On a rainy spring day

Early this week we had nearly a foot of snow fall. I had just spent the previous day paving the floor of our rabbit colony. The return of winter after such a nice day of working outside was, needless to say, a bit of a shock. My life is tied to the seasons, however, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

This morning it’s a gray rainy day but it’s well above freezing so every gloomy rain drop washes away some of the snow. Here and there I can see bare patches where the garden is peeking through. Before the snow had come, we had the earliest shoots of tulips, daffodils, garlic, and chives all peeking out of the ground.

Once the weather clears I’ll be heading back outside to work on the rabbit colony. The roof needs to be installed, then the walls. Then a triple check for any conceivable gap rats could get in and destroy our efforts. Hopefully this new colony will be the happiest and safest enclosure for our rabbits yet. The hutches I designed have proved to be susceptible to rats (or other predators, not sure) attacking kits from below through the floor wire. We’ve solved this somewhat by giving everyone resting boards as a safe place to go within the cage but I won’t lie and say the amount of setbacks we’ve had doesn’t discourage me.

All of the setbacks have taught me something, so I’m hoping through iteration that our systems while get better and better. The response to our small sale of dressed rabbits was very positive, so between our own taste for rabbit meat and our customers I want to produce a lot of rabbits. I also enjoy the process except when predators attack, so I’m damn well going to find a way to succeed.

I write mostly about the rabbits, but our small laying flock has been so easy. Chickens are such a fun animal and we’re expanding our flock this year. We’re picking up six day-old chicks this coming week, which means I’ll need to start working on both a temporary shelter for them while they’re first living outside but not ready to eat the laying ration our older birds are on and a bigger coop to house the whole flock once I can integrate the two. It will involve some awkward rearranging but I’m hopeful that the result will be a larger, easier to maintain coop that also conceals the number of chickens we have from prying eyes.

All of this of course will be during the beginning of the gardening season as well, so it will soon be very busy here! I’ve already got peppers sprouting under lights and will soon have broccoli, basil, and a few early tomatoes sprouting as well.

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