Saturday, 7 May 2022

Mabel's due date

Well today, May 6, is Mabel's last technical due date... sometimes they can run late up to 3 days but I looked inside her nesting box this morning and saw nothing new, no fur and even felt around in the back there to make sure. Yup, nada. Guess she's not pregnant after all.

This afternoon I took over some grass for the rabbits to enjoy while I collected the chicken eggs. I wasn't even looking but FUR caught my eye.... sure enough the fur was 'breathing' from the kits underneath squirming around. 

Because I do not know if this is her first breeding, I decided to leave the kits alone until tomorrow (Sat).

Then when I went out to put everyone to bed for the night, I grabbed more grass for them and decided that since she would be busy eating that it was a perfect chance to check on the kits.

10!!!

10 new teeny tiny all black kits delivered by Mabel during the night last night. Wowsers.

This gives us a total of 16 kits delivered in the last week.

Oh, and also I was at The Great Canadian Superstore (Grocery chain) yesterday and came across this, by chance:

Frozen Rabbit
$17.61/KG CAD
($6.20/Lb USD)

You could have knocked me over to find this in the shops.

Tuesday, 3 May 2022

1st Kits have arrived

Quite naturally, I forgot to take the phone with me and hence do not have a picture yet. Here is one off the web which looks the same but for the number of kits.

Gertrude had 6 kits on May 1st. 5 are black and 1 looks surprisingly white (hairless and pink at the moment).

Mable has developed her 2nd chin and has begun making her nest. 

I expect the 2 deliveries to be fairly close as Gertrude delivered on the last day of her 'expected' due dates. 

Hopefully Mable's delivery will be faster in case I need to (unlikely, but...) move some of her kits over to Gertrude in the event that she has a large litter. This fostering is only possible if the deliveries are within a few days of each other.

I did pick each one up today ( 24 hours after birth) to accustom them to the feel of human hands, one is larger than the rest and one is far smaller than the rest.

If the pink one does indeed prove to be white -- and female, she will become the new Mable.


Thursday, 28 April 2022

Garden bird netting

 Well, I said I'd get a pic of the bird netting over the garden... what better way to see it than through the rain 'they' said we were getting!

Garden

Cat House aka Water Pump House

Guess I'll have to take another pic of the garden once the snow melts and the netting lifts back up over head height.

No kits yet, I check on her 3+ times a day. Today is technically her first due date so between today (27th) and the 31st -- sometime.

Wednesday, 27 April 2022

Garden begins and Kits are imminent


And so it begins.... the garden is being put in. Weed fabric is down and we put a bird net over the top ( I didn't think to get a picture of... later, I will.

Weed fabric. Garlic strip on right under straw for winter


Uncovering the garlic for sunshine and ~20 mm (3/4") rain 'they' say we're getting.

Gertrude is setting up her nest and she was pulling hair yesterday which usually means kits are imminent. Nothing as yet though.

Here are some updated pictures of them all:

Peter

Gertrude (with nesting box)

Nesting box is being renovated to accommodate the babies (kits)

Mabel 
(seems to be getting a double chin so we'll see)

All 12 chickens having a blast in the chicken run

We are super excited to get our first set of kits from Gertrude anytime now. Also quite hopeful that Mabel is pregnant too but I am still unsure about her. She will be going to freezer camp anyway because she attacked Peter and we don't want to breed aggression. 

 

Sunday, 17 April 2022

Expect the Unexpected


If you've been here awhile, you'll know something is up....

More to come, very soon.

Monday, 11 April 2022

Mable attacked Peter

Warning: Sensitive details of rabbit breeding.

If you recall me mentioning it...

Doe rabbits will sometimes attack the Buck and detach their genitals while the Buck is attempting to breed.

Wouldn't you know it -- sure enough, Mable did.

No problems with Bambi or even Gertrude but Mable - went for the gusto.

I always but the Doe in 2 days back to back. Only for an hour each time and the 1st day I only left Mable in with Peter long enough to see him have 2 goes at her. Because I had a lot on the go that day and didn't want to forget to take her out - knowing I would put her in again the next day to be sure he had impregnated her, I opted to remove her - and good thing too.

Fortunately, on day 2 - I was there and able to separate them immediately because she was having none of it.

Problem for her is that no one wants to breed aggression, so she will have to be culled with her kits. I will hold back one of Gertrude's kits for my second breeder. 

We are not able to breed them over the summer as it is too hot for rabbits and the males actually go temporarily sterile so the new kit will have time to grow to breeding age without any problem ( 16 weeks) by fall.

Sunday, 3 April 2022

Sooooo, yeah... you know.

On par with how we are, we had a little something something to celebrate... more on that later.

