We Are Deep In the Heart of Texas

Nomadic seasons of farming adventures with nature thrown in to include; a pinch of family, snippets of friends, counting our blessings, paying IT forward, home school, and the spicy things I decide to rant about.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Well I have been thinking.......

This weekend while I have my hubby home, I am going to order from Mrs. Parker’s 20 each of Auracanas, Buff Orphington, and guinea keats.  We have to replenish our stock this year with fresh pullets and cockerels.  Last year's drought wiped out lots of our birds -- it was just unavoidable with heat index over 110 most afternoons with many heat deaths.

I will probably purchase two and one male rabbits; this means my husband with his awesome skills will be building me a rabbit hutch similar to the one he built for Psycho Cock (May he RIP) and his harem.

For the rabbits, what I have envisioned is a raised hutch – three room condo type of arrangement for them so, the male can be safely kept away from the mommas-to-be when they have matured. Nope, I have never raised rabbits, but what the hay. I had never kept chickens before either when we moved here in 2006. So, I will have a learning curve.

I will start up my vintage Brower incubator the second weekend of March. I want to raise some more yard chickens (MIXED MUTTS) for the deep freezer. My yard birds will be free-ranged with only scratch grain at night in their coops and of course the cockerels will be culled after two-three months.

Our next project will be constructing raised garden boxes. And if anyone has any idea how to keep critters like ground hogs, raccoons, and skunks away. Please share your wealth of knowledge. I would prefer raised boxes at least with 3 foot retaining walls. YEP, I have yet to see a rattle snake climb up into boxes but, I guess it possible. We had a plethora of snakes last year: racers, great plains rat snakes, grass snakes, and a few diamondbacks.

So close-up shots I took of snakes found here:





Texan said...

If I could free range I would have a zillion chickens... we tried it and lost all our birds! So my new chickens live 24/7 in a large pen and whew they eat so we only have what we can use the eggs...cost to darn much to feed them if your not using all the eggs. We only have 3 girls. Leghorns. They are not very pretty but they sure lay good!

Snakes oh ya we got the snakes..rat snakes and copperheads and the racers but mostly copperheads... ugggg luckily I hear as long as you weigh at least 75 lbs you should survive a copperhead bite ... hope to never test that theory myself..

I would like some fiber rabbits! Down the road I really want to try those out!

Nekkid Chicken said...

Yeah, I would not want to test that 75 lb theory either. Believe it or not, with all the predators around here; we lose most our birds at night -- inside their coops. I have found the more chickens you have the less predation takes place during the day. It is weird but, I guess they look larger to hawks and such when there are groups of them.

We use the eggs for feeding pigs if we have extra. Or I put the leftovers in the deep freezer. Eggs keep very well. We have not bought any store eggs in about 3 years.

Believe this or not, I trained my hens to lay in specific areas so egg gathering is easy even with the free rangers. At the height of raising them, we were getting around 5 dozen eggs a day. Which I would in turn sale to help offset the cost of feed.

I am excited about the idea of raising rabbits. They seem pretty simple but, then again. I had no idea chickens lay an egg almost daily when I started. LOL