It’s Been a Long Week

I have read differing views on letting kits eat vegetables, with the main idea coming out that if you fed them to the mother while she was pregnant and first nursing, they should do okay on it, but if you haven’t then you should avoid it. So we’ve been putting some chard, lemon balm, parsley, raspberry leaves, etc., in for Piper to eat. The kits do eat a little of it along with a lot of hay and enough pellets that I’ve had to up how much I fill the feeder fourfold. They are also still nursing. They seem to be doing well. I’ve watched for digestive upset both on their bodies and in the droppings tray and everything looks fine. And they do eat this type of vegetation in the wild.

I think the issues mostly arise from an abrupt change in diet. The books worry when you go from one brand of pellet to another and suggest combining types for a week or so before fully switching, so I think some of that worry carries over when you start feeding them other foods as well. I think introducing some vegetation along with pellets has worked out for me. They love to eat it, especially the chard. Eventually they will go out on grass that has clover, purslane, lamb’s lettuce, dandelion, etc., mixed in for a few hours a day, so this way they will be used to eating other things besides pellets and hay.

The husband is designing the rabbit tractors. We’re thinking two of them. They will be six feet long, two feet wide and two feet tall. We are looking at using 1 inch PVC pipe, two types of wire (a bigger one for the bottom so that the grass comes through, but they can’t dig their way out) attached with cable ties. There will be a two foot long section of plastic corrugated roofing that covers about two feet of one end to give them shade from the sun. It will lift up so we can put the bunnies in and out of it. I figure we’ll put the rabbits in in shifts. Serenity and Sweetie Belle can go in one with Starbuck in the other for a couple of hours and then the juniors can take a shift. We are thinking maybe a smaller one for Leo. I’m not sure about Piper and Phoebe. They may get at least one trip outside, because we need to do full cage disinfecting this week. I don’t want to put the kits on grass yet though. Maybe when they are 8 weeks old.

It’s been 8 weeks since we ordered it and our Rabbit Wringer has still not arrived. We simply can’t keep feeding these juniors so we’re going to use an alternate method of slaughter. I will be a little sad to see them go, but it needs to be done. It was the whole point of raising them. The husband will be calling the RW people once again and then if nothing comes of it, we will open a payment dispute. And possibly report them to the BBB. It’s been more than twice the promised time of delivery. They’ve really, really disappointed me.

This has been a crazy busy week for homeschooling. We are almost done. The son needs to write a literature essay comparing and contrasting two stories he’s read this semester, which he should get done tomorrow, and he has four math left to do, and half a vocabulary lesson. He did really well on his full course year assessment in history. Out of 59 questions he got 1 wrong and actually it was a four part question that he only got one part of wrong. I’m never sure just how much the kid is listening and he always, always surprises me.

Math shouldn’t be hard at all. He has a semester review, a semester assessment, a year review, and a year assessment. Math is his easiest subject and I expect he will pass those with flying colors. The essay will be a bit tougher and he’ll have to reread the two short stories, but I know he’ll get it done in the end. Fortunately he doesn’t have to do the full on brainstorming, outline, rough draft, final draft thing. He just has to write it, like an in-class essay as opposed to an out of class essay. And the vocab is seven questions that require a one sentence answer. We’ll finish up in time easily.

I will be glad to have homeschooling over for the summer. I am beyond burnt out on it. These last three weeks have been very hard with the illnesses and the exhaustion and no one sleeping well. We are all frazzled. I just want to relax, garden, and get the kitchen cleaned up. I haven’t seen the entire surface of my kitchen table in a week, which is also how long it has been since we ate dinner as a family. I’ve got canned goods to put away, empty boxes to break down and put in the recycling, and non-essential mail to go through. I counted it as good that I was keeping up with the dishes and the garbage, keeping the kids fed and watered, and making sure we all got showers. Well, and I did clean out the microwave this week. I guess I’m not quite as behind as I feel, but I’m also not a happy homemaker at the moment.

My sister-in-law bought a couple of chicks on impulse sixteen weeks ago. They are supposed to be hens. Well, this week one started to crow. Oops. They are living in a box in her garage. I don’t even know what she was thinking there. She has a yard the size of a postage stamp. Now she wants to know what to do with the rooster. Well, I can’t take it. I live in the city limits. No roosters allowed. She lives in the country, but she’s in an HoA and she didn’t even check to see if chickens were allowed under the CC&R’s. Yikes. My suggestion of what to do with the rooster did not go over well with her eldest daughter. But if they don’t want to eat it, they’re going to have to find a farm for it…and chances are whoever takes it will say it’s not for eating, but it’ll be for eating. That’s pretty much the end for most roosters around here.

And she’ll end up with only one hen. Anyone who keeps chickens know they are flocking animals. That lone hen will be awfully lonesome. I wish she had thought things through a little more. She can barely manage the dogs and cats, I don’t know why she thought she could raise chickens.

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6 thoughts on “It’s Been a Long Week

  1. Planning to use the broomstick method? Its the method I always teach for the first timer’s. (I am just assuming its your first time by the way you wrote this post, please correct me if I am wrong).

    You want the person who uses it to be have good balance, good upper body strength, a perfect flat surface and the downside is that you will often have bruising on the shoulders while learning the method.

    As for the kits and what they are eating, I agree with you that they do eat this in nature, I never stop cutting and feeding the momma’s and the kits just start eating along with her.

    Best of luck on the coming tests and I hope you get the break you are looking for after school finishes.

    • LuckyRobin says:

      No, actually, my husband bought a pellet gun. I don’t have the balance to do the broomstick method with my bad knee, plus I really don’t want to do the killing myself, and he’s afraid he’d lose control of the rabbit that way. So the pellet pistol seemed like the easiest, since he can keep one hand on the rabbit’s back to steady it.

      Yes, this is the first time we will be butchering rabbits. We’ve seen it done in person, but not done it ourselves yet.

  2. sage_brush says:

    Those last week of home school can be so stressful! You are in my prayers.

  3. Man, I just toss whatever veggies and weeds and grass I want in with mom bunny, whether she’s pregnant, got kits or not. The kits learn to eat whatever mom eats so they get lots of little nibbles. By a month old they’re fighting over who gets the biggest leaf! I have had no problems thus far. It’s how nature intended kits to learn to eat.

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