Thursday, July 8, 2010

rats and rabbits

My la rattes have been unearthed! My small french potatoes started as six little seed taters and have exploded into a saucepan of future meals. It's a good haul, and a small success after such a rough garden year. It's been a bad one for the lettuce and beans, but the onions and potatoes are strong. Hash browns will know me as well as I know them.

I decided to sell the rabbitry. I will just keep Bean and Ben, the rest of the rabbits and cages are going to go. It may seem sudden, but the rabbits are the most time consuming animal on the farm. And while I love and appreciate rabbit meat: I also know that I can get it from farmers twenty minutes away. I'll have meat rabbits again, I'm sure but right now I need to scale down and focus on my farm passion: sheep. I'll keep my pet angoras and continue to breed them. But going from two to over twenty rabbits is too much, too soon. I learned my lesson. I'll eat crow.

I need to scale back, slow down, and realize one woman does not a superman make. Right now I'm all about the uphill that is beginning a wool and lamb operation. After this weekend at the trials I'll be pounding more fence posts and looking at barn plans with drool coming out of my mouth. I am a shepherd. I am not a rabbitry with sheep. This is simply how things are.

If anyone is interested in two healthy does (one with two kits) and a few young adult french angoras, let me know. I have some that need new homes for bargain prices, and cages to boot.


Blogger jenomnibus said...

Jenna, you're a wise woman to know when to push on and when to re-focus and scale down. (I wish I had that kind of insight and patience with myself). Well played!

July 8, 2010 at 8:24 PM  
Blogger Renee said...

I would take your angoras in a heartbeat, but New York is too far of a drive from Michigan:) Sorry! It is good that you are able to see how much you can handle and what your passion is so that you are able to focus on that! Not focusing on what is right in front of me is often what gets me into trouble with too much stuff and too little time. I was joking with friends today that if I only had 12 more hours in my day all my dreams would come true! But we can't do it all.

July 8, 2010 at 8:27 PM  
Blogger Geek 3000 said...

Yeah dude, you are doing way too much! Stick to a few millions things and when you have a tried and true going good then add on!

July 8, 2010 at 8:42 PM  
Blogger Jenna H said...

I am glad you are scaling back a bit. It was a lot for one person. No need to have it all at once. Superwomen are gradually made, not achieved overnight. I am amazed at all your accomplishments. Keep up the good work.

July 8, 2010 at 8:47 PM  
Blogger doglady said...

Not sure how your buns are so time consuming but you seem to feel relief from your decision. The little ones should be ready to harvest now which would certainly cut back. You probably can get a decent price on Craigs.

July 8, 2010 at 9:05 PM  
Blogger doglady said...

Not sure how your buns are so time consuming but you seem to feel relief from your decision. The little ones should be ready to harvest now which would certainly cut back. You probably can get a decent price on Craigs.

July 8, 2010 at 9:05 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

the rabbits, since they livbe in hutches, are the most time consuming of all my animals outside. they need the most cleaning and brushing, the most hauling of manure, twice daily check ins and it's just too much right now. I am keeping the four feral rabbits for my table and two wool rabbits for angora breeding. But I think the 7 cages and 6 extras can go to a new homesteader-home.

July 8, 2010 at 9:11 PM  
Blogger Flartus said...

Sounds like a good decision to me. Some of my best decisions came from my gut more than my head. And your gut says "SHEEP!"

July 8, 2010 at 9:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


July 8, 2010 at 9:27 PM  
Blogger doglady said...

I found my Angoras to be very time consuming but they are gone. The Silver Fox,in outdoor hutches, I care for at morning chore time and again in the evening. It takes me maybe 10 minutes to refill water and food. The manure gets dumped in my garden once a week. My chickens and turkeys take more time.

July 8, 2010 at 9:28 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

i guess poultry does take more time, I just can't imagine not having birds. I just can't. they were my gateway drug into farming

July 8, 2010 at 9:31 PM  
Blogger Miriam said...

Good for you - it sounds like a wise decision. It's really, really hard to recognize limitations of time and energy - I haven't learned that lesson yet and I've got 20 years on you. You've got plenty on your plate, and plenty to be proud of.

July 8, 2010 at 10:45 PM  
Blogger Cindy said...

I agree, it looks like a wise decision. If it does not bring you joy, or enhance your life, it is not worth the time.

July 8, 2010 at 11:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


July 8, 2010 at 11:30 PM  
Blogger Rois said...

One of the things I like about you and your blog is every now and again you come out and say "Ooops".

July 8, 2010 at 11:57 PM  
Blogger Tami said...

Well, know better than anyone else what your limits are. I commend you for your decision. I was worried you were taking on too much. Glad you've seen the light and feel good about it. Knowing all the other stuff you have to do to keep paying the's understandable...regardless of how much or how little work they don't feel that your time is focused in the right direction. THAT is the important thing..:-) **Tami

July 8, 2010 at 11:59 PM  
Blogger Paula said...

