Today’s the Day …

I have to kill and process rabbits on my own.  I hope I can do it.  I’d like to get three done today and three more tomorrow.  Finally, we have rabbits big enough to process.

We got three inches of rain yesterday!  That was a fantastic relief.  We were getting really dry.  So far, June has been cool which is another relief.  We’ve had low 80’s and 70’s, in fact, yesterday was outright cool!  Last June, we were in the 80’s and 90’s the whole month.

Got the electric netting yesterday.  The UPS driver pulled in just as I dropped the watermelon I was carrying out to the rabbit tractors.  He helped me pick it up and helped himself to a piece of it.  I had to leave early yesterday to take Wally’s truck to the mechanic to get new tires, alignment, inspection, etc. done.  I had to wait two hours for it!  I’m not good at waiting.  I was gone almost all day and when I left it was still raining so I left the rabbit tractors where they were.  They all had hay, but they were anxious to get on fresh ground.  I hope the electric netting works.  I’m afraid it won’t, but we’ll see.

Spent several hours at the Hickory Farmer’s Market talking to the other farmers.  It was really nice!  I spent a good deal of time with Marie of Blue Bird Farm in Morganton.  They raise Freedom Ranger chickens which is a hybrid breed of meat chicken that are supposed to do better on pasture than the Cornish X.  However, they still are supposed to reach will reach five to six pounds live weight in nine to eleven weeks.  That’s still pretty rapid growth when you compare them to a true heritage breed.  The Freedom Rangers are still an “owned” breed of chicken; the breeders have a patent on the parents just like Monsanto owns patents on corn and soy beans.  They are still shipped through the mail and they still grow at a rapid pace.  Animal Welfare Approved allows Freedom Rangers and I considered having Blue Bird Farm order 25 or 30 of these birds and raise them, but I look back to sustainability and ordering chickens through the mail, even if you can order a lot of them and pay only $1 or so a bird, is not sustainable.  I want to try to raise the birds on the farm.

This post was very interesting.  Apparently, at one time, AWA did not allow chicks or poults to be shipped through the mail.  That’s now changed.

According to Frank Reese of Good Shepherd Poultry: “Any bird that grows faster then 124 days to market boiler weight is a hybrid bird. This means the bird has a mutated obese gene bird that is developed through hybrid selection. This also means that you can not breed these birds without going back to the F4 to F7 cross parents. It is sad that someone has to change the birds’ diets to keep the bird from growing so fast. If you did get the bird to live long enough to breed, you would have a great difference in the offspring because you are working with a hybrid bird. The advantage of working with and breeding standard-bred birds is the offspring will look the same year after year. The farmer decides the size, growth rate and end product of their birds. The true heritage or standard-bred meat birds are hard to come by, and farmers must be wiling to work and select to keep these birds up to the standards of years past.”

Why, why, why would anyone want to use a mutated obese gene to develop any animal???  Does that disturb anyone other than me????

I best get my butt in gear and get the goats milked, rabbits and chickens cared for.  I need to run over to the man’s house that does our knife sharpening to pick up another pair of utility shears.  I sold my last pair to the Amish family when I was there on Tuesday so I need a replacement pair to process rabbits.

Wish me luck.

Until later …