This morning I ran out to check the big cage with the three does we pulled from the colony. It was already raining and I know from past experience that rabbits often have their litters when the weather changes. Sure enough, seven beautiful babies in the nest box, but no fur pulled and all were still. I brought them in and tried my best to revive them, but alas, to no avail. All seven were already gone. They're available as frozen food for reptiles or raw feeders if anyone is interested. Five dollars takes the whole bag.
I moved the four chicks from the hatching incubator over to the brooder that has the most recent (shipped) chicks. They were starting to peck at one another and I know they need food and drink. They were pretty happy to be in the bigger space and took to the water and food right away. The Columbian Wyandotte cross chick that I thought was Doodle's is most definitely not his. The baby has a beard! That one is a Columbian Wyandotte / Easter Egger cross! That makes Sherlock the father.
Tony brought home a couple thermometers tonight, so I'm hoping I have the time and energy to start working on the barn brooder tomorrow. I have an appointment out of town in the afternoon and I'm not sure when I will be able to get home again after that. Brooder set up may have to wait for Friday or this weekend.
We were finally able to get to the PO box again and there was the awaited deposit for Butter Beer. She now officially has a home lined up for her once she's spayed next month. Yay for Butter Beer!
Ginger Bear and Blue Star are still waiting for someone to want them. Twice now I've chatted with someone about Ginger Bear and everything looked good, but when it came down to actually answering some direct questions and putting a deposit down, both people disappeared. I guess better to flake out early on than when it's time to actually pick up, or care for the kitty, right?
I'm still trying to find a home for Netherquartz too. He's the only cat other than the kittens to have normal fur, and poor #1 is horribly allergic to him. Besides that, I think the entire family has a smidge of disdain for him having stressed Henry literally to death. He deserves a home that can love him fully, and I'm getting the sense that here that opportunity may be too far gone now. It's unfortunate really, he's an awesome cat, loves everyone, gets along with the dog and the other cats, uses the scratching post, uses the litter box, doesn't demand a lot of attention, pretty self sufficient really. He's a big sweetie, but now he has that negative strike against him.
I really should start looking for a home for Sage too. We have had a blast raising her. It's been a real challenge with her unique medical issues, but we never intended to keep her permanently. I suppose she probably will end up staying because who's going to want a cat with chronic medical issues? Her nose is slightly misshapen, flattening out just below her eyes, which means her sinuses can't drain properly. This causes her to have a perpetual sinus issue. She sneezes frequently, sometimes she shoots inch-long boogers across the room, and she perpetually looks disgusted with everyone by lifting one part of her lip up in a weird sneer. Of course she's a lover, nothing makes her happier than being petted and touched. She loves having the back of her head rubbed and will stick her tongue out or flick her tongue if you get just the right spot. I have to schedule her for a spay surgery. I'm not in a huge rush though. With Henry gone and Netherquartz neutered, I have some time yet. Besides, I can't imagine people lining up to pay full price for a cat who's going to leave nasty green snot rockets around the house and need regular doses of antibiotics for flare-ups.
I suspect Gypsy (our tabby barn cat) may be pregnant. She's rather round. It's a mystery how that would have happened. They chased off the only other cat we've seen on the property last fall, and we're surrounded by water and a busy roadway, with no nearby neighbors. I guess we'll just wait and see if we end up with even more barn kitties. I had attempted to raise funds to get them spayed last fall, but never got anywhere with it. I hadn't really thought any more about it until we noticed her round belly.
Phyllis, one of our Rouen ducks, has gone broody. She's selected a bog patch in the inlet area of the lake (it won't drift away). Today we didn't get a single duck egg. Production is way down. Today we got 14 chicken eggs. Yesterday we got ten chicken eggs. Last week we were getting 18+ eggs per day plus 2-4 duck eggs per day. I suspect Phyllis isn't the only one with a nest somewhere. Some of the chickens may be laying elsewhere too. We are letting Phyllis sit on her nest. She comes back sometimes for food, but stays on her nest most of the time. On last check, #3 counted 11 eggs in the nest. Here's hoping this year's babies do better than last year. Perhaps Phyllis will be a better natural mom than Dashi and Matt last year.