What a farm week! Cole's farm, that is, not mine. Poor Cole has worked so hard to build up his own enterprise of chickens and rabbits, besides helping out with the regular critter chores of goats, steers, laying hens, and horses. This past week has been non-stop pit-falls for him as he continues to blaze his trail into earning more money than just an allowance.
It all started when his rabbits mysteriously started escaping from their cozy stall in the barn. To keep them a little warmer this winter he spent a considerable amount of time getting a stall rabbit ready where they have been very content for weeks. But something inside their little bunny hearts must have cried out for adventure because we found them hopping around the barnyard one dark night when we went out to do evening chores.
The two of us chased and chased, running 'round and 'round the calf shed, until finally giving up. Cole easily caught them the next morning, only to find them out again that night. They took refuge under the chicken coop, where he lured them out with fresh carrots and apples the following day. He was especially worried because three of them were expected to have babies on Christmas day.
In the midst of the rabbit escapades, one of his little Silkie chicks that had hatched this fall was found dead in the chicken coop. We assume it was death due to trampling by a big, brute of a Light Brahma hen, and was the second fatality for him in a months time.
Then for the fourth day in a row we chased rabbits, again. After we finally caught the furry little buggers Cole inspected the pen in an attempt to seal up every possible hole they might be able to squeeze through. But as we were looking for secret tunnels and escape routes we noticed some questionable activity going on from one of the bunnies that should have been in the midst of laboring: does don't do that.
Both of us are still learning the ropes of figuring out which is a boy rabbit and which is a girl, and it appears that neither one of us was very good at it the first time around because two of his three expecting does are now boys, and that doe who should have been kindling was now very much in love with the escapee buck.
As Cole was recovering from all of that, we went out to do chores this morning only to find his buck out again. After putting him back we watched and discovered just how they were getting out: the little buggers were managing to jump on top of the barrel that we had set up for their warming house and over the four foot stall rails to risk an exciting new adventure in the great big outside world.
I guess that's the way it goes with farming~ some weeks it's the rabbits jumping the fence, some week's it's the goats, and then the next week it's the steers.