Sunday, July 25, 2010

4H fair

We had a very exciting 4h fair week. 

Thursday was check-in, which went surprisingly smoothly. Luckily the heat broke a little bit so we got everyone comfortable settled in. 

Saturday was the rabbit show bright and early. we are very lucky that Whitley County runs an ARBA sanctioned show. Our judges were Caleb Thomas and Eric Stewart. The first breed up was Netherlands and the 1st group was Self. Nicholas took 2 REWs.  Our Sr. buck [LLS Avalanche] placed 1 of 1 and our Jr. Buck [AA Whiteout] placed 1 of 1, BOV, and BOG.  This was Whiteout's first time on the table and he got his 1st leg. The Shaded group was next. Rebecca took a Sr. Siamese Smoke Pearl buck[AA Sparky] and a Jr. Siamese Smoke Pearl doe[AA Pebbles]. Pebbles was disqualified for a white toe nail. Bummer that we didn't notice that before! Sparky won 1 of 1, and BOG.  The Tan Pattern group followed. we had traded a rabbit for a goat with a friend. She showed a Smoke Pearl Marten Sr. Buck [AA Juniper] who won BOG also. When it was time for breed to be judged there were 3 Avis Acres rabbits on the table. Caleb Thomas choose Sparky for BOB! That is Sparkys 4th BOB! 

Silver Fox were the next breed to be judged. There were 7 Silver Fox at our county fair! Nicholas had a Jr. Buck [AA 90]. Rebecca had a 6/8 doe [AA Nadia] and a 6/8 buck [AA Baryshnikov].  Rebecca won BOB with Nadia  and Nicholas won BOS with his Jr. Buck. I guess we better get that little guy a name!  

Immediately following Silver Fox were the Hollands. We didn't have a SSB thanks to Dare Devil being in the middle of a nasty molt- poor guy is almost naked!  Rebecca had two SSD, [AA Milky Way and GBF Honolaura]. Honolaura was just coming off a litter and got 3rd and Milky Way got 2nd (she was also molting). We had  two SJD [AA Mack and AA Venus].  Mack was shown by Rebecca was 2nd while Venus was shown by Nicholas was 6th. Two BSB were both shown by Nicholas. Twin Barns Fritz was 2nd and Mossy Possum Zoom Zoom was 6th (another rabbit open in coat). Nicholas showed a  BJB [AA Mickey] for another 1st. We had two BJD, (AA Aurora) shown by Nicholas for a 3rd and [AA Minnie] shown by Rebecca was 1st. We didn't have anybody on the breed table because we got beat for variety by older animals. The BOV solid was a doe we had sold because we couldn't get her bred. Lucy always did have it on the show table and she still does, she made a 10 year 4Her very happy this year. 

Sunday was the beef show. Rebecca showed her junior beef steer because she really enjoys the larger animals, but we can't compete with those grain fed show steers. She enjoyed showing him, though, and he walked very well for her.

Monday was the goat show. Note to self- when kids are showing in white outfits always have a backup ready! The one day Rebecca had a bloody nose and she was in white. Chris saved the day by racing home and getting her clean clothes.  First in the ring was our 2 year old milking doe, she placed 2nd with Rebecca. Our youngest doe was 2nd out of three for Rebecca. Our yearling dry does finished 2nd for Nicholas and 4th for Rebecca. they both went back in the ring with Tango and Fandango for the Mother/Daughter-dry class and finished 4th. We were very pleased with that finish. There were too many pairs in the ring to count, and the winner is supposed to show the greatest improvement for mother to daughter.  That just left the wethers. Nicholas finished 6th with his 50# and Rebecca finished 2nd with her 53#. The judge did mention that he really liked Rebecca's wether and if she had walked him a little more he could have won the class.

Both kids competed in Junior showmanship. Neither won, but the judge made a point to let everyone in the audience know that Nicholas was the most improved junior showman in his class. I had noticed that he got better each time he was in the ring, but it was really nice for the judge to recognize him, too.  

Now we have less than 2 weeks until the State Fair rabbit show and Rabbit Ambassador competition. 

Friday, July 2, 2010

2 week countdown to 4H Fair!

Goats hooves are trimmed, they get their shaves this weekend. All 6 of them!
Steer has been bumped up to twice daily walking,washing and brushing.
Rabbits are on the conditioning program to try and get them through their molts faster and prevent the others from starting!
Hopefully pictures soon! between the animals and the weeds in the garden their hasn't been much time for photography!

Monday, June 14, 2010

BIG NEWS!! Non GMO feed!

Where has the time gone? I can't believe it is the middle of June already! Our big news if that we found a feed producer in Honeyville, IN that is making non-GMO feed. We have switched our hogs and poultry to non-GMO feed and are very excited about that change.

We have finished a batch of 25 meat chickens and have 50 more coming this week. Our new pullets have been integrated with the flock but are not exactly comfortable yet. They are still trying to hide from the 'older' girls. If all goes well our egg production this fall should be fantastic! Non-GMO, free range fresh brown eggs and non-GMO pastured chicken. Wow. How far we have come in a year!

We have 2 'hatchings' of Bourbon Red turkeys already outside and growing well. they should be ready for thanksgiving, which seems like a long way off but will be here before we know it!

We quit collecting the duck eggs because there were just laying too many. Now they have built there own nests and are setting. One built her nest under the rabbits! I had to add an extra pan to the stack of cages so she would quit getting 'soiled' from the rabbits above! I wonder how many ducklings we will have waddling around soon? Do you think they will do a better job than our incubator does?

The pigs are really gaining. They are also so much fun. Chris and Nicholas were putting the hay tarp on last week and the pigs were helping! Three of the pigs grabbed on to a corner of the tarp and started pulling while Chris and Nicholas were on the other corner! You should have heard those two laughing and calling to the pigs to 'pull'. Priceless.

The heifers and steers are very happy with all this rain, they have plenty of grass to eat all day long. We also still give them hay to keep things balanced, but they sure enjoy that green grass. Right now the goats are in the same pasture as the cows. They keep their distance from each other but are doing fine. The goats like to eat the hay from the top of the bale! They jump right up on those round bales and munch away.

That just leaves the rabbits. Rebecca counted yesterday and we have an even 100 rabbits. Sure seem likes more at watering and feeding time! They are all doing well, considering the heat. We have had lots of babies and they are growing like crazy. Only one show this month and then nothing until the Whitley County Fair and State Fair followed quickly by the IN State RBA Convention.

The gardens are growing with all the rain we have had. We had 5" last Friday alone. Lots of standing water around here. Our garden beds are on a hill with grass inbetween so we didn't have anything wash away except for the driveway!

Thanks for checking in!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Happy goats- 10 days old

Spring 'Break'?

Not much of a break here- I'll let the photos tell the tale.