Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Little Accomplishments and New Developments

Today we finally FINALLY got the cages hung in the rabbit shed. It really didn't take long, it was just a matter of both of us being free to accomplish the task. Although 3 people would have been best, since it pretty much takes one whole person to keep Ian from eating every rock, plant, insect, and rabbit turd within his reach. But alas, we prevailed!

As you can see, there is really nowhere else to store hay except on top of the cages

[By the way, I commandeered Mark's camera for these photos] 

I'm hoping that will help insulate them against the heat from the metal roof

Risking a little "rabbit raindown" with this shot, but I HAVE to get all angles :)  ...really though, they're way up there!

We left room for at least two 24/24 cages on top, and then a whole row along the bottom. That will come later. At least for now these guys are far away from their waste. I'll hang on to the stacked unit, as I know it will come in handy later on. Back in storage it goes!

The reds are doing great. Growing out nicely, and really getting some shine.

Little miss Cardamom is already getting her dewlap. I'm pretty sure she was from a separate litter, as she is a little larger than Acer. 

Ichigo doesn't like sitting still for pictures. And he was very interested in the camera.

Oh yeah, we got more chickens! My sister-in-law had some extras, including a Faverolle rooster.

Isn't he handsome? He's not fully feathered yet, but what a fine beard he has! He's also very tame, since my niece and nephews raised him. This poor, gentle soul spent his first night with my older hens in the chicken tractor. By first light they were pecking him mercilessly. I decided to move him into the chicken/rabbit pen with the two sex-link pullets I also inherited from my brother's family.

They always look so angry, for some reason. Anyhow, he walked right up to say hello, and proceeded to get the snot beat out of him by these new hens too. Oh well. I'm sure they'll work things out eventually.

The poor guy spends most of his time in "time out" on the roost. Soon enough he'll take the role of the masculine, crowing king of the chicken yard.  Hopefully. He could just be a pansy.

By the way, the sex links are a cross of Buckeye and Barred Rock. They have very glossy plumage and one curious longer feather on their tails. Buckeyes are actually a critically endangered breed that a local family raises. They are very intelligent, gentle and awesome foragers.

Buckeye rooster

I'll attempt to consolidate the whole flock here in a few weeks, before we leave for our vacation. By then the new rabbits will be done with quarantine and ready to join the Cremes.

Right now this is the arrangement: rabbits and chickens in [relative] peace and harmony.

New critters aside, there is another exciting development.

I've been hesitant to post anything on my blog, because it seemed so far out of our reach. I could see it: our dream finally being realized; and I was so afraid that if I spoke of it that this fragile dream would shatter and blow away.

We may have found our homestead. A place to really set our roots and grow a legacy.

There is a place for sale right next to my parents' farm. It's a double wide on 8.5 acres, fronted by a small stream. It's a beautiful setting, and I've always admired the location. The owners are selling it in our price range. So why the hesitation?

It needs a LOT of work. A renter did a lot of damage to the home, and it will be costly to fix. It's also been sitting empty for over a year. We've met with the bank twice, to discuss our options, and still have yet to make our first offer. We are proceeding very carefully at this point.

At the moment it looks hopeful. I'm trying not to become too attached, but it is impossible for me. All I can do is sit and think about all of the things we could do with that place. The animals we could raise. The things we could grow. The memories we could make....

We will also have direct access to my parents' 40 acres. Not to mention the mutual benefits of having family for neighbors.

It's in God's hands, and I'm going to try and let it go for now. 

Here are a few pictures from the ad:

I have always LOVED this barn. It needs a few minor repairs, but it has so many possibilities. My parents' property is just beyond the fence.

So there it is. Hanging my dream out there in the real world, for all to see. A beat up double wide and 8.5 scrappy acres may not seem like much, but to me...... it could be paradise.

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