There are lots of fresh colors on the homestead! One of the things about homesteading is doing it yourself to save money, and one of the things we stopped doing ourself was raising mice for our snake, Ophidian. Well, while I was out at the petstore to buy his next round of frozen, pre killed mice I found myself looking at $10.50 to buy six baby mice. That is a steep price for a few baby rodents that weigh an ounce or two each. So I did a little poking about and found that if I got mice again I could raise 20-30 babies for about $10. So I picked up a new tank, two new mice, and a few frozen mice to tide me over and came home. To my delight, the store had some beautiful, spotted mice and so I added a little more color to the homestead animals as well. The pale orange mouse is the male and the dusky brown is the female. Mice have a gestation and breeding cycle similar to rabbits (28 days to gestate, 10 days ’til eyes open, 22 days or so until wean, then they birth again after about 30 days from the first birth), but produce far fewer litters in their lifetime. Five litters is a goodly number for mice. I will be feeding them mostly scratch grain and rabbit pellets… The nutrient levels are not dissimilar to mouse food!
Then, deep inside my christmas incubator, lies a batch of eggs shipped to me all the way from Washington state! These light blue eggs are Wheaten Ameraucanas. The lady who shipped them had good reviews but I was disappointed by how they arrived. For those who don’t know, the correct way to ship hatching eggs is by wrapping each egg individually in bubble wrap and packing them together tightly with the blunt end pointing up in such a way that they cannot shift or move. You then make sure to mark the box very clearly with “HATCHING EGGS, DO NOT X-RAY” and “FRAGILE” on all sides, as well as a “this side up” label.
These hatching eggs were all on their sides, and could shift around a little inside of their packaging. This has led to some of the eggs having detached aircells. They also had no “do not xray” or “this side up” on them anywhere and the fragile label was light purple marker on white, easy to miss. All around I am impressed that they are developing at all! Hopefully these eggs will result in a beautiful little set of blue egg layers for me! Fingers crossed for the maximum number of females possible!
Lucy’s litter of four is getting huge… They are such beautiful spotted kits, it gets me so excited! These are possibly the biggest kits I have ever had!
And they are just beginning to open their eyes as well!
Upon examining the pair of “solid” black kits, who are a little bit squinty as well…
I found more of the “gold tipped steel/tan” patterning that I often see out of Kibbles behind their fuzzy little heads. More colorful bunnies, then? I do love straight black, but this could be good, too! Will me broken kits be the same color?
You may have also noticed that my pictures are much clearer and brighter now. I have finally deciphered my digital camera, put a memory card in it and begun using it. It’s a much higher quality than my camera on my phone and even has a flash. It makes me once again long for things to be green outside so that I can show the beautiful colors on the homestead! Can’t winter just hurry up and be OVER already!?