Settling into the Farmer’s Market

It’s becoming routine now and people are starting to get to know us.  Two different people stopped by to tell us how good the rabbit and chicken was that they bought and one bought another chicken and the other reserved a rabbit from our next batch.  We love repeat buyers!  Sold all of the eggs that we brought too, some to repeat buyers.  Once people try our eggs, they usually come back for more.

Wally is off tomorrow because we are scheduled to bring Poncho, the Jersey bull, to the processor.  Hopefully we’ll get him loaded without too much difficulty.  We have several older rabbits to process today (hopefully!) to be made into sausage.  In addition, we’ve got to get the panels set and tied together to load Poncho, the hay bay that’s in front of the gate going into the paddock moved, White Rock chicks moved to a different enclosure so we can get the Dark Cornish installed in that tractor, get the rest of the tomato, eggplant and pepper plants in the garden as well as a large rosemary plant that I bought at the Farmer’s Market, etc., etc.

Wally is still sleeping as I write this.  It’s our only day to sleep in, I should say it’s his only day to sleep in, I can never really sleep in due to milking.  We milked a bit later last night so there isn’t so much of a rush to get out there this morning, but I need to get out and get it done.

I’m still on a high for being Animal Welfare Approved.  We told about everyone that went by us at the Farmer’s Market yesterday.  Even Wally got into it.  I’m so pleased that Wally seems to be enjoying the Farmer’s Market as much as he is.  It’s such a nice, supportive, kind place.  So much nicer than Charlotte.

We had a tragedy yesterday: lost three Silver Fox does.  I’m not 100 percent sure of what happened, but I think it was from eating cabbage.  I didn’t think I gave them that much, but that’s the only thing that they’ve had that could have possibly caused bloat.  Of course, I feel horribly guilty, but damned, these rabbits are so darned sensitive!  Other rabbits got cabbage and they are all fine.  Luckily, I found them soon enough so that I could process them for the dogs and cats to eat.

I made hay racks to mount inside the tractors which will hold more hay than the buckets we were using and, more importantly, they can’t climb in them and soil the hay so there’s a lot less waste.  I put a new litter on pasture on Friday and as they are now, they are getting as much or more food than they were getting while caged.  That is where I think I was having some problem: they were not getting enough to eat.  Hopefully, once I install them in electric netting, they’ll get more to eat with more variety.  Even if I move the tractors several times a day, they eat the grass quickly.  Now, they have unlimited hay 24/7 and organic alfalfa pellets in the evening.  Needless to say, no more cabbage for the rabbits, period.  I hope that once I get into second or third generation of rabbit raised on pasture, they’ll be less sensitive.  I have one Silver Fox kit who has been on pasture since she was six weeks old.  So far, she’s doing just fine.  She’ll be ready to breed in the fall.  I’m going to keep one of the does from the recent litter I put out.  There are several rabbits who will be ready to process by June 7 which is right on schedule.  I need to keep better records of which doe/buck X each litter comes from once it goes on pasture so I can decide which combinations produce the most vibrant, fast-growing rabbits.  A bit hard when you have rabbits that look alike.  I’ll need to figure out some form of identification.

The weather has turned quite cool, it feels good!  We didn’t get a drop of rain on Friday so last night Wally and I set up the sprinkler system for the garden.  There is not much rain forecast for the upcoming week, but at least it’s going to be cooler.  It’s almost cool enough for coffee this morning!

Well, Wally’s up now, coffee is perking and we are going to make a list of what we need to get done over the next couple of days.

Until later …