I Think I’m Back Now

It has been a rough couple of months here, but I think I am finally coming out of it. I pulled a muscle in my back and pinched the sciatic nerve in early February and that sent me to bed for about 2 weeks and then continued to be pretty debilitating through most of February and the first half of March. In March we lost 3 of our breeding rabbits. Phoebe, Alexander, and Wildfire all succumbed to Coccidia and it was really hard. Phoebe and Alex we actually had to put down. Wildfire died on his own. Serenity and Leo are still under treatment, but have improved remarkably.

We had kits born this week. Cinnabun had five and I am keeping an eye on the littlest one. So far it seems to be getting fed, just not as much as its siblings. I may do an extra feeding session for it tomorrow and the next day if it still doesn’t seem like it has gotten much tomorrow. Bonfire (Wildfire and Firefly’s daughter) had 11 kits. 2 were dead and one was a peanut (a dwarf 1/4 the size of its siblings) who died the next day. One also wiggled away from the rest of the litter and got cold and died the same night as the peanut. She is a first time mother, but so far the seven remaining are doing pretty well. I did take the box out and set her in it and have her do an extra feeding as they are all pretty small. Just one day behind the other litter, but a lot smaller. They were born smaller, though, maybe because there were so many she was pregnant with.

The garden is coming along nicely. The chard overwintered really well and is in full flush right now. I have planted snow peas, carrots, parsnips, lettuce, kale, pak choi, and red onions, as well as starting a dedicated herb bed. I transferred all of my surviving herbs into it. The rosemary didn’t make it, but it was pretty sad looking to begin with. I also moved my celery, which overwintered, to the herb bed. I put in new thyme, tricolor and golden sage, dwarf oregano, a second golden marjoram, and will be planting some cilantro tomorrow. I have yellow onions, bunching onions, and shallot starts, broccoli starts, and kohlrabi starts, but I have to get some more dirt in one of the beds before I plant those.

We are having a bit of a rat problem. There were at least two litters of rats born last month and they are getting into the turkey coop. We may have to replace the doors as they are chewing the bottom up so bad to get to the turkey feeder. And then reinforce the new doors with wire and the floor, too, so they can’t chew through it. I think I’ll have to start locking up the feed at night. We’ve done it for the chickens. They don’t seem to be able to get into the duck coop.

I’m going to have to make some rat traps. There is one where you string a wire across a five gallon bucket and in the middle of the wire you put a can or a bottle and smear it with peanut butter. You fill the bucket with enough water they can’t get purchase with their feet on the bottom, but not so much they can grab the rim and climb out, and put a ramp to the bucket. When they jump from the ramp onto the bottle or can, it spins, and they fall into the bucket and drown. We can’t put down poison because of the birds, who might eat the poison or might eat any dead rat lying around and get poisoned. And the chickens could get hurt on traps. No method is really humane, but I can live with it. I just wish the owl who was hanging out in the yard at night a couple months ago and cleaned out a lot of rats and mice would come back. We may need to make four or five of these traps before they turn into a health hazard and get them gone.

At least the rabbit shed is fully repaired now. And we built a new screen door for it that will be impossible for the rats to get in through, so no more losing kits to those things like we did last year when they chewed through the window screens. The windows were treated permanently with this wire as well.

Well, that’s about it for now, it’s after midnight. I will try to be a more consistent blogger now.


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