I didn't get the bedding into the colony building today. Tony forgot to pick it up after work and I forgot to remind him. Tomorrow we can pick it up while we're back in town.
I decided to clean out the freezer. I knew we had amassed quite the collection of dead critters in there, but it turns out there's more than I thought. Wow! I posted an ad online and got a couple bites. Tomorrow I'll be meeting a guy we used to buy hamsters from when I worked at the pet store, and whatever he doesn't take we're bringing to the zoo. Clearly I've been thinking too small. I kept saving all of our losses to sell to reptile owners or raw / BARF feeders. And here the local zoo steps up to take the lot of them. Nice.
And for the record, these are the stillborns, the bunnies that were born on the wire, or those that got knocked out of their nests, those that were born when it was just too cold out, those that got pushed away from their litter mates, the ones that didn't make the adjustment from milk to real food (weaning enteritis), a few that succumbed to the bitter cold snap last winter, and a couple that got chased to death by the colony buck this summer. These weren't rabbits we killed intentionally, they're babies that died for reasons out of our control, and rather than throwing them in the trash or tossing them in the woods, feeding them to the chickens, or digging a hole and burying them, we stash them in the freezer until we have a bunch and then sell them off as food for other animals. It's a way to feel less wasteful and bring in a small bit of side income for what would otherwise be pure loss. Often times homesteading requires you to think outside the box, and in this case, reptile owners, RAW/BARF feeders, zoos, raptor centers, and wildlife rehab places are all sources to check in to to sell off (or donate for tax credit) your farm losses. Assuming they didn't die because they were sick.
I fixed up Quince's nest box as best I could, and gave Spotty a cardboard box inside her nest area. No fur pulling from either one yet. I heard back from the breeder who has MooMoo and no babies from her yet either. I guess we're all on baby watch for the next few days.
I've finally decided I need to retire some of my breeding rabbits. Sushi has to go. We've kept back too many of his offspring and theirs, I'm limited on who I can breed him to now. I'm also going to sell Fabio (Sushi's son). I kept him back because he had one lop ear and a blue tort color I liked. So far I've bred him once and he produced three offspring, we kept them all. I still want to retire Alice, but my husband insisted we give her another try as a breeder, so she's due for Halloween babies. We will see if she produces. Her last litter she wouldn't stop peeing in the nest box. It didn't matter where I put the box or how many times I sanitized it. Then she chewed the toes off one of her babies. We called him Mittens because both of his front feet had no toes and his back feed were missing toes too. He looked like he was wearing mittens.
I have no gotten to posting any ads yet. Sushi will be going to the breeder who has MooMoo at the moment. She was around the bunny barn when we first got Sushi and fell in love with him, back before she had her breeding set up. She's always admired him, and so I gave her first dibs on him. I'll be trading him for a bunny out of a spring litter she's planning between Sushi and her angora doe. That should be a gorgeous litter. I just want a fluffy bunny again. Not for me of course - I'm deathly allergic to rabbit wool, but #3 has been asking for another fluffy rabbit for a while now. She was heartbroken when we had to sell her angora buck when my allergies came on. She'd taken him to show (purple ribbon champion for his breed), but was too young then to keep up on his grooming needs. That was nearly five years ago. I think she's more capable now (she's 13), and I want to give her an opportunity.
I'm still debating which venue to sell my dish cloths and hair ties at. Etsy charges 5% of the sale price and 5% of the shipping you charge, plus a 40-cent listing fee to post an item for four months. They have built-in traffic and seem better advertised and better known than Bonanza. But Bonanza is free to list, listings last forever, and they charge 3.5% sales fee. If your buyer comes from a link you've advertised, they waive the 3.5% fee altogether, since you're the one who did the legwork to advertise. But Bonanza is virtually unknown to buyers. It's just a ton of sellers, who sometimes buy one another's stuff. Sales there are infrequent, and I was only seeing success there when I was devoting 6-8 hours per day to advertising my stuff and driving traffic there. I can't afford that time commitment now. I'm honestly leaning more toward Bonanza for the better fees, but Tony is leaning more towards Etsy for their better advertising. Also, I can't look at sold items on Etsy, so I have no idea if anyone is actually making sales on the similar items I see on there. At least on Bonanza I can see there isn't much competition and there have been no sales of anything that pulls up for "crochet dish cloth" in the past several months. I don't know what else to do at this point. I have to feed my critters, and it seems making some online sales may be the only way to eek by this winter. I'm so out of practice now that I feel like I'm starting back at zero. Shipping prices have gone way up since last time I mailed a package. I mean, $3.50 base cost for a 3-ounce package!? What happened to the $1.65 I was paying a few years ago??
So, if you were looking for some hand made dish cloths, or an interesting handmade gift for someone, would you rather shop Bonanza or Etsy and why?