Black Otter Standard Rex kit, almost 6 weeks old
Today I separated out all the Standard Rex kits I have my eye on as potential keepers. Please, please don’t let all the Blues be bucks! I put them in a top tier cage where it’s easiest to give them attention. If I’m going to be keeping someone, I want them to be well socialized with me.
Tuna was also rebred to Timmy today, although she was a little cranky and only allowed him to seal the deal once. Hopefully that was enough. Rosalind was scheduled to be rebred again today too, but she’s still recovering from her mastitis, so I’m going to wait. The swelling has gone down completely and all that remains is a little hole with some cheesy discharge. I like to think that the daily fresh dandelion greens, oat grass and comfrey have been at least partially responsible for her fast recovery. I know all the rabbits have been thriving on their fresh green rations lately.
Ros can be stubborn if she’s been left alone too long, so I was really hoping to breed her while she still has kits. Oh well. I might let the smallest kits stay with her until she’s fully well and perhaps that will work best for everyone.
Blue Otter Standard Rex kit, almost 6 weeks old
Went to a delightful Bee Club picnic today with my fabulous boyfriend and had my first in-person look at the inside of a working beehive. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of being in the center of a buzzing cloud of bees. It shouldn’t feel safe, and yet it does. It’s an amazing calm feeling. I was also the only person to get stung today, right on the top of my head when a bee got stuck in my topknot. In a way it was a relief and there’s an aspect of it that feels almost therapeutic.
I picked up some fantastic items at the fundraiser auction, some perennial broccoli starts and some seed grown, five year old trilliums. The two dozen fresh eggs I donated in a red wire basket were picked up for $10 by a charming Croatian woman who gave me a complete rundown on Linden trees, another hot auction item. Much good food, home-brewed mead and sunburns were enjoyed by all.
We returned home just in time to complete a poultry trade. Two downtown Muscovy ducks and their seven ducklings were dropped off in exchange for one Black Copper Maran hen. Great deal!
Duck social dynamics are so interesting to watch. These new ducks are looking a bit ragged, but they seem very friendly and it will be lots of fun watching them grow up. I love ducks.
The Creme d’Argent and Silver Marten hybrid kits are now a week old. You can see their agouti coloration really starting to come in. If past litters have been any indication, not only will these kits grow faster than purebreds, they will mature faster and will probably all be humping each other at ten weeks old. My purebred kits don’t get interested in that kind of stuff until at least about twelve weeks.
Io was culled today, just a week shy of her first birthday. This is the first time I’ve had an empty cage since I can remember… Tomorrow it will have rabbits in it.
Not sure why she couldn’t conceive, but her brother was infertile too. She looked pretty normal inside, maybe a bit fatty around the organs but I never overfed her. Who knows. She was a very skittish rabbit anyway so I don’t mind replacing her with a new doe, especially since I have such a beautiful and friendly batch of Standard Rex kits right now.
One thing I love about rabbits is that even when things go wrong, you have at the very least a nice rabbit dinner.
Well, we’ve had little Woody for three days now. The first day he wouldn’t eat. He spent 100% of his time trying to escape. I think he tried to push himself through every single opening of the cage he was in at least a million times. He is one very determined little duck.
Wood Ducks are perching ducks so they have claws like Muscovies. This means that they are escape artists. Woody can also jump about three feet straight up into the air. I considered putting him in my solid-walled brooder, but I wanted him on wire for cleanliness since I’m wet brooding him.
I was lucky to have gamebird starter already on hand, since that’s what I feed my quail. A bit of research seemed to show that that would be best for him, however he didn’t seem the least bit interested in trying it. I finally had an eureka moment when I decided to mix the crumbles with water and place them in a shallow saucer. About ten minutes later, I peeked downstairs to see him happily eating away. That was a joyful moment.
So far he’s been an incredibly feisty little wild duck. He hisses at the cats with his beak gaping and charges at them. He swims in his little pool and preens himself. He basks in the sunshine during the day.
He’s become a lot friendlier in just the few days he’s been here. He no longer frantically tries to escape and seems to like it when I come to talk to him. According to what I’ve read, if he’s a boy he will ultimately fly south for the winter and probably not return, but if he’s a female she will return to us every year to raise her young. I’m now conflicted as to whether I’m hoping for a female or a male. The male has heart-stoppingly beautiful plumage, but won’t stay. The female is more drab, but will return. Interesting trade off.
My cat Parsley has taken up hunting since we moved here. Normally she gets little birds and eats them. Sometimes she brings me gifts. One day she brought me a little collared dove, and once some baby snakes. All were unfortunately too injured to be released.
But today she outdid herself. I heard her calling me from the basement and when I went down I noticed she had something huge (she’s not a very big cat). Upon closer inspection… A duckling!
The duckling was totally intact with no injuries. It looks like at least a week old and seems to resemble a Wood Duck duckling. So in other words, today Parsley brought me the most beautiful duck in North America. What a great present!
I asked her to get me another one, so far she hasn’t complied