I’ve managed to catch a head cold. It may have been due to a week of snow, followed by two days at 55, followed by more snow. Weather swings always make me feel yucky, but this one has brought some serious breathing interference into the mix. My resistance was already down. And last night we spent 2 hours cleaning cages. I’m sure breathing that in didn’t help.
The reds have settled in well. Their first night home we left them in their travel cages. These were Wabbitats so while roomy enough for a couple of little kits for a short while, and okay for a day for a junior buck they were not going to be permanent homes. We put together a 36 inch by 36 inch for Wildfire and moved him into it on Sunday. Then yesterday we put together a 3 foot long by 18 inches wide by 2 feet tall cage for Sienna and Cinnabun. They should be good in that until the youngest one is 3 months old and then they will move to a bigger cage, or separate cages if they are starting to get territorial.
The little girls are letting me pet them now, but I let them come to the door for it. Wildfire is a bit more hesitant. I will place my hand inside his cage door and he will come up and sniff it and then back off. He does this several times. When I try to stroke his head he backs off most of the time, but I just keep talking to him and sometimes he’ll let me get a pet in on his good ear. I think the tattooed ear still hurts a bit. He is warming up slowly.
I did look at Cinnabun’s tattoo when I moved her to the bigger cage to make sure it was healing well. Wildfire’s ear I can see right inside because of how he holds his ears and it is also healing well. I think Sienna has been grooming Cinnabun because almost all the excess ink is gone from her ear. Wildfire’s excess ink is wearing off, but at a much slower rate. Well, maybe when I breed him with either Piper or Lola she will groom him. She’s a good groomer and is always very fastidious about keeping her kits groomed.
I did sit down and look at the pedigrees to sort out ages and which ones were full siblings. Wildfire was born 7/20/2013 so is about 7.5 months old. Cinnabun was born 12/9/2013 so is 12 weeks old. Sienna was born 1/3/2014 and is 8.5 weeks old. Wildfire and Cinnabun are full brother and sister and Sienna is a half sister to them. They all share the same father. Cinnabun will be old enough to breed on June 9th and Sienna will be old enough to breed on July 3rd.
I’ve been thinking about names for future red rabbits. So far I’ve come up with Ember, Firestorm, Firestar, Spark, Fireball, Rose, Ruby, Scarlet, Cinnamon, Paprika, (not Ginger as there is a Ginger and a Little Ginger in the pedigree of one of them), Carmine, Brick, Cardamom, and Nutmeg. Of course we won’t be naming any for a while unless we get a really dark red kit that I decide to grow up. But when I get a doe from another breeder we’ll use one of these names. I’d like to keep the Fire names for Wildfire’s offspring.
We’ve got 14 kits at the moment, 5 that are 15 weeks old, and the rest are 11 weeks old. I think all but 3 of the 11 week olds (all girls) are at weight. 2 out of 3 were runts and the other one is only a half pound bigger than them so they will get more time to grow out. I was hoping to sell the 15 week olds because they have lovely personalities and would make good breeding stock, but after selling the 4 I did, interest faded out. I don’t know if the one lady who cancelled because of the snow will ever call again. I do have her email, so I’ll do a follow-up.
I’ve almost cured Andromeda of her biting habit. She’s down to biting once a week now and the last time was a warning nibble. Maybe I’ll cure her of it yet. I’ve got a new chew block toy hanging in her cage. She is gnawing it like crazy. I guess the apple sticks were not enough. I need to buy four more chew blocks and then every cage will have them. I’ve been using some chew sticks that I just put in the cages, but sometimes they knock them out onto the floor and then don’t have them when they need them. I’ve got to clip nails. Those things just keep growing.
On the Aquaponics front I’ve discovered that you can add redworms to media beds. They will take care of the problems that can sometimes occur with fish waste getting stuck or clogging an area in the media bed and making the ammonia content too high in that area to grow anything as well as dealing with any sloughed off dead root matter. They turn the gunky stuff (technical term) into worm castings and when the water rises it turns it into compost tea that is easily taken up by the plants roots. It only works with media beds though because they are highly oxygenated. They would drown in raft beds. I need to do some more research on that. The book I am reading only had one chapter that talked about redworms. But I think that is the vital missing link to the system that was concerning one reader (in one of my accidentally deleted comments, which I did read before my trip) who has worked extensively with fish. I’ll have easy access to redworms as they are sold on Craigslist by the pound all the time.
It’ll be interesting to be raising 4 forms of life in one system, fish, worms, bacteria, and plants. I am still thinking about the fish. The Aquaponics rule of thumb is 1 pound of fish for 5 gallons of water, which translates to 20 1 pound fish in a 100 gallon tank. But everything I’ve ever learned about gold fish says they need 10 gallons per goldfish, which means 10. Now maybe it has to do with the way the system cycles, but I do wonder how they come up with their figures. I don’t know. Further research is again required. I may not get this system set up this year after all at this rate. It may need to wait until next year.
The ducklings are coming into the feed store next week. Mom says she will do the baby care if I’ll pay for the feed and a small stock tank for them to swim in. We’re talking about 4 ducks or so, so it is not that much for feed (for us, for her it is, fixed income). I don’t know what they will have (they don’t know, mixed varieties is all they knew). I’d prefer Kahki Campbell’s or Golden 300 for egg laying. Or Indian Runner ducks. Or even Pekin. And you never know what they are anyway, male or female, until the little drakes start curling up their little tail feather. We want ducks either way for slug control, but I’d rather have females and eggs, too. Mom is talking about getting some chicks, too. We are down to ten hens now, one of them will be 3 and all the rest will be 2 soon, so the egg-laying has slowed down some. I don’t know though. I’m not sure the land can support much more than 4 ducklings, 10 chickens, and various numbers of rabbits out in tractors (no less than 12, but often in the 30’s and 40’s when kits are growing out), along with a big garden. It’s only shy of a half acre.
We have another person interested in the house, but they are trying to get their financing in place as well. I shake my head every time I hear that. Don’t people know they need to get their financing in place and be pre-approved before they start looking at houses? It seems not. Hopefully they can get a mortgage. I want the house to sell. I don’t do this often, but I’d really appreciate folks who pray, to pray that our house will sell soon. We can’t even think of leaving our temporary home until it does. I am sick to death of living in the city, even one as nice as this. Too many people, too many lights, and too much traffic. I want to be back out in the country, just not the mountains again.