My goodness, I’ve neglected this blog. Here’s a quick update.
People: We’re expecting another baby at the end of December. Yay us.
Rabbits: The rabbits are doing really good! They’re all grown up now, and could have been bred in June, but since we were planning a vacation for mid-July, I decided it would be best to wait until we returned. I will be breeding them in early August, so hopefully it won’t be quite as hot when they kindle in early September. That should still give the babies time enough to grow up sufficiently to allow me to butcher them in early December, before the new baby comes. If I can do a reasonable job of sexing the babies, I’ll probably keep one doe and one buck from this batch to bring the flock up to five breeding adults. Depending on how warm I’m able to keep the rabbit shed, I might breed the does again in the winter, or I might wait until it warms up a bit in March.
Hens: The hens are doing OK. The second-year hens are pissing me off, though. Black Hen still thinks she’s raising young. She isn’t. What she is doing is terrorizing the rest of the flock. White Hen isn’t laying any more. Of the other four one also isn’t laying. I’d like to say that their personalities make up for this, but they don’t. And for the first time, flies are becoming a problem around their coop. A quick search of various backyard poultry message boards shows that many people around the country are having a bad year for flies. We’re getting so darn much rain, I suspect that’s 90% of the problem. I believe I’m going to dispatch the second-year hens as soon as it’s cool enough to want to consider standing over a pot of boiling water.
Meat birds: Due to the excessive amounts of rain, the meat bird pen is STINKY. I’ve tried lime. I’ve tried wood shavings. I’ve tried Sweet PDZ, which is what I used last year. Nothing’s helping. I have a few roosters crowing their hearts out, not just in the morning, but whenever they feel the need to establish their manliness, which is often. I’m going to take care of a few of the roosters – at least the two noisy ones – when I do the hens, and then I’m planning to butcher the rest of the flock in early October before it gets cold. I’m thinking that I’m going to take a break from meat birds next year. Give the pen a chance to air out, toss some seeds back there and let them grow a bit, maybe till some DE, sand, and peat into the ground back there. Give the neighbors a break, lol.
Garden: At our place, the herbs are doing well, the garlic’s growing, and the horseradish is doing great. We lost all three fruit trees last year, as well as the grapes, but we replaced the apple and the grapes this spring and they’re looking good.