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Posts Tagged ‘American Chinchilla Rabbits’

seedlingsAfter a hiatus, I have agreed to resume writing for The American Preppers Network.  I feel very honored to have been asked to participate in this project.  Please do watch for my articles there.  I sent in my first (in a long while) submission this morning.  I called it “Sourcing Seeds, Saving Seeds and Walking the Tightrope, It’s All a Matter of Balance.

I’ll be submitting one article a week for them.  Geez, people, I can hear you laughing from here.  I know, I don’t even manage to submit an article HERE every week.  What can I say?  Even my wife calls me a Wingnut.  Ah, love, sweet love.

Besides that, the only other news to report is that the garden is coming along well, just a little behind because of my post surgical limitations.  I’m starting to catch up now.  Also, the aquaponics systems should be back online next week.  I’ll take some pics of that for your dining pleasure.  We have a litter of American Chinchilla bunnies to go with all the baby pigs and baby goats.  Spring is such a wonderful time on the Homestead.

Brittan has been busy with her flower and kitchen gardens as well as mowing the grass and a little auto maintenance, among other things. Her chiropractor is regularly amazed at her strength and muscle tone. We chuckle about it, but she really is S T R O N G!  And she is a dead shot.  I pity the fool who messes with my woman!

Finally, I’ve coined a new word for where we live.  Technically, we’re somewhere between the suburbs and rural America now.  So I call this neighborhood, ‘Sub Rural’.  I am not changing the name of the blog, though. No way.  No How.

Have a great Thursday, everyone.

 

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Periodically, we have to take inventory of what we have and where we want the farm to go.  This always results in some difficult decisions, because the heart and the head are not always aligned.

We have come to the conclusion, that we are primarily a meat goat and dairy goat farm, with pigs and pork as our secondary livestock and product.

We will continue to raise chickens for eggs, but as mentioned in an earlier post, we are out of the broiler business.  It is not profitable and not sustainable.  We’ll still do a few turkeys every year.

Beef is a difficult one.  We will stick with our two Dexter cows to provide us some meat and some cows milk for cheese.  Our mixed breed heifer will be processed this fall and our bull calf will be processed next year.  We don’t have enough quality pasture to raise large feeder steers for either ourselves or customers.

So, having thought this through, and sitting in my chair praying for wisdom, we are going to make some outstanding animals available for sale.

1.  Our two beautiful Belgian Draft Mules, Laverne and Shirley.  These girls are awesome, but just too much animal for our little place.  They need to go to someone who can work them in harness or ride them.  They are green broke and will need an experienced hand to get them back in practice, but they love attention, stand well for the farrier and load easily. They must go together as they have never been separated.  We paid a handsome price for them, but would let them go for $2,5oo total.  That’s a steal.

2. We are getting out of rabbits.  We have two breeding pair of registered American Chinchilla bunnies.  These are heritage rabbits, barely a year old.  They are worth a great deal and will produce outstanding offspring.  We’ll part with them for $100 a pair.  Again, I know we can get more, but we want to move them.

3. We have some super Nigerian Dwarf Goats we need to sell to make room for bigger goats.  We have some babies, some older girls and even some does in milk.  The milk is awesome, BTW.  We have a couple males as well, one of which has horns, but is positively gorgeous.  If you’re just getting into goats, or have a small place, Nigerian Dwarf Goats are the perfect breed. Prices vary according to age, gender and blood line.

4. We have a one year old pair of Black Spanish turkeys.  These two birds are delightful.  They hatched 14 live poults this spring.  They are good parents and pretty well mannered.  Our place is too near busy roads, though, and they are good fliers, so they need a home somewhere more remote.  They have always been free range.  Call me crazy, but I’ll let them go as a pair for $60 and we get more than that for a Thanksgiving bird.

5.  We have a yearling female Vietnamese Pot Belly Pig.  She is a fantastic mother and had no trouble birthing.  Patty probably weighs a little over 100 lbs. She’s a little bit wild, but if you can catch her, you can have her for $50.

We have three or 4 two year old Buff Orpington hens that can go for $15 each.  They will lay for another year or would make great stewing hens now.  If they don’t sell, we’ll put them in the crock pot ourselves.

I think that’s it.  Our miniature donkeys are not for sale at any price, so no need to ask.  They are expecting a foal again this winter, but we will be keeping it to train in harness.

