For the most part around here, those destined to fill the freezer have personality to spare. They are almost perhaps clairvoyant in their trying to deter me from carrying through with their fates. While it usually (and that means some HAVE worked their wiles quite well on me) doesn't work, it probably does allow them the absolutely best life while they are in my care....lots of petting, treats and special attention. That may make it harder most times to "do the deed" but I would probably feel worse longer if they were neglected during their short lives.
Of course then there are a few that make it SOOO much easier when the time comes. Tomorrow will be the day for butchering our checkered giant cross rabbit that we bought solely for the purpose of the freezer. Her sister, Oreo Flurry, is an absolute doll, docile and quiet, exactly what I want in a breeder that may also make pets someday. The Black One (since she was given no actual name) has a nasty rabbit personality!! I don't take butchering any livestock "lightly", but I AM looking forward to eating this one.
Kidding season is coming soon. We have already had our Whammy as far as that goes and are hoping for NO MORE WHAMMIES!! (Do you remember that game show? The Whammy was a nasty little creature.) Snapdragon, who gave us two lovely paint and dappled doelings last year, had a miscarriage early in her pregnancy this year. While the cause is unknown, we believe it was due to bullying by another goat. Her mother (Ruby) is getting close to kidding - she's HUGE, but doesn't have much of an udder yet. Snapdragon's daughter, Ivy, will not be bred until this fall as I feel she is just a bit too petite to be bred at this age. I think for her health waiting until she is at least one year old will be much better. All the other does are bred and I just can't wait to see all the babies!! That's NINE sets of kids!! It's going to be like a sweetness/cuteness overdose soon.
Add to that the piglets that are soon to arrive.....I might need some insulin!! I have separated Avidor (who now spends his time in an old hay-stuffed dogloo located in the garden area) from Abra. Poor sow may have frost bitten teats if she doesn't farrow on time.....she practically drags the ground now! She has a toasty 8'deep X 3' wide X 3' high "coop" to farrow and raise little piglets in. I have a heat light in there. Right now I am just testing her (it isn't plugged in yet) to see if she will be able to tear it down or otherwise destroy it and possibly cause a fire or some other horrible catastrophe. After about a week she is still leaving it alone. All the nooks and crannies have been filled with hay to help avoid drafts. On one drafty end of the coop, we have lined it with feed bags to eliminate the large amount of incoming air from there, thankfully she is also leaving those alone.
Greg has rekindled an old flame - ice fishing. After the purchase of a one man shanty and license he has spent a few hours now catching a few nice batches of fish. To top it off he cleaned and cooked up a mess of those fish......oh, YUMMY. And one thing about fried up pan fish is that it tastes just as yummy the next day!! I'll have to vote for this hobby anyday over say....woodworking or stamp collecting!!
This year I have started a better record keeping system. Well, maybe not better - it's still a spreadsheet - but most definately more detailed. We will be keeping tabs on the lucrativeness of each and every outside animal here on the farm (excluding the horses and barn cats). Once we figure if certain ones are financially worth keeping we will re-evaluate the ones that may come up short and see if they are still worth keeping when weighing in the intangibles (like taste, healthiness of the product and joy of keeping them around).
Untill next time.....