What I wouldn’t give right now for some garden fresh vegetables picked from my own garden. The weather returned to a beautiful 45 degrees today and brought with it gardening dreams. This next week is supposed to be pretty nice. We might even get up to 50 degrees. That’s positively balmy for this time of year. And it’s not getting dark until 5 p.m. now. I do appreciate that immensely.
Of course I didn’t get to spend much time outside today. My knee is swollen to twice it’s normal size, rendering it pretty unbendy. But tomorrow we are slaughtering rabbits, so I will get to spend a couple of hours outside, even if it is mostly just sitting in a chair providing moral support while the husband does the deed. I do get them out of their cages and weigh them before and after, but other than that there’s not much I do on slaughter day. My part comes later after the rabbits have aged for a few days and rigor mortis has passed. Then I cut them up into pieces and either freeze them, can them, or take the meat off the bones for grinding.
This week we will be grinding the majority of the meat, but we will do two bags of stir-fry meat as well. I’m going to make soup to can this time. I’ve canned enough stock, but I’d like some ready to go rabbit vegetable soup on the shelves as well. I’m not sure if we’ll be doing 5 or 7 rabbits tomorrow. I’ll be weighing them to see where they are at. I know for sure that 5 are over 5 pounds, but since I haven’t weighed the rabbits in almost two weeks, I don’t know for sure on all of them.
We will be doing some probably right before the husband goes back up to Alaska as well (he just got home yesterday). From appearances I’d say they are all over 4 pounds so will likely hit the 5 pound mark by then.
I’ve been debating what I am going to do with Andromeda. She is still tempermental. Not as bad, but she really hasn’t calmed down the way the other rabbits have. And her first litter was small at 4 kits, which I guess can happen, but I’ve never had it happen with any of the others. And I saw her doing the dominance thing on one of her own kits at the six week old mark on two different occasions. I don’t like that at all. Part of me wants to give her one more litter, but I’m not sure if I should. All of her kits and her foster kit are fat and sassy and healthy, so she is a good mother, despite the dominance thing. Everything I read says to cull rabbits with undesirable traits, but when you’ve raised one from day one and put nine months into growing one up, that’s not as easy. I could sell her with full disclosure on her behavior.
If I do get rid of her I don’t think I’d keep one of her kits, even though they are all sweet and friendly. I think I’d grow out one of Lola’s, who is her full blooded sister from another litter, instead. Lola may not like to be touched much, but she tolerates it, she is a good mother, doesn’t bite, doesn’t freak out, and has the same blood lines I’d want to continue. Either that or get a New Zealand Red or a Blue Beverin doe to replace Andromeda.
I’m still researching duck breeds and aquaponics. One of the things I saw was what someone called duckponics. They grew duckweed in a pond that the ducks swam in. The ducks’ manure fed the duckweed and then the ducks ate the duckweed.
I’ve also been researching the laws on building ponds in my county. It looks like if we want a decent pond we pretty much need to find a property with an existing pond. They really don’t like big pond-building here because of worries about avian flu from wild birds that will be attracted or some such nonsense. Like that doesn’t come straight from the huge confinement chicken houses and not backyard bird raisers anyway. We could put in little ones, but I’d really like a nice sized one for the ducks, a natural one that I wouldn’t have to clean out constantly.
I don’t know, the more I research the more I feel like that book Joel Salatin wrote called Everything I Want to Do is Illegal.