An opportunity like this will probably never happen again from our farm.  These are quality animals at crazy bargain prices.  Our sacrifice is your gain.  Let us know if you’re interested or pass the word along to someone you know who might be.

 

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Large Black Hogs

East of Eden Farms and Our Edible Suburb are going through changes.  We’re growing up.  You should expect to see some of those changes in the very near future.

First, our website is undergoing a makeover.  We have enjoyed our site and I know many of you have complimented us on it, but it’s time to kick things up a notch or two.  We have been working with a web designer and really like what we’ve seen so far.  We think you will like it, too.

Secondly, we’re cutting way back on our rabbit population.  Georgia just doesn’t have the market we hoped for, so we are only going to keep our two pair of American Chinchilla rabbits. The Am Chins are a heritage breed and are rather rare.  We will have two or three litters a year and sell as many as we can as pets and to show people.  We will still have a few for meat for our personal consumption and certainly we’ll get plenty of great fertilizer.

Thirdly, we’re making a substitution in the pig department.  While we have loved our Vietnamese Pot Belly Pigs very much, they are just too destructive and frankly, too small. We have 4 to process next month and a litter of piglets due in March.  We will make the piglets available as pets or as feeder pigs once they are weaned.

Pot Bellies have amazing personalities and they make us smile every day.  I never tire of watching them leap up from their hiding places under the straw in the barn, but I’m beyond tired of the craters they’ve created in their pasture.  We’ll have to reseed it this spring at the same time we reseed the mule pasture.

We are replacing our mini porkers with a rare, heritage breed called, Large Black.  I wish I’d done this earlier, but I wasn’t paying attention.  Large Black Hogs do not root like other pigs.  They can graze along side our goats and cows.  They will still gobble up our excess milk and whey, but they will produce serious quantities of meat.  Large Blacks are processed at 200 lbs, whereas a Pot Belly is large at 90 lbs.  A full grown Large Black will tip the scales at 700 lbs plus.  They are docile, attention loving animals, with poor eyesight and big floppy ears (a trait that B is especially excited about).  When full grown, our breeder pigs weigh more than our donkeys and almost as much as our Dexter Cows. We pick up our new pigs on Feb. 12.

Speaking of Dexters.  We are forging ahead with our plans to add a couple more to our herd.  Dexters are our breed of choice as they can supply us with dairy as well as meat.

The sheep are gone. We won’t be raising broiler chickens anymore, but we will sell the occasional stewing hen.  We will keep laying hens and will have turkeys at least one more year.  Our livestock focus will be our goats, both meat and dairy, with some pork and beef as a supplement.

Keep your eyes peeled for the changes in the website.

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Regular readers know that I believe rabbits are Mother Nature’s secret weapon.  No other livestock, with the possible exception of the Nigerian Dwarf Goat, offers as much diversity and usefulness as the rabbit.

Rabbits of course are an outstanding source of protein.  They are low in cholesterol and fat, mild tasting and versatile.  Many doctors recommend rabbit for patients with heart issues.

For those so inclined, rabbit fur makes warm clothing and a very soft leather.

Rabbit manure is the best fertilizer available for gardeners.  It composts excellently, but can be used uncomposted.  The manure also makes outstanding food for worms in a vermicomposting operation.  Some aqua culturists are also using rabbit manure as fish feed.  Wow.

Oh, and before I forget, rabbits make great pets.  If handled regularly, they are cuddly, cute and quiet.

American Chinchilla rabbits are an American breed developed in the 1920s as a dual purpose meat and fur animal.  They are fairly large, with a good meat to bone ratio.  Their fur is renowned for its chinchilla rings.  During its heyday the American Chinchilla was enormously popular.

In recent years, with the decline in the fur market and the growth in popularity of the New Zealand White rabbit, the American Chinchilla nearly went extinct.  The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy has listed it as Critical.

Brittan and I have been looking for this breed for nearly a year and a half and finally found some just up the road in North Georgia.  We are very excited to participate in the effort to save this outstanding breed from extinction.  We will be breeding purebred American Chinchillas to sell to pet and show homes and will be using the bucks to add hybrid vigor and size to our meat rabbit stock.

If you live in the area, please feel free to stop by and see these little beauties.  If you are not local, watch for photos to appear from time to time.

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