Piper’s kits are now old enough to go outside, but we have put a large bin in the tractor so that if it starts to rain or the wind blows too hard, they have a place to escape to out of the elements. Since it has been sprinkling off and on and the wind has been blowing like crazy they go into the bin a lot. But when it is calmer, they are loving being in the tractor and playing with their tunnel. They aren’t quite big enough to scramble up on top of it yet, but four of them can fit inside it at once.
Tomorrow is payday and I am going to pick up a couple more feeders and water bottles. We are at 33 rabbits at the moment. That’ll go down over the weekend.
Since these ones were four weeks old yesterday, I weighed them in.
Kit 1: 1 lb 1.6 oz
Kit 2: 1 lb 4.4 oz
Kit 3: 1 lb 2.8 oz
Kit 4: 1 lb 5 oz
Kit 5: 1 lb 3.4 oz
Kit 6: 1 lb 5.2 oz
Total Litter Weight: 7 lb 6.4 oz
Total Weight Gain for the Week: 3 lb 4.3 oz
The husband has gotten a lot more work done on the slaughter station. It still needs a roof and probably some anchors, but it is done enough to use it this weekend.
First he got the walls up.
Then he attached a piece of corrugated roofing beneath the butcher station. It will protect the wood from blood and be very easy to spray off with the hose.
Then he put up a shelf to set his tools on.
And then a shelf under the Rabbit Wringer to rest the bunny on for a moment to calm it. We will be putting a carpet remnant on this shelf so the rabbit can gain purchase and not scrabble on a smooth surface.
We do want to get this painted or stained at some point to help protect the wood from the elements.
I have to admit I’ve formed a bit of an attachment to the lone buck in the litter that we will be slaughtering. He is such a sweet rabbit, with such a delightful personality. I absolutely would love to have him as a breeder if we needed more than 2 bucks. He grew fast, has great body shape, has big ears that stand up straight, and he’s not the least bit skittish. I actually did a double check on him today to reconfirm he is a male, because he has grown almost as fast as Andromeda. If I had made a mistake and he had been a doe, I might have been tempted to keep him instead. Andromeda is sweet, though. She’s got her mother’s disposition and is as easily handled.
I have to get used to this. Because the next litter, Phoebe’s litter, we aren’t keeping anyone and they are all as sweet as their mother. I am hoping this will get easier with time. This is only going to be the second time we slaughter. This would have been easier a few weeks ago. I wasn’t as attached then. Really, I need to stop watching them play so much in their tractors.
I need to remind myself why we are doing this. We wanted to raise our meat ourselves, to know what went into it, to know it lived a well-loved life, where it was treated humanely and had plenty of fresh air and sunshine. We wanted to honor the sacrifice that these animals give us when they gift us with their lives for our sustenance. We wanted the benefit of having animals in our lives. And it has been a benefit. I must keep that firmly in mind.