The list that was formerly on my white board is now erased. We finished up everything yesterday and I do think that the farm is in pretty good shape. I really shouldn’t be sitting here writing, but writing is very soothing for me.
This past week has been difficult. It seems like we spent the entire week running, what between my driving to South Carolina to pick up the Silver Fox Rabbits, then Thursday delivering Sudi, which is still upsetting to me, more so now because I feel bad that Ace is an only horse, then late Saturday night driving to Statesville to take deliver of more Silver Fox rabbits, plus all the work we’ve been doing to get ready for the inspection. I’m beat!
I really should be out milking now, I should have left the babies out so that I wouldn’t have to milk everyone this morning.
Yesterday, Wally and I went and picked up two round bales of gorgeous oat hay! It’s so pretty! Oat hay is hard to find and I was glad to get it. Everyone loves it. It’s good hay for the rabbits. I stuffed all of their cages and tractors with it last night. They all piled up around it and went to town.
My fears about the weather are coming to pass, we are officially in a drought. There’s rain forecast for Tuesday and Wednesday, but not much. I need to water the garden, but that’s low on the priority list for now. Even though I used row cover, the frost killed all of the tomato, basil and green pepper plants in the garden. Luckily I have some seedlings in the house, most of which I started so maybe this was the way it was supposed to happen. Wally said something that made me stop and look at him to see if it came out of his mouth: “we’ll have a greenhouse by next year.” Cool, we could use a greenhouse.
The Silver Fox rabbits are fabulous. They have an energy about them that I really like. The ones that we picked up in Statesville had a rough trip and that they survived that trip and haven’t missed a beat is a testament to their hardy natures.
We also added a goat to the herd. I’ve been chasing the man selling dairy goats on Craigslist for some time now. When he told me the pedigree of the does he had for sale, I had to go and see them. Given how little he was asking for them, I was fully expecting something to be wrong with them. As it turned out, I could have almost walked to where the goats were. Wally and I drive by them frequently. There was only one doe in milk left. We went to see here right when he was getting ready to milk and I milked her. She’s a first-time freshener and freshened on March 28 so she’s not even a month fresh. Her udder is beautiful and she’s a really nice goat. She’s a Saanen from Low Pond lines, she’s out of a buck that has been used extensively, he’s Bella and Misty’s grandfather. We bought her and I’m pleased as punch with her. Now I am back to milking ten goats, which is good because it’s an even number. Yesterday, we got four and a half gallons of milk from the goats and two gallons from Gwen.
The Cornish X were scheduled to go to the processor Thursday, but I just e-mailed the manager at the plant to see if I can reschedule them for early next week so Wally can go with me. I don’t know if I can wait that long. Those birds really bother me. I don’t care if they are the “norm” for farmers to raise for meat. This farmer is not going to raise any more of them. I’ll figure out how to cook the heritage birds and that’s what we’ll eat. It can’t be much different from cooking and eating rabbit and we love rabbit.
We processed six rabbits Sunday. I’ve been having issues with how Wally kills the rabbits: by a blow to the head. Wally feels it’s adequate, I do not, plus he frequently bruises the shoulders during the process. I’ve been told that using an air pellet gun was a humane way to kill them so I bought one this past week. I think it instantly killed the first one, the second, maybe not, the third one, no, it did not kill. Wally got angry and went back to his normal method of killing them. I don’t know what went wrong, the pellet gun was the one we were told to get and he did it the way we were told to. That’s a big hole in our rabbit venture and I need to figure out what is the most humane way to kill the rabbits. We took the time to fix up the processing area and it’s now really nice and works well. The rabbits all dressed out at 2.2 to 3 pounds at 16 weeks old.
Okay, got to get the milking and other chores done so I have time to take a shower before the inspector gets here. Hopefully I won’t find a problem that is going to take too much time to fix this morning.
Until later …