Bunny update- 12-12-18

Hey everyone,

All three bunnies are doing well. We are still positive, after checking a few times, that we have a girl and two boys.

Here is our sweet baby girl. She is very cuddly and has a calm disposition, even when her brothers jump all over her. She is the biggest of the three and so far has been the first to open her eyes.

We will be keeping the girl as a breeder, which Kay is very excited about, and the boys will be meat rabbits.

We have heard conflicting messages about if you are supposed to touch baby bunnies or not. We didn’t touch or disturb the first litter at all but this litter we decided we wanted to be more hands on and make sure to check for signs of feeding, dehydration, and if they were warm enough. Our mama doe, Gloria, wasn’t the most friendly rabbit to begin with. She bit, scratched, growled, and lunged at us. Since we’ve been touching her babies she has become very docile and will even reach her head out of the cage to be pet. She hasn’t growled or shown any signs of aggression. In our case, which I know isn’t true for everyone as we have heard if you touch the babies the mom will kill them, us handling the bunnies has tamed our wild doe.

Oh my- check out that adorable baby bunny foot!

The litter still spends most of its time in the house, and brought out at meal times. As they start getting more active and mobile they will spend more time with mama and eventually will be out with her full time. The hutch is heated with heat lamps 24/7. We are excited to watch them grow, open their eyes and move around more and more.

Stay posted as the babies will be hopping around soon! Please share what is your experience is with to touch, or not to touch, baby bunnies? Post and comments or questions in the comments section.

God bless,

Darrick and Kay

Bunny update- 12/8/18

All babies are active and doing well. It’s been fairly cold out (in the 20’s) so we bring them inside after letting them spend time with mom for a few hours at sunrise and sunset to feed them.

We were surprised as usually rabbits wait to nurse until they feel safe and not watched but Gloria wastes no time to feed this litter. She will even claw at the cage when she knows we are going to put them in for her. She’s been a very good mama this time.

We check them over when we bring them inside and to see if they have little round tummies, which they do every time. We also check for signs of dehydration, if they are actively moving around, and a count to make sure the gangs all here.

We attempted to check their genders (both will have two holes, but males are separate and further apart and girl are closer and connected in the middle) and Kay thinks we have two boys and a girl.

They are already forming little personalities.

One bunny (we think a boy but was the hardest to tell) who is jumpy and loud for a bunny. The little rascal will jump all over his siblings without a care and is the first to pop his head out if you even move a hair in the nest box and start squeaking.

The girl is calm and quiet, is easy to hold, and doesn’t kick when we check her over. She is the one who’s gender we are most certain. Kay marked her ear with a black marker.

The last boy, who is usually seen snuggling his sister, has been more active in the last few days but no where near his crazy brother.

Bunnies at 4 days old. They are rounding out and getting their white fur.

Thank you for visiting, Stay tuned for more updates! Post and comments or questions down below.

God bless,

Darrick and Kay

More baby bunnies!

Our doe Gloria had her second litter of bunnies! Three active pink little bunnies.

We were seriously doubting she was pregnant as most rabbits give birth on days 28-31 so by day 33 we had almost given up hope. Wow were we surprised!

Mama and babies are all doing fine. We are going to keep the bunnies inside the house during the night and day as it is pretty cold out (we are in the 20’s during the day, last litter of bunnies got too cold in the 40’s) until we move the heat lamp to help keep the bunnies warmer in the hutch. We have two heat lamps in there now heating from below which keeps the waters from freezing, but we would move it up to help keep the heat closer to the bunnies.

Rabbits only feed their babies once or twice a day so we will be bringing them to mom to nurse until the heat lamp is moved. We also used extra shavings in the nest box to keep them insulated and Gloria did pull more hair this time and has enough to cover the babies.

Thank you for visiting and we will keep you updated on Gloria and the bunnies. If you have any questions or comments please post them below.

God Bless,

Darrick and Kay

Fencing

Fencing is a very important aspect of homesteading, whether you want something to stay in or keep something out of you don’t have a good fence it could cost you your whole investment. A quality, and well thought out fence is important.

When constructing fencing you need to ask: what is it that I need protected, how high does it need to go, how strong does it need to be, and how to balance this with your budget.

We knew deer love green baby apple trees, they would eat them to the ground in one night if not protected. We weren’t about to lose our beloved orchard the day we planted it. We decided to encircle our trees with a 5 foot wire fence attached to T-posts. It is strong, sturdy, and a small enough enclosure the deer won’t jump in it. So far it has worked great. The downside was: it was expensive and over a larger area deer could easily jump over it.

We researched into inexpensive deer fencing, as our garden area is quite large, and found an idea where you attach clear fishing wire to t-posts every 6 inches up the post. It forms an invisible fence that supposedly when deer try to walk through they hit the wire and back off, and won’t jump over because they can’t see how high it goes. We also attached plastic bags as a noise and movement deterrent and some plastic owls. This worked great for a while until the fawns figured out how to crawl under the fencing when the tall grasses grew enough to push the wires up.

When they discovered they could get in, they were relentless. They ate our raspberries, blueberries, greens, even our asparagus almost to the ground. The apples are still protected with the wire fencing. Darrick and I discovered they figured out they could chew the wires and walk right on through. On to plan B.

Plan B we found some 7 foot mesh deer fencing. Our farm land is a long rectangle shape surrounded by plantation pine trees. The trees are mostly in line and evenly spaced. Darrick cut the branches to about 7 feet up around the perimeter and took the deer fencing and attached it with galvanized screws to the pine trees. The deer can’t jump over because there are branches blocking it. They can’t go through it, under it, or around it either. We are hoping this will protect our garden from the beautiful, but pesky, creatures.

We will keep you updated on Wednesdays and Saturdays so stay tuned. Post any comments or questions below. Thank you for following us on our journey.

God Bless,

Darrick and Kay

And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place,

~ Acts 17:26

How to dry corn for beautiful Autumn decor

There is nothing more beautiful than the changing colors of the autumn season. Bringing those colors into your home is a great way to appreciate the beauty of the changing seasons.

This summer Darrick and I planted over 900 “Glass Gem” corn kernels by hand.

Glass gem corn is an heirloom seed with beautiful rainbow translucent kernels. It’s used mainly for popcorn, grounding into flour, and decoration.

It takes about 3 months to grow corn. In northern Minnesota that is just about all we have for a decent growing season.

When the corn was finished growing we had to peak through a few kernels to find out if they had gotten their colors. When the corn is growing it is a regular white kernel and get their pop of color when they are mature. We only harvested a few at first as most weren’t mature yet. By the next time we went out to check them it had rained and we got an early unexpected frost so unfortunately a bunch of our crop got ruined. We saved about 50 colorful kernels.

To turn them into decor I pulled the husks back and put them in a solution of bleach and water and let them soak for half an hour to kill any mold or bugs on them. If using for eating- don’t use bleach. After that rinse them well, tie each one to a cotton yarn string, and hang them to dry. I hung mine outside; but I wouldn’t suggest that as the squirrels had a hay day buffet. In the end we ended up with about 20 dried rainbow cobs, just enough to decorate our mantle.

img_0985.jpg

Thank you for visiting and we hope you are able to successfully make your own corn decor. If you have any questions or comments please post below. If you are interested in reading more, please subscribe.

God bless,

Darrick and Kay

You visit the earth and cause it to overflow; You greatly enrich it; The stream of God is full of water; You prepare their grain, for thus You prepare the earth.

~Psalm 65:9