Recently in Angora Rabbits Category

All around update

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It's been a cold few days. On the farm, that means I need to make sure water is not frozen several times a day and hauling water because the hoses invariably freeze up on me.

I go out and check the bunnies' water 3 or more times a day. In the winter, I use crocks for their water because the water bottles just freeze up, and it is much easier to knock ice out of the hard plastic crocks, though my fingers tend to get a bit cold when I'm doing that.

The dogs... oh, the dogs, they have been dragging all kinds of deer bones and even a skin up the front yard. Poachers have killed some deer either deep in our woods ( unlikely, I think, unless they are crossing fences from another farm) or on someone else's land. Naturally, they also kill squirrels and leave them at the front door. (yuck) They don't eat the squirrels, they just kill them and leave them for us. (Double yuck).

Pat, the confused peahen who was born here last summer, has finally grown out the feathers she needs to be able to fly up to the rafters in the barn at night. One day last summer, I looked outside, and Gunner had poor, petrified Pat between his feet, plucking out some feathers, very gently, one by one. Well, I rescued Pat by running outside and yelling at Gunner, who knew he was doing something very bad, and he let her go immediately. I was afraid she was dead, so I ran over and picked her up, and she was literally frozen with fear for about an hour. So I carried her around with me until she started moving and then I moved her to the old chicken coop (which is fenced all around and over it) with the baby guineas and the little banty chick I found in the barn. She has recovered nicely, and know, finally flies.

Now, peafowl don't fly a lot, but they do like to roost up in high trees or in the rafters of the big barn at night, and if a predator is stalking them, they need to be able to fly away. They are pretty big birds, and they look really funny when they are flying, very awkward, but they get the job done.

Today's yarn

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Since I've been working with the French Angora rabbits, I thought it was fitting to get some yarn spun up from plucked Angora fiber that had been sitting in a basket in my studio for some time.

First, I used my wonderful Fancy Kitty Kitten electric drum carder to make this roving from the bunny hair:

roving-from-French-Angora.jpg

I ended up with 70 yards (a wee bit over 1 ounce) of this yarn: 100-percent-angora-from-Jod.jpg

Black French Angora yarn will bloom quite a bit when knitted or crocheted.

Freshly plucked Angora wool

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Clarice, a very pretty chocolate French Angora bunny, started shedding the other day. That normally means it's time to gently pluck her beautiful Angora wool out. Now, French Angora bunnies shed naturally, every 3 to 4 months or so. They usually grow about an inch of hair a month. Well, Clarice has been busy growing her beautiful wool, and I realized that she has some really long, very prime wool. Some of it as much as 6 inches long - great stuff for a spinner!

Now, when you pluck a French Angora, there is already a second coat that has been growing in before the first coat lets go, so you don't typically end up with a nekkid rabbit. She still has hair that is at least 2 inches long left, so she won't get cold out in the barn.

Here is a photo of the prime Angora I plucked from her today:

Clarice's-plucked-angora.jpg I should weigh it and start tracking how productive she is, it will help me decide if she should be bred and with which buck.

Baby Bunnies

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Are almost 2 weeks old and are climbing out of their nest box in search of their mom - who cowers in a corner hoping for a bit of a rest between feedings.

I can tell that Jodie is doing a good job as a mama - the five kits are fat and sassy!!

Here is a photo of one of the wee ones:

white-kit-2.jpg

Angora Rabbits

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Thought I should put up some pictures of some of our Angora rabbits. Here is Clarice, I hope she is pregnant and will give birth next week. I'm probably wrong - I usually am. _DSC2237.JPG

And this is Jody Fostered, hopefully she is also preggers.

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And this is one of my bucks, Anthony Hopkins:

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Taking pictures of the 4 bunnies born on April 27th is proving to be an exercise in near futility! They are all camera shy.

For example:

I have yet to figure out what the official color designations should be and I think they might all be girls, but sexing bunnies is tricky at best.

Poor John was tasked with taking care of the critters Friday and Saturday whilst I attended an American Majority seminar in Kansas City. As soon as I got home on Saturday afternoon, we got in the car and went to a housewarming party at Josh and Ann Warren's home - an old Victorian that they are rehabbing - great house, but oh the work must be very hard with those hugely high ceilings (at least12 feet high).

When we got home, I went into the barn to feed the rabbits. Those sneaky goats managed to break into the rabbitry and eat about 20 to 30 pounds of Professional Rabbit Feed. They also knocked stuff over and freely pooped wherever they felt like it.

I was pretty concerned about the goats - they can get bloat from eating too much grain or rich grass and die from a bacteria that develops from all that gas. The goats always have free choice baking soda available to them (yes, baking soda), as it helps to keep the PH in their rumen at the correct level. I decided to encourage them to have more baking soda by putting about 12 cups of it in a feed bucket - they all ran to me when they saw the bucket and all of them ate at least 1/4 cup of the baking soda. This apparently worked to stem the gassiness that was sure to turn into Bloat, they are all just fine now.

