24 Carrot Rabbitry

City-fied Self-Sufficiency

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Posts Tagged ‘popples’

So much to do! So little time!

To say that I haven’t posted much lately would be a bit of an understatement.  Yes, I could have, but once you get behind, it’s hard to play catch-up.  Do you really get behind on a blog, or can you just jump back in?

Anyway, much of my time lately has been taken up by bunnies and gardening.

Squeak’s most recent litter, now 4 weeks old, was not getting enough milk — Squeak was not producing enough.  So we took up baby bunny feeding.

Fluffy’s most recent litter, now 10 days old, doesn’t like staying in the nest box.  Therefore, they keep going missing, and we keep finding them huddled on the walkway, waiting to be either stepped on (we haven’t done that yet, thank goodness) or picked up, or worse.  So we’ve been spending some time looking for baby bunnies.  Bunny-Wan Kenobi found one of the poor things outside the rabbitry.  It was less than a week old, and died of exposure.  One has never been found, and is probably under the rabbitry frame.  They’re not big enough yet to be too big to fit through the cage wire.  I’ll be installing babysaver wire soon.  I hadn’t needed it before!

The garden has been putting out cucumbers and tomatoes like nobody’s business (thank goodness I planted only one cucumber plant!).  This has caused me to venture into canning, something I was planning to do.  Yesterday and today, I finally canned my first vegetable victims ever!

So far:

8 pints of bread & butter pickles

10 pints of dill spears

A bunch of tomato sauce that I’ve been using so fast, I haven’t had a chance to can it.  But, not to worry — there are probably two more buckets’ worth of tomatoes out there ready to pick now!

I have also been waging war against bugs trying to demolish my garden.  First cutworms, then squash vine borers, then armyworms, and, finally, flea beetles.  It’s difficult to find something that will kill flea beetles without killing bees.  I like bees.  I NEED bees.  And I haven’t seen a lot of bees, so I certainly don’t want to kill the ones that do make it around here!

We also planted a bunch of dwarf fruit trees in containers.  My beloved Shay built a composter that I have already filled up.  My uncle and I went to war against a bunch of invasive vines that he has been battling for decades (maybe we can finally, FINALLY kill them!).  They’ve been growing all over the ligustrum hedge along the back fence for all this time, and sometimes putting runners out into the yard.  With my grandmother’s stroke and illness over the last couple of years of her life, and then with our moving in, the vines have put out many, many runners.  So we’re spraying them with some Roundup product (poison ivy plus tough brush, or something like that) in order to get control.  It seems to be working on the vines on the ligustrums.  Let’s hope it works on the poison ivy, too.

I have so much more to do!

A trip to the feed store, canning tomatoes,  filing an amended return for my mom, spraying more vines, planting new squash plants, finding a dehydrator, treating fur mites on Fluffy’s babies (all those trips outside they’ve been taking), a lot of kitchen cleanup…

I miss Mammaw.  She was my great-grandmother.  She could cook, sew (an amazing seamstress, she was!), crochet, knit, embroider, and can.  I can cook.  I need to learn how to sew and can.  I’m sure I would learn faster (and do it faster!) if someone who knew how to do it was with me.  This is my mom’s first time canning, too.  No, I don’t miss Mammaw just for all the useful info she could give me, I miss her for herself, too.  :)

Popples!!!

Finally, for the first time since mid-February, we have popples!  For those of you who might not be familiar with the RabbitTalk forum at http://rabbittalk.com, a popple is a babby bunny.  Someone on another forum observed that baby rabbits “pop” (make little jumps) like popcorn, and the nickname “popples” was born.  It stuck at RabbitTalk, and we routinely refer to baby rabbits as popples, even though the proper name for them is kits.

Anyway, here we are, trying to raise meat rabbits and be self-sufficient and all, and we haven’t had a litter of rabbits since February?  What’s up with that?

Well…

Right when the litter Pearl had in February was 10 weeks old, we moved.  Then my husband Shay started looking for a job, and we started building a rabbitry.  We completed the rabbitry and moved the bunnies in.  Shay continued looking for a job, and we didn’t get around to butchering our first batch of rabbits until they were 24 weeks old.

We mated Pearl to Thumper again, but it had been so long that she was unwilling, and she didn’t have any babies.  We tried again, and Pearl was a little more cooperative, but it had been so hot that Thumper went heat sterile.  So this is why we had all this delay.

But finally, FINALLY, we have baby bunnies again!

Rabbit does aren’t always good mothers the first time around, but Pearl had been perfect.  So I was hoping that Squeak, who by this time had reached maturity, would be a good mother right from the start as well.  I have not been disappointed!  She had 6, all alive, active, and healthy, and just as squeaky as Squeak had been as a popple, which is where she got her name.  She had them in the nestbox, in a nice nest of hay and lots of fur that she had pulled.

Squeak's litter of 6 kits.

Pearl’s first litter (of which Squeak was one) was 8, so I was crossing my fingers for 8 again.  She had six.  But that’s okay.  We have 12 baby bunnies!  Pearl again made a marvelous nest with an explosion of white fur in it.  Her babies are so spoiled with that thick fluff she gave them!  :)  They need it, too… it went to freezing last night, and should get close again tonight.

Pearl's litter of 6.

It’s good to be back on track again.