Our Mission

To live a self-sufficient and organic lifestyle for the next half century. With the Grace of God and the power of prayer, we will succeed. Nothing is impossible with His help. It wouldn't be us without laughter and joy at the Cockeyed Homestead.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Still in a Holding Pattern for the Last Time

We are still on hold for improvements to the homestead because of the rain. GRRRRR!

The date for the delivery of our new carport/rabbitry/chicken house came and went. The day of the supposed delivery, I got a call from the installer if he could arrange delivery until the next day by 10 AM. Okay, I thought. We still had time before the Angoras and Jersey Woolies/ Lionheads would be in danger from the heat. It's only one day.

The next day, I waited until noon and still, they had not shown up. I started calling. The cell phone did not have voice mail set up. By four o'clock, I'd given up trying to call. A little after five, the installer called and said he was twenty minutes out...was that okay? Heck, yes! I thought. I had already started dinner. I was making shrimp scampi, and it doesn't hold well, but get me my carport. The daytime temperatures were in the 80s and the Angoras were showing signs of stress. We sat down to dinner and Mel said, "Watch them come up now." They didn't.

At 7 PM, I got another call from the installer. There was no way he was driving his 4-wheeled drive truck and trailer down our rutted driveway. HUH!!! I drive my minivan up and down this same driveway a couple times a week. He suggested we get our money back for the carport and he'd already called the company. They would be calling us. Admittedly, our driveway is rough but we had our double car garage and our rabbitry delivered. The driver for the rabbitry (a full 8x12 already built) storage shed backed his 30-foot trailer and truck down this same driveway. To say we were hot with anger was an understatement.

We figured it was late and the installer didn't want to be bothered to try. It was Memorial Day weekend and he wanted to get started to enjoy it. So Memorial Day weekend, we shaved all our rabbits down to 1/4" length fur. It was costly to lose that income, but we couldn't have them die due to the heat. The rabbits themselves ain't cheap at a minimum of $50 a piece. They look like large drowned rats without their luxurious hair. We'd moved them out of their rabbitry to the outside cages in preparation for the transition to their new one under the carport structure. It wasn't how we wanted to spend our Memorial Day weekend.

Wednesday the company called us. They weren't offering our money back, but a new delivery date. June 14th! Another two weeks of waiting. We were outraged. We had already started dismantling the old rabbitry. While removing the rabbit cages and poo removal system we found rat nests! A bunch of them had set up house in the walls. So while removing the cages and poop system, we were slipping and sliding on wayward ball bearing hard rabbit poo, baby rats and dodging grown rats scampering to get away from us.  We pulled down all the light panel walls and insulation. We were also in the process of scrubbing it all out in the preparation of converting the shed for food storage.  We voiced our complaint to the company about yet another delay for as good as it would do. Not days but weeks. They responded that they would check the schedule again. By Friday, they called back with a sooner date. The next Friday, would that be okay? A week sooner. No, it wasn't but we agreed.

Dustin after grooming
It was only a delay of one more week. We watched the daytime temperatures carefully. We lost one of the Jersey Woolies, Early Grey, due to the rising temps. She was the sweetest of the bunch. Guaranteed wool producer of five ounces of fiber, 3" long every four months. We make a cockeyed blend of yarn that's Jersey Woolie/Angora, and Merino wool. Super soft and warm, but not pure Angora.  Her fiber will be missed greatly. When we groomed all the rabbits we also treated them for ear mites. Mel's self-black Angora was the next to be stricken. He was hopping around his cage lopsided. We thought he'd had a stroke due to the heat. We brought him into Mel's bedroom which is air conditioned to cool him down. We watched over him the rest of the night.

To lose Dustin would be an even greater loss to our rabbitry. He is also Mel's last remaining, original English Angoras. He is the unrelated buck for our breeding rotation. Mel was heart sick. His head tilted to one side and his limbs appeared weakened. An extensive research project began on how to care for him. I found that yes, heat could do this but also an ear infection. I purchased the antibiotic and started administering it to him. He is still in Mel's room two days later. She has the air conditioner running, but the door open otherwise it would be too cold for humans. Dustin is loving it. Whether he survives as a productive member of our rabbitry breeding program is still up in the air.

They can't get the carport here fast enough. This is starting to cost us big buxes! But I'm not done yet. Once again the company tried to deliver the carport structure. Failure. They had two suggestions for us; 1) They could leave all the parts at the top of the road, and then we would be responsible for bringing it down the hill and installing it ourselves, or 2) We could pay them extra monies to unload the trailer into the back of their truck, and then they'd drive it down. I didn't bother to ask how much. I was too angry. I instead emailed the company. Of course it being a weekend again, I can't reach anyone until Monday.

Sort of like this
We've decided to forget about the carport and get a refund for the building. This is ridiculous! We went out after the last cancellation and bought the materials for us to build it ourselves. Using cattle panels and pallets, the price was under $400 for two buildings. One 24-foot covering for the rabbitry and one 20-foot for the chickens. It would have practically built except Mel hurt her wrist and neither of us can lift the pallets into position one-handed.

We are still on hold with the driveway until the carport is up and we can corral the new chicks. They aren't smart enough to be safe from heavy machinery and dump trucks. We can't get the electrician and plumber in here because of the rain.  The storage building can't be used until power is rerun to it and the carport. So it's delay, after delay, after delay.

Oh, our roosters have not only entered into adolescence by crowing. It seems that their hormones have kicked in too. They have started mounting the hens. The little one not the older ones. Much to the irritation to the hens. They are still a couple months off from laying.

So until next week...
Y'all have a blessed day.

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