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Rambling Rabbits

Posted by The Mrs. on February 22, 2014 at 3:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Halloo again :)

It's been over a month since I last posted but everyone is asleep and the house is quiet so I thought it was a good time to ramble rabbits at you. 

I bred both my does back today, my Californian doe Trixie has 4 of her kits (2 bucks 2 does) still in the cage with her and what a mess they are making now! I posted them for sale on Craigslist since they are a couple days past 8 weeks old and definetly ready to go to another home. I promised my husband that I would try to sell this litter before putting them in our freezer so I think I will wait until 10 weeks or so and if they haven't sold I plan on processing them, brining them for several days and making rabbit tamales with them and whatever else strikes my fancy :D I just happened to see on a facebook rabbit recipe group that a lady made bbq rabbit and then with her leftover meat she made rabbit tamales and it sounds divine! I adore tamales of all meats-at the very least I haven't found one yet I didn't love. I guess I can't say I love all tamales ;p I know some do fish and sefood and I just haven't gone there. And as for my Florida White doe Buttercream...none of her litter survived. They all got drug out of the nestbox or got seperated and got too cold so now I have 2 freezer baggies full of dead kits I am contemplating what to do with. Raw feeding maybe? We do have a Boxer and 2 cats so I would imagine they would love it but I am just not sure how I might go about that yet. Buttercream is possibly already bred and due anytime, but since it is day 41 as of a half hour ago I doubt she carried full term I think she may have reabsorbed the kits or been going through a false pregnancy. I should go check on her now that I think about it-breeding back is supposed to jumpstart labour if she is pregnant, as is feeding small amounts of lavender.

Nope, no kits yet. I exposed both does to my buck again so there is approximately 4 hours between their exposures.  I know some people don't double expose their does but I haven't had any issues with it yet though I haven't bred rabbits much. I had a Californian buck I named Mimsy I got when I was 17 and then after my husband and I got married a couple years later he had to have a rabbit he saw in a pet store-they said it was a buck but it turned out to be a doe; he named her Jynx and eventually I bred them but had to get rid of all my rabbits and setup a couple months later.  I deeply regret getting rid of Jynx and Mimsy...they did fantastic their first breeding and their kits were extremely meaty and fast growing. But also they were our pets...yes I said it-they were pets. But really useful meat and manure producing ones ;)

And then I got the trio I have now about 6 months ago or so. Trixie was given to me from a meat and show breeder, she was one of his foundation does but had missed a couple times then ate her last litter days before she came to me. She was sweet enough he didn't really want to eat her so he gave her away to me.  And my Florida White pair I got for free off Craigslist from a girl who showed them and was going off to college-purebred pedigreed Florida Whites for free! Oh my I may have squeee'd a little with joy :) All three are older; Trixie is 2 almost 3 here in a few days and both FW's are 3 already. They had never been bred before and I do think that has caused some problems, especially with Buttercream and I am leaning toward the belief that breeding early helps a doe be a better mother. But I haven't given up on any of them. 

While the rabbits were all free I will admit I splurged a bit on the cages...my rabbitry if you can call it that is in a bedroom in my apartment so I have Ferret Nation double cages with litter boxes. I have one set up right now and another brand new one (I bought both my FN cages off Craigslist one was previously used by a teacher with ferrets in his classroom and one was new in it's box) sitting in the back of my suburban. And my buck is in the biggest pet cage that Wilco sells with a plastic bottom. In theory I could have 4 does and a buck or 2 bucks 3 does...or 1 buck, 2 does and a grow out cage where they can be seperated by sex. There are different setups possible but at the moment as much as I would love to expand it just isn't the smartest thing to do. I really need to have some kits going to freezer camp so I can start cooking with rabbit since we have only had it once in a crockpotted soup, I just really need to ascertain how much we like rabbit and how often I should aim for it being on our table. 

Speaking of liking things put on the table (of sorts) I bought a duck and a goose from my local grocery store the last time I went grocery shopping. I haven't seen either of those there before but I figured it might be a great time to try both :D I hope. I am mildly afraid of butchering poultry due to some headless blood spurting running around chickens and turkey when I was younger, and I genuinely love to watch ducks-better then CSI I tell you-so I am not sure I could hand raise some and then kill them unless I knew they were delicious. So I plan on practicing making duck and goose to test if we like it. 