Oh, and the baby bunnies have all opened their eyes - they are teh cute!

As usual, I only got about 1/2 of what I wanted to get done finished yesterday. Maybe I should be making weekly to-do lists rather than daily!

I still have to shear goats. Anyone want to come help me?

I did, finally, get a picture of the Angora kits. Took this yesterday - their eyes are not yet open. They are really growing like crazy - you have to look closely to see them in their nest of warm mommy-bunny wool:

The largest one has jumped out of the nest box and into the cage twice now. I need to order another set or two of three cages if I'm going to breed these wooly little buns.

I did get the new herb garden all dug out yesterday. Just need to plant the herbs and then mulch them.

Going to meet Andy and Ashes and Miles in Lawrence today - to take a look at the apartment they are going to move into.

Yesterday, mowed the yard. There is a slow leak in one of the big rear tires of the mower, which really irritates me because I just replaced the two little wheels in front with solid tires that will never go flat. It was not cheap, but worthwhile. I don't think I can do that with the big rear wheels, though, because they really act as shock absorbers. So I fill the tire with air everytime I mow now, I guess.

Today, I need to start the two buckling kids on preventative coccidiousis treatment. Sulamet for 5 days, then wait a couple of weeks and repeat.

To make that easier, I built a small pen in the pasture, as I was building it, all the goats surrounded me, curious as to what this new thing is. I left the door to it open with hay and water inside and I'll let them sniff around it and jump in and out of it while I'm planting the herbs I was supposed to plant yesterday!! LOL!

Then I will bring some goat feed into that pen with me and hopefully capture the two little guys long enough to dose them. It's just an oral dosage, so they shouldn't be too awful!

Hopefully, I will not be too worn out after wrestling with the kids and I will be able to finish shearing at least Horus. I think I will bring the goat stand outside and put it against the barn, so he can't fall or jump off one side while I'm shearing the other. It's a lot easier with two people, but I don't have that option available to me today and I really need to get better at shearing these guys!

Today, our French Angora Rabbit kits are really starting to move around a lot - one of them was actually out of its nesting box! I put it back in as their eyes are not yet open, and I figured it would be better off with its siblings. I promise, promise, promise to get some pictures of them today.

They look much nicer with some hair instead of being all nekkid and stuff!!

Hope everyone has a great day today!

Update on bunnies and goats

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I'm not sure if I ever mentioned this here, but last November, I drove over to Herbal Maid Fiber Farm in Rosebud, Missouri and purchased 6 French Angora Rabbits. 4 does and 2 bucks. They each have their own 30x30 cage, and the cages are stacked 3 high.

I have the rabbit cages set up in the old milking room in the barn. I discovered that cleaning those cages was pretty difficult because my wheelbarrow does not go through the doors from the milking room to the larger barn area, so I had to either push the wheelbarrow through the goat pasture and through the door to the outside, or carry the 30x30 litter pans to the narrower inside doors and try to tip them just right so I could empty them into the wheelbarrow parked outside the door. It was a pain either way.

So, I looked for some kind of a wheelbarrow that would go through the inside doors, and I found one -

And it works well. (And if you want one, please get it by clicking on that link and I will get a gift card from Amazon!) The bunny's cages are being cleaned much more often because it is so much easier with that dump cart.

As for the Goats - Oh, my, they are such naughty, naughty goats! I looked out the garage door a little while ago, and there were goats in places where goats are not supposed to be! They were all out and hanging with the chickens. Buffy and Gunner and Kiki were all sitting on the hill keeping an eye on them, so they were safe, but as soon as I walked out the door, the goats all looked at me, and started sidling into the barn and then back through the gate that they had managed to open.

This is actually quite gratifying. Back when we first had the goats, if they got out, chances were that Serafina and Morgan would take off like the wind. We had quite a time finding them once, they were gone for days. Apparently, they all seem to realize that this is home now.

I might even try taking them out and letting them graze in back without a fence, if they will stay close. They will come running when I call them if they think I have treats for them. Maybe i don't have to build a bunch of fences for them.

Update: Here is are a couple of photos of the goats in escape mode: That's Horus!

and, Miss Maggie:

Yes, Maggie is quite tiny. She is the goat we almost lost last November - she spent Thanksgiving night in the kitchen, and I was terrified that when I got up in the morning, she would be dead. But, she is a very tough little doeling, and is now running around, jumping and playing like all the other goats!

Help Beth feed all those chickens via PayPal!

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries in the Angora Rabbits category.

Angora Goats is the previous category.

Barnyard Fowl is the next category.

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries in the Angora Rabbits category.

Angora Goats is the previous category.

Barnyard Fowl is the next category.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.


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