This was not how I planned to spend my morning…but I’m so glad I took the time! Each morning we feed and take care of the Ebed House animals. Right now we have 23 chicks that are about a month old and 6 adult rabbits. Each of the female rabbits is either expecting or just had their first litter of the season.
We have been surprised to see how small the litters are, but I have a feeling that has to do with the time of year. We lost all 6 of the bunnies from the first litter. Amber was a first time mom and often their first batch doesn’t make it. It is also common to lose a few kits at about day 3 so I was not surprised when I went out this morning to find one cold, and seemingly dead bunny. He only has three litter mates and at three days old they don’t have much fur to regulate heat.
As I pulled him out I wrestled with showing my daughter. The twins are almost 5 and they help with the care of our animals. As I held him up to show her his cold and limp body…he moved, just a bit and I decided this little guy needed a chance. His tummy was full so he had eaten at some point during the night and that gave me hope. I handed him over to my daughter who held him with love and whispered kind words to him while I finished up with the rest of the rabbits.
We brought him in and heated a small towel to wrap him in. I held my breath, but within 10 minutes he started gasping, and by 20 min (and three reheats of the towel) he was squeaking, squirming and pooping! By the 30 minute mark the towel had cooled for the last time and his body stayed warm! This little guy just might make it!
It is hard to know when to put in the extra care, but it’s something I’m learning as I take life one moment at a time and choose to enter in, as fully as possible. If he makes it I have no idea how on earth we will butcher him! That is the problem with nursing them back…but that is a struggle for another day. Right now I am grateful for the reanimation of a cold and lifeless little body!
Yesterday was a big day! Item number 328 on the list….move rabbits into their new home BEFORE winter really happens around here!
My husband, MIKE, is amazing. AMAZING! I really hope that you cant read too far on this blog without hearing that! This man, this love of my life consistently works hard and blesses our family over and over again. We have a lot of rabbits….those suckers multiply like….well….like rabbits?! They need homes….out of the wind and the rain and soon to be snow….Mike built them an amazing new home! Oh, I am thankful for his ability to construct something out of what was before just a pile of parts.
As we moved the bunbuns (as we lovingly call our kits) to their new home they made a quick stop at the hose where we cleaned the cages before they were moved into place on the lower run.
Our adult rabbits are moving into the top run of cages that are not removable. We have new feeders and our winter water crocks on order and hope to have them in this week. You may also note the nesting boxes in mama’s cages….yep they are all pregers again and we hope to have another batch of kits in the next week or so! currently we have the four adults, 7 youth that will be butchered just before Thanksgiving and 23 kits that are about 2 months old! We also hope to have the fodder system going up again in the next few weeks. We jut got our 4 bags of fodder seed in this week…we are going to have some happy animals munching on greens in the middle of winter!
Well, just incase you might have missed it…we don’t have it all together around here. In fact it’s the total opposite. We are visiting family out of town and I realized just what a mess we look like!
It is a major accomplishment that ALL of the rabbits have been moved outdoors! Outdoors means out of the basement. It is the middle of summer….it should not have taken this long, but it did and we are rejoicing that the basement is animal free, bleached and on its way back to some sort of ‘normal’
We have 14 chickens! Yep 13 hens of laying age and 1 rooster. We are currently getting 1 egg a day! Do the math….something is wrong! I have researched, we have treated for all kinds of fun mites and bugs….I have scrubbed that coop….my brother and I have wrangled bird, soaked and lathered each leg in hopes of killing leg mites and easing a little pain. All with no change to the egg count. So they are all being treated for worms. YUCK! Just YUCK! If there continues to be no change we will butcher them all and start over next spring….
Back to the rabbits……we lost 5 last week. They up and died! One at a time, all from the same litter. What on earth? After much research I have come to the conclusion that their diet was a bit out of whack. They were getting too many greens and not enough roughage. Their little tummies need that roughage to keep them happy and healthy.
We have been growing barley fodder for the animals….my one success….or so I thought! We thought we were feeding our animals a GMO free barley. However, the label was never really all that clear and then I opened the last bag a few weeks ago to find all kinds of junk in with the seed. Let’s just say that brought the fodder to a screeching halt…..and that was two weeks ago. I tossed my hands in the air at that point and put the bunnies back on pellets….because they have likely been getting GMOs this whole time anyway!
The garden just makes me sad….there isn’t a whole lot that we could change there….that one is all nature! And then there are the bees. Mike checked the hive before we left to visit family. Out of three hives only one still has it’s queen. So a friend is checking on ordering two more queens….but man! Just Man o man…
And yet none of it is wasted. There are lessons to learn. We are new at this whole thing and I think for two kids who grew up in the suburbs that we are doing relatively well. Yesterday Pearl had 9 kits! Today I am praising The Lord for small joys and every new life. Oh, and that mom and babies are all outside!!
Last weekend we had amazing weather and it provided us the opportunity to get a few projects done on Sunday! If you haven’t read earlier posts we lost our garage this past winter. This small devastation has left us with a number of unexpected projects on top of the ones we had already been planning.
Here is the great news…we could use many of the old materials in our new projects. Mike pulled the rafters out of the garage, and we spent some time staining them for garden boxes. Per my personal request Mike dropped the extra money on an all natural stain and water sealer….NONTOXIC people! I’m a happy girl!
We also used some of the wood and old siding for the new bunny tractor! Yes a bunny tractor! It’s just like a chicken tractor but it has a mesh bottom so the bunnies can’t dig out.
I would guess that it is made of 80-85% recycled materials! Now that feels good!
We used siding to create shade and Mike found a few old, small tires so that I could easily move the tractor from one location to another. You can also see the slit in the middle….there is a board that slides in to divide the tractor into two compartments. This allows us to put more bunnies out at a time…with out any shanangins.
As you can see they are happy to have grass to nibble and fresh air. The little bunnies are fun to watch jump from one side to the other! A&A are also having a great time collecting ‘treats’ and giving them to the rabbits! They LOVE the new raspberry bush shoots!
The little black bunnie is proving to be a handful. It’s a good thing we put the wire bottom on the tractor! She LOVES being outside!
Update: June 9th
The bunnies that we have been able to move out to the tractor are really happy. They are living there full time now that the weather is nice. We are in the process of building a second tractor and look forward to moving all of our litters outside once they have been weened from their mothers. Our buck will also be moving to this temporary home…..our girls need a break and he keeps busting out of his cage.