Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Happy, productive chickens - and lots of eggs

My chickens have been producing like mad this week! I had 20 eggs today alone. Bottom line? I have six dozen eggs that need new homes. These are free-range eggs, local, sustainable, and just $3 a dozen. And, because of the variety of breeds here, the eggs are very pretty - yes, those *are* green eggs! Come, help my refrigerator before it explodes.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Four dozen eggs available!

I have four dozen eggs available today, and I will be heading up to campus around noon. They're $3 a dozen.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Eggs for sale

I have a dozen fresh eggs for sale - first come, first serve! We had our first dozen-egg day today, and hope that our girls will continue to provide us with like quantities of Hen Fruit on a regular basis. I put a light on a timer in the henhouse, and it seems to be working out well. I have it come on at 4 AM, since I read that it's harder on the birds to have the light at night, so that when it shuts off, it's abruptly pitch-black. It makes sense to me; I have no idea what the hens think, though.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I need help naming two rabbits!

If you read down a couple of posts, you'll see that we kept a breeding pair of black Cinnamon/Californian crosses, just for grins. These poor rabbits still don't have names! I'm looking for help naming them. The suggestions we have thus far are Midnight and Shadow, Blackberry, and from me, the Harry Potter geek, Sirius and Andromeda (who were the two decent members of the Black family, for those of you not in the know, you poor things).

I'd like to have these beauties named by the weekend, so let me know if you have any suggestions!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Eggs for sale

I finally have fresh, free-range eggs to offer! They're $3 per dozen, and I have two dozen available this morning. First come, first serve... I'm hoping they'll be in someone else's refrigerator here soon :)

The White Leghorns have been laying for about 2 1/2 weeks now. I saw a Black Sex Link in the nest this morning, and found an egg appropriate to being from her. However, I have a darker brown egg as well, which suggests that one of the other breeds has also started laying. Hurray!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Thorgerd comes through with 9!

Thorgerd kindled either in the night or early this morning. There were ELEVEN kits, though two of them were stillborn. Although the photo doesn't really show much other than a nicely constructed nestbox, I thought I'd put it in for the sake of completeness.

In a few weeks, the cage will look like this (photo courtesy of Vigdis)

and a few weeks after that, it'll look like this (also courtesy of Vigdis). Well, that's not a great picture, but the weather is gloomy and the rabbits are squirmy. It'll have to do.

So - well done, Thorgerd! Oh - and when I checked Bergthora's kits this morning, I realized that my son had miscounted - there are nine in her box, too! Woo hoo!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Kindle: verb...

trans. Of a female animal: To bring forth, give birth to (young).

[Appears in early ME. (along with the cognate

KINDLE v.2): app. a deriv. of cynd-, stem of {asg}ecynd, KIND n. Cf. G. kind child.]

As I suspected, the verb "to kindle" as it refers to a rabbit delivering young comes from the same root as the German "kind," meaning child.

Bergthora obliged us by kindling 8 wee babies this morning! When I looked in on her at 7:15, she had pulled a bit of fur as lining for her nestbox. When my eldest and I went out to feed and water all the rabbits at 8, she was actively kindling. He got to watch! What an exciting way to start the day! By 8:10 she was finished and cleaning up the placentas. I confess to a twinge of envy at such efficiency in parturition.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

California Dreamin'

My computer is back home now and behaving itself nicely. It must be time to update again! I've chosen the Californians for today, since both Thorgerd and Bergthora are due with litters tomorrow. Bergthora was making a nice hay-stache earlier this evening - and this is her first litter. What a good rabbit! Note: neither of them is pictured, because they were heavily pregnant the day I was taking the pictures and didn't want to harass them.

Bergthora is 29 weeks old, born March 15th. She's not pedigreed, but is a pure-bred Californian.

Thorgerd is about a year and a half, also a pure-bred Californian from Rick Kudlacik's barn. She has an 8 week old litter born August 6th, who are now available for purchase. I weighed her on September 1st when I bred her - 8 pounds 5 ounces while nursing 6 four-week-old kits! Here they are now:

A bit of background on the names: when we got the Californians, we had only had Cinnamons up to that point - only brown rabbits. The children were so excited by white bunnies that they started with icy/snowy names for them. I had just finished a semester of Old Norse language study, and was then taking Scandinavian Sagas, so I made the leap to Icelandic names.

So - meet the rest of the family!

This is our buck. His name is Sigurd, the Dragon Slayer. He's a fine gentleman, very sweet with the ladies, and is a robust 9 pounds, 8 ounces. He's originally from Rick Kudlacik's barn.

This is Thorgerd's sister, Vigdis. She's a LOVELY girl who consistently bears large litters and weans them all. She's given me a litter of 8, followed 2 months later by the litter of 7 shown below. I weighed her on September 20th, while she was nursing 7 kits, who were 18 days old - and she was 8 pounds 12 ounces.

Vigdis and her September 2nd litter - 7 gorgeous babies!

This is what you get when you cross a Californian doe with a Cinnamon buck - some Californian marked, and some solid black.

Oddly, if you cross a Cinnamon doe with a Californian buck, you get these - Cinnamon marked and solid black. We kept a buck from the white and black litter, and a doe from the brown and black litter... and we'll breed them in the spring, just to see what happens!