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Fodder & Frustrations

Fodder

Fodder, drained / tared weight.

The Awkwardly Placed Fodder Tower is now at full production. It looks like each tray will provide 3.25 to 3.75 pounds of sprouted fodder, under the best yields I have gotten so far. Three trays yields about 10.5 pounds, which works out to 21 servings.

Looks like this will be enough to satiate the rabbits, and provide some leftover for the chickens. Indeed, one rabbit had barely touched her full serving from last night, so tonight the chickens got that.

Each adult is getting 1/6th of a tray (approximately), or about 9 ounces. The fryer pens are getting a third of a tray each. The eldest pen of seven is leaving some for later, but none of the pens had any leftover today.

More Bunnies Expected

Three does are due to kindle, starting tomorrow. They were provided their nest boxes, with timothy hay, Wednesday evening. Extra hay was provided separate from the nest box, both Wednesday and Thursday nights.

Duchess, with a mouthful of hay

Duchess, the mother of the eldest current fryers, barely waited for me to set the box down before she got to work.

Mystique is the doe whose last litter all died at 3-4 days old, so this is her second chance. She was less prompt with starting the nesting, but when I checked yesterday, she’d pulled fur and started. While the primary goal is a litter that survives, I’m hopeful she will provide some chocolates, since she is a carrier as is the buck.

This will be Missy’s first litter. She’s full sister to Mystique, and last of the full blooded Silver Fox. She was even slower on starting to nest, and has been lounging in her box. However, she had pulled fur by this afternoon, and was stashing hay, albeit slowly.

Freezer Camp Frustrations

One of Duchess’ first litter has made the tentative first cut. The rest go to “freezer camp” tomorrow. Yes, that means what you think it means. I saw the usage on one of the rabbit forums, and it took me a couple of readings to be sure what it meant. I think it’s hilariously macabre.

That leads to the severe frustrations of the last couple of days.

I haven’t been shy about one of the intents of this endeavor being an eventual at least offset of its costs. In that vein, I had hoped to be able to avail myself of the “online farmers market.”

I have ordered via the “online farmers market” before myself — fruit, mushrooms, some vegetables. I contacted their vendor contact, who responded that they’re not actually licensed as a farmers market.

Well, they bill themselves as that, but okay, so maybe they’re only a delivery service that takes a 25% cut. I explicitly asked about the particular section of Indiana Code in question, and did not get a yes or no answer. That certainly makes me less inclined to order from them again myself.

So I reached out to the Indiana Board of Animal Health, the group that oversees all of this stuff, to ask, if — given that rabbits are allowed to be delivered if still frozen — the “online farmers market” fit under this exemption.

The answer I got back was … not helpful. It also did not provide a yes or no answer.

So I’m going with “no” as the safe answer. (Bastards.)

Spent a bit digging around that site to see how affected meat products were being marketed / labeled. Only one showed up as home processed. Erring on the side of caution seems reasonable here.

So, I will follow up with a local processor, and see if they can process rabbits or not (particularly if I would get the furs back, too). I’m willing to do some that way, if it expands the market potential. The others, however, will still be IC 16-42-5-29 exemption processed.

So I went through, registered for a few things for agriculture marketing and the like. We’ll see if I get “approved.”

Oh, yes. And since it’s not “required” to have the meat inspected, there’s a surcharge for the privilege of complying with the law that requires inspection for sale to “retail” establishments.

And this, guys, is why small businesses struggle.