Chickens · Fodder · Garden · Rabbits

Busy Couple of Days

The Leaning Tower of Fodder is no more. Meet the Awkwardly Arranged Shelf of Fodder instead.

It was “fun” to get it in. It’ll be even more “fun” to get it out.

I have a few more shelves to purchase for the unit, but I need more trays on a more critical basis. These are not the sturdiest of trays, and one of the “soaking” trays has a crack in the side. I don’t know how or when.

The initial half pound batch has been fed, and my concerns about the shallowness of the root mass came true. The growth ratio was still about 1:5 (net gain of about 1.68 pounds). Granted, there was a patch that didn’t really grow until the evening it was fed. I think the seed mass was too low to evenly spread out the container, and thus those seeds barely got water.

Tonight, the first three-quarters pound batch was fed, and … well. I was also disappointed by that root mat. It wasn’t much better than the half pound. Still tore apart just trying to lift it out of the tray. It, too, came in at about 1:5 ratio from starting weight. While it’s difficult to be certain, I think it had proportionately more unsprouted seeds than the full pound did.

Not having a solid root mat definitely makes handling the fodder proper difficult. Little bits drop everywhere, and chunks just shred. So “root mat” is important from a pure logistics point of view.

So tomorrow, I will soak two full amounts of the measuring jar I’m using — not quite a full pound per jar — and split that. See if that’s enough mass to make it worth while. Otherwise, I go back to doing a full pound per tray to get a solid root mat. If the growth is about the same regardless, and there’s a little bit less waste … Eh, well. So it goes. Someone will be eating it.

Of course, I will need to remember to wear gloves. It’s starting to burn ever so slightly when I handle the dampened seeds. Yeah, I’m actually allergic, not just intolerant. Yay me.

Rabbits

The first litter is exactly 2 months old today, almost nine weeks old. I sexed, weighed, and tattooed them today. I’m rather disappointed in the overall size/weight. The average is just over three pounds. The largest doe and largest buck are both silvering out already, and I like the evenness of the silvering. They’re too young to get a good grasp of their conformation, but they’re my two tentative “keepers” out of this litter. I think I will have to aggressively select for early growth. While the larger two will likely make 4 pounds by 10 weeks, I am unsure about any of the others.

Looking at the pedigrees, one of the bucks definitely carries the chocolate gene, and all three of the does might. If so, if that pops up in a kit, I may keep that animal to ensure I have a “source.”

I also made progress with the old hutch today. Since the SF-Ch mix litter is supposed to be weaning about now, and I need to work on those cages anyhow, I temporarily relocated the doe, kits, and other doe over to the two open cages, and pulled that cage out/down.

The tarp just isn’t working as well as I would like, and is frustrating and impossible to keep clean. Plus rabbits don’t like getting spritzed with water, which happens when trying to rinse the tarp off. It also seems to be a bit prone to leakage, which is less than optimal for the rabbits down below. So my current plan is to convert the cages to using dropping pans, with perhaps an expansion / addition to permit fluid run off to minimize issues.

So I’ve got the first cage out, to work on converting and trimming down to a size I can actually reach into. I already have it trimmed down, and partially reassembled. I’ve also got the flashing I am going to use to make “splash guards” for the cages, to help minimize the issues with other cages. First, however, that requires acquiring tools I’ve never had or used before. Thankfully, there are well made instructional videos for what these tools are on YouTube. The instructor in this one is very good and clear: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hr9MRj2M_oc.

Then I need to acquire the actual dropping trays to be. Yay, more money. Then more cage wire, to build more cages, to make this entire scheme of insanity function. Yay, more money. Looking forward to being able to make a small amount of money to help offset the costs. Sooner rather than later would be nice.

Garden

Just got the shipping notice on some of my garden stuff. I also need to work on that. At least I’ve found a way to keep myself from being too bored, and doing naught but gaming.

Eggs, last few days: 4 green/blue, 8 brown. I think.