Saturday, April 18, 2009

Critters & Benches

Things are progressing here... I now have bunny cages, and will be getting bunnies either the end of this month or the end of next month. that will be a great relief. you can use rabbit meat in any recipe that calls for chicken. And since rabbits produce so much faster it will be a grand amount of meat. I'll can up the meat and then it'll be ready for use no matter what I want to do with it. It will also be able to be used for dog food as well, so the furcoated inhabitants of Treehaven will have food put away for them too. :D I always make sure I have several months of food on hand for them, but you can never have too much I say.

Bees will be next I think. That will give the MMG (Mad Mountain Geek for those of you who are newer readers. AKA: "hubby") something to do that isn't computer related. He's pretty excited about that. I am excited to get the beeswax coming in! You can use it for so much, and when you live without electricity, candles are a prime commodity. :D I made candles one year for everyone for Christmas and they were well received so I am sure I can do that again too. It is a great barter item, honey, beeswax, candles and all that are great to trade for food, supplies and the like. This is another great reason to do this.

Chickens are on line for next spring. I want Dorkings and Aracunas. Both are nice dual purpose breeds. Dorkings are an ancient breed, and have been around since Ceasar was trying to take over Brittania and before. They lay white/slightly tinted eggs... I like to call them Ecru or Old Lace in color. Dorkings come in tons of colors. Aracunas lay blue, green, even brownish eggs at times. They are the "Easter egg" layers. I love the colors of the eggs as each one is a surpise in color. They are a nice large bird, that readily will go broody and set their eggs and are easy, undemanding layers. I played with the idea for a while of bantams, since there is only 2 humans here on the farm.... but with there being 4 dogs too, the full size bird will be welcome for the meat. Larger birds also stay warm better than bantams. And, as I have mentioned, we can get temperatures down to about -30 in the Winter, staying warm is extremely important for the birds.

We'll build a shed that will house both the rabbits AND the chickens (and probably the bees too) for winter, so that we can keep it from getting too cold in the winter. I thought, briefly about doing seperate sheds for each, but then, if it gets really cold, we would have to heat each shed seperately. That could be costly, time consuming and a waste of fuel. So, one shed it is! It's not like I'm getting 50 of each animal. I'll probably have about 4 bunnies at a time (not including babies that are growing up to become dinner) and about 8 chickens or so and 2 or 3 goats. I don't know how many bee hives hubby is planning on having, but since they are mostly closed in the winter anyway, maybe you can just stack them like boxes? I don't have a clue. lol. If you can't close them all the way, then they will need their own shed. I don't want our bee investment to be gobbled up by the chickens, or the goats being driven nuts.

Hubby built me a bench! It's not much in the way of fancy. He cut two legs from our victim tree (see the pics for chainsaw massacre on our picasa website) and then cut a section in 1/2 and used that as a bench. It's then screwed together and out there for my sitting pleasure. there are 2 shorter sections that are also cut in 1/2 and awaiting legs that will be placed stratigically around our backyard here, and then it'll be all ready for company. It'll be a pleasant place to sit come nicer weather.

Speaking of weather, it looks like we are getting some for the next several days. It's supposed to be into the 80's by Monday and we are REALLY happy to see it. not like this winter was bad, the most snow we had at one time was about 18 inches... But, being cramped into 200 sf, while I enjoyed it, had hubby ready to climb the walls. With nicer weather, now we can go out and about on the property and get a few things done! Whoot!

OK, speaking of nicer weather, I am off to go an enjoy some! have a great day!

Lady of Lovely Skies!

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