Thoughts on pasturing rabbits

After I wrote in yesterday’s post about being excited about getting the rabbits in their tractors over raised beds up in the same area as the does with new kits, I realized, while I like having the rabbits on grass, it is truly a labor of love.  I am going to grow a whole lot more grey hair when we finally get them out into the new area.  Even though they will be surrounded by electric netting which will be fully charged at all times, I will worry about them.  Moving the rabbits out to the new area will mean transporting water, hay (if necessary), etc. a further distance.  That will not be so bad during the warm months, but as soon as it starts to get cold, really once I can sow cold weather cover crops, they’ll come back up here.

Since I’ll be out in the rabbit area in the morning (after I finish milking) I’ll take that time to tend to the vegetable crops we will be growing.  I will need to be sure to clear up any hay that they pull out of their baskets and use it for mulch.  I noticed in their former grazing area, there are some bare spots which are possibly due to piles of hay that were left behind.  I am looking forward to seeing how that area will grow back.

We’ve been having difficulty getting someone to build additional rabbit tractors.  It seems either people want to charge exorbitant prices or they simply promise what they can’t deliver.  It’s been frustrating!  I think there is light at the end of the tunnel on that matter.

Once it comes time to sow cold weather cover crops, I’ll sow the seed behind the rabbits and once we reach the end of the area set aside for them, they’ll come up and I’ll let the crops grow.  The goal is to have a good crop to put them out on this coming spring.  We are so behind this year due to the weather (yesterday it rained [sleeted and snowed] and was in the 30’s).  Hopefully this will be the last of the really cold weather.  The forecast is for mid-70’s next week.

Having the rabbits in the raised beds is easy work; it will be even easier when they are all in one place.  Right now, we have the does with kits in a barn in the upper part of the farm and the rabbits in tractors towards the pond.  That means we haul hay and whatever else we feed them and drag hoses to two different locations.

Damn, this computer is possessed.  As I write, the cursor floats around the screen and then tries to shut down browser windows on me.  I have to get my butt in gear and get my new (new to me, it’s a used) computer going.  That may be a good project to work on today after I get the chores finished.  I do not know if I mentioned the Shark Tank competition I entered at Catawba Valley Community College.  My business teacher and the head of the business department both encouraged me to enter using my integrated farming model as the proposal.  They both think I have a good chance to do well.  I proposal is complete.  Now I need to rewrite it so it can be presented in five to six minutes and do a Power Point presentation.  I’ve never used Power Point before.  I’ll need good computer power and a computer that is not possessed!  I’ve about tapped this one out.

Last night when I was finished milking, I let Penny and Cocoa (Jersey cows) out into the “yard.”  That makes Wally turn inside out.  There’s lots of nice green grass up here for them to eat and it was fun watching them run and buck.  The three calves are doing really well.  It’s fun to watch the calf races after they eat.

I guess that’s enough for this morning.

Until later …