Thursday, February 28, 2008

Growing by leaps and...well...tweets!

Our little homestead grew by 35 last night. We welcomed 2 female rabbits into our midst. First up is Annalise, the blond.
And then we have Erica, the brunette.
If you have a little girl who loves the Barbie movies, you may recognize the names. They are from the Princess and the Pauper. Right after these pictures, we gave them a little manicure. And decided then and there that we need a good pair of thick gloves to be working with these rascals. And then came in to dress my wounds.

I remember reading on Homesteading Today, one of my favorite forums, about raising rabbits for meat. Someone posed the question "How on earth could you raise those cute little furballs with their cute little noses and cute little tails for MEAT?" And the answer that amused me the most was "You change your attitude toward them when you have bloody scratches all up and down your arms from the cute little furballs." I now understand.

Next, we acquired 33 new chicks. We got 5 Bantams and 28 "fry pan specials". The fry pans are mixed random breeds just raised for meat. The Bantams are supposed to make really good mothers, so we got them for that reason.
Bantams are much smaller than standard sized chicks. You can see a little Bantam peeking out from behind another chick in this picture. They are really quite adorable.
In fact, they are so small that they just climb right into the feeder holes to eat.
This morning, we found 2 languishing chicks. The others are doing great, so I don't know what is going on. I'm going to have to see if the store has any sort of guarantee since one of them is the much more expensive Bantam. I'm hoping that is the extent of the mortalities. It is very disheartening to find them dying.

So, that was our excitement for last night. We came home from the store with these guys and then quickly set up the trough in the basement for the chicks and put together another cage for the rabbits. We'll eventually separate the does because they are very territorial, but for now, 2 cages was all we had. We hope to construct some sort of long divided cage that would be more economical than separate cages. Like we have nothing else to do.

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