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Homestead Journal 12/6/17

This is probably not the feature image you would imagine a Minnesota homestead would have in December. The cold weather has arrived and we feel like it is here to stay for the season. Which in some ways is nice. Now you we don’t have to wonder if we need a jacket and boots to go out and do chores, we just know that we need them. There is currently just a dusting of snow on the ground and it has been pretty windy here this past week. With all of the cold weather and cloudy short days, it is nice to have some greens growing in the house.

Chickens:

We processed four of the Delaware meat chickens that we had hatched earlier this year and already have a person lined up to purchase them.

A while back we posted about some of our chickens that were formerly in the tractor, sleeping outside instead of on the roost with the others. With the cold windy weather those chickens are now sleeping inside on the roost with the other chickens.

The newer laying hens that we have are now producing normal sized eggs and lots of them! We are getting roughly two dozen eggs a day from the layers alone.

Rabbits:

There is a new doe to introduce at Happy Hills Homestead!

Meet Bella, she is a doe that we chose to keep from Gracie and Ed’s litter. She is a Flemish/American cross and is a very sweet girl. We decided to keep her because of her personality and the growth rate of the litter. At 10 weeks she weighed 7lbs. Right now the only comparison weights that we have are from our litter of American/ New Zealand /Flemish cross. That litter averaged 5.5 lbs at 10 weeks.

Meet Bella, Flemish/ American cross. DOB 9/15/17

This past week we got our first product in a store front. Cripple Creek outdoors in Onamia purchased 25 of the rabbit foot key chains that we make and are selling them in their store. We are excited to have connected with them and hope to continue to do business.

Garden:

I am so excited to have the garden section back on the post and to be able to add it in December is fantastic! We are venturing into micro greens. This is something that we have never tried to do before. We have made connections with two chefs located a ways south of us that are interested trying our product and possibly purchasing from us.

Micro greens!

Projects/General:

The house is officially under construction. We have removed all of the walls and ceiling in both the office and living room. The cold held off for a while but with the cold and wind that we have had  this week we had to throw some insulation in the walls temporarily. I swear there was one night before we put it in that I could feel the wind blowing in the living room. But one good thing is that the new windows do not whistle like the old windows did in the wind.

We are still trying to perfect tanning the rabbit hides. I lost a batch of 10 furs because they did not cure. There are couple things that I will try to do differently with the next batch. I am guessing that it was either the ratio of water to salt/alum sulfate or that the furs were not submerged in the solution.

There is a new side project that we are working on. We are considering making cat toys from the rabbit furs that we process. This came about thanks to our friends cat. I have one of the rabbit foot key chains attached to my purse and while we were at their house visiting, their cat would not stop playing with it. She was having so much fun grabbing it with her claws and biting it, trying to pull it around the room. She played with it for about two hours! Our friends love their cats and have a large variety of toys for them. Looking at all of the toys they had, we thought it might not be a bad idea to try and make some and see if there is a market for it.