Off we went to 'town' for dinner.

I chose Barbacoa, never heard of it or tried it before but - WOW!


Barbacoa burger

Very nice decor

Dry ribs. Amazing but small portion.

Woodfire cooking

This place was incredible. Our waitress Haley was fantastic, the food was beyond delicious. It was the best meal out that that I can ever recall.



 

Monday, 28 March 2022

RIP Bambi

Sadly when I went out Saturday morning to the animals I found Bambi had died in the night. She had seemed fine the night before.

We have no idea what happened. She was given nothing unusual to eat and nothing got in to the barn... she just went. 

Peter and Gertie are fine. There is just no explanation for why Bambi died.

I will still wait until she has been here 2 weeks to breed Gertie, this will give her time to adapt fully to us and her new surroundings. I did clean out Bambi's cage and put Gertie in there so that she would have Peter as a friendly neighbour and they could get used to each other.

I will say that Peter was far more excited when I put Gertie in beside him than he was about Bambi, likely because his spidey senses are tingling now that he knows what thats about.

Regardless of everything it is hard to lose any animal who's life you are responsible for so I was a bit out of sorts for a while. We just don't know what happened. 

Some friends suggested we do an autopsy to see if we could find out anything but we decided that dead is dead and as she wasn't fed anything unusual there wouldn't be much to find. And as we don't know what she died from, using her meat would not be an option either.

Friday, 18 March 2022

Kits and Starlink

Saw this sign in Peavey Mart yesterday.... so tempted to get it but.... $26 so a pic will do.

The day finally arrived for Bambi and Peter to have their playdate. Brad came with me just in case the Mrs got nasty with Peter but everything went fine -- well, lets just say he knew what to do but he had some confusion on which end was up -- he figured it out eventually.

L-R: Peter and Bambi

A little snuggle

In order to ensure that Bambi is pregnant I put her in again the next day... because he's a rookie I wanted to make sure.

Also yesterday a local rabbit breeder reached out because she had a doe available and she knew I was looking for a second one. During a rather busy day, we managed to run out to her farm and pick her up.

Gertrude (Gertie)
Gertie is breeding age but we will wait 2 weeks to allow her to settle in and so we don't get overwhelmed by kits (baby bunnies).

When we were still in BC, we ordered Starlink satellite internet... I made sure to change our address info when we moved and yesterday the dish arrived. They upgraded us to the new super duper version for free too. 

While you do need to pay for the equipment ($600), the internet service itself is the same price as our previous internet. 

Not having to go and reset the internet 3 x a day.... Priceless.

Shipping Box

No mistaking this is SpaceX internet

All the pieces were intact

Super simple instructions.... total plug and play.

Comes with its own router

All set up. The dish rotates and aligns itself and even heats up when it senses snow.

All set up and ready to go

 
Our previous internet download speed was 18.2 and upload speed was 3.43
and we had to reset the router on average 3 times a day as it would glitch out. (Xplornet)

With Starlink our internet download speed is 193.9 and upload speed is 13.9

We have not yet had to reset anything. 

Once the system is turned on the app on your phone asks you to create the wifi network by giving it a name and password. 

Thats it. 

Kinda disappointing for a techie, really but... super simple so that anyone can do it.

Thursday, 10 March 2022

Apology and some nookie

Sorry about all that political rhetoric in recent posts but as a member of a 'Small Fringe Minority' who was made an 'Enemy of the State' by our not-so-bright leaders -- I just didn't feel I could NOT say something.

Now that things have calmed down, at least for the present time, we will be returning to our 'regular programming'.

It's almost breeding day for our rabbits and Peter is definitely looking forward to his play date, Bambi... I'm not so sure about.

In rare instances a Doe will attack the Buck and she can be quite savage.. removing important breeding requirements straight off his body. (I'll let you figure that one out on your own)

March 16 is the day. I shall keep you posted.

I keep meaning to take pictures of the rabbits and have even taken the phone out with me a few times now but keep forgetting to take pics. I function on habitual routine and so to remember the photos requires me to change the routine and I clearly have issues remembering to do that.


Saturday, 26 February 2022

So it's NOT a conspiracy theory after all


Jason Kenney, Premier of Alberta

Question asked in Parliament shut down as 'misinformation' and 
Klaus Schwab himself at the end of clip.

Klaus Schwab introduces Justin Trudeau at WEF

The details of The Great Reset.. ie You will own nothing and you will be happy... can be found here or here on the World Economic Forum Website.

If this one doesn't scare you... there really just is no hope.

Our independent thinking leaders

"You will own nothing, and you will be happy"

How?: Rent it all... house, wrench, whatever.

Better for who?! 
The one you pay the rent to, not you.

