I checked in with the colony rabbits today. I counted a dozen kits, some of them leaving the nest to run around in the building. I found one that had been chewed up by the big bunnies (I assume). I seem to be missing a bunny, because just yesterday #3 was out there cleaning out the nest box and counted 14 live babies, one being weak and straggling behind in growth. It's possible I miscounted, especially now that they're leaving the nest box. They could have been in a hiding place out of view - there are a few of those in there for them. Looks like we only have one of those pretty brown ones left. Otherwise there are broken colored, black, and at least one that is broken torte (the color spots change shade as the move away from the back).
I've finally had enough of the smallest gosling attacking the chicks. At first it was little goose nibbles, but now the gosling is literally picking chicks up by the feathers on their shoulders, wings, and tails, and flinging them around as they scream. We're setting up the second brooder tomorrow and putting the goslings in a separate area to make sure they can't hurt the chicks anymore. I don't want to wait until that mean one ends up killing a chick to do something about it.
In related news, we've dubbed the smallest gosling Peter Pecker - "because he's a dick." He won't be staying here. I'm not sure if we will offer him for sale, or just have him as our Christmas meal... It's much easier to cull / slaughter an animal that is a jerk. I feel bad because he was one of our little bonus babies from the local breeder - one that took longer to hatch and was slower to come around, so there was concern it might not survive. It's still the smallest, but there's no comparison to his aggression! Or hers, I guess... I don't know gender. I do know that I don't want Peter Pecker in my flock to ravage future generations of chicks and ducklings. So - if anyone is in the Staples or Brainerd area of Minnesota and you want an embden gosling - I might have one available.
I wish that I could say I did some really cool project for Earth Day... planted trees or flowers or something, but it's still just too cold. The ground is still frozen in a lot of places. I did have Tony pick up several bags of mulch today while it was on sale, and tomorrow I hope to get cardboard down and put mulch down around the black raspberry plants. I'm hopeful it will block the grass from competing with the canes. Right now the ground just outside of the raspberry row is so saturated that my feet sink in. The raspberries seem to be on an invisible ridge or something because they don't seem to be soggy.
As planned, today we added 29 chicken eggs to the incubator. The grand total includes six medium-brown eggs, seven white eggs, seven blue-green eggs, and nine light brown eggs. The nine light brown eggs are from our Barred Rock hen (Henrietta) and our Rhode Island Red rooster (Big Red). Any chicks that result from those eggs will be Black Sex Link. The other eggs came from #1's friend who keeps a flock of "afro headed and feather footed" birds that run with two roosters. They weren't sure any of the eggs would be fertile and jokingly said their roosters may be gay. Well, I hope some of the hens snuck in a little booty-call time anyway. We should know by next Sunday if we have any viable eggs in the lot. Planned hatch day is May 13th.