Hay

We spend a good deal of money on hay here.  Once I finished milking this morning, I drove to a local farm to pick up 15 bales of alfalfa.  This is alfalfa grown from conventional seed.  It’s expensive, but Cocoa’s milk production is off (who knows why) so I figured it was time to put some alfalfa hay back into her diet.  I left a bale on the back of the truck and drove around to where the rabbit tractors are and filled up their hay baskets with alfalfa hay (happy bunnies!) and finished off the bale with the rabbits in the barn (more happy bunnies!).  I believe, in the past, we had been feeding the rabbits more protein than they really needed which was at least part of the reason why I was loosing young rabbits to bloat.  As a species, rabbits are able to convert vegetation, even vegetation not fit for consumption by humans, into valuable protein.

From:  Digestion in the rabbit –a new look at the effects of their feeding and digestive strategies

The rabbit has the ability, through specialised musculature of the large intestine, to direct slowly fermented fibrous feed into the colon for excretion in the hard faeces. The same mechanism separates small particles (more digestible fiber) and soluble components of digesta leaving the ileum into the caecum where it remains in a buffered medium supporting bacterial growth. The rabbit quickly “sieves” indigestible or slowly fermentable fibers which would slow its feed intake were they to enter the caecum. Hard faeces are produced some 4 hours after a meal. ”

Hopefully we’ll get some alfalfa to grow here for the pastured rabbits, but I believe it’s the lower-value plants that are going to be the best forage for the rabbits.

One tractor of rabbits has been doing a good bit of excavating.  One doe kindled in there last night.  I do not know who, I must have miscalculated on a due date; I’ll figure it out this afternoon when I can crawl in there.  The hole is really deep.  I’m half tempted to leave them alone and see how it goes.  I have not had good luck with relocating litters.

The first math test went okay.  It was hard, but I believe I did well enough to pass that one.  The second one is today.  I so hope I can finish up with this class.  If I do, then I do not have to go on campus Thursday or Friday.  I’m a bit behind on my other classes and can use the time to catch up.  Not to mention all of the other stuff I need to catch up on.

I need to shower and then review math in preparation for the test today.

Until later …