Also worth noting... What could kill 10M people?

'This thing'... sure sounds as though it already exists (2018)... but the convo is meant to be hypothetical.

Need I remind you... the Standard Operating Practice of Governments...  -  Create the problem and then offer the solution.

Thursday, 24 February 2022

Canadian Senator Housakos

Finally some sound judgement in Canada


My final word on this subject. 

This is not a political blog so I thank my readers for their grace during this difficult time in our countries history.

Regardless of our opinions I hope we can at least agree that everyone has a right to one.


Wednesday, 2 February 2022

Dish Soap Recipe

Dish Soap Recipe

In blender:

1 Part Castile Soap

1 Part Water

10 drops Essential oil (your choice)

Optional: 1/2 tsp Vegetable Glycerin and 2 droppers full Vitamin E

Blend for 3 min. Longer blend makes for less separation.

Note: Doesn't lather much but cuts grease just the same... may need another dab if washing out the butter dish... ;)

Saturday, 29 January 2022

Shampoo & Body Wash Combo

 Yes, an all-in-one!

Shampoo & Body Wash

In blender:

1/2 tsp Vegetable Glycerin

1tsp (1 dropper full) Vitamin E

1/3C Castile Soap

1/3C Honey

1/3C Oil (Olive, Jojoba, Avocado, Almond, Fractionated Coconut)

30 drops Essential Oil (your choice)

Blend for 3 minutes. The longer blend time provides less separation.


Best used on 'soppy' hair for more lather. 

Note: Natural, homemade shampoos do not often lather. Lather is not required to clean. It will feel odd shampooing without lather at first, but it works. Rinse recipe coming soon.

Wednesday, 26 January 2022

Body Butter recipe

 Specifically for Barb, but you can use it too :D

Body Butter Recipe


For Half Pint
(half jam jar size)

1/4C Beeswax
1/2C Oil, (Olive, Almond, Avocado, etc)
1/4C Fractionated Coconut Oil (health food store)
15 drops Essential Oil (your choice)

Combine Oil and Coconut Oil. Melt Beeswax in double boiler or similar. Add to Oil combination. Add Essential Oil of your choice. Pour into jar and allow to cool. 

Optional: add herbs or flowers before cooling. Moisten them for sinkage.


Monday, 24 January 2022

The many uses of raw milk

 I can only trust you will be as astounded as I when you read through this list of uses of raw milk.

(Cow or goat)

Note: This is raw farm milk, not store milk -- store milk will not work for many of these.

1.    Obviously, a drink.

2. Cream

3. Whipping cream

4. Butter

5. Clabbered milk

6. Cottage cheese

7. Yogurt (cultured cream)

8. Sour cream

9. Kefir

10. Mozza

11. Ice Cream

12. Cream cheese

                            PERSONAL CARE

13. Facial (lightening, adds glow and pore closing) optional: mix with honey

                            GARDEN

14. Disinfectant ( submerse garden implements to disinfect)

15. Fungal spray (1part milk, 3 parts water - spray leaves)

16. Improve garden soil condition (simply pour on)

17. Fertilizer (50/50 milk/water - pour on soil)

18. Plant feed - Milk & Molasses (1C milk, 4C water, 2Tbsp Molases - spray)

19. Control Aphids, spider mites, etc. (spray whole or diluted)

Tuesday, 11 January 2022

Free household cleaner and other stuff.


Brad likes to have a glass of a lemon and garlic drink (Details below) in the mornings, so I was making it and didn't want to waste the lemon peels, I also had some left over mandarin oranges from Xmas which were a little worse for wear, as you might imagine in mid January. 

So I cubed the oranges...

cut off the ends of the lemons,


peeled all the lemons,

all of it into the jar

Lastly fill jar with water and add lid.

1/2 gallon jar

Place in cool, dark place for 2-3 weeks, strain, pour into a spray bottle and you have an excellent cleaner for everything from counters to toilets -- and it would have all just gone in the bin, so I count that as free.

Homemade ACV

I made 2 massive Apple Cider Vinegars 4 weeks ago, they will be 'ready' tomorrow so I pulled them out to the counter so I don't forget to strain and bottle it all. ACV is super healthy and useful for a ton of stuff but that's another post altogether, we use most of it for our chickens so they don't get 'sticky butt' (1Tbsp/Liter of water).

Turmeric root

While getting the lemons and garlic today at the health food store I came across Turmeric root.... well, I already have Ginger going so.... I grabbed one and will plant it tomorrow also.

* Lemon & Garlic drink information: 
Multiple useful cardiovascular effects have been discovered including enhancement of fibrinolytic activity, lowering of blood pressure, reduction in cholesterol, and triglyceride.[] The results showed that combination of garlic and lemon juice significantly reduced serum TC, LDL-C, and blood pressure.

