Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Rabbitry Update (and other homestead happenings)

Big Boy chowing down on some greens.
This spring's rabbit breeding season was brief.

Lack of buyers, freezer space and most especially, time, culminated in only 2 breedings this time around, resulting in 4 does that I am evaluating as possible breeding stock.

I've been quite pleased with Big Boy's offspring, but was disappointed with the lack of buyer interest this time around.

I've been trying and trying to get a litter out of my older Creme buck, but he is proving impotent, despite careful attention to diet and TLC. I keep giving him more chances, but am running out of patience (as is my very sexually frustrated Creme X doe).

I love Colbert, but I would really prefer a wider gene pool for my Cremes.

So I'm on the lookout for a nice Creme buck, preferably one that doesn't involve a 300+ mile drive.

For now I'm hanging onto these girls for further back-crossing.

They are 3/4 Creme, but really demonstrating a strong Creme phenotype with nice silvering. The doe in the front is my favorite so far.

So everybody gets a nice long break from breeding (unless I can get a litter out of Turn and Sumac), which will make things easier on me while we continue to make the transition to our new place.

It will also reduce the feed bill considerably. We FINALLY processed the grow outs from the latest litters (I was afraid they would begin to die of old age). I was able to shuffle everybody around, giving the new does cages to themselves, and moving them out of their mother's cages.

I've greatly reduced pellets, and everybody is getting mostly forage and hay at this point.

The big mommas could stand to lose a few pounds after "sharing" the pellet bowl with their daughters.
I'll resume breeding probably in late September, hopefully introducing some Creme new bloodlines.

Even though we haven't been getting many babies, we have been reaping the benefits of all that rabbit poop!

We took a truckload over to the parents' farm for the big veggie garden on Mother's Day.

My roses look better than ever, the raspberries are growing like weeds and I have the most beautiful compost ever.

We still get eggs daily from our laying hens, something that Ian loves to help with.

I'd love to increase our laying flock and begin breeding a couple of heritage breeds, but that will have to wait.

We have been increasing the Silver Appleyard flock, however.

I didn't have definite plans to hatch eggs this season, but my parents were gifted a Silkie and Cochin X hen who decided to go broody, so we gave them some duck eggs to sit on.

They each hatched one, and are raising their duck babies attentively.

I sincerely hope they are both hens, as the flock is already drake-heavy.

My sister having a little nuzzle -  by her boyfriend Ben Renalli
Around the same time the new babies emerged, my favorite of the Appleyard hens went missing. I searched all over the farm hoping to find her sitting on a nest, but turned up nothing. I'm afraid something may have gotten her, but I'm still holding out hope that she will emerge from the woods with a train of ducklings.

I'm thinking about setting up the incubator and hatching an entire clutch to help build the flock up.

We're in the process of prepping the house for floor installation, and I've been digging up plants and taking cuttings to relocate to the valley.

Another Mother's Day has come and gone, and I've been enjoying watching this boy grow and change.

We are looking forward to continued adventures on our new homestead......... whenever that day will come.

Shared on: Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop


  1. I wanted to mention that I saw Creme bucks advertised on a FB group I am on. They are in GA, I can go back and check to see if it lists where if you like. They were young bucks but nice looking.

    1. That would be awesome!! I'd love to get some stock from Imagination Acres, but they weren't going to be doing any traveling out our direction anytime soon.

    2. Hmm I can't find the ad now. The bunnies may have sold already. Sorry to get your hopes up! The group I saw the ad on was the Georgia State Rabbit & Cavy Association on Facebook. You might check it occasionally in case the person posts more.

    3. Imagination Acres is the person I'd get Cremes from if I could. I would add a 3rd breed to my rabbitry for those! Her rabbits are beautiful.

    4. Hopefully we can make it work sometime in the future! :)