Over the long weekend Jay built the two frames for our two 5-hole rabbit cages.

He also put in the chimney for our wood stove in its new location.  And while in the attic space under the roof he saw the charred evidence of a house fire.  Which answers my perennial question about how/why this old house (a log cabin, though you can’t tell from the inside or out) got a new floor and sheet-rocked walls.

We set the first giant cage in place late Monday night, but it was just yesterday I finished cleaning them out and transferring the “mythic” (Odin, Freya, Athena, etc.) set from their temporary place to the raised frame.  Freya and Ropa (short for Europa) were bred a couple weeks before I bought them and are due to kindle early next week.

Ropa’s been a bit of a snit, and was heavier than Freya, so I’m pretty sure Ropa’s preggers.  Not as sure about the older one, so it will be a wait-and-see again, like it was with Serena.

Yeah.  I’ve named them all.  It’s the best way I’ve found for keeping things straight in my head.  I don’t know how many the pantheon of Greek/Norse gods would work for, but for me it keeps the generations straight without even trying.

We’re officially “real” farmers now, though, because Hera broke her back somehow and while Jay was starting the cage frames I was skinning and butchering my first rabbit.

I also separated the drakes from the hens among the ducks, assured myself we have at least six hens (including the two named ducklings, thank God), and picked a drake to try out duck meat.

I skinned it rather than trying the scald/pluck method, and have to say that seems most practical.  And I’m really not doing much with cooking fat anyway, so saving the skin just seems like more effort than it’s worth right now.

So we’ve had duck and rabbit this week, and Jay was thankful to “reset” some negitive memories of both meats.

Next animal jobs are to clean up the 5-hole that was on the ground and split up the B-set (Buck, Bunnita, Buttercup) we got in May.

Jay and I are ready to see the guinea pigs leave now. We’re looking for the simplicity of only two types of animals; and having animals that can all make it outdoors in wire-bottom cages.

It’s amazing how much more relaxed Jay is without animals in the house.

So we’ve told the kids, but aren’t moving quickly.

Oh, and we accepted four lonely tomato plants along with a collection of seed-starting stuff (for next year, maybe), so I planted them one-to-a-pot in the half-barrel planters on the edges of the yard.  It will be interesting to see if they produce anything.  They’re surviving so far.

4 thoughts on “Half-set

  1. Brooke says:

    I don’t think I’ve had duck. Does it taste a lot different from chicken? Do you eat ducks eggs? I’ve heard theyre a lot more rich than chicken eggs.

  2. Amy Jane says:

    In short they’re “more”: bigger and therefore more of anything. As best as I can gather they are proportionate for their size, though.

    Yeah, the meat tastes different than chicken. For one thing, they’re all dark meat, which is a mental shift, and whether due to that or just being a different type of meat I think it’s… denser, sort of. It’s not tough or hard to cut, just more solid to cut through.

    I liked the flavor better than the rabbit, but I think that was the way it was prepared: I just like Moroccan flavors better than Italian, so I’m already skewed. And I must have over-cooked the rabbit; it was drier than I like best.

  3. Becky says:

    Duck confit is the best thing I’ve ever eaten. If you ever feel like doing something with duck fat, try making confit.

  4. Becky says:

    If you like Moroccan flavors, have you ever tried cooking in a tagine? We LOVE tagine meals here. Making preserved lemons is worth it for the flavor they add.

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