Lemon & Garlic drink recipe:
6 peeled lemons
30 garlic cloves
blend with 1/2C of water
Put in large pot with 1 Gallon water
Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 7 minutes. Strain into container suitable to keep it all in the fridge. Drink 8-12oz each morning.
 

Monday, 10 January 2022

Homestead update

Our good son turned 12 on Dec 1st... he is, by far the oldest person in the house now at 84. In fact, he's now older than either Grandma!!

Officially 12 years old now

This side he gets from his father :D

Chilling with the kiddos ( Brad & I ) watching TV

So you may recall that I like gadgets. Well, I have a gadget in the chicken coop/rabbitry so that I can monitor the temperature out there (keep in mind this is our first time raising chickens and rabbits).

During that super cold (polar vortex) spell we just had, this is the result. Now, I do have a heat lamp in the chicken coop which comes on about 6am-8am and again 6pm-9pm. Overnight however, they are on their own for body heat so I wanted to make sure I wasn't killing them....

We were getting about 10-11 eggs a day until I found the hiding spot which held 22 eggs... we are now getting the full monty of 14 eggs for 14 chickens.

Note: the red is -20C or colder.

December
Outside temperatures & RH

December
Coop temperatures & RH

The backyard is beautiful with all the snow. The paths are to the coop/rabbitry and also heads to the right for the cats in the pump house (pump house is heated so the farm cats live in there).

Some seeds are in...

These seeds (and many more) I ordered from Wildrose Heritage Seed Co. here in Alberta. They are heirloom (non-gmo), local and they send them in a zipper mylar so that you can save your own seeds at the end of the season, which I absolutely love. Unfortunately, they didn't have every seed we wanted so I also ordered from Heirloom Seed Vault also in Alberta, but those seeds have not arrived yet.

Meanwhile, though.... the shelving and grow lights have arrived and I managed to get it all set up in the basement. I put my St John's Wort. and a brand new ginger plant under the lights hoping to give them a little extra boost. 

St John's Wort above, ginger below

My SJW is essentially on its last legs and I desperately want to save it. I'm not sure if its an easily accessible plant, not that I ever looked for one before but as soon as I saw one I bought it and do not want it to die on me.
 

Saturday, 1 January 2022

Sod this, I'm Preparing for Spring

The advantage to a cold winter is that Spring looks all the better. 

Happy New Year everyone, by the way.

I refuse to acknowledge this cold wave we're having (we get a reprieve today (Jan 1) and tomorrow then after another week of mid -20s (Celsius) those who never get it right are giving everyone hope by saying it will be in the range of 0C (32F) for about a week -- I'll believe it when I see it.

Good news for the chickens though, I will leave their coop door open today and tomorrow for some much needed fresh air. I've had to keep them cooped up (pun intended) due to the extreme -40C temps. (-40C is also -40F for anyone who doesn't know -- also known as 'Damn Cold')

We decided to start planning our garden...

So because we want to learn to save our own seeds, I ordered this book which comes highly recommended by numerous homesteading peeps.

We need this book because every veg/plant, etc has different times/ways to save the seeds, for some the seeds are saved early in the growth and for others you let a few of them grow long past picking before saving the seeds.



We have 1 of these standing storage racks but to ensure it is the same size as the other I have ordered 2 of them to snug side by side.
(I noted the price increased $5 since I ordered them yesterday)

And a lesson learned from last year when I started all our starts but then had to buy a bunch of starts because they didn't get strong enough even with the greenhouse.... this year, grow lights!


As for the seeds, as you may know - if you plan to save seeds you need heirloom seeds (ie non-gmo) as the gmo seeds are sprayed and processed in such a way that they do not propagate well. By buying only heirloom seeds we ensure the heritage of the seeds, 'Purebred' seeds if you will.

Here in Alberta, there are a few heirloom seed companies and I chose to order from Heirloom Seed Vault and Wildrose Heritage Seed Company.

It is also worth noting that when buying seeds, you should always try to buy locally because by way of example, tomatoe seeds sold in Alabama will not be as hearty as those sold in Alberta, not to mention the much shorter growing season here.

Everyone should try to grow something, even if its just a few small herbs in the kitchen window, or a single tomatoe plant on the veranda. It gives you a sense of something.... I can't quite put my finger on, but suffice to say it makes you feel warm and fuzzy. A huge garden like we tend to do is not necessary for everyone but having a plant growing somewhere just, well... feels right for us. And many typical house plants are edible too... multi purpose. Not to mention the many many that are just growing wild outside your door, yes YOUR door, every door, free for the taking, and often medicinal.

May your next salad be wild