Got a WHOLE bunch of work done at the homestead this week! Picked up six free Angora and Lionhead mix rabbits this week for free food, as well as paying $2.50 a piece for 16 4-week old babies, and the breeding trio. Got a new cage rack for rabbit growout cages, and three new cages have been built for the rabbit operation. Sadly, the clover took a bad beating with that 6.5 inches in 24 hours.
I am getting between 6-7 eggs a day (which is all the females that I have). The eggs have been incubating nearly 10 days now. Since the 90+ degree temperatures have stopped, and the crazy humidity has ceased, the incubator has been keeping a nice, steady temperature of 100 degrees! So, I went to try and candle one of the eggs, and, of course, I drop it! (Notice a running theme here?) So, I crack it open, and indeed, there is an embryo in there staring back at me! All things considered, I am THRILLED! I thought I would have no chance at ever hatching anything at all… I guess I will find out in a week.
Well, it was time to butcher the monster chicken. He weighed in at a hefty 8.72 lbs (which was a gain of nearly 1 lb), and even though they can get bigger, I wasn’t THAT curious. Nearly 9 lbs in 7 weeks was totally enough for me. He dressed out at 6.15 lbs, for a total of a 71% efficiency. This bird alone led to 13 meals for all of my dogs… (with the four of the free rabbits dressed to equal 34 additional dog meals, I am set for a bit).
The three remaining chickens weigh in at 6.1 lbs, which was 0.85 lbs larger than last week. And considering the amount of energy and time that the poor babies lost when the six inches of rainfall fell… I am going to keep them and let them grow until I run out of food (another week or two). I may order some cornish x’s again, as they are pretty cost efficient for us.
I am pretty sure that the 4 girls that were in with Steve-O are pregnant, as they have gained an average of 0.13 lbs this week, and are getting bigger. Though, it is hard to tell, and we will find out in a little less than a month. The five girls in with Silkie are holding pretty steady, and the girls with the newly added male are down in weight. One of the males I have refuses to eat. He is a new addition (Sawyer), so I hope that he will start soon.
Now, on to rewiring an incubator…. which will be fun, as I don’t know anything about electronics.