In the last 24-hours two feet of snow has settled over the landscape. Having been in the midst of some serious coop and hutch upgrades we had to hustle to clean up the lumber, scraps and wrap up our work. It has proven difficult to build and revamp between storms. Another foot of white fluff had fallen just a week ago. The night prior to the storm we lit a campfire and tossed the scrap lumber in with some brush we’d cleared back in the fall. I had tipped all the buds off the beach brush already for the rabbits—a delicacy for them in late winter.
Upon checking on the rabbit kits last night, all had been hopping about the nursery hutch and mama bunny was busy following them around and cleaning them. All their eyes are finally open. They are Blue Flemish Giant x Californian crosses intended for meat rabbits. With Easter on the horizon, they will be advertised as pets before their fate in the soup pot is set in stone.
In the meantime I shovel room for them all to walk, scratch and stretch their wings. Four feet of light snow drifted against the coop overnight. It’s easy shoveling now, but waiting a few hours as the temperatures rise would be a mistake.
With a wide, short handled aluminum shovel I scoop off great mounds of snow and flip them over my shoulder creating a bank as tall as me. With any luck, it won’t refill with another drift by dusk. The turkey tom gobbles insistently as I near their stall. Let me out, I can’t properly strut in here he seems to stay. In the photo below, the coop and hutch yard is barely visible under the thick snow cover from my office loft.
Our teeny bantam Australian Spotted Duck drake has decided he must protect his three hens by chasing off the geese—in particular, the American Buff goose. This is hilarious to watch. Both of them appear to float without legs through the thick layer of light snow. The goose graceful, the duck on an awkward and uncoordinated mission.
He finally catches up to her and nips at the down under her tail feathers vigorously shaking his like a dog with a new chew toy. She bends her long neck around looking mildly annoyed. In a few steps she is out of his reach. He gains on her again and this repeats itself until the goose snaps back with her large toothed beak and the duck retreats to check on his ladies. They do not look impressed, or seem to have even noticed his bravery.
Entirely out of breath I set the shovel on my shoulder and trudge back in. I take a breather before setting out with pails of water, feed, fodder, chopped hay and fresh bedding. As I strip off my snow clothes to dry for a spell, I realize I’m still in my pajamas under the snowgear.