Miss Elsa continues to escalate with her aggression. I have to poke a stick through the opposite side of the cage to distract her (she likes to chew on it, I don't use it to poke or harass her) to reach in long enough to put her food in. Even then sometimes it takes several minutes and multiple attempts. She is in a cage with bars smaller than the other cages to prevent anyone from sticking fingers in and getting them bit off (because at this point, I wouldn't trust Elsa not to chomp fingers clean off in her rage). She is also housed away from most of the other bunnies. Don't get me wrong, I do like Elsa. She was a sweetheart for a while, and I remember fondly the face rubs and snuggles we shared. But she arrived here as a rescue due to her aggression, and it's become obvious that she can't handle change, so finding her a new home is out of the question. Unfortunately, she is also not safe to keep. Miss Elsa will be heading to "freezer camp" as my fellow homesteaders call it. I just have to work up to it. She will be the first bunny I've had to slaughter that we have named and loved and kept for any significant amount of time. In the meantime, I will continue to walk a tightrope to make sure she has food and water every day, that she has fresh hay, and that she is comfortable in her pen. As other fellow homesteaders also say - the life of an animal should be all happy, with just one bad day. I'm sad to think that Elsa's one bad day will be coming all too soon. I owe it to her to give her a swift end after giving her a good life. I hope she remembers those cuddles and face rubs too.
It's hard to believe that Fern and Alice's kits will be ready to go in just six more days. They really do grow up fast. Mittens is completely healed up and unless you're looking for his bad feet, you wouldn't noticed his missing toes just watching him hop around. He does remain the runt of his litter though.
I also snapped a new photo of Jensen. He's four months old already. I'm surprised he hasn't found a home yet. Now he's practically old enough to be a breeder. Like I said before though, I don't need another buck right now. He's a sweet boy though.
The bunk beds currently in the boys' room will be going into the room for #1 and #3. The bunk beds in the girls' room will be split up and one will become #4's bed, and the other will be #2's bed. Then my parents are hoping to find a trundle bed for #5 that can slide under #2's new bed to save room in a small space. If they can't find one, I'm kind of hoping maybe my dad will just build one... because how cool would that be to have a hand-crafted bed from Grandpa??
Tony has this weekend off, so hopefully we can get a lot done.
We are hoping to put up bird feeders, bird houses, and bat houses at the new house to attract birds and bats that may cut down on the insect population. Being on the lake means a lot of mosquitoes, and horseflies. If we can remember to bring a couple screws and the drill, maybe we can hang up the bat house that I got for Christmas and already brought over to the new house. It says 10-15 feet up on a South facing building or tree. I think we're going to put it up either in a tree or behind the garage. I think the plan is to buy more as we have the ability so we can have several.
Maybe we can remember to bring the bird feeders and shepherd hooks along, pick up some seed on the way, and set up the bird feeders to start attracting birds before we even move in. Maybe a slinky too. Despite not seeing any squirrels on our visits, I'm sure food will attract unwanted hungry friends.
I also have to figure out what I'm going to do about the rodent problem at the new house. I've found mouse nests in both out-buildings, and the house has Irish Spring soap stuffed in funny places. I can't have mice infesting my bunny barn. So do I invest in a trio of barn cats that may eventually cause problems when I decide to get ducks or chickens? Or do I get some chickens - that I'm told will catch and eat mice - despite not having a proper set up for them and not wanting them to eat my garden? Though cats might poop in my garden - making my organic soil into a nasty mess. I also have to keep in mind that both cats and chickens are likely to kill any rabbit kits that somehow find themselves on the wrong side of the wire. I wonder how other homestead folks deal with mice. I know you can get a terrier dog, but I'm sure that's a bad idea when it comes down to keeping other small livestock (rabbits, chickens, ducks, etc.). Any ideas? Send me an email and let me know how you take care of mouse problems in your barns! I'm sure Mabel will make quick work of any that venture into the house. She's a wonderful mouser. But she is also strictly an indoor only cat.