Thursday, May 9, 2013

Hey kids! Do you want a bunny?

Well, we're going to eat her babies.
Um.... WHAT?!?!

So my two step-daughters Chey (11) and Maddie (8) have pet rabbits at their mom's house.  I stress PET.  So a few months ago my husband and I told them that we were planning on getting one or two rabbits this spring (aka: now!).

They were SO excited... until I started laying out the ground rules.

1) They will live outside
2) We will choose the breeds
3) We will get a male and a female
4) I will let you keep ONE female from the first litter
5) We are going to eat all of the other babies

WHOAH! #5 was a shocker.  Luckily the girls are pretty open minded and have grown up in an area where there are a lot of farms.  We've agreed that we will "make the meat" on a weekend when the girls aren't here and in return they have agreed to try it (Although Maddie said that she is "going to cry the whole time she's eating dinner".

We'll see Maddie!  You're very brave to try and I know that you're going to be so proud that we made this meat ourselves. I'm envisioning a dinner with veggies from the garden and a nice rabbit stew as the centerpiece.

Thanks for agreeing to try. Hopefully this sticks after you've seen the babies.

We bought a chest freezer last month. We will hopefully be buying a hutch (or two) within the next month and a young rabbit (or two) soon after. We'll see how it goes!  I'm excited to potentially be getting back into the game and to be teaching kids at the same time!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Coop Designs - Yay Autocad!

So Dan and I have started playing around with "Google Sketchup".  It's actually pretty complicated... and very addicting! All of a sudden it's 3 hours later!

Anyway, these are our plans.  I mentioned to Dan that it would be nice to have a "chicken tractor" so we could move it around when the grass in the pen was sufficiently decimated.  So, he drew up a neat tractor for me.  Then I started playing with it and came up with another idea... Both plans are designed to fit in the back of a pick-up truck and are meant to hold about 5 chickens at the most. (We'll probably have 3 full size hens and maybe a silkie bantam.. I love those!)

Dan's plans:
My plan:

They're pretty similar huh? What do you think?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Mini-Farm Ideas are Forming!

Hi All!

So I've decided to start planning my VERY mini farm project here in the Adirondacks.  We are going to build a very small chicken coop, closer to a chicken "tractor" really.. Our yard here is very small, and I want something that can come with us when we move.  I am planning on finding 4 or 5 hens and sticking with that number until we have more land for more CHICKENS! (And, of course, other animals).

I found a GREAT little coop online that I'm going to reinvent and build myself.  I can't really see spending $400 on it from the manufacturer.  Especially when there are a few things I would change about it.

So, here it is!
Cute huh?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Online and PDA Livestock Resources

Hi All!

I know it's been a while, I plan on starting some new farming adventures this summer, so stay tuned!!

In the mean time... Check this out!  I recently got a "Smart Phone" and have been obsessed with finding animal related "apps" for it... I came across this - I am SO using this! (When I have something to enter that is...)

Anyway, I first found this...
Beetight is a free web application for beekeepers and is the best way to manage your hives and track them online or on your phone or PDA. You'll wonder how you ever survived with the old notebooks and spreadsheets!
You can use your PDA or smartphone as a data tracker while you're out in the field!  How cool is THAT?

From your computer you can print out scan labels to put directly on your hives so you can scan them with the barcode scanner on your device and get instant access to that hives records!  This is SO Star Trek!!
After I found this program I searched for something similar that would work with more widely kept livestock, and I found this...

They don't have any graphics on thier site... it doesn't look as impressive as the Beetight site... but I might try that one out too... 

I'll let you know how it goes!!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Bunny Aside...

Hey... if any of you rabbit people out there are having a hard time finding hutch and/or buck cards.... here are mine! You can download them to Excel or whatever and edit them for your own use. Merry Christmasish.

Hutch Cards:

Buck Card:

Tattooing Rabbits SUCKS!

