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Canning and Kindling

October 21st, 2013 at 09:10 pm

So last night I bought a whole salmon, 5 1/2 pounds, and today I cut it up and canned it. Surprisingly it only makes 6 pints of canned fish. I will know for next time to buy twice as much fish so I can do a full canner load. The salmon was wild caught coho on sale for $6.99 a pound, so it came out to $38 and some odd cents. It will definitely be cheaper for us to catch our own fish in the future, but for now we'll have some easy to eat salmon for one of those days I do not want to cook.

I also bought a 25 pound bag of organic carrots for $22 at the food co-op. It made 19 quart jars and there was enough peels and tips and ends cut off to feed to the rabbits for about 3 days. Of course I can't feed them carrots every day because of high sugar content, but I can give them some every other day. I am keeping the scraps in water to prevent them drying out.

My back and shoulders are killing me, though. It takes a lot of work to peel and cut up 25 pounds of carrots. It'll be worth it though when we have the makings for quick crockpot stew this winter.

Sweetie Belle had her first litter of kits yesterday late afternoon. I don't know how many yet as she was adamant about me not going into her cage even when I bribed her with a piece of purple kale. She just snatched the kale and then shoved the door shut with her nose. I will do it this afternoon and make sure they are all healthy. She actually gave birth in the nesting box which is a rarity for first time mothers, but I guess she thought it was the best place.

Piper gave birth to her fifth litter this morning. Not in the nesting box, surprisingly. I will also count and check on the health of her babies this afternoon. Judging from the size of the pile of fur this is not a small litter of six kits. Maybe she felt the nesting box was not large enough.

So we've gone from a rabbit population of 28 to who knows how many. Could be over 40. Six are due for slaughter soon, but not for another week at least. And we'll start weaning Lola's litter on Thursday and move them to the one empty grow out cage. By the time they are ready to be split up the other six will have gone to freezer camp. Or pressure canner camp. Either way we'll have a whole lot more meat put up for the winter.

6 Responses to “Canning and Kindling”

  1. ThriftoRama Says:

    So it sounds like you have a pressure canner. I do plenty in water bath, but am scared to make the jump to the pc. I do sympathize with the hard work, but it is totally worth it.

  2. creditcardfree Says:

    It's nice you have options for the camp those rabbits go to! Wink

  3. LuckyRobin Says:

    Thrift, this is the first year I have used a pressure canner. It was actually far easier than I expected it to be. I was kind of worried the first time, but it quickly becomes almost as simple as water bath canning, only it takes longer and requires more attention paid to it. I took the jump because I really wanted to can green beans and rabbit meat instead of just having freezing as the only option.

    CCF, LOL, yes, it is.

  4. pretty cheap jewelry Says:

    I have a pressure canner, there is a relief valve on it if you are worried about it going BOOM. No exploding, in fact, the rubber gasket under the lid wears out first (I'm on my second gasket). The hot water leaks out around there instead of the pressure build up anyway.

  5. SecretarySaving Says:

    I was curious if you continue with the rabbit process in the winter or if it slows down a bit with the weather change. I have never canned anything before but I'm so interested!

  6. LuckyRobin Says:

    PCJ--My pressure canner is an All American canner and doesn't have a gasket, it uses clamps instead so I don't have to worry about it wearing out. But it also has a pressure release valve.

    SS--Rabbits thrive in the cold weather. It is hot weather that is a problem for them. Nevertheless I will try to time my breeding so that there are no kits born during the coldest part of the winter, January/February. Since they are born without fur, if one is born not in a nest but on the wire of the cage, they can die within minutes. If one of them accidentally gets pregnant I will put a heater in at night to keep the temp around 50.

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