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Slow Weekend

June 9th, 2013 at 11:44 pm

Not too much going on here today. It was a no spend day. I added $1.72 to the coin jar. I got a $5 giftcard from Swagbucks for Amazon, bringing my account to $135 in gift cards. This will be helpful at Christmas. I was also able to cash out today for another one. SB has been going pretty well this week. I hit the daily goal 4 out of 7 days. I would have hit it yesterday, too, but my daughter came in to have a serious discussion at 11:30 p.m. and I missed it by 6 points because I thought she needed my full attention. Oh, well. Some things are just way more important in life than an extra few points.

I haven't made it over to the food co-op yet. I think I probably could avoid it altogether, but just really want to buy some fresh wild salmon, so will be going tomorrow. I'll buy tortillas, freshly ground peanut butter, raw honey, and ice cream cones while there, since they have the type DS can have with his allergies. And maybe some Sundrops, too. Those are like M&M's only without artificial food colors, fake vanilla, and HFCS. I'll also see if they have Lima bean seeds. Lima beans are the only dried bean I can stand so I thought I'd grow and can some this year if I can find the seeds. I am hoping to spend no more than $100 there.

I also want to buy a watermelon and more strawberries from the farm stand. Although I should probably hold off on the strawberries since I managed to consume 2 pounds on my own since Friday. Okay, I had them with all three meals each day, but even I know that is an awful lot before they are fully in season.

I have a seven pound bone-in picnic ham in the crockpot to cook overnight, as I don't have any lunch meat for DD to take to school. She will be happy to cut a hunk off that come morning to take with her and DS and I will have breakfast and lunch taken care of (ham and eggs and hot ham and provolone cheese sandwiches).

I weighed the rabbit kits today. They are four weeks old. The biggest two are 1 pound 8 ounces each. The biggest last week was 14 3/8 ounces, so they have grown a lot. All kits are over a pound now with the smallest being 1 pound 1.5 ounces. Total litter weight is 8 pounds 2 ounces. Last week it was 5 pounds 4 ounces, so they have gained just 2 ounces shy of 3 pounds this week.

They are all very, very friendly so I think handling them daily since they came out of the nesting box was the right move. I am not seeing much skittishness at all. I am hoping one of the fast gainers is a female. Since I decided not to keep any of the 16 week olds for breeding because of skittishness, I'd like to keep one from this litter. Also, if I decide to sell any, extreme friendliness is a much wanted quality.

But right now I'm not sure I want to sell any, since our rabbitry is still small and it'll be a while before we can cover our meat needs and have surplus to sell. I'd like to get to the point where we have enough in the freezer to have rabbit once a week and be able to sell live, too.

Once we actually get to that point I will probably start raising coturnix quail as well for both eggs and meat. For the time being our egg needs are nicely met by the chickens, but once we move we won't have them unless we want to start from chicks again and I'm not sure I do. Plus coturnix hit maturity at 7 weeks old and they are so much easier to dress (maybe 2 to 3 minutes per quail), they are much more efficient at converting feed to meat than chickens, and have a much smaller footprint.

The quail are something we are looking at for next summer, since we'd have to buy an incubator. We can convert the outdoor rabbit hutches to quail cages, though, although we'd still need to buy or make breeding cages. Hatch rates on quail are about 50 to 70 percent and most of them will not sit on their own eggs, hence the incubator. Either that are we get a broody banty or silky chicken. When eating the eggs, it's about 4 to 5 eggs to equal the equivalent of a chicken egg, but they lay every day which chickens do maybe every 36 to 48 hours. We'd need about 15 females to meet the family's egg needs and then several breeding pairs for hatching eggs that would then be raised to maturity for butchering.

Also both quail and rabbits fall under the pet category for petsitters, so they are great livestock to have if you want to be able to go on vacation once in a while. Petsitters/house sitters are easier to find than farmsitters and don't require a ton of care, though they do need some stuff done daily.

Some day I'd really like to be sustainable enough with the rabbits and birds that we could also trade for organic grass-fed beef, milk, and cheese, organic pork, free range chicken, and the more difficult fruits and vegetables to grow.

3 Responses to “Slow Weekend”

  1. rob62521 Says:

    You have lots of good things going on. I hope your rabbits and birds do become sustainable enough so you can trade. Good job!

  2. Kiki Says:

    Wow!

    Do you do your own butchering, too, or bring someone in? I don't think i could do that part of it myself.

  3. LuckyRobin Says:

    Kiki--My husband does the killing part.

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