We did it!

We obtained Animal Welfare Approved certification for our rabbits!  We are the first farm approved for rabbits!  That’s a huge accomplishment!  It’s been a long, difficult process, but well worth it.  Now, when people buy our rabbits, they can be assured they were raised in the most humane, sustainable manner.

We also obtained certification for our cattle and our ducks.  That means everything that we raise is now certified by Animal Welfare Approved.

The rabbit program still needs tweaking.  We are going to make a different design of tractor designed to enable me to put young rabbits out on pasture earlier.  I have to wait until they are past snake-bait size.  The problem with putting them on pasture at three to four weeks is moving the tractors.  They don’t comprehend moving with the tractor and frequently get run over.  Our tractor design is such that usually running them over does not cause injury, but they do sometimes happen.  The new design will be smaller, with one side of the tractor being a door.  There will be a nest box in the back of the tractor with a door that I can close shut so that I can put the babies in the nest box, close them in and then move the tractor.  As they get bigger, I’ll move them to a larger tractor.

I have been exploring grant opportunities to continue researching feeding alternative forages to rabbits instead of conventional pellets.  It has been enjoyable research.  If it comes to pass, we’ll be utilizing more of the property to grow crops, hopefully crops that will feed both people and rabbits.  Next week I’ll be going out to a farm to help harvest sweet potatoes (for the vines) and talk to them about my plans.  Our county extension agent is on board to help as well.

We got a good bit of rain over the past few days, which is a good thing because we needed the rain.  I’ve been working in the garden between rain drops and have the beds almost prepared to get winter vegetables in.  As always, late … if I’m able to obtain the research grant, I sure as heck better get better about planting crops.

We left Gwen up away from her calf for the first time last night.  Hopefully milking her will go well.  I think some of the problems she was having standing were due her udder being so congested.   We’ll see how it goes.

Until later …