Friday, November 19, 2010

Bunnies, Pigs, Family, Work et al

The Great Medley Hunters and Bryon's 8 pt. buck rack. He shot it opening morning.
Regardless of my lack of blogging lately, life has been rolling along out here in Niangua. Surprising I know. Last week I spent four days in Rolla for the Missouri S&T blood drive which is both a blessing and a curse to me. Those kids really turnout and roll up their sleeves to give blood which is wonderful but staying up there four days in a row, four times a year is brutal. Driving home and back each day is worse. So there you go... rock... hard place.

I came home once again to an immaculately clean house, all my animals and family members still alive and kicking and flowers on the table. I have a pretty swell family.

This week I decided to get my flu shot on Monday at Walgreens. I almost got it last week when I was up in Rolla but just didn't have time to schlep over there. Boy am I glad now I didn't because I spent Tuesday of this week nauseous, Wednesday in bed with with chills, aches, nausea and a killer headache and Thursday recovering. Let's just say I'm real glad I got that flu shot now.

Grace is supposed to get hers Nov. 30. I hope she fares better.

One night this week the chickens didn't get locked up so they spent an entire night exposed to potential predators. Thankfully, nothing got them and they are all still fine. I still have two roosters which is not really going all that well. I'd like to find one of them a new home but I'm afraid one of them, let's just call him Mr. Red Eye, is about to meet the crock pot. He's flogged everyone in the family now except for me. I don't know why he hasn't taken into me but he's knocked Grace down (of course she was running by him and then just flailed on the ground while he flew at her). I told her she was going to have to be tougher than a chicken. Was she tougher than a chicken? She said yes, but she's still scared of him now.

Mr. Red Eye pretty much attacks Bryon every time they meet.

Yes, Mr. Red Eye's days are numbered.

I still have no eggs from the little moochers. Every morning I have a little chat with them about that but so far no progress. They were born May 17 so it is time! I may have to put a timer on the light out in the coop to get them kickstarted. Apparently they need about 14 hours of daylight a day to produce. Well don't we all? I hate daylight savings time. Pick a time and let's stay there. Seriously.

All four of the baby bunnies are still alive and kickin' which is actually pretty surprising to me. They are getting really cute. Now the next thing is going to be finding them all new homes soon. If you are interested in a very cute Christmas bunny... I'm your girl.

The little charcoal ones are my favorite... just like Mama Bunny, Cocoa. Of course how can you deny the cuteness of any of them really?

I was shocked when I went out to inspect the pigs. Bryon has pretty much been seeing to them lately and when I went out there, they (especially the red one) were huge! Her little eyes just keep getting beadier and beadier because her head is so big. She's actually sort of comical. I wish I could get a good face shot of her. We need to get a date with destiny set so they can get in our belly soon. 
 We got the gardens all put to bed for the year last month and Bryon planted rye grass in them which is supposed to be a good green manure. We'll see how that turns out.
Bryon found some Nebraska Red Spotted historic turkeys in my Backyard Poultry magazine he would like to try to raise. So if I can find some for the spring, we'll build another pen for them. 

I'm going to go help my friend Lynsey butcher 24 turkeys Sunday for her Thanksgiving customers. 

Bryon is still off work until Dec. 1 recuperating from his shoulder surgery and bicep reattachment. He's been off since August 20 but was limited to only a five pound weight limit until two weeks ago. Now he's up to a whopping 25 pounds and the Doc said he could hunt if he didn't lift or drag on a deer. He has to be released to lift 50 pounds to return to work. We hope he can go back to work by Dec. 6. 

Right now I'm content not to start any new projects for a while.  I'm feeling better though because I have the urge to clean, straighten and throw out clutter again.

Another blessing and curse.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Who's That Girl?

Walmart had lots of leftover Halloween stuff on sale half price and I knew Grace would have fun with another wig. Yep, she had herself made up in no time...

Yep, Bean is a Boy.

So when we got our bunnies back in March, the teenage kids who sold them to us PROMISED me they were both girls. Not so much it turns out. I fill the box up with pine bedding and clean it out every week but the rabbits just kick it all out of there and pee and poop right in the box like it's their personal litter box instead of OUTSIDE the box where it would fall right onto the ground and could easily be raked up and taken to the compost pile. 
Two weekends ago I finally decided to try to do something about that problem and cut a board and nailed it up in the hole so it would be harder to kick it all out but the bunnies could still get in there. The IDEA was that that they would use it for added warmth and shelter and to get off of the screened bottom from time to time and give their little feet a rest. 

Still a litter box.

Except within a few hours of filling up the newly remodeled box, Cocoa started pulling out her hair and building a nest in there. Uh oh. 

Bean had been exhibiting boy like behavior (ie humping her like crazy) for a long time but nothing had come of it. I looked in there last Saturday morning and one of the rabbits had filled up the nest with poop and pee and I planned to just clean it all out Sunday except when I went feed the animals Sunday morning before church.. yep... baby bunnies. 

I sort of freaked out because we've had two litters in the dead of winter before and they died almost immediately. So I got the big tub I use for a chicken brooder out and planned to keep Cocoa and the bunnies in the garage. I scooped out the nest (bunnies and all in tact) and put it on top of a bunch of clean bedding in the tub and had Bryon catch Cocoa and I moved the whole lot of them to the garage.

I didn't know if that would mess everything up or not but I figured they were probably going to die anyway so I didn't have much to lose. When I got home from church I already had a different plan and that was to separate those rabbits. We had a left over piece of hardware cloth that had come off of the bottom of the hutch at one point and Bryon helped me to measure and cut it to fit. (I don't measure, I eyeball it and hack at it until I get the thing done).

We got them separated and I already had another feeder and water bowl so I scooped them all back up again and took them back to the hutch and figured it would just have to be survival of the fittest. I didn't know if messing with them so much would make her reject them or freak her out or what but she took them all back and now they are four days old. 

I did end up killing one of them inadvertently because I didn't realize it was still out in the hutch when I scooped them all up the first time and it died while we were at church. 

She still has four out there though and it's been cold at night. Poor Mama is almost bald from pulling out her hair but she's being a good Mama and now doesn't have to contend with Bean's attentions anymore. 

It's going to be crazy cold the next few nights so we'll see what happens but today, there are four little bunnies out there.

When we go

Falling into Fun

One night last week Grace raked up a big pile of leaves and played in them for a long time. That night the wind blew like CRAZY and now that pile is toast but it was good while it lasted.

Getting My Craft On

I had a super crafty weekend and managed to finish several little projects I had started and complete two new ones. It felt great to actually get something accomplished! I bought a new sewing machine and some transparent nylon thread (which is just awful to use but looked great) and went to town.

I had been saving up all my poly feed sacks for the chickens and bunnies and this month the Layena I feed the chickens came in a pink breast cancer awareness bag. I send Bryon out for two more bags of it so I could use them later.

They make neat totes. Mine certainly aren't perfect and they take me forever to make because apparently I was born with out any abstract thinking brain cells and I have take things apart and redo them over and over. This is the same handicap that makes me have to move pages all around the copier at work over and over until the think comes out how I want it!