The husband, the kids, my father-in-law, and I got a lot done this weekend and today. On Saturday we butchered five rabbits. It was going to be six, but one of the red does has grown out really nicely and has all of the qualities I want in a red doe (except she’s a bit skittish, but I’ll work on that). I don’t think she’ll be a long-term keeper, but I want a doe kit out of her, so I’ll give her a litter or two. Since the doe we sold from the same litter died (feeding transition, I think they went too fast to a different feed and from no greens to lots of greens), there was not going to be any rabbit out there from Sienna’s line anymore. Since she did look so good I decided to go ahead and keep her for now. We’ve named her Ruby.
The new turkey roof got built and then hoisted into place and fastened down. The turkey pen roof got put back into place. The rabbit shed got completely cleaned out and all but 3 cages and dropping pans were washed. I will get to them this week. They are vacant for now, so it’s not a big deal. I repaired 2 of the cages that needed minor fixes. We transferred Alex and Felix out of the 24 X 24 inch buck cages and into the larger doe cages. Wow, did they love having more space. I’m going to replace those buck cages with larger doe cages in the next couple of weeks so that when the boys move again, it won’t be back into smaller cages. I’ll probably use those smaller ones as grow outs, but 2 to a cage instead of 3, or when there is only 1 of one sex or something.
We ground up 14.5 pounds of rabbit meat so with what we have in the freezer already, I will not have to buy hamburger for a few months. We still like to have the occasional beef burger, but for the most part anything we could make with hamburger we now make with ground rabbit meat. I’ll be using up the last of the duck burger patties we made this week.
I’ll be canning beef roast chunks this week and some chunks of white meat chicken that my mother gave me that were just so tough, because she didn’t let the chickens relax after butchering for a couple days. Canning takes away all that toughness. I have something going on with my two back teeth on one side and chewy meat is difficult. I see the dentist on the 9th. One of the teeth has a crown on it and the other one has a filling and they are both acting up. Not sure why, as I have been pretty religious about dental care for the last few years. I know I’ve been grinding my teeth because I wake up chewing on my mouth guard, so that may have something to do with it. We’ll see what the dentist says. I may need to get an x-ray done of that area.
I may make some soup as well this week. Not really sure yet. I’ve still got a frozen turkey carcass from one of our home-raised turkeys and I’d love to make some vegetable soup with. I can can some of it, and then add noodles later when I reheat it. It would be good to get those turkey bones out of the freezer as they are taking up space in a bulky way.
I am finally starting to feel like I might get back to normal again. I still have a runny nose and slight cough and have to take antihistamines, but I am doing so much better and I am so much more functional than I was. I’ve been pretty careful with what I’ve been eating since starting the diet December 31st, focusing on proper nutrition and lots of vegetables with my proteins, and I think that may have finally got me over the worst of the flu/cold cycle I’ve been in since October. It was hard to cut out the chocolate and popcorn and limit bread to once a week, but I feel better now that I have.
Probably on Tuesday I will cut up the rabbits we butchered on Saturday. I am going to do one full rabbit for our customer and then am thinking about cutting up the saddle meat and back legs for stir-fries and then doing the front legs in one bag for barbecued “wings” and then boil the ribcages for stock and freeze the meat that falls off the bones for quesadillas or enchiladas.
I am still getting 2 duck eggs a day, so I am happy about that. I found out the ages of the two new ducks and one was hatched the last week of March and the other was hatched the first week of April, so they are in their first year, which means whichever one of them is not laying yet should start up as soon as she feels secure. I am pretty sure Bluebell is the one who is laying. And of course Addy continues to give me one a day.
I’ve got something to use as a nesting box for Gina. It’s a large round tote. It will sit on its side and I will attach a board across the bottom of the opening. That will keep it from rolling, plus keep the straw and any eggs she lays from rolling out when she walks out of it. She should start laying in the next month or so. I’ve never eaten a turkey egg before. I am very curious as to what they will taste like and how big they will be in comparison to chicken and duck eggs.
We had to buy some garbage cans and a covered tote to keep feed in. We have mice in the garage and they were chewing holes in the feed bags and eating the feed. I don’t like having to keep everything in plastic, but it is better than losing it to mice. And the metal cans were cost prohibitive. We can get 10 bags of rabbit feed into three garbage cans. We store 2 bags of duck and chicken layer feed (still in their bags) in the 4th can and another bag is out in a can we already had by the duck coop. The oats have taken up residence in our giant cooler we take on road trip vacations (fits 3 bags of oats). The turkey feed goes in the tote. I do still have some barley that is not protected that I am going to have to figure out what to do with. Now that we don’t have kits I’d like to mix it with the oats I give the rabbits. I think maybe one more covered tote would take care of it.
Things seem to be progressing well with the house sale. We will have our guy out working on the few things that need to be repaired that were found during the inspection. We will have the stuff with the hot water tank get scheduled tomorrow so that will be done soon. The husband is running out to measure the tank tomorrow and the closet it fits in so we can make sure we get the correct size. The sellers offered us another $1000 if we’d just replace the tank so they don’t have to deal with it down the road and can finance it into their mortgage. It’ll cost about half that for a new tank and install. And the rest of the repairs will cost about $500, so we don’t really see any of that money, but that’s okay. It has to get done either way. I am so looking forward to closing. I am ready to be done with homeownership for a year or so and also to paying off the van and owning it free and clear so we can be free of car payments as well.