I took a little break from the homesteading life this winter. Well…really you could just say I lost my mind and got rid of all the animals except the rabbit, Dinner, and that’s only because he didn’t sell fast enough. I’ll admit it was really nice not to have chores and homesteading burnout is definitely a thing. But somehow, I always end up right back in it and Spring Fever finds me dreaming of baby chicks and bouncing goat kids.
My dreams definitely came true this Spring…and then some! It started out innocently enough. I was surfing Craigslist (a dangerous occupation at any time, but especially when the trees are budding and crocuses bloom), and I came across an entire herd of Champagne d’Argent rabbits for sale. Note: the rabbit shed is NOT completed. But….it couldn’t hurt to ask, could it? I named a price I was sure wouldn’t be accepted, prepared to haggle a little. To my amazement, my offer was accepted and I was the proud owner of 4 beautiful does and a new buck, giving me a grand total of 6 rabbits in one fell swoop.
It was around this time that Tony mentioned he missed the chickens. His birthday was in March and I hadn’t really gotten him anything, so I decided I’d surprise him with some Easter chicks. Ah the lure of the Murray McMurray catalog. All those lovely, glossy pictures of beautiful chickens! I chose Speckled Sussex, ordered 12 hens and 3 roosters (the minimum order is 15), and in one week picked up a peeping box at the post office. Surprise!
The goats came along the day after I ordered the chicks. I had contacted the lady to whom I had sold Whisper and Hush to see if there were any kids. Whisper had not been pregnant, not particularly a surprise as we’d gotten her from the auction before breeding season began and we didn’t get a buck last year. Hush had twin doelings. Thinking I’d like to get in the the goat business again in the future, I asked if she’d be interested in selling them. She said no, but she’d let me know if she decided to. About an hour after the chicks were ordered, I received a message telling me that she had decided to sell all the goats, Whisper, Hush, the twin doelings, and a buckling she’d purchased. Once again I offered less than I thought she’d accept and no objection was made. Perhaps it was fate.
So within the space of one week, our homestead swelled from one rabbit to: six rabbits (one pregnant), 5 goats, and 15 chickens. Some will stay, some will go, but it is going to be an adjustment either way. Still, I’m thrilled.
It could be insanity, but let’s just call it Spring Fever.