The barley fodder is really growing now. There are two inches of root mat in the containers and the shoots are practically growing before my eyes. This is what it looked like this morning and it has advanced quite a bit since then. I am really pleased with the outcome so far. I’ve had no issues with mold, but this house has good air circulation. Bad air circulation can be a big part of why this can sometimes fail.
I’ve started another tub soaking. I ended up dividing the last soaking tub in half because I think I put too much in. I used less this time. I’ve got my system set up now. I ended up paying about $50 for everything and if I buy eight more dishpans I can double my production in the future as there is enough room on the wire racks to do so.
I was reading some more on do it yourself fodder systems and one person had made their trays from those disposable aluminum baking pans. The lasagna sized ones as well as the larger bread pan ones. I do have a couple of those laying around and some other containers that might do the job as well. I’ll have to see what I can come up with. I had considered them before but was worried that the aluminum might somehow be detrimental to the seeds, but seeing photos of both barley and wheat fodder growing well in them, I guess those fears were unfounded.
We did not get to slaughtering the rabbits before the husband had to leave for Alaska, so now I’m feeding 6 more larger sized kits than I had been planning on feeding. That is why I started another pan of barley soaking. I will be using more so I am growing more. The husband did program the address of the feed mill into the GPS, and it is right off the freeway so I may make a trip down there for more barley before he comes back home in two weeks.
I also picked up another grow out cage because the cages I had expected to use to wean Piper and Sweetie Belle’s kits when they get a bit older are still occupied. This one is going to make it a tight fit, but it is a different shape than the other cages, rectangular, and should be just fine for half a dozen kits. Since I am not going to rebreed Piper or Sweetie Belle until mid-February some of the kits can stay in with their mothers a while longer. But with Sweetie Belle having 9 kits in with her, I will definitely need to take out four or five of them. I have actually thought about taking out some at seven weeks old because they are seriously running out of space already.
If we put the two empty Wabbitats on the floor we should be able to swing it all, but there will be some serious rabbit slaughtering when the husband gets back, because not only will the current six be ready, but the ten week olds will be ready by then, too. That’s thirteen rabbits that need to be done before Christmas! At least we will have some breathing room before the two week olds will be ready for weaning and the ones due on the 16th will be a good month behind them.
The chickens are very unhappy about the cold snap. They are standing around on one foot a lot, keeping the other tucked up in their fluffy bloomers and then switching off. And there is a lot more going back into the coop to keep warm than they would ever do in good weather. We are keeping the heat lamp on during the day in there so they have it as an option. We have to check for eggs every two hours or so. They will freeze solid if we go any longer than that. Although, personally, if I were a chicken, I would totally be on strike right now. I am keeping a couple of the waterers in the garage so I can switch them out during the day instead of hauling water from the house, or trying to use the hose that is only thawed between 12 and 4.
I have decided that I want a nice pole barn when we find our farm. I want a place that will be nice and warm for the animals and for me to work in. Although the rabbit shed is warmer than it was before we closed off the bank of three windows, it can still be pretty cold out there. I have to wear gloves to fill water bottles and feed trays and I think I better start wearing two pairs of socks in my Wellies. Or maybe get some insulated boots instead of muck boots. I might hang a couple of heat lamps out there, too. At least the weather tuff bottles aren’t freezing. That is something.