Do you know that feeling you have when you are doing what you feel like God has called you to do? It is one of those things that He has called you to that gives you total joy. I am sure you all have had things you knew you were supposed to be doing but didn't really like it to much. This weekend was such a joy filled weekend for our family doing simple things.
We have been feeding our Nubian's Fillet Mignon, well not really; but they have been eating well nonetheless. The breeder we purchased our goats from started them on Alfalfa hay, not knowing much else that we could feed them to give them the protein content they need we continued in this expensive hay. They only eat about half of the bale and waste the other half, eating the smaller pieces and discarding the longer. Our rabbits have been happy to help us not waste by eating what the goats have turned their noses up at. At $16.99 a bale we just felt like we needed to research another option. Eric has been vigilant about this whole forage feeding and hay needs of the goats. His research paid off and we have made the change to Perennial Peanut Hay, the Alfalfa of the south! We are thrilled about this find, because we can get it for only $7 per bale and they eat everything in the bale - no waste at all!
Our Saturday started with a drive to the Panama City Beach area to pick up some yard implements, then up to Bonifay to pick up 72 bales of perennial peanut hay, then over to a hatchery across the Alabama line to pick up a few chicks so we can increase our egg production early this summer which will in turn increase our profit. Our coops are large enough to increase our flock and they have much land to roam at will.
When we got home we found that Rebel had been busy (sitting around for weeks) hatching out the cutest, most adorable chicks you will ever see! She had 5 when we got home on Saturday and by Sunday morn she had a total of 9. She is being a great mother, showing them how to scratch around, drink and eat. With the 9 we picked up in Samson, Alabama and the 9 that Rebel just hatched out, we have a total of 18 new chicks!
We did what small homesteaders or farmers have to do sometimes... we had to make the decision to kill one of our roosters. Mr. Baggins bit the big one. He had ran up my leg one too many times -repeatedly. For no apparent reason. I did my best to be friendly to him, bring him treats, etc.. Not only was he trying to hurt me, he was a rather active 'rooster' and was injuring some of our chicks. We do not see Husan near as vigilant about his rooster duties as Mr. Baggins had been. Now I don't have to carry a method of protection when I walk in the barnyard! You can imagine what was on the dinner menu for Sunday dinner.
To finish up our weekend we did finish some butchering duties that should have been done weeks ago. We butchered three rabbits, so the freezer is getting stocked. We will be butchering, oops there is that word again for those of you are are squeamish, again in 4 to 6 weeks. Our does are both pregnant right now and this will likely be the last pregnancy until summer is well behind us. We do not breed our does during the hotter Florida months due to heat exhaustion on the doe's part as well as the kits. If you are a small homestead and you would like to raise a sustainable meat source for your family's table, you should consider raising New Zealand or/and Californian Rabbits. Not only are we getting a great lean meat source that is free of hormones and who knows what else, we are selling our rabbit droppings for $8 per feed bag size (40 lb bag) and we are also curing the pelts for future use in coin purses, a quilt possibly or other such things. We are not wasting a thing!