I’ve lost 14.8lbs this week but since this is a Blog about Homesteading/Beekeeping I have made a separate blog entry about my diet at this LINK. This Blog is about splitting hives, selling my lazy goose, and my first meat rabbits.
I canceled a doctor’s appointment Wednesday so that I could split hives before the 60 queen cells I had, hatched. However, when I got out to the apiary, the queens had already emerged. Oh well, I was glad to be there anyway – besides, I’m sure my high blood pressure can wait another week… why do I keep tasting pennies?
Anyway, I had loaded up 8 supers with frames, 10 lids, 9 bottoms, and 8 mason blocks but the ground was still too wet to drive out to my hives. The nearest place to park is nearly a 100yards away, so we had to hump all the equipment in on a pull cart. Luckily I had Noah and Zane with me this week. So after bringing in the first load, Noah and I went to splitting hives and Zane continued to bring in the gear like Max the dog from the Grinch.
We got a late start and only managed to split five hives before it got too dark to see the eggs. I still have 3 to split but this past weekend was very rainy. I’m hoping to make those final splits this coming Wednesday.
Current Hive Count: 23
The Animal Sell: goodbye Bradshaw, hello Snowball
Last week I surprised a coon that was steal eggs out of the chicken coup… let’s face it, he wasn’t the only one that got a surprise… I peed a little myself! Luckily the chickens were not attacked but it was the last straw for Bradshaw the guard goose.
Bradshaw was loud, aggravated my dog, and now had failed to guard the chickens. YOU HAD ONE JOB! I immediately put him up for sale on Facebook – but after a week, there was just no offers.
Luckily, when I went to the feed store on Wednesday, they had a sign advertising a small animal sale on Saturday. I thought that meant it would a small group of people selling animals. What they meant was it would be a large group of people selling small animals.
It was wonderful and I can’t wait to go to another one. They had lots of people selling chicks, ducklings, and rabbits, as well as full grown roosters… and one lazy goose! I even ran into a couple of beekeepers selling honey.
With a steady stream of people, it didn’t take but about an hour before some one wanted to buy Bradshaw. As providence would have it, it was a young couple I knew from my wife’s workplace. They offered me $30 but I was happy to see that Bradshaw would be heading to a good home and not to a plate, so I let them have him for free. As Bradshaw was driven a way, he began honking quite vigorously and I couldn’t help think he was saying, good bye…. or piss off (he never did seem to warm up to me).
The trouble with butchering a goose is that the damn things just have too much personality. However, with Bradshaw gone, my micro-homestead seemed a little weak. So I decided I would raise some meat rabbits.
The first and most vital step to raising any animal… is to get the wife’s permission. However, she was fine with the idea but pointed out that she didn’t want anything to do with butchering them. Color me shocked.
So while I was at the animal sell, I bought one little white bunny (Snowball). I would have bought two but I wanted them from different stock. Luckily, my wife has already found a mate for it (Cadbury).
The truth is, I’m not a hardhearted man… quite the contrary, butchering animals bothers me a lot. But to be 100% honest, rabbits have the personality of a carrot so I’m, fine with it. Sure they are cute and soft but so are Easter Peeps but I don’t flinch eating their marshmallow asses either!
Just the same, Snowball and Cadbury won’t ever go in the pot, just their offspring. That way we can pet the two breeder rabbits till their bald.
As for a new cage, for now, Snowball is in a large pet carrier in the house and is being held by the whole family constantly. However, I plan to re-purpose my old chicken-tractor by adding 2×2 strips to the bottom so they can’t dig out but can still munch on the grass. I will also add a divider between the male and the female so they can’t fight.
I was wanting to build a non-mobile chicken coup anyway, since my chickens are really free range and don’t require the chicken-tractor. I’ll put some blueprints up when I finish building it.
I YouTube’d how to harvest red clover seed. The idea is to propagate it in my suburban backyard now – while harvesting enough seed to plan my homestead when we move in a few years. Luckily for me, the stuff grows everywhere in Vicksburg but when I tried to pick it, it was still too early. I’ll let you know how it goes.
I put a trap out for that trash-panda yesterday and caught it before bedtime. Who needs a guard goose anyway.