Circle of Life

Summer has, undoubtedly, been busy.  The newest litter arrived last Tuesday – Little Mama had a total of 11 kits.  (Wow!)  One was DoA, and three were runty.  One of those three didn’t make it past the second day, but the other two seem to be doing quite well.  I’m amazed – at first I was helping them get some extra cracks at Mama’s milk, but the last few days they’ve both had decently full bellies without any of my interference.  Nature is pretty darn amazing.

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The newest litter from Little Mama.  Now 9 strong!

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Comparison of runt vs. brother/sister.  Itty bitty!  (But still getting fed, and actually doing very well)

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This is one of the 12-week old juniors from Little Mama’s first litter.  Can’t believe how big they’re getting!  If all goes well, the first two will be on their way to be new breeding stock this Friday!

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Then this the poor buck from Big Mama’s first litter – the poor guy just can’t catch a break.  He was the unlucky one who got a toe nipped by one of the dogs back when he was little (which we’ve since re-dog-proofed the greenhouse, and it has been effective).  He was going to a new home to be breeding stock this Friday with the girls – but Sunday night I went in, and noticed some moisture under his eye.  I segregated him, and next morning it looked like this already.  I planned to attempt to treat it, but by the time I got home last night – it was in his other eye as well.   “Weepy Eye” indicates a few things.  1)  Infection 2) Blocked Tear Duct or 3) Teeth issues.  There are some possible treatments for it, but they either cost a lot of $$$ (2x what I was planning to charge for the rabbit) or will take 18 days to get here from overseas.  Yipe.   Not to mention the fact it’s likely he’ll continue to have eye issues.   I’ve been able to sell a lot of the rabbits we’ve had here so far, so if we finally get a rabbit dinner that we’d originally been planning on – it won’t be the worst thing.  I just don’t want the poor bugger to be uncomfortable a moment longer than necessary – so he’s getting one more day of observation to see if it resolves.

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And the other circle of life – I found this pretty caterpillar in my garden.  I was appreciating it until I realized it wasn’t sitting atop one of the overgrown things of grass in said garden – it was sitting atop a sheared off dill plant.  So he’s now been relocated to our maple tree, which can take a lot more damage than dillweed. 🙂  (It’s a black Swallowtail, for reference!)

That’s it for now. 🙂  Hope everyone is enjoying their summer!

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Summer is the Good Life

Hello everyone!  I’ve been behind in posting, but I’ll blame that on keeping myself busy with other ventures.

The rabbitry and the wanna-be city homestead is doing swimmingly so far!  First of all, the yard is improved and the garden is in.   It actually went in about 9 days ago, but the way the rain was working – we didn’t have 3 days in a row with no rain (and warm weather) until the beginning of June.  So first opportunity to till – we took it.  I have to thank my parents for that, they came over and were a huge help.  Weather has been funny around here – it is Wisconsin, but normally by now we’re solidly into the 70s weather.  We’re coming off of a warm weekend (80s), but now today it’s back down to 63 for a high.  On the bright side, the peas I planted a month or more ago are just going NUTS.  (They love cool weather).   Plus it’s far better for the rabbits, who struggle with heat.

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The plants before going into the ground.  Cucumbers are foreground, tomatoes are background.  If you have a greenhouse to start your seeds, I highly recommend it.  Makes for very strong plants.

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The two sides of the garden right after planting – Lots of tomatoes, cucumbers, pickling cukes, some heirloom eggplant (I WILL give those their own post… these things are unbelievable.), Dill, and cilantro.  I fully intend to be a canning nut at the end of the growing season.

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The two sides about a week in.  This is one of my favorite parts of summer – watching the garden grow. 🙂  The tomatoes on the right are really taking off – the soil is also “fresh”, so it should be interesting to see how they grow.

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And, of course, the after-effects of spending all day in the sun.  Oops.

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Have an old tree stump?  We “re-purposed”the old tree stump and logs to make a firepit in the backyard. We’ll be adding in a ring, and getting some stones to line it etc.  But for now, it’s nice.  Over time we’ll cut down the logs and replace with seating that has a back.

 

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Big Mama’s litter is now at the “Cottonball with ears” phase.  (I.e. melt-your-heart adorable.)  The 8 that made it past the first day are all doing very well.  They’re about 14/15 days old.  I actually turned the nestbox on its side about 2 days ago – normally I would never do that so early, but with the heat over the weekend some were climbing out anyways.  This way they could at least get back into the box on their own accord.  Big Mama has climbers in her litters, Little Mama so far does not.

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And this is the preface to a future topic – gathering wild hay/grasses for rabbits.  I’ve taken to cutting wild grasses/wild wheat/wild hay on the side of the road.  If you can’t tell by the picture, the rabbits love it and now to come greet me in the morning in hopes of some green hay. (I’ve scrapped the “no greens to kits” rule when it comes to green hay.  I figure it’s basically high fiber hay with water content, and so far it’s gone fine.  No rich greens to them at all, though.)  I’m planning to compile a list of what I use, and it has helped me cut back on my feed bill a bit.  Also, one of the does from the original litter topped out at 5lbs when she was just a little over 10 weeks.  I’m very happy about that, and she’ll be staying on as a breeding doe for certain.

Until next time!