Anyone have any good duck or goose recipes?


Mishmashery

Posted by The Mrs. on December 29, 2013 at 5:40 AM Comments comments (0)

My Tattler lids arrived! And in good time as well! I have 25# of "juicing" carrots sitting on my kitchen floor waiting to be canned and oooh say 10# of apples (about) For Christmas Eve breakfast I had crockpot apple butter making ( I used this as a guide to make it: http://www.simplycanning.com/canning-apple-butter.html) and everyone seems to really love it. I used 75% Fuji's and 25% Granny Apple Smith's. It came out just barely sweet enough-even my extra picky 2 year old loves this apple butter :)  However it seems like a full crockpot makes about 3 pints finished and 2 went to my inlaws on Christmas Eve. In light of how fast the remaining pint is being gobbled I may make more and break out both my full sized crockpots (I have 2 full sized crockpots and one that holds 3 smaller wells for appetizers). All in all-resounding success, so good it didn't even make it to being canned :lol:

Christmas has come and passed, as has my 5th anniversary with my husband and my youngest's first birthday. I can't believe how fast the years go. We had modest celebrations with good food and lots of love for all of the above and I can honestly say this year the Holidays have been truly wonderful. This was our first Christmas in our own house and I loved it so much! Each of the kids got quilts and we all got many books. I got "The Joy of Pickling" and a perfect little wood bread slicer guide for when I start making all our own breads-something I aspire to do-and I found a perfect little percolator coffee maker I gave my husband for when he feels like old fashioned cowboy coffee. And then there is what my parents got us oh my I am over the moon with excitement! They got us a nice builders hammer, a really nice tape measure, a circular saw and a sawzall!!! I cannot emphasize how incredibley exiting that is to me.  They taught me to read as a child and fed my love of books and now as an adult to give me the tools to BUILD is the best gift I could ever dream of so now I feel like I can create just about anything 8) First up is likely to be nicer rabbit nestboxes and shelves for our books, my fabric and sewing supplies, and canned goods. Then baby gates...either from cutting wood doors in half or making ones dutch barn style like this http://www.remodelaholic.com/2012/09/diy-barn-door-baby-for-stairs/ I love the solidity so my clever littles won't be able to shove things in between bars or slats and ruin them.

Sort of speaking of rabbits and nestboxes-our Californian doe had a litter of 8 on Christmas Eve but due to various things she is down to 5 kits today and a big part of that is why I want to build better nestboxes. Deeper then what I have to accomadate her size; with a roof/ledge on top for her to hop on and keep the kits from getting stepped on, and with an inverted angled lip so when she hops out of the box and kits are still attatched to her nipples while nursing they won't get drug out of the nestbox to get cold and die.  While I really hope she doesn't lose any more I feel like it is likely...it makes me so sad both with the loss of life but because these kits are my "pool" of which I need to keep the biggest fastest growing doe to expand my little meat herd. I really want better mothering instincts -raising only half of a litter or less is just not optimal and I need them to be optimized to feed my family and my pets.

Our Florida White doe is getting her nestbox just in time for the new year, it is her second litter (all of the first died) so I am hoping for much better success for her this time around. These will be purebred pedigreed Florida White kits as opposed to the above mentioned litter which is Californian/Florida White crosses.  I am hoping I might sell a few to offset the cost of cages and feed but wouldn't mind the cooking practice either :)

I also picked up that second batch of cloth diapers and washed them today actually using a diy cloth diaper safe detergent (recipe here: http://theecofriendlyfamily.com/2009/08/cloth-diaper-detergent/) I had to wash them, strip them (get rid of previous owner gookies and soaps/oils/residues) and wash them again. I know it is a great deal and I am still delighted but they were not taken care of as carefully as they could have been from what I have read...they had stains and a very certain strong aroma that I got out quickly but did put me aback for a minute. After looking all of them over I accepted the challenge and they are now perfectly clean and good smelling *happy dance* that detergent works well enough on those I used it on my regular laundry and it has been great with that too! I only made a little batch as the blogger suggests to try it out but I will likely make more when I run out of my mini batch. 

Anyways, toodaloo dears. The youngest will be up in a couple hours so I must go try to get some sleep now that I have rambled a bit on here. 

I hope everyone had a very merry Christmas Happy Holidays and will have an great New Year's!