The heat sucks. I mean whatever, this is what anyone living in Texas expects. It’s not so much the temperature, but the humidity that sets me on edge. This didn’t stop me, however. Threw on a cotton dress and went straight outside to get to work. Tomorrow is my sister’s graduation party so I had to make many of my “farming things” disappear behind the shed. Unfortunately, I had the bright idea of picking up 100 pounds of hay this morning and had no place to put it. Except the filled almost to the brim shed.
Oh boy, you guys, did this suck. I had to haul all of my dad’s lawn tools, which now I highly resent and have added “hand scythe” to the endless list of things I want, out onto the lawn. Reorganized some stuff, stacked some more, then hauled it all in. I made enough space to store one, ONE, hay bale. So, I grabbed containers and broke down the second one until it was packed up in a neat pile under some tarp. The heat can be a bit comforting if you don’t want your hay rained on. Buuut… The area in which I live is notorious for its random weather. We like to joke that the weather here has mood swings. I did pause and ask myself why in the hell would I walk around in such terrible weather, hauling heaving materials, and sweating like a pig? Welp, glancing at the rabbits hopping in their hutch, I’d say that was good reason enough.
That’s right, we got rabbits. They are not meat rabbits, like New Zeland Whites or Californians, but mutts from the local feed store. I suspect they’re some Standard Rex mix, but I can’t be certain. There is one male, one female, and they are brother and sister. This ensures that I do NOT breed them. In my mind, and you may not agree, but breeding animals that are related to one another is irresponsible. Further, because I want to one day own a breeding stock on my future land, I want to practice good habits now, be well educated and knowledgeable about rabbit raising and breeding, and of course have a buck from another stock to breed my current doe. This will all take a few years.
Other reasons I can’t breed or butcher these rabbits are my zoning and city restrictions. You can own rabbits and poultry on residential lots but can’t butcher them on the lot, at least in my city. Always do your own research. Anyway, because of these restrictions, these rabbits are being used to gain some experience in raising them, getting a good idea regarding cost of food versus cost of meat production, and also to collect manure to use in our garden. As I mentioned in my small livestock post, rabbit manure is a cold fertilizer that can be thrown on the garden and won’t burn your plants (unlike other animal manure). With the straw and manure mixed together, it would make a great compost to throw on my tiny cucumber plants.
The rabbits live in a hutch together and the buck is neutered. Remember, no babies for us right now. They eat all types of goodies: peach ice cubes, timothy and costal hay, and alfalfa pellets mixed with foraged herbs and flowers. Due to the heat, we’ve had to move their hutch beneath a very shady tree and provide them cold water and frozen water bottles to chill at. They really love their ceramic tiles to rest on too. When the day is cool enough and I can spare some time away from the kitchen sink, I let them run around in a wire pen and munch away at the lawn.
As always, be kind and tender to one another.