Yesterday morning, I milked all ten goats and Gwen (Jersey cow). I got at least four gallons of milk to put in the refrigerator and another two gallons for cheese. Amazing how a mind-set can change. I milked both Bella and Faith (who had to be hobbled, I think she’s still traumatized from her brief stay at the other place) and it went fine. My hands feel fine.
I was reading yesterday about a raw milk fast. I might see if I can’t do at least a partial raw milk fast and see if that doesn’t help some of the aches I am experiencing as well as the cravings for bad stuff: fast food and ice cream! I’ve got the milk to do it with.
When Wally got home from work, we moved the Cornish X chicks up to the small pen in the poultry pasture (formerly the duck pen) and installed them in there with some food and water. I’m going to try to keep them up there for the next few weeks. They are terrible about getting under foot now and they don’t know enough to get out of the way of vehicles. I put one of the Cornish X in with the other chicks because it was half the size of the others. Unfortunately, they may migrate back down to their tractor, but they are pretty easy to catch and transport back up. It’s going to be hard to process them, they’ve become more like pets than meat-on-the-foot.
Yesterday morning, I picked up a young Silver Fox buck for me and an adult for a friend. From our conversations, I was expecting more from this guy, but heck, his rabbits nor his set-up were no great shakes. It made me appreciate how far we’ve come with our rabbits. Wally and I enjoy walking through the rabbit barn in the evening after we finish with the chores. The babies come out of their nest boxes more out night so we can get a good look at them. I put the two young New Zealand does in the pen with a Silver Fox buck to be bred. I had to move the three ROASTERS into the cat run. Today, I’m going to take Gel’s large dog crate out and put it in the back yard and put them in there until we are able to get them processed.
The young Silver Fox buck is larger than the Cremes I have that are about the same age. He was free-fed commercial pellets; I don’t know if he fed hay or not, I didn’t see any evidence of hay around the cages so he may not have. A good part of my rabbits’ diet is hay. I think just like everything else “commercial” these pellets are designed to grow animals off as fast as they can. Most of the commercial rabbit pellets contain corn which is often used to fatten livestock, like cattle. I frequently find myself “that close” to going back to commercial pellets for my rabbits, but I’ve got to hang tough on this decision. I also think we need to get those ROASTERS processed and eat one before I sell it as they may run the route of being “too tough” for most palates. The senior Silver Fox buck is no bigger than the ROASTERS so I think it all comes out in the wash, it just takes longer.
I’ve decided not to go to the heritage chicken cooking lecture. Wally and I have to get the ShelterLogic hay house moved ASAP for two reasons: one, where we are going to move it will be more sheltered from high winds and two, it will make feeding the goats and rabbits easier. Where it is now, Wally (and sometimes me) have to haul the hay up a hill in a wheelbarrow. Where we are going to move it will be a lot closer to the animals. We’ll be about out of hay this weekend so now is the time to get it done. Instead of spending the money on this seminar, I’m going to buy the book, Good Meat, which will give me plenty of recipes and other information on cooking grass-fed and heritage breeds of chickens AND ROASTER RABBITS!
Speaking of the ROASTERS they may be good subjects for making rabbit sausage. I’ve got plenty of pork fat in the freezer now so there’s no excuse to not make it. Another thing I’m going to try to get done is to cure some pork belly into bacon. This recipe looks quite easy. The last recipe I looked at required that the meat sit at around 60 degrees for a few weeks. I have no place to do that.
Time to get the chores done. I think I’ll wash off some sweet potatoes to try to fatten my rabbits up more.
Until later …