Sunday, April 21, 2013

Rabbits, Chickens, and Fish.. Oh My!

We are coming upon a busy time here at Sunny Spot Gardens. Just yesterday we celebrated our only child's 5th birthday. This year was Hello Kitty themed and she had a blast! While summer here in Florida makes me want to do nothing more then stay inside and blast cold air on myself, I find this to be a busy time.

This year we have big changes. We have rigged up a bunny tent (coming in a blog post soon), This will keep our bunnies in a little more shade, a little more out of the elements, and I think makes their area more their own. Speaking of bunnies I have become something of a rabbit addict. You may remember my posts about when I get my head set on something I go for it, and go all the way? Well what started as a healthy need to raise sustainable cruelty free meat for our own consumption has turned me into a rabbit lady. I have my meat rabbits, but we are also now investing (and I mean investing) in stock bunnies that are dual purpose. They are amazing meat rabbits dressing out at 65% of their live weight but also wonderful show rabbits. Yes, that's right we might just start showing rabbits. I have recently learned that you can be 5 yrs old and show rabbits, so Brooke and I will be learning together and hopefully this will be a nice family activity that will double by teaching her responsibility. We also have considered keeping and angora or 2 as inside pets to spin their fiber. (See my post about spinning yarn)

Besides the new rabbit adventure we have started working to improve the life of our hens. We have been neglecting them for the rabbits or gardens, or numerous other things as the chicken love has faded. 2 of our girls have daily escapes which make us go out and chase them around the gardens until they finally give up and hunch down to be taken back home other then that we go out to see them every couple days, refresh their water, refill their food, collect the eggs but that's all. My chicken love has been renewed by falling in love with baby chicks all over again.. I realized that I cant just love chicks then treat them like the black sheep of the family when they grow up, so i started spending more time with them. Holding them, taking pictures of them, and just watching them be chickens. I do love them! In my time spent with them I saw just how much their coop has rotted away, It served a great purpose for the past 3 years, housing them, giving them a safe place but the wood has rotted and the roof has almost caved in, it was time to upgrade their life (and our yard) so we dropped a hefty sum on a brand new top on the line sturdy and attractive chicken coop. One that will last us many years to come and if we move is light enough we can take it with us. Their new coop will be delivered on the day of our Homesteading Event here at the gardens (May 5th) and will keep them enclosed, happy, and healthy. It can happily keep 6 large hens, we have 4 large hens and 1 tiny hen :) so I am not to worried though it is much smaller then their current area so I feel slightly bad but my gardens will be happy to not be dug up everyday and I think my ladies will like their new digs :)

On to our final new adventure; Fish! Our pond was installed some months ago and has just been sitting there unused. The plants have been growing and frogs have used it to home their tadpoles (THERE ARE SOOOO MANY) but we had originally wanted it to raise Tilapia in. So within the next 2 weeks my husband will be making the journey to find up 10 tilapia that will start breeding and fill our pond with lovely fish that we can harvest for fresh fish. I am nervous about this endeavor more then any other because its so different then what I am used to with the chickens and even rabbits but we all must start somewhere I suppose! The pond has lost a lot of water (its dropped about 3 inches) within the last month so I am going to ask if that's normal or if I have a problem. Otherwise onwards towards the fishy adventure!

1 comment:

  1. We had thought of farming tilapia, until we bought some at Costco and tried it cooked every which way and still didn't like it at all.

    I'm trying to convince hubby to grow catfish, I adore catfish.