Showing posts with label Rabbits. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rabbits. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Old Dogs

I prefer sunrise to sunset.  To me, the beginning of the day seems filled with promise and energy.  The evening makes me feel like the day is ending. It's over. Done. There's nothing left of it.  A little sad really.

The sunrise makes me want to linger in the barn with all the animals and drink coffee, run my hands over my horses neck and breathe in their horsey smell.  I talk to the pigs, take a look at the bunnies,  feed the chickens...  They're all just waking up too you know. 

Sometimes I think it takes Louie a little longer to wake up than the rest of us.  When he accompanies me out to the barn in the morning he just sits and stares.  I can't imagine what goes through the old dog's mind...

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Great Monsoon of 2015

Its not appearing very likely the first round of hay will ever be cut.  The rain is still coming, each day and every day.  Maybe Mother Nature drank too much dandelion wine and forgot to turn the sprinklers off.  It happens...

I'm behind horribly with the garden weeding.  A broken arm set things back quite a bit.  Though I did get some great help with the barn and now it is all back in place again.  I'll tackle the garden over my long Fourth of July weekend break from corporate life. 

I'm not sure what will be made of it though. It already looks like the radishes and cilantro have drowned, and the peppers are beyond suffering.  But the garlic, lettuce and corn look great! I was finally able to harvest some lettuce and make the first salad of the season.  That made tolerating all the rain a tad easier.  Fresh lettuce is so much nicer than store-bought.

I made some lovely cheesy, onion and bacon scalloped potatoes to go along...

New bunnies have made their appearance.  There two larger ones, and now two more that are only a few days old.  That's another thing I have to get a handle on.  It's well over due time for a grand slaughter of older chickens and bunnies.  And the pig will be ready soon too.  I'm down to a couple hams, a tongue, some blade steaks, and miscellaneous other cuts, but only a mere pound of the coveted bacon! 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Rabbit, the other white meat...

A fresh bagged bunny for the freezer

(that's a kidney peeking out from underneath, which will become the dog's treat...)

I started raising rabbits for meat recently.  The three breeding does are New Zealand, and the buck is a Flemish Giant.  The offspring from this crossing these two breeds make really nice meat rabbits.  Mostly white meat, but very tender and ready to butcher at around 10-12 weeks. 

Roasted bunny with apples, onion and carrots

One roasted rabbit goes a long way.  Dinner for two the first night, along with roasted vegetables.  Lunches for two the next day from the leftovers.  A sandwich the next morning for my breakfast, and anything left that I can pull from the bones tonight will go into some sort of soup. Quite a few meals from one young bunny!

Roasted bunny with roasted carrot, mushroom and new potatoes

Bunny sandwich on homemade bread with tomato, lettuce and mayo
To me, the rabbits taste somewhat similar to a cross between chicken and pork, leaning more toward the side of chicken in texture.  This also makes them extremely versatile when it comes to using them in recipes.  The possibilities are endless!  Do you have a favorite rabbit recipe?  I'd love to know how other people like to cook with them. Have a lovely day ~ A

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Is your Garden in?

The first small livestock sale was made at Mon Abri Farm this week.  On Tuesday a father and his two children came out to buy a New Zealand rabbit.  I sold him one of our ready-to-breed females, and he and his kids really enjoyed watching the goat being milked while they were there as well.  Later that night, one of our horse-trainer friends stopped by to pick up a horse we had been training to correct bad behavior, and in its place a young, barely broke 2 year old filly was left behind for us to finish up her training, before she is sent off to the racetrack for her new career as a racehorse.

June has arrived and the garden is starting to produce.  Radishes are coming in this week.  Really good, spicy-hot radishes.  I absolutely have to eat some every morning before I head out for the day's activities.  I'll be giving this recipe I found at Food52 a go around this evening.  Looking very forward to it, though I don't have any turnips on hand, so I will omit those and deal with it!

The potato and tomato plants are looking vibrant and healthy as well.

 Pastures are lush again, animals are happy.  At least until "fly season" starts up again...

I hope you all have a lovely Wednesday.  ~A

Monday, March 31, 2014

Chicks and Buns

The spring babies are all vibrant and healthy, and growing like weeds.  A couple of the bunnies are now venturing away from the nest and out into the world, and sharing carrots with the mothers.  The baby chicks are showing some odd color variations the previous hatches never had.  Anyone know why this would be?  Same roosters and hens, so what gives?

