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From a Hutch to a Coop-ette!

Absolutely love to repurpose, recycle, upcycle. Also, like to adopt animals that are looking for a new home. Well, okay, the animals have no say in the matter. People, for whatever reason, decide they can no longer keep an animal and, well, there you are. Or I should say, there I am!!

Someone was looking to rehome their rabbit. The rabbit is named Twitch and came with his own hutch. How cool is that? And the best part is that the whole deal was only $40. But no. It gets better.

The person rehoming this adorable bundle of fur is a magician! Twitch had grown too large to fit into the hat for the magic show so, well, there you go. (The above image was taken when Twitch was still tiny.) Yippee, I have a magical rabbit!!!

When I picked up the rabbit and the hutch I fully expected to plop the hutch down, put the rabbit into the hutch. toss in some food and water and enjoy my magical rabbit. Easy peasy; done and done, right?

But no. When I saw the hutch my brain went into high gear. Creativity kicked in.

What if…do you think it would be possible? Hmmm. Let me think a minute. If I raise up the hutch and put a lower floor, reinforced with fence wire and 1/2 inch hardware cloth…I’ll be right back.

Yep, it works. The rabbit is now happily living in a dog pen inside the house and my 6 chickens have a 2-story mini coop with a large-ish outdoor play area that had a former life as a dog exercise pen. I am calling it a ‘coop-ette’, hope I invented a new word.

Look here to see the before picture of the original coop:

https://www.wayfair.com/pet/pdx/innovation-pet-cotton-tails-bunny-hutch-inpe1022.html

Sorry, this item is no longer in stock so don’t be trying to buy one and make your own two-story coop-ette.

You may still be able to purchase on here: https://www.ebay.com/itm/142571391320

But if you plan to use this for rabbits, please know that it is made mainly of wood. Rabbits tend to chew wood. Eventually, the rabbits could chew their way out, hit the ground and end up on a different blog post. It’s better to use it as a coop-ette for chickens.

And here is the after picture: 

If you live near Savannah, Georgia and need a very entertaining magician, here is a link to some reviews for Tembers Tales, the magician who provided the hutch and the magical rabbit. Children absolutely love Miss September.

https://www.temberstales.com/

https://www.temberstales.com/reviews

 

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Another Day; Another Adventure.

September 11, 2018

So here I am, leisurely cleaning elderberries so I can make some elderberry/fig something-or-other. I already have the figs cooking on low heat. Then I hear a dog bark. Not one of my dogs but I recognize the bark. It the bark of El Gato who lives across the street. You may remember him as the dog that had a bone stuck in his throat. I also hear another dog, or maybe two more dogs. This is worrisome so I set the bowl down and walk across the street to investigate. It’s not nosiness; it’s being neighborly.

I see the young lady of the house putting the little dog into his enclosure but I can still hear barking. Letting myself into the gate, I wave. Then I see two…no, there are three dogs in the next yard over and they are furiously barking at something near a tree. Don’t worry; there is a fence separating the two yards.

The young lady and I decide the dogs may be barking at a lizard or possibly a snake so we keep our distance. The dogs continue to focus on one spot and will not quit barking. We wait.

One of the dogs, the white one with a pink collar, turns and barks at her owner’s house hoping to get some attention. The black dog lies down and stares at the spot near the tree. The fluffy dog continues to bark for no reason because that’s just what fluffy dog do.

Ah, the owner of the three dogs is approaching. Over the cacophany, we introduce ourselves and chat for a while. After explaining that it might be a snake she takes a look from the safety of her side of the fence. Her face lights up. It’s a chicken! The poor chicken is hiding the best it can and has no intention of coming out as long as the dogs are barking. Whew, since it’s not a snake, I step around the tree, hunker down and grab hold of the chicken. The dogs are quite satisfied that they have done a good job.

Accompanied by the young woman of the house, I carry the chicken safely tucked under my arm and return it to the coop. No chickens, dogs, lizards, snakes, or people were harmed during this incident. Another day; another adventure. What will tomorrow bring? Oops, I almost forgot that I’m cooking figs and need to add the elderberries. Plus I need to search the internet for a recipe. See ya later.

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Cricket Farming Tutorial – Part 1

My latest venture will be raising crickets. Why?

Right now my dog Jack is obsessed with catching and eating the crickets in the yard. I don’t think this is a good idea, but Jack is stubborn. I am thinking back to when my younger daughter had a pet Mediterranean House Gecko. They are very small and need tiny food. So each week I trudged to the store to buy the smallest crickets. There is no price break just because the crickets are itty bitty. Then we learned about flightless fruit flies. Hmmm. Daughter is creative and figured out how to raise her own flightless fruit flies. Success!! So maybe I can raise crickets to keep Jack happy with some left over to feed the chickens.

Since I don’t personally know anyone who raised crickets I turned to the internet. Several days later I am confident that I can do this. Here is a short list of the videos that I found helpful. Each video has some good methods; some a bit better than others. I gleaned the best methods and ideas from each source and will begin the venture.

This video is factual if a bit boring and has good information for anyone wanting to grow crickets on a small scale.

https://www.google.com/search?q=how+to+raise+crickets+youtube&oq=how+to+raise+crickets+youtube&aqs=chrome..69i57.5059j1j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#kpvalbx=1

This is a very good video with plenty of information and a few laughs along the way.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSL4BVG8JSQ

This is an entire series of videos showing step-by-step how to farm crickets. There are at least 8 videos; tons of good information plus some stuff you may not have thought you needed to know. I think James looks like a Disney character but he certainly knows his crickets.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ertha9zlcv8

From this video, by Beth (myboysanme3) I learned something very important. Use mesh to cover the egg-laying material so the larger crickets will not dig up and eat the eggs before they have a chance to hatch. Thanks, Beth!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvmYtgHvw4I

Here is one of my favorites. I didn’t learn much except that crickets love to climb so when it’s time to clean the containers I won’t have to become a cricket wrangler. Ghann’s Cricket Farm was featured on Diry Jobs; how cool is that?!

http://www.ghann.com

Here is one place to find the Dirty Jobs episode:

https://www.tvguide.com/tvshows/dirty-jobs/episode-25-season-5/cricket-farmer/279523/

My goal is to grow crickets to feed my chickens and to keep my dog amused. Some people have taken cricket farming to a whole new level. Check this out…and not just crickets!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wB1GMwqcpR4

Okay, that’s part one of the tutorial. Take some time to look at a few of the videos and you’ll be ready to start farming crickets by the time I post Part 2.