24 June 2016

Hammy died

I'm actually a bit upset about it - Hammy died in his sleep overnight sometime.  I was not ready to be pig-less yet ... we have a 50 pound bag of pig feed we just opened this week, and for whatever reason the chickens don't drink the whey from cheese- and yogurt-making.  When I noticed Hammy was not flipping his metal water pan or oinking and grunting at me to hurry up and bring him breakfast, I went over to investigate.  He looked like he was racked out for a nap, except as I got closer I could see all the flies and ants.

It isn't just about all the meat that went to waste.  Hammy has provided much amusement, even when he got out Wednesday morning, and was running around, barking, wagging his tail so hard it looked like a propeller on his rump, scaring the chickens, and in general having himself a great-good time.  We got him back in the crate  in the usual way: pour some whey from the recent batch of butterkase cheese in his dish, and in he went.  He took a couple gulps while hubby got the door closed, then Hammy started to roll in the whey, which was still quite cool from being in the refrigerator overnight.  Feel free to joke about us playing with our food ... we make that joke quite often.

I had been meaning to get a picture of Hammy recently, to show how big he'd gotten as well as hopefully showing how shiny his hair was in the sunlight, but hadn't done it yet.

06 June 2016

Bunny update

No pics, as it is a grey and blah day here.  It's just not as wet as was forecast so far - we'd actually like a little more rain for the new fruit trees.  Along with putting up a post to let family and friends know we are still very much above water, there have been some significant bunny changes here.

The first is in the addition column of "rabbit math."  Five new rabbits - yes, five - have been added: four just weaned and about six weeks old (born April 27th) and cute as baby bunnies can be, and one adult that I have been hoping to buy for months.  I bought all four baby bunnies because the lady said she isn't good at sexing them at such a young age, and neither am I.  I stopped by Lynn's on the way home with them to have her look, since she used to raise rabbits by the hundreds (literally).  She looked, and said I have two and two, so Saturday I took the runt male up to the farm swap to try and sell him as a pet, since not only is he flashily marked, but has the perfect balanced temperament for a pet - not too adventurous but not too timid.  Animals just weren't selling this month, and I was not inclined to hang around at the auction to sell him there.  So, I'll feed him for a month and try again next time.

The adult addition to the rabbit row is a beautiful dark blue Rex furred female.  I had thought she was larger, but that was probably because when I first saw her at the auction she was in a very small cage.  Lisa had named her Shalimar, and I'll likely keep that name.  Lisa told me Shalimar is shy and submissive, and needs a week or three of sniffing noses through the wire before I try to put her in with Jack the gigolo bunny.  Oh yeah, part of the payment for the baby bunnies was bringing Jack out to spend some time with the babies' mother.  Tabitha is really hoping this results in a litter, and I of course am curious to see how Jack's first kits turn out.

Now, for the subtraction column of the rabbit ledger - Beau is fulfilling his destiny, and weighs in at 3 pounds, 2 ounces of meat and bone.  I salted his skin with canning & pickling salt, then left it out for a few hours to somewhat dry (as best as can be expected in our humidity) then folded it salt-side-in and put it into a freezer bag in the freezer to wait until I have a couple more.  We're looking at various rabbit recipes.  Lynn came down yesterday morning to demonstrate proper slaughter and dressing-out of a rabbit, so now I know how to snap a rabbit's neck quickly and with as little stress as possible.

So, to summarize: still alive, still above water, and still weird.