were 100% serious and the goats are great if just a bit skittish. 

   This delightful lady is very sweet. She didn't like me too much yesterday when I 'kidnapped' her from her daddy but today she decided I'm pretty cool and as the new source of food I am allowed to pet her and must do so whenever she wants. Her name is Peaches but it doesn't go with our Old Testament theme of goat names so I will have to come up with a new or secondary name for her. I'm thinking Naomi. I believe she is a Saanen/Alpine mix she looks so much like Esther is size and body shape. I do think Esther has a bit of beard envy. Not only does Naomi here have a beard but she also has wattles. Former goat parents think she's 2 or maybe 3 years old, I still haven't checked her teeth to tell for sure but I believe them.
  The second lady we picked up was named Dolly. She is Naomi's daughter but looks like she has a lot more Saanen in her gene pool. I'm thinking her daddy was a Saanen? She is a very skittish little thing and still hasn't quite forgiven me for upsetting her and moving her to a new home. I'm thinking her name will be Deliliah since it means delicate and she is that. I was worried that they would take a while to all settle in and there would be a lot of herd dominance issues but there's not. I'm thinking its because these girls have horns. Took about 15 minutes and everyone is aware of there place in the herd I'm still on the look out for scuffles but for the most part everything is going smoothly.

All 7 of the girls are in this picture, can you see them all?

Friday, September 2, 2016

Rabbit update

  I have been really amazed at how well rabbits have been doing for us these days. If you all remember I got a good deal on some at an auction. We intended to eat them but we figured that we would try to sell a few as pets or starter meat breeders if anyone was interested. Turns out a lot of people have bunnies as pets. The certainly turn a better profit than chickens and are so much cheaper to feed plus they are way more fun to snuggle and less stinky. 

   We ended up losing all of Xena's litter though, nearly broke my heart. Wait, I don't know if I mentioned losing Xena on here? The black bunny? Well, she was doing wonderfully with all her kits and we moved her to an outside pen so she would have lots more room and grass to nibble. This actually turned out to be a mistake I will explain why later. She was doing great but then an hour later she died violently with liquid feces. I believe that one of my children fed her a dandelion that had been sprayed with weed killer. They know the rabbits like and can have those and didn't know Hubs had sprayed that area around his shop. It was an accident but it was still sad. The combination of the kits weaning at such an early age (4 weeks) and the unlimited grass supply was too much for their little digestive systems and their intestines died and they couldn't poo and died slowly. It was heart wrenching and a valuable learning lesson. Supposedly if their mom had a main diet of grass the whole time while pregnant and nursing it wouldn't have happened but her whole pregnancy she was inside and occasionally given weeds and grass. 

  Our current litter is doing very well though *knock on wood*. Patty hasn't lost a single one which is very exciting for me. They all have their eyes open and hop around making adorable squeaking noises. They are a rex/californian mix so they have the softest little coats ever. We have decided to keep them inside until they are fully weaned and maybe slowly introduce them to grass after they turn 8 weeks old. We are not taking any chances this time. Hubs has even built a bigger cage so they have more room to maneuver and grow and let momma escape from her kiddos every once in awhile.

  Hubs and I are still working on fixing up the Bunny Barn. I can't wait to share all the pictures. I think it looks so much better already. We still need to figure out the poop systems, that's our main hurdle right now. After that we have room to add in 5 more cages and I'll get to keep one of our californian does we got from the auction plus a broken red buck so I can add color. I am so excited!