Last night was a bit hard on the animals with fireworks going off as early as seven p.m. And of course they went off at midnight. Despite it being illegal in this town to set off fireworks at all anymore. It wasn’t as bad as usual, but it was disturbing to the rabbits and chickens. Also to me, as I had just drifted off to sleep at 11 and they woke me up at 12. I’ve had a couple of rough days anyway with my right hand not working right and having to depend on the kids and the husband to get things that I normally can do easily done.
We started on our second 50 pound bag of barley last night for growing fodder. I have about 2 pounds of seed soaking every day, though that will go down now as we slaughter. It is growing so well and the animals are thriving on it. I haven’t felt a coarse coat on any of our rabbits in a while and they really do enjoy the green stuff. I’d say 80% of their diet is now coming from fodder, 10% from hay, and 10% from pellets. Costs are starting to drop.
We managed to get 3 rabbits slaughtered earlier in the week before I tweaked my back doing something stupid (twisting wrong) and that put me down for the rest of the day and the next day. Fortunately the pulled muscle is fine now. We will be processing the other four rabbits that we meant to process before I did that today. The husband had to rub circulation back into my hand though. Hopefully it won’t go all pins and needles again as we are working.
Also, all of Piper’s kits are over 5 pounds at ten weeks old except for Kalia (formerly Colossus), who is still shy of 4 pounds. Three of Sweetie Belle’s kits are over 5 pounds as well. So that means 8 more will need to be done as we find time. Hopefully this week while we are free of homeschooling. And the rest may be ready by the 11 week mark or the 12 week mark. The husband goes back to work a few days after the 12 week mark, so it is conceivable that we might get them all done before then. It would be nice not to have to feed them for another 3 weeks after he leaves. We’d still have Kalia and the 13 two week olds, but other than that it would only be the adults.
I plan to grind a lot of the upcoming batches into rabbit burger and rabbit sausage patties. We’ve got plenty of rabbit in the freezer for frying, so we will grind and we will also do some canning. It would be nice to replace the majority of our ground beef with ground rabbit. When we go to the ranch next time we will ask them if they have either lard or tallow for sale. Sometimes they do. Since rabbit is so lean I would like to add some fat in the grinding process.
I’d like to fry up some sausage patties and then freeze them and bag them up for easy morning use, just zap one or two patties in the microwave in the mornings for an easy breakfast. I’ve seen where people can sausage patties, too.
Anyway, on to the weights this week.
Serenity’s First Litter x Leo at 6 Weeks Old:
Kit 1: 2 lb 6 oz
Kit 2: 2 lb 11.5 oz
Kit 3: 2 lb 6 oz
Kit 4: 2 lb 7 oz
Kit 5: 2 lb 8.2 oz
Kit 6: 2 lb 7.7 oz
Kit 7: 2 lb 12.2 oz
Total Litter Weight: 17 lb 4.6 oz
Amount Gained: 4 lb 9.1 oz
Lola’s Second Litter x Starbuck at 6 Weeks Old:
Kit 1: 2 lb 6.8 oz
Kit 2: 2 lb 11.4 oz
Kit 3: 2 lb 9.8 oz
Kit 4: 2 lb 13.2 oz
Kit 5: 2 lb 2.7 oz
Kit 6: 2 lb 14.4 oz
Kit 7: 2 lb 10.2 oz
Total Litter Weight: 18 lb 4.5 oz
Amount Gained: 5 lb 5.5 oz
Sweetie Belle’s First Litter x Leo at 10 Weeks Old:
Kit 1: 4 lb 7.7 oz
Kit 2: 4 lb 12.5 oz
Kit 3: 5 lb 6.3 oz
Kit 4: 4 lb 6.8 oz
Kit 5: 4 lb 10.5 oz
Kit 6: 5 lb 0.9 oz
Kit 7: 4 lb 7.5 oz
Kit 8: 5 lb 0.5 oz
Kit 9: 4 lb 5 oz
Total Litter Weight: 42 lb 9.7 oz
Amount Gained: 3 lb 12.3 oz
Piper’s Fifth Litter x Starbuck at 10 Weeks Old:
Kit 1: 3 lb 12.9 oz (Kalia, runt)
Kit 2: 5 lb 2 oz
Kit 3: 5 lb 4 oz
Kit 4: 5 lb 6.3 oz
Kit 5: 5 lb 10 oz
Kit 6: 5 lb 1.2 oz
Total Litter Weight: 30 lb 4.8 oz
Amount Gained: 3 lb 4.8 oz
I think I attribute so many ten-week-olds hitting the five pound mark to raising them on fodder. I’ve never had so many hit it so young. Usually I am seeing it at the 11 week mark with one or two, a couple more at the 12 week mark, but mostly at week 13 or 14. It will be nice if this is a permanent change and we can lower the slaughter age a bit. It means less feed costs, which would be really nice.
I’ll try to have the dress out weights up either tonight or tomorrow from today’s slaughtering and from that which was done earlier in the week.