Ok, so long story short, I bought a rooster on Monday and I lost him last night.
I picked up a cute little Barred Rock cockerel on Monday to replace the one I raised (because he was a jerk) Wednesday night I gave him away and put the little fella in with the girls. He was quite scared, but I figured he'd calm down over time. Last night I came home to a hen outside of the run, trying to get back in. The door latch must have dropped, and then after she got out, the door blew closed. My first thought was "Oh no, my rooster is probably gone!"
Sure enough, he was no where to be found. I got up this morning to piles of feathers all around the yard. Poor thing. My guess is a fox, but I'm really not sure. I've set a live trap baited with canned cat food. Hopefully I can catch whatever it is. Right now my girls are at my parents place with my chicks. Not taking any chances.
Gotcha! Resetting the trap tonight.
I'm selling Georgia. Her grandmother (who I called Faline) was a larger doe. Long in body, dewlap, large ears. But she had nice thick ears and a large eye, which I needed. Also, I would come to find out, that she was an amazing mother. Never lost a kit, always threw large litters, and took great care of them. I also needed that. She was quite aggressive from the time she got pregnant to the time the kits were weaned.
I kept a doe from her before selling her. Dixie. She was smaller, ears were a bit smaller, dewlap was smaller. Not quite as cranky. Then out of her, I kept Georgia.
Georgia has a slightly shorter body, nice thick ears, but still too long. Nice eye, smaller dewlap. Cranky but not aggressive. Her first litter didn't make it. Her second litter I palpated her positive. She had 2 little bucks, one was absolutely beautiful. He won Best Buck at the Big Ex. I swore there was another one inside of her, but yet she only had the 2. So for the next years, I've been trying to breed her. She's very receptive, but has not taken since that litter. Last time she even built a nest. She wants to be a mother, but it's just not working. Poor girl. So I've decided to move her along. Unless someone has a suggestion.
I've got almost a dozen Black Copper Marans eggs now. And yesterday I finally received my egg colour card from Marans USA. According to them, your eggs must rate at least a 4 on the colour card in order to be considered a purebred. Most of mine are not that dark, so that's something I'll have to work on with new bloodlines in the future. But I think I've got a couple that are nice. What do you think?
The baby bunnies are ready for their new homes. I've got two going tomorrow, so I had to tattoo most of them tonight. I know, I should've taken pictures but it's hard to tattoo them, let alone take pictures. I honestly hate doing it. I try to do it as quickly as possible. I use a clamp tattooer, which basically looks like a pair of pliers. It holds 4 letters or numbers that are pins, so the tattoo is actually just a series of dots in the shape of the letter or number. You have to position it in the left ear and then squeeze it to make the pins pierce the ear, then you smear tattoo ink into it. The purpose of tattooing is identification. You have to be able to tell the rabbits apart. Many breeders have many of the same colour, so many look the same. Also, you want to make sure you're bringing your own rabbit home if you take it to a show.
I brought home my Barred Rock rooster to keep with my Barred Rock hens. I've decided to try a test hatch and already have a buyer for them, so I started collecting eggs today. Today I got 2. They're a bit dirty because it rained quite hard today and they're a bit muddy. I've got them sitting on the counter in an egg carton. I will continue to collect them until I have about a dozen and a half. They will need to be rotated every day until I have what I need. I'm told you can safely collect them for 10 days. We'll see how that goes.
On another note, my Black Copper Marans have started laying!
We've got at least 3 chicks laying now. And had the first one in the nest yesterday! That's a big deal! Also got my first Marans egg. It's darker than the egg she came out of, but definitely not dark enough. Not sure what to do. Do I get myself another rooster? Something that comes from a dark egg? I don't know. I really like my rooster. Brought the Barred Rock rooster home to be with my hens the other day as well. He's just starting to crow and sounds horrible! I'll try to get a recording. The older hens are all laying, but not every day. But their eggs have definitely gotten bigger. We've been getting up to 9 eggs per day.
The dark egg is the Marans egg. I just ordered myself an egg colour chart. Should be here soon!