Monday, June 28, 2010

Some Winter ramblings

Goodness we are already halfway through the year!! Well the garden is coming along nicely and Ivé not had much time to blog as we have all been very busy with the new baby rabbits and the puppies and we have been building a new patio for some extra cover for all of us for this Spring.

On the chook front most of the girls stopped laying eggs in March, I think at one stage I was getting 1 every 3 days! We held out on having to buy any though and were supplied 2 dozen from a friend with younger layers than us.

Just this month pretty much to the day of the Winter solstice my new (breed by me) barnevelder x Cochin laid her very first egg! My god she let the world know about it too we had a very concerned Henry the rooster pacing the hen house for this egg which I think took about 5 hours to be laid! There are 2 other eggs also being laid surely by my silver laced and blue Wyandottes as they are a good 8 months old now and I would have thought should be laying!

The others are still having a good Winters rest though.

I have been given a ton of used straw shavings from a breeder friend with lots of rabbits, in the mix which they just throw away there is straw, rabbit droppings, wood shavings (all untreated so safe for garden) and there is some uneaten rabbit food in there too. By chance after using a lot of this on the garden as mulch where it will improve the soils greatly I decided to put some in the chook pen, we have a particular area that just gets walked on and turned by the chooks so much the soil is sour and smells really awful! This only seems to happen in Winter. I threw the rabbit mix on and not only did the smell go and the sawdust soaked up the moisture but the chooks had a ball sifting through the mix to get to the uneaten rabbit food! A bonus all around! I also added some to the composts I have going which are all breaking down well, hopefully I shall have a huge amount to use on the garden for Spring plantings.

The veggie garden is going well we ate all the pak choy, the rocket gets used pretty much every second day and is getting quiet large the same with the lettuces and the silver beet and radishes, the Japenese Turnips are a little slow but that's ok they were a bit of an experiment.

I have now removed all the celery which had gone hard but was still good food for the rabbits and chooks and replanted more pak choy in that area.

At a recent rabbit show I brought a few bags on wood shavings, most I will use as rabbit bedding but I saved a bag to spread around the edges on the veggie garden to see if this would be a good organic way to keep the snails at bay, will let you all know how that works out.

I would really love to grow some potato's but don't really have a spot in the sun for them, might have to try and source a old wine barrel from freecycle. Have had some great times in the veggie garden lately, somehow the feeling of pulling weeds for the chooks and clearing the beds for the veggies to flourish makes me really feel at one with the earth. I also have the 2 oldest rabbits out for a play, Sian and Pepa and I really love watching them tease each other and hop round happily.

Speaking of the rabbits, Sian has been shown twice in the past couple of months and the first time she came both 1st and second in her class and last time she came 1st this is all in the pet section though so I cannot wait to see how the new babies fare in the proper classes.

The pups are now 6 months and eager to walk each day, I need to use a harness devise to walk Brahma though and a Halti for Phoenix as they both pull terribly and they are strong! Brahma and Sian play well together although this past week I am really having to watch Brahma closely for signs he might want to nip her we did have one close call. Sian is definitely a house rabbit now, we converted an old TV cabinet for her to sleep in and she just runs lose all day otherwise until we go to bed. She comes and has breckie with us and if I am folding washing you can be sure she is helping! Although some might call grabbing the socks and throwing them off the couch more of a hindrance! When Rylan goes to bed, every night she goes up there with him and sleeps next to his head until about 10 or until we watch TV when she comes back up to us.

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