On the rabbit train again

Procrastinating … I have a final essay due tomorrow. I haven’t started it yet. It’s in my head, which is a scary place these days. There’s so much going on – not much of it is pleasing. Glad that in today’s paper I was able to do at least one fun story. The rabbit and dumplings was very good. Wally McSwain‘s had it good this week. Monday’s supper was meatloaf meatballs with a tomato glaze served with mashed potatoes and carrots. Also made four loaves of banana bread. Last night was the rabbit. Today I write a paper and if all goes well, cut up and vacuum seal the rabbits I processed on Saturday.

It feels good to be getting back into the raising of good food. We got away from it for a while. I’m beyond excited about getting the American Chinchillas. I’ve fallen off the rabbit train over the years and I’m glad to be getting back on.

In the future, I’ll be a lot more careful about how I sell these animals. I sold a trio to a woman who was desperate to have them as part of her homestead. I guess her homestead extends to Craigslist because I saw she had an advertisement up to sell kits from a litter that was just born. Unfortunately, I sold them with pedigrees. That won’t happen in the future.

Not that I’m an expert on a quality rabbit, I’m not. I’m far from it. My goals with raising rabbits has been to raise a quality rabbit on a forage-based diet. That’s easier said than done. Domestic rabbits are far from their wild cousins when it comes to consumption of forage. They’ve been raised for so long on pellets, they can’t properly digest real food. For years I’d have an issue with kits bloating and dying. I’ve worked through that, thankfully. Rarely do I lose kits these days.

I feed my rabbits this way for two reasons, one, they taste better – that’s really the point of raising rabbits – to eat them. The second is that it’s more sustainable. Rabbits close the circle on our farm. They are happy to eat the stemmy alfalfa that the goats leave behind. The’ll also eat weeds from the garden. The manure that they produce makes EXCELLENT compost.

Our rabbits spend a good bit of time in 8×4 pens on the ground. These are deep bedded with straw and spent hay (much of it alfalfa these days). When I either process a group of rabbits or they need to be moved to a clean pen, we clean it out and put the bedding in a compost bin. We dug into that recently and filled the raised beds with it. It’s amazing growing material!

Facebook is challenging to me. It’s hard not to read the ugliness that’s spread. If I were not working for the paper, I’d be off so many lists and unfriend so many people for the hate that they spew. Because of the paper, I need to keep my ear to the ground for what is local news. That’s, unfortunately, part of my job. I’m afraid, however, the paper has slid away from what it should be because of my reluctance to cover certain things. I lean heavily towards profiles of interesting people and people and organizations doing social good. I’m not quite doing my job as a journalist. It is what it is I guess.

Until later …