Hey Jenna-

You eat crow with much grace, so don't even worry about it.

I'm just glad that you're focusing on something that you value and that will bring you much joy. There will probably be some heartache and consternation at one point or another- no road out there is completely smooth- but it's what you really want to do, and to know that and be sure of it is such a lucky thing.

Everything I'm reading these days about abundance and simple prosperity all talk about simplifying. You're doing that, and honing in on what will give you joy. You are so far ahead in the grand scheme of things, that you should have a very contented life.

Lucky you!

July 9, 2010 at 12:32 AM  
Blogger Manzanita Farms said...

Dearest Jenna,

Good for you. When I read your blog entitled "Hell of a Year" my first thought was that you have so much on your plate that you need to pace yourself. There is no need to have it all overnight. You have your farm, your youth and many years ahead to make it what you dream it to be. When you learn to juggle you start with one ball and add on. You had too many balls in the air and they were starting to fall down. I'm glad you decided to scale back, focus on your true passion and get some balance. I know that over time you will grow to the scale that you want to be. And you will handle it all beautifully. Pace yourself and find your balance. We don't want you to burn yourself out. I read your blog every day. It's the thing I look forward to as I'm driving home from a hard days work. We're all with you. Take care of Jenna first.

July 9, 2010 at 2:31 AM  
Blogger Affi'enia said...

Well done you. It's never easy to realise that you can't do everything you want to right now. Focus on one thing at a time and do that well, then move on.

July 9, 2010 at 3:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish I lived closer. I would happily buy your rabbits. A couple of French angoras are on my wish list for next year.

Congrats on the big decision. As always, I am rooting for you.

July 9, 2010 at 7:35 AM  
Blogger Crystal said...

I just got two new does monday or I'd be seriously considering the ability of me to come from Florida to get some Cold Antler Angora's.

Good luck selling them and for being wise enough to let go what is too much. I wish I had such epiphanies.

July 9, 2010 at 7:37 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

Thank you for sharing the whole picture with us. I really appreciate it!

July 9, 2010 at 8:02 AM  
Blogger Patsy said...

I also wondered if you weren't taking on too much. I think that is why you were getting down a bit and maybe even contributed to your getting sick.

I do want to thank you Jenna for your great blog. I have your book and I can do some dreaming of a small acreage one of these days. But at 59, I am getting a bit long in the tooth to start something like that. But I can live a bit thru you.

July 9, 2010 at 10:03 AM  
Blogger Susan said...

Jenna, I'm interested in a couple of your rabbits but can't connect to your email. Pls email me back swomersley at gmail dot com.

July 9, 2010 at 10:36 AM  
Blogger crowjoy said...

Honing leads to tough decisions, but it sounds like the right one for you right now. We're also looking around at our poultry and wondering if we really need all of these animals, and if we do, why. Are we breeding turkeys? for the table? to sell poults? why? I don't think the honing ever ends.

I'm tempted to peek at some taters too, but it's been so hot here in the Finger Lakes I don't want to disturb the soil and let the moisture out. But mmm I want your breakfast!

July 9, 2010 at 11:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We don't learn anything by sitting still, we only learn by doing - and by lord, you're doing, alright. So rabbits aren't your thing right now - you tried, you learned, and you're moving on. That's OK!
Good luck with the garden, I know my sad little containers just can't hold enough water to get through the day at this point.
- K.

July 9, 2010 at 11:43 AM  
Blogger The MO Farmers Daughter said...

Good sounds like you are focusing...Do you make yourself list on paper?Positives on one side,and negatives on the other,it is a good thing to do in every life situation.Good luck,carol

July 9, 2010 at 12:23 PM  
Blogger Maureen said...

Hi Jenna

I may be interested in buying a hutch from you depending on the dimensions and type of hutch you have. My kids have a small rabbitry, and need something large enough for a medium/large breeding doe.

July 10, 2010 at 9:16 AM  
Blogger Penny said...

Smart move!

I also had to step back from some of my plans this year. Stepping back doesn't mean never .. just later.

July 10, 2010 at 12:16 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Jenna -

Have you found rabbit and cage takers? If not, I would be interested and live within an hour or so to come pick them up.

Please send more info on who needs a home and cages available...

Jess Weitz in Marlboro

July 13, 2010 at 2:59 PM  
Blogger Westfarm Goat Mom said...

I'm just now catching up with reading - been busy with the goats. I totally understand the overwhelm of a farm I had 18 goat kids born this year (twice the number of usual. I had rabbits about 15 years ago, loved them, but decided I won't keep them anymore as they die too easily.

July 17, 2010 at 8:40 AM  

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