Let's start on the personal front:
The PART TIME job is killing me!! I work varying shifts. This week I am working 2 graveyard shifts followed by a day off then 1 early morning shift and an afternoon shift. Total scheduled hours went up this week vs. the last 3 weeks. A major drawback, from my point of view, is that I literally live across the street from the store and the manager calls me to cover any sick calls and no shows...
The rabbits have had their second litter. None of the first made it past 4 days old. I felt like such a bad steward. A friend of mine who has been in rabbitry for a long time told me not to beat myself up. First litters are unpredictable and young mothers don't always do the right things. Out of this group of 9 3 have made it to the 2 week mark and are doing great.
This time I was more prepared and had removed the males and added extra timothy hay for bedding and lots of straw also. I upped their feed and water rations. I believe that my problem this time around was our temperatures. It has broken the 100 degree mark here already and the average temperature has been 97 for the last 3 weeks.
I tried posting the pics from my phone, but apparently my phone and computer had some sort of a spat and aren't on speaking terms. When that is resolved, I'll post the pics.
I am almost done with the rabbitry. I just need some heavy duty corrugated plastic roofing material and hinges and a couple of 2x4's for legs and that will be done. I will be posting those pics as a DIY Blog when done. The new rabbitry will double thier current living spaces.
The chickens are laying their little hearts out for me!! I am still averaging 19-23 eggs a day and finished May with a 82% production rate and May with a 85% rate. So very happy about that!
Egg sales to the Food Conspiracy CoOp are great and they are encouraging me to expand the flock as well. I have been looking at options and while I love my Barred Plymouth Rocks (listed as Recovering by the Livestock Conservancy) I had a lot to consider. So what I decided is in the next 2 weeks I am adding another 25 Barreds and 10 Production Reds then this Fall 10-15 Rhode Island Whites (listed as Watch by the Livestock Conservancy). So this means building a second coop next to the first one, then another by this Fall.
I ordered 80% shade cloth material and installed it over the top and first 2 feet of the sides of the coop. It still allows air circulation and moisture to enter the run but cuts down the direct sunlight and the uv rays here in Az.
I had also ordered a misting system which just arrived and will be installed sometime this next week when the irrigation system is finished.
I have redesigned and am 90% finished with the new installation. I have run a single 1/2" irrigation line from the spigot to the first bed where it splits then drops to an automatic timer and then to the beds. The main line continues above the beds along the back fence then up to the side of the coop where it splits again. The First part goes to another automatic timer that is set for 5 minutes every hour for the mister and the other part of the split is getting a flex garden hose which will stay by the coops to clean out bowls and refill the 5 gallon waterers.
Urban Agriculture Proposal
Still fighting over these. The last draft which was brought forward at the City Planning Board Meeting still listed the required setbacks for chicken coops at 50' from each property line, which would exclude most people from having chickens. The City has not changed it's stance on allowing horses, goats, sheep, swine or miniature cattle from properties large enough to support them. There should be another meeting in the next two weeks.
So, as you can see things have been a bit hectic but we're glad you're here and have taken the time from your sometimes hectic lives to read our posts. I am also posting the last 2 months financials under the Homestead Finances tab tonight.
Have a great night/day and be good to yourself, your family, your animals and your land!!