It is a nice warm day today so I figured it would be a good time to tattoo the rabbits. I didn't want to do it during the cold weather because the cold puts enough stress on them, and I didn't want to wait much longer because I'm planning on breeding Sonny and Cher on the 1st.

SO, I re-read my books and got what supplies I thought I'd need ready. I had my tattoo kit, my green paste ink, baby wipes to clean up with, paper towels, alcohol swabs to pre-clean the area and a plastic shoe box to put the rabbits in to keep them still.
I used the alcohol swabs on all three rabbits left ears about 10 minutes before I was planning to tattoo them. I wanted to give the alcohol time to evaporate before I did anything. (You always tattoo the rabbits left ear so if you show them the show officials can write in their right ears). If anyone's ever given themselves a shot (which I have) and you didn't give the alcohol time to dry it SMARTS!!!

I decided on a numbering system for my tattoos quite a while ago. You only have 5 spots to work with so I had to revise my idea a few times. Here's what I came up with...

Sonny's tattoo is now M0807 because he is a male and was born in August of 2007.
Cher's tattoo is now 06071 because she was born in June of 2007. I didn't use an "F" but instead used a "1" after her DOB because I am WAY more likely to keep more than one female from a litter than I am a male. So she is the first (only) female from June of 07. If I had another female from her litter she would be "06072".
Joplin's tattoo is 10081 - can you guess when her birthday is? :P

Here is a picture of the pliers with Sonny's tattoo numbers in place.
If you use pliers be SURE to test out the pattern on an index card before you use them!! As you can see from my index card, the first time I set it up I had them completely backwards!!!

So once I had the pliers all set up for Sonny I reached into his hutch and put him in the little box. I smeared a good amount of the green paste on the area where I was going to tattoo, got the pliers out, clamped them on his ear (he HATED it!!) and then smeared more paste over the newly punctured area. All in all, Sonny took it like a man. I was thinking, well, I could tell it hurt a little, but it doesn't seem too bad! YAY!!

Sonny post-tattoo

Rennie watching from a short distance

Oh how naive I was. I set up Cher's number, punched the test card and went over to Cher's hutch. ! was happy with my victory and picked her right up and plopped her in the shoe-box. I smeared her ear with the paste, got the pliers and clamped down.

Yeah, did you know rabbits could CRY?!?!!?! She freaked out, jumped out of the box and was trying to run away from me with the pliers still attached to her ear. She was SCREAMING! OMG, I felt SO BAD. I held on to the pliers though, I didn't want to have to do this again. Once I removed them I grabbed her and smeared more ink on. Then I took a break. My heart was beating so hard. My poor Cher!!!! The chickens were freaking out and "baa-gawking" all over the place.

After his mom's ordeal, this is where Rennie ended up, in the neighbors yard.
Not so funny anymore huh Rennie?!?!?
After a short recess I decided to get going with Joplin. Stop procrastinating! Maybe she'll be ok, like her dad! Yeah... Ok, re-read the previous paragraph. Joplin takes after her mom. POOR BABY!! Afterwards we were both shaking and covered in ink. I was SO HAPPY that I didn't have any more rabbits to tattoo!!!! (At least today).

Joplin post-tattoo... Poor eyes bugging out
Yeah, so that was my adventure today. I am planning on tattooing any "keeper" rabbits in the future, just because, well, you HAVE to if you want to keep track of a bunch of identical white rabbits. But I will NEVER take it for granted! *Deep breath* I'm taking it easy for the rest of the day!! After I go out back and give these three some carrot.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

A Typical Snowy Morning

"Come on Mom!!!!!"
(Yes, that is a Steelers jacket!)

"Get with it Lady! Feed Us!!!"

"Oh yeah, nom nom nom..."
"Oooh! Am I getting fed! YAY!"
(This is why we call him Chuckles)

"Hey, is that midget getting some food?
What is it? I'm not sure I approve!"
"Me either, lets check this out..."
"What about US?!?!?!"
"Oh sure, feed the bachelors last, we see how it is..."

Now, finally, it's time for MY breakfast!