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Homestead Journal 10/29/17

This week we had our first snowfall. We were more prepared for it than we were last year but still didn’t get everything done that we wanted to. We are hoping that the snow will melt and we will be able to get a little more work done on the garden yet this year.

Rabbits:

Finished adding all of the grow out tracking boards to the grow out cages.

Piper and Rose’s kits moved to their grow out cages. When we moved them we weighed and sexed each of them. We also weighed and sexed all of the other grow outs and started tracking their information. We will weigh them all every two weeks. This will help us decide which breeds we want to continue with for meat rabbits. Rose was bred with George and Piper was bred with Johnny. Rachel’s kits got a shelter box this week. Her kits have some very unique colors and I am excited to see how they color out.

Chickens:

We closed down the chicken tractor for the year. With snow and colder weather we decided to move the chickens that were in the tractor into the outside brooder until they are ready to be processed. The tractor held up nicely all year with some pretty nasty winds, hail, and snow. We are looking forward to running more tractors next year.

Chicken tractor closed down for the season.

Since it has been below freezing at night for a couple of days now we switched the chicken waterers to heated water bowls and removed the 55 gallon drum and nipple system that we use in the other seasons. The stands that Brian made last week are working nicely. Some of the meat chickens have been eating their eggs so we put mustard “bombs” in the nesting box to see if it will get them to stop eating eggs. We just took some eggs that were cracked and carefully  emptied out the inside and filled it with mustard. We were told that chickens do not like the taste of mustard. Apparently that is not the case. When we went down to check on the mustard eggs the next day they were all eaten. Now we need to figure out what to do next to get them to stop eating their eggs.

Mustard eggs.

Some of the chickens that were originally out in the tractor and moved to the laying side of the coop still sleep outside. At least they are not sleeping on the ground anymore. They all pile onto a table that we have in the coop for them. Some of them do roost inside at night with the other laying hens.

Chickens sleeping outside.
Chickens roosting inside the coop.

We also re-started our wheat fodder. We got too busy over the past few weeks to keep up with making it. The chickens will really enjoy the fodder, especially in the winter when they do not get many other greens. Giving them fodder also cuts down on our food cost so we really try to keep up with it.

Garden:

Compost was moved to the garden compost bin from the other compost bin near the chicken coop. There is still a lot of compost to be mixed but having it in the garden will be helpful in the spring. We were able to get one more bed filled with compost before the snow.

Projects/General:

Managed to finally get the yard mowed and bagged. This was a much overdue task that we had just kept putting off until the day before it snowed. Got to use the headlights on the lawn mower for the first time while trying to get it finished.

Mowing in the dark, trying to beat the snow.

Friday was a very windy and snowy day here. At 08:00 we had peak winds at 39 mph with an average wind of 24 mph.

Home weather station.

Washed the rabbit furs and have them hanging to dry. There are some really interesting markings on this batch of furs. They are mostly from Michelle’s litter. Now we will work on stretching them everyday until they are completely dry.

Rabbit furs drying.

Finished another 14 key chains for sale.

Key Chains for sale

We have another rabbit recipe on our website this week Braised Rabbit with Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Gravy. It was delicious! This recipe is a little more time consuming than the Rosemary Garlic Rabbit recipe but still very tasty.

Took a beautiful sunset picture while mowing the yard  and I couldn’t resist adding it to the post.

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