Sunday, May 29, 2011

First-Ever Livestock Tailgate Sale

We've really arrived in our corner of the Hudson Valley.  Not only are we expecting a brand new Tractor Supply (oh yeah!!), but we just had our first ever livestock tailgate sale in the local Agway's parking lot. 
Did I go?

Do you even have to ask?

It was small, but still awesome.  I was just thrilled to have had it being held here, you know?  'Bout time someone recognized that there are farmers right around here.  It was moderately busy, which is good news.  There were lots of chickens (I was good--I didn't even look), bunnies, and ducks.  Someone had peafowl, and one person had Nubians.  I'm not ready, but hell, I was SO tempted.  I got her name and number for next year.  She'll be hearing from me, for sure.

I went to find a bunny.  We still have Robert and Petunia, but this is what's been going on:

They've been shacking up.

Ok, maybe that's not the whole story.  Turns out, Robert and Petunia were canoodling for quite a while.  One would hop over the center divide in the hutch and they'd be together.  I'd separate them, and then the other one would hop over the divide and they'd be together again.  Eventually, I just gave up.  If Petunia was going to get pregnant, it would have happened long ago, so there was really no point in separating them after the fact.  However, she never got pregnant.  And then "she" started mounting Robert. 

Know where I'm going with this?

Yeah, so "Petunia" is not a Petunia, after all.  Though he hid it REALLY well, from me and the guy I bought him from, Petunia has got a penis and Petunia is not a girl.  The story of my life right now, really.  Make that strike two on my part--Emmit was strike one.  I'm still learning, let's just leave it at that. 

Anywho, "Petunia" is in no danger of becoming pregnant (obviously) and it seems the boys really like to be together, so now they live together.  Petunia has been renamed Bunnicula, and he couldn't care less.  It's worked out well for several weeks now, so what's done is done.  However, it left one side of the hutch uninhabited, which is uncool, since I like to use all the real estate available to me all the time.  Plus, rabbits are pretty cheap to feed, so I figured what the heck?  I'll go shopping.

In a cage FULL of New Zealands at the sale, a sea of big white bunnies, there she was.

A gorgeous orange baby. 

That was it for me, folks.  Look at those ears!!  Like satellite dishes.  She's beautiful.  I know she's a rabbit meant for eating, but that ain't gonna happen.  I am smitten.  The man I bought her from was positive she's a she, and I checked (that's not worth much, but hey), so she's Petunia.  Gorgeous girl that she is.

The boys would LOVE to get their fuzzy paws on her, but no way.  She's off limits.  Get over it, boys!
"Hey pretty lady!  You busy later??  We can show you around our hutch!  You like alfalfa?  We like alfalfa.  Come on up, we'll talk about it."
I went through the rest of the sale, and wound up buying a couple of ducks to add to the bevy.  Unplanned ducks.  You know how that goes.  Turns out my husband, who I would say tolerates my growing army of livestock (he's not a farmer kind of guy) actually really likes the ducks.  I had no idea.  He thinks they are funny, because they are so vocal (they are all girls, with the exception of Charles).
Handsome, but silent. 
And they are.  Jane, Phoebe, and Suzie form a "raiding party" on a daily basis and chase after the geese, which is freaking hilarious.
Bowling pins with bills.  The three amigos.
So yeah, I get it.  Being the dutiful wife that I am, and wanting to encourage his love of farming as much as possible, I bought him a couple of ducks.

They are a Khaki Campbell cross, and thankfully (and this was the selling point), they are old enough to not need brooding.  With 22 chickens in the brooder right now and a few Guinea fowl on the way in a week or so, I don't have room.  Plus, ducks are pigs to brood.  

The one on the right in this picture is Lizzie, named by my husband, since they were for him.  She's 8 or 9 weeks old, by my reckoning.  The one on the left is unnamed as of yet, as we're waiting to see if it's a he or she.  I flipped him/her, and didn't see anything, but sometimes waterfowl don't want to give it up.  Right now, I'd say girl.  But we'll see.  Or hear, rather.  I know Lizzie's a Lizzie because wow, she's got plenty to say.

Nicely, the girls we have already, though they do not like wild Mallards, welcomed the new recruits with open wings.
Oh, heeeeyyyyyy buddy!

Acclimating them to one another was a non-issue--they are one unit all together.  It's all good. 

So, we've increased our farm's numbers again, happily.  The place just gets louder all the time.  :)

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1 comment:

  1. That bunny is going to be huge! New Zealands apparently can get up 12 lbs. To give you an idea, that's about how much Pepper weighed last November. You may need a bigger hutch!

    She is adorable though. Glad the boys are getting along as well.


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