What this economy has done to people

Yesterday afternoon, Wally and I went to look at some rabbits.  They are another heritage breed I am interested in: American Chinchilla and were quite close to us.  I got out of work at 2:30 so we had the time to run out there.  The couple were a bit older than we are, but both had lost their jobs and at their age (early 60’s) finding another job just wasn’t happening.  The husband took early retirement and was living off Social Security.  They had a gorgeous house and apparently when they were working, they made large salaries.

They bought three American Chinchilla rabbits almost a year ago and since then have had six litters, but had only eaten four of them.  Their problem was killing them.  Luckily, that won’t be our problem as Wally doesn’t mind doing the deed.  They said that they didn’t have any trouble selling them.  In addition to the rabbits, they had extensive gardens which included asparagus and artichokes.  This was the first time I’ve seen either in their natural state.  Now I want to start an asparagus bed.

This is not the first time Wally and I have came upon people that were originally in high paying jobs who were now struggling to live off the land.  The sad thing is that when (if?) they go back to work, they’d probably abandon all their previous work because it’s so much easier to buy food rather than grow or raise it.  Harvesting vegetables is hard enough, but having to kill an animal that you raised or even hauling it to a processor can be upsetting.  I have killed small animals before and really don’t like it nor do I like taking animals to the processor, but it’s a part of farming.  Much easier for most people to buy their meat nicely packaged in Styrofoam with no resemblance to the original creature.

Regarding American Chinchilla rabbits.  They have a smaller bone structure than most meat rabbit and because of that, the meat to bone ratio offers more meat than other breeds. According to the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, despite the breed’s fine meat producing qualities, producers of today prefer an all white rabbit for the meat market. The American Chinchilla is a large, hardy and gentle animal, with mature bucks weighing in at 9 to 11 pounds and does at 10 to 12 pounds. They produce large litters, have good mothering instincts, and fryers reach market weight quickly.

Harvesting vegetables in our garden is difficult.  You about need a machete to get through it.  Maybe next year I’ll get that right.

We’re back into that hot, humid, oppressive weather pattern.  Lovely.

Rosie the barrel horse found a new home over the weekend.  She’ll be the new mount for a 14 year old girl.  I’m sure that will be a fantastic match.

I rescued a female cat a while back and unfortunately, she was pregnant.  She delivered two kittens yesterday.  I left her in the house when I went to work yesterday and when she appeared later in the evening, I could see that she had delivered the kittens, but for the life of us, we couldn’t find them.  We did this morning: she had them under the freezer and it was not easy getting them out of there.  I just cleaned out that freezer (how nice to have the time in the morning to clean out a freezer), moving everything into a smaller freezer.  It desperately needed to be defrosted and a cleaning done underneath it.  Once I got it cleaned out, I put the freezer up on a furniture dolly so that it can be moved if necessary.  When Wally comes home this afternoon, the first thing he’ll think to himself is I get up too early.

The kittens are gorgeous and am I glad there are only two.  One is a tortoiseshell with white female and the other is a red and white male.  Both kittens will be raised on raw meat and are from, more likely than not, unvaccinated parents.  Know anyone that would like a naturally-raised kitten?  The mother’s temperament is phenomenal and she will be spayed once she weans off the kittens.  I got out of the kitten business a long time ago and have no desire to get back into it.

Until later …