Sunday, February 22, 2015

WINNING.

On Friday I prayed for a homestead miracle and today my prayers were answered!!! With all the hustle and bustle our lives have seen the last few months I am ashamed to say that a couple of our rabbits have been making their home in animal crates and kennels. Quite comfortably actually, but not ideal. It makes manure removal a pain staking process of swapping rabbits in and out, cleaning, re-bedding, and reintroducing them to their cozy clean home. Blah blah blah....

My farm stud was wonderful enough to build me an amazing hutch in which I house whichever rabbit is currently pregnant in order for her to have enough space throughout the process. But with my bearded baby daddy working constantly, the crazy hours he does, building the second hutch has fallen from priority since there are so many other tasks I need him for when I have muscles. Granted I can usually always make something out of nothing, but seeing as my "making" skills are focused in my uterus at this point in time, I find waiting for the help of my man on some heavy lifting is a much better call for me and baby.

Here. Comes. A. Miracle.

Wait for it....

Wait for it....

A good friend of mine, Emily, recently moved out to the country, yay for her!!! Her land lord has this run down barn in which was hiding this perfect gem! And the best part? He didn't even know what he had nor did he see ever have any use for it... That's right baby... It's all mine!

Miraculous right? Am I just a nerd or is that not one dang good looking rabbit cage?


(Yes I was over anxious to put them in the new cage before the farm stud even had a chance to hang it... More on that later!!! )

This may seem trivial to some a ya'll out there, but it makes all the difference for us! Whenever and wherever we can channel money a more productive direction or can create sustainability from within our means-- we call this a homestead win! Heck even the bacon grease I save in the morning is a homestead win on this farm!

It may be old, dirty, and a little rusty but that's just perfect for us!

I see these types of cages scattered all over craigslist, but lets be honest. I have to really really want what I have found or have MORE than enough money to feel comfortable purchasing anything unless it is an absolute necessity.

Maybe its laziness or maybe its tightwadedness.... Yes that is a word... But I have struck gold on Craigslist many a time! The key is to having the money for said necessity already set aside, then you wait... Wait for the right add to come alone then BAM! Homestead WIN! Although I was so fortunate to basically stumble upon this cage in my friends barn.

Like I've said, as I'll continue to say, were as frugal as we can be, its a must. And now any money we could have spent on a rabbit cage or building one for that matter, can now be funneled back into what I have lovingly ( it is finally growing!!!) named The Homestead Fund, to be used for another stead task. As they say a dollar saved is a dollar earned! This is especially important as the sole purpose of these rabbits is to feed our family and save us money! And now that the cage will within the week be hanging a few feet off the ground as the hutch does I can begin working on-designing a structure underneath to catch all the rabbit manure I can handle! Stay tuned next week for a post on rabbit manure tea....

Now that I no longer have to worry about my dear fur babies living arrangements I can focus my time or better yet stress somewhere else. As of late this is our pregnant New Zealand doe, Belle, who is due to kit sometime this week. Yesterday I began seeing signs of hair pulling, so in went the nest box.


Disregard her lack of bedding! I was taking pics last minute and will bed her down with fresh hay and alfalfa after I return from work this evening. It is very important to provide her with as much bedding material as possible as she will eat some of it and use the rest to make her nest. Even though she is still about a week out I want to provide her enough time and there are always chances of early/ late delivery, so better she have it and not need it than possibly lose her kits if they aren't properly bedded. I find myself meandering to the barn often, eagerly awaiting her ritual to make it just right for her kits. Even more eagerly awaiting that time when I check the nest box for the umpteenth time and there are actually kits inside.

I had heard from Belle's previous owner that she is a great mama (one reason I had to have her). I cannot wait to see her in action. This will be all new to me and hopefully ya'll can learn something to.

Have you ever bred rabbits? Tell me all about your trials and experiences here!

Finishing out an evening shift...


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