I lost my cuddly German angora today. The noise of the fireworks all around in the city last night was too much for her, she must have had thoroughly lost it and threw herself around the cage trying to get away from it because I found her this morning with a broken back. I had time to comfort her and was on the phone with the vet when she died. She’s been buried in the back yard and I’ve since contacted the breeder to locate another rabbit so the French I have left isn’t all alone out there. It looks like she has some lovely juvenile blues available.
I was a lot more shaken up then I expected. I don’t do well with emotional junk and avoid it where I can because it gets me all weepy, so I think I come off as a bit cold in real life. But I do have a tender heart and love me some critters. Still, as one of my homesteading friends reminded me, that’s how it goes on the farm…even a mini one like mine.
One of the free/donation events I found was for Vermicomposting. Or as I think it should be called, squirmycomposting. The Victory Garden Initiative hosted the class last week and I thought it was a lot of fun. This is another project that’s been on my to-do list, so this seemed like the perfect time to start.
Photo courtesy the Victory Garden Initiative
Matt Ray from the Fernwood Montessori School shared a lot good advice and tips about keeping our red wigglers happy and producing lots of worm castings for us. The class ended with us each making up our own bins. I bought a 10 gallon bin from Menards for $4 with tax. Holes were drilled in the bottom for drainage and it was filled with a layer of wet shredded paper. That was covered with 3 quarts of soil. The owner of the store Future Green, where we met, even donated his worms and gave us each a handful from his own bin.
The handout for this class was emailed out, I’m sure there’d be no problem with forwarding it to anyone who’s interested. Just comment or email me
I had a surprise chore this weekend, because I saw the trailing rope of hair on the German Angora that signaled she was ready to be shorn. There was a lot of research I needed to do before I was ready to get started on harvesting my rabbits, but they set the time table here not me. So once again I am learning something new by fumbling my way though it.
So my goal for today was just getting hair off the bunny without her clawing me to death. I succeeded there at least. I got the hang of handling her and rolling her on her side to keep her calm. Putting my hands on her ears to stop her when she got impatient with me. Holding the hair down and sliding my scissors under small rows to cut close. I think by the end I was doing all right. I’m sure the fiber isn’t perfect, but since one of my next projects will be to learn to spin I now have a bag to practice with.
I knew from the breeder that I’d need to cover her to keep her warm. Luckily this old sweater arm was just the right size. I’ve left the fur on around her bottom and shoulders since she lives in an unheated sunroom and it’s snowing out. I’ll just trim around her bottom so gross things don’t get caught down there. I like how it leaves her looking like a slinky dog.
I worked hard all day yesterday building this horrible hutch. I tried making it first the right way with separate panels for each side and making sure all the wiring was on the inside to protect the wood. Although I had it all planned neatly in my head it didn’t come out that way once I had a saw in my hand. So I ripped it apart and ended up with this for now. I still have materials to build the second one, but I seriously need a rest after that!
Edited To Add: I was actually able to flip the doors and move the mesh on the ends to fix it…yay!
All that work was for a couple of new additions to my little urban homestead. These are White Cloud and Retreat from Paige’s Darn Kuties. German and French Angoras respectively. Now I’ll have new adventures to share as these big fluffies supply my city farm with fiber to spin and lots of fertilizer.