Chicks and rabbits

I packed up the Cornish X chicks and carried them down into the garden in a wheelbarrow.  I was amazed to see them move around and even scratch at the ground.  Yea!  There’s hope for them.  We moved the brooder down close to the garden and that’s where they spent the night.  I’ll move them back out into the garden (I’m using a dog exercise pen to keep them out of the beds with some netting over the top to prevent aerial attack) later this morning.  I did not put a light on them last night, it was quite warm last night and they are feathered out pretty well.

It’s warm and windy!  I hate the high winds!  Today is supposed to be warm and windy with a 50 percent chance of storms, potentially severe storms.  Lovely.

We bought a third ShelterLogic building a while back; it’s now the hay house.  I no longer recommend ShelterLogic buildings.  This shelter is noticeably less-well-made than the other two.  It’s been rocking and creaking in the wind.  Wally is going to get some heavy T-Posts in the ground along the southern line of the building to help keep it more secure.  I’m afraid it may not survive a really bad storm.  We won’t buy any more ShelterLogic buildings.

I put the last three of the fryer rabbits in the dog run and put the does back in the rabbit barn.  I wanted to get all of the newly weaned rabbits in one area so I could keep a close eye on them.  I picked a bucket of weeds from the garden and they only got a pinch each.  Until they get 12 plus weeks old, they are only going to get a little bit of green matter.  I’ll see if that makes a difference in their survival.  I have two more Californian/New Zealand X does to kindle.  One has built a nest, the other has not. I’ll probably put her back in with a buck today to see if she’s receptive.  She may not have bred when she was in the dog run with the bucks.  We need to get those three fryers processed, they are past the “fryer” stage, they are now “roasters.”  They are dense and heavy creatures!  As soon as they got in the run, they started to party!  It’s nice to see them run and play.

Yesterday morning, I made a batch of potato salad and intended to put some steaks on the grill, but it was too windy to grill.  It’s probably going to be too windy today so as a back-up I took out some ground beef.  It’s incredibly warm this morning: 65 degrees!  I did not get any seeds in the garden today, but today I will.  I’ve decided my peas are not going to germinate.  I got them in the ground too early.  I’ll plant another batch today and try to get a second batch in a few days later.  I hate to have them all mature at the same time, but peas freeze well.

The dual-purpose breed chicks are all doing well.  They seem to now recognize me as the provider of food.  When I come close to their tractor, they all run to that side; if I go to another side, they follow me.  If I open the back door, they all try to get out.  I do see a difference in the activity level of the Cornish X chicks.  I do not leave food in front of them 24/7.  They are no where near as active as the dual-purpose chicks, but they are better than they were when I got them.

We had to put the calf we got as a companion to Gwen down in the pasture.  He was becoming extremely obnoxious and aggressive around grain.  We were letting him eat with Gwen when I was through milking her, but he started pushing on the milk room door and windows to get in before I was through milking and I couldn’t get him in a secure area using Gel without Gwen throwing a fit.  Wednesday morning when I tried to put them both down in the back pasture, he gave Gel and I fits going in there.  He’s got unlimited access to good hay in the pasture, plus grass so he’ll be fine.  We created an obnoxious grain-junky; I wish we never offered him grain.  Wally is bad for that, he’s still of the mindset that animals need grain.  It took me a long time to convince him that the horses did better on unlimited access to good hay.  He said yesterday that he couldn’t believe that they looked as good as they do when they have not been getting any grain.  They do both look good, Ace looks better than he ever has.

Off to milk.

Until later …