Thursday, March 20, 2014

"Wabbit Season" Part 2

After yesterday's rabbit post I could not resist checking in on the little bunnies yesterday evening, just to see how much they had grown. I still haven't counted them. I plan to get around to that this coming weekend. I took a few quick photos while momma was away eating. Here is one, now at 12 days old. Quite a transformation.  Happy First Day of Spring! ~A

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

"Wabbit" Season

A long interval between posts, I know. My apologies.  There is a little, and should be a little more, to post on later this week.  On March 7th the white New Zealand rabbit gave birth.  She was bread to a Flemish Giant, who is grey/blue. I am unsure how many little ones there are buried deep in her nest, because she is a very good and protective momma.  Meaning, I cannot get near the little guys without being viciously attacked by a growling mother rabbit.  Good for her.  She's doing her job. 

Baby chicks are due to hatch this Sunday (March 23).   There are 41 eggs in the incubator, and one turkey egg, but that was due to an intoxicated, "Oh why the hell not?" moment when I felt the need to put the very first egg the turkey hen laid into the incubator.  And because I had one spot open in there, staring at me blankly.  (It holds 42 eggs).

This week and next, I will set aside the turkey's eggs, in the hope of collecting at least 6 to incubate.  I can only assume that between her and the two males, they have figured out what they should be "doing" and that these eggs will be fertile and hatch out.  The plan is to put them into the incubator on March 30th, incubate for 28 days and with any luck end up with come baby turkeys on April 26th.  If it ends up being that I have any males from that clutch, they would be ready to butcher and freeze the first week of November.  It (they?) would be the first Mon Abri Farm born, and raised, Thanksgiving Turkey(s). How freakin' awesome would that be! But we'll see...

Nothing new to tell about Chiba.  She still looks pregnant (or fat?), and yet shows no signs of any babies on the horizon.  As I've said before, I've given up on her for this spring. Maybe next year.

Things are thawing now.  I hope you all have a warm(er) day. ~A

King Roo

The "Fishin' Hole"

The chickens are finally making their way out into the pastures
I wonder what they see?  Spring, hopefully...

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Farm Happenings

Not a lot has been happening lately around the farm, now that old man winter has set in (other than snow).  The turkeys have grown nicely over the past couple of months, and would be ready to butcher in a couple more weeks, except now that we have lost all but two (a tom and a hen) to predators. We will not be eating these remaining lucky birds.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed for some fertile eggs in the spring to toss into the incubator.  A Blue Slate / Bourbon Red Cross should make for some interesting poults, no?

The mother rabbit and her three babies that we acquired back in October appear to be all grown up. As mentioned before, I know absolutely nothing about rabbits.  My husband built them a four foot long box to live and hide in, and he refused to separate the boys from the girls, so I would assume that someone will be having babies soon.  When he goes away for work in January for a few months I will sneak in and separate them, if I can manage to learn how to sex them.  I'm all for a scheduled breeding program! 

Speaking of scheduled breeding programs, I really have to learn more about goat husbandry.  I let the female goat run with the buck all summer and didn't separate them until sometime in October.  I have not idea if she is pregnant or just fat. They had a "date" this past Friday because she was wagging her tail and seemed to be very interested in hanging out with him, but once we let them together he didn't seem so interested in her, or perhaps he just didn't want an audience?  Regardless, she will either give birth in the next couple of months, or she won't.  Time will tell.  And next time, we will schedule her dates with the buck!

The chickens are rather boring right now.  The last time I counted, I had around 42-45, with about 5-6 being roosters. I would think that egg production would be a little better, but as of the last few weeks I am only getting 1-6 eggs per day.  Not much. 

Speaking of eggs, the sole remaining Pekin duck that we were given back in October started laying an egg a day just over a week ago.  I thought she was a boy.  I was most definitely wrong.

And what can I say about the horses?  They are just here, hanging out in the snow, burning through six bags of grain every week (along with hay) and giving nothing back in return.  Yet.  Two are racehorses, and I hope they will pay back their way, and that of the other two, next season at the racetrack.  Otherwise, it will be time to decrease the herd for sure.  Horses are the biggest expense on the farm, and usually do not give back much, other than a fun ride and something to play around with when time allows. Oh but they do look pretty standing out in the pasture, right?  

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Meat Rabbits

I haven't written a post since Friday, due to a death in the family, which required time away for a funeral. The weekend was uneventful anyway, aside from butchering two of the last four "franken-chickens," and adding rabbits to the list of Mon Abri Farm residents. 
I'm not the kind of person who finds "bunnies" cute, or even cuddly. Just tasty! We swapped a few dozen eggs for a doe and her three young kits.  Bartering at its best... Although I know nothing on how to sex a rabbit (yet), I'm told two of the kits are male, and one is female.  I'm also told four rabbits should be plenty to produce a small and steady supply of rabbit meat in the near future. We'll see. For a interesting source of information on rabbits you might start here, at CrossRoads Rabbitry.
"Momma Bunny"
"The Kits"

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