Delving back into rabbits

I cut down on my rabbits way too much recently and discovered there aren’t many good breeders of Silver Fox in my area anymore. There’s some “breeding” Silver Fox but I put “breeding” in quotes because they aren’t taking care to breed quality rabbits and as such the rabbits that they’re producing are extremely poor quality. I did sell some stock to a woman not too far from me in 2015. She’s continued with my lines and is even showing some of them. On Saturday she brought back a buck she bought from me sired by a white buck I used to have (and wish that I still did) out of a black doe. She also brought two does directly out of my old lines that carry white. I’ve missed getting the white Silver Fox. I got too deep into chocolate and while I’m getting nice chocolates, I’m not getting any white and getting just few blues. I like all four colors the Silver Fox produces. Plus Wally and I haven’t had rabbit to eat in a long time!

One of the two white Silver Fox shown in this picture was the mother of one of the does that I got back on Saturday. After using her for this image, I named her “Photobaby.” I love this image and it was done during one of the good times that I miss from my time with Catawba Valley Community College’s photographic technology program.

In addition to the rabbits I got on Saturday (all three were black), I also took back two chocolate does that I sold to a woman last summer. When she got them, they were around five months old but she never bred them and overfed them. When she tried to breed them, they wouldn’t breed (probably because they were overweight). I took them and put each of them in with a buck and they’ll stay with the buck for about 30 days then I’ll put them up and see if they kindle. Putting them in with a buck (in a 4×8 pen) is serving two purposes, one, hopefully getting them bred and two, they’ll get exercise running away from the buck. My bucks live in 4×8 cages and when it’s time to breed a doe, I put her in with the buck. Often the doe does run from the buck but I don’t mind that. Eventually he gets her and the exercise doesn’t hurt them a bit.

If they won’t breed now, I may or may not try to breed them one more time and if they won’t breed the second time, they’ll go in the freezer. It’ll be a shame if I can’t get them bred because they’re really nice rabbits. One of them is out of a doe I’m having trouble getting to breed but in looking at her pedigree, I discovered that she was born in 2014 so that could be why she won’t breed. She may go in the freezer. It sounds harsh and I agree, it is, but I’d like to think that rabbits have a good life here, much better than they would elsewhere.

So on Saturday, Wally and I cleaned out all of the rabbit tractors, taking all of what we cleaned out of them and putting it in the bed in front of the house. We rearranged all of the rabbits and added another tractor to the line. I also ordered two more wire cages (because like with the rabbits, I sold down too much). We started cleaning out the rabbit barn as well – and what’s under those cages is liquid gold, but it’s heavy so we didn’t get it finished. The weather was finally warm and if felt good to be outside doing physical labor.

Also this weekend, we took down a dead pine tree and cleaned up a mimosa tree that cracked in a storm and subsequently sprouted in every which direction. Now we need to plant other trees in their place.

Next weekend will be goat weekend when we’ll get all of the goats’ hooves trimmed and trim the hair under their tails in preparation for kidding which will begin in February. We’ll also get the goat barn cleaned out and get the kid stalls put back up just in case we need to separate someone and get my milk room cleaned out. It’ll be another busy weekend. Hopefully it’ll be reasonably warm.

In the next few weeks I need to get some soil blocks made up and get cool weather crops started. It’s getting to be that busy time and I’ll have a lot to juggle with three, yes three classes this semester. D*#*(&# CVCC screwed up on my graduation! They counted a class that I took twice so instead of being done in December like they told me I would be, I’m two credits short! So, I have to take one more class at CVCC to graduate. I was not a happy camper when I found out.

I’m loving the class I’m currently taking at UNC-Greensboro. I’ll be starting the second class the end of February and I’m really looking forward to that because it’s a photography class.

Remember the film that I did on the old dairyman? Well, there’s going to be a microfilm festival in Lincolnton on Saturday and the organizer, who’s seen the film, asked to show it. I’m really nervous about it but I guess I need to get my art out there. We’ll see how it goes.

Until later …