Due to illness, faulty internet, and trying to keep up with the holiday decorating season, my correspondence has been spotty, at best. Working on Christmas cards this week..probably! So, this is from LAST weekend.
This might disturb some readers, but sustainable healthy meat harvest is part of the lifestyle of this family. (Little Bear says, ‘Kind of.’ He’s got to feed and care for and keep the genetic diversity strong, but at this point, the outlook is rather good.) At any rate, a few weeks ago, we drove across Oregon to get rabbits for Little Bear. They were all does instead of two does and a buck. So, he needed another buck. He was looking for Chinchilla, which are supposed to be an uncommon breed. For all the Chinchilla crosses he has found and the pure bred breeders in the area, they aren’t as uncommon as they might be! On Thursday he got a call from the daughter of one of his bosses (there are 3 ladies in the office. Little Bear doesn’t really think it is right to say one is boss over the others!), a lady he also works for. She was with a friend who jokingly asked if she knew anyone who wanted rabbits. Immediately, the woman called Little Bear and handed her friend the phone. The friend had a Chinchilla Californian cross pair she’d purchased several months ago and now she wanted to get rid of them. Two cages (although the rabbits shared one) and food and dishes and bunnies for free. She’d spent a great deal of money on these pets, they were getting larger, and it looked as if the female might be pregnant (go figure!!). Little Bear decided a nearby Chinchilla mixed pair for free was a lot less expensive than driving across country for a single male. He was sent a video of the cages and those also looked good. (when we arrived, he realized we did not need more than one vehicle for the cages and the rabbits and the cages had been lovely things with wood all over the place..that had been seriously chewed upon.)
Unfortunately, the new rabbits were going to live next to the other rabbits and one of my lasagna gardens needed moved pronto. (In retrospect, this was not a surprise. It was just something to hem and haw about before it really needed done and should have just been done! Kind of like the roof doesn’t leak when it’s not raining theory) Thus, I spent a couple of hours in a breezy freezing fog moving a garden. Little Bear asked if it was traumatizing. It wasn’t, not exactly. The Craftsman moved the frame for the garden, allowing me room to carefully shovel out with a square shovel sections of earth layers. Careful was the name of the game, since there were thriving bulbs in the bed and metal chicken wire on top of the yard soil. One of the worst parts was missing tulip bulbs. There were a few dug up, but by and large, they were absent. This bothered me. Hyacinth and daffodils of all kinds were full of delicate white rootlets and making new bulbs, but where were the tulips? Once the soil was shoveled off and placed in a wheelbarrow or on a tarp, the wire was fully exposed and able to be lifted. Yup, it had a couple of holes in it! It appeared the ground critters may have chewed up to the wire where the tasty bulbs were and gone through to get the treats. The few bulbs found were near bulbs considered inedible by rodents. (Completely annoyed, even as this is being typed!)
Thankfully, the metal mesh part was salvageable and with scraps from around the yard and shop, it was ‘fixed’. A layer of cardboard was put on top (usually you use newspaper, link is for other post) and then soil from the previous lasagna garden. This wasn’t layered, but just dumped in a barrowful at a time. The beautiful bulbs were tossed in the bed in a naturalization pattern and covered with more soil, the frozen topmost layer, and a nice sprinkling of leftover dirt and garden debris. From 1:30 to 3:10, less than two hours, the garden was moved and put back together! At this time (1030 pm) the rabbits are in the unheated addition to acclimate to the idea that they don’t need a heat lamp at 20 degrees F because they have very warm and soft fur. They will also be separated as soon as possible. If the lady (named Zsa Zsa and renamed Maude) is pregnant by Jimmy Bunny (renamed Bucky), they can’t stay together. Female bunnies are territorial and kits are a part of that territory. However, there is now room for their homes and if this keeps up, Little Bear is going to be top dog in a wabbit empire in record time! Six adults in less than 3 weeks has got to be a record.