Wire rack for canner
I have one of the 9 quart Water Bath Canners. Have you any idea where I can buy a new rack for it. Mine is pretty rusty and all the new racks I have come across are for the smaller 7 quart Models.
I have been re-reading your Ask Jackie Archives and am in 2012, I have enjoyed them just as much the 2nd time. Do you have plans for more Ask Jackie Books? I have all the others :) Take care, Hope your surgery goes well. Do you plan on future articles for raised bed in semi shaded areas?
I’ve noticed the same thing. What I did when my rack rusted out was buy a heavy wire grill top in the gardening section of Lowes. Mine cost less than $5. While you can’t lift the jars in and out with it, I quit doing that years ago because of a bad shoulder. Instead, I use a jar lifter and place each one individually. It’s easier and safer that way, anyhow!
I’m glad you’re enjoying the archives. Right now I don’t have plans for more Ask Jackie books but do have something else in the works. (Am not allowed to talk about it, so don’t ask.) The girls in the office would kill me dead! I’ll toss your idea around regarding the semi-shaded raised beds and see what I can come up with. — Jackie
Rabbit lung issues
I am raising a few meat rabbits for my family (not for sale, personal consumption only) and had an issue occur with the last litter that was slaughtered in January. I am hoping that you are able to help me figure out what happened. A litter of seven mixed breed rabbits, 4 months of age, was slaughtered. Three of the seven had abnormal lungs. The lungs looked as if cottage cheese was on them (this is the best way I know to describe how the lungs looked but others have disagreed with my description.) All other organs appeared normal. There were no other signs of ill health — no sneezing, runny noses, watery eyes, etc.
This litter was a little crowded in the couple of weeks before slaughter and due to freezing temperatures there was waste build up though very minimal. The kits received free-choice water, grass hay, and Purina Gro pellets along with some manna pellets, dried sunflower leaves and stalks as well as some clover hay as a treat about once per week. They also had pine cones and pine needles to chew. Straw had also been provided in the cage due to the recent freezing temps. The rabbits were housed in wire caging, J-feeder, water bottle, hay rack on outside of cage. The rabbitry is well-ventilated but no breeze on the rabbits themselves. This is a small urban rabbitry located on a main road.
No adult rabbits, including the parents, had shown any sign of illness. Previous litters in this rabbitry, from different parents than this litter, were all normal. The mother to this litter was an unproven mixed breed. The sire/buck, a Giant Chinchilla, was brought into this rabbitry several months prior to breeding, was said to be proven by the previous owner, and had no signs of illness.
What could be the cause of the abnormal lungs (Ddx)? Is the meat and other organs safe to eat (lungs were disposed of)? Treatment or prevention options? Should the doe and buck both be culled or may they both be used for breeding (to each other and/or to others)? Is there a way to determine which rabbit, the buck or the doe, is the carrier of the disease? Is it zoonotic to people/rabbits/other animals? If the doe and buck should be culled, are they safe to eat?
Postscript: Several weeks after the litter was processed the buck presented with milky discharge from the left eye. The eye was cleaned with diluted Eyebright and several hours later the right eye also showed milky discharge. The buck was seen by a veterinarian who diagnosed a possible nasolacrimal duct obstruction due to the molar teeth roots blocking them. Antibiotics and head radiographs were declined (vet said unless the teeth were removed, the problem would recur). The vet felt the buck could still be used for breeding if the kits were culled. If the rabbitry was to be expanded through this line, she recommended breeding the molar issue out. I discussed the lung issue with the veterinarian and she recommended to send the lung tissue off for histopathology if the issue occurs again.
My best guess would be that your rabbits were about to come down with pneumonia, possibly due to them being kind of crowded during that spell of cold weather. They are very susceptible to ammonia build-up when lack of ventilation is a problem. No, I don’t think your doe and buck should be culled although if it were my buck with the tooth issue, assuming it IS a tooth issue, not a slight eye infection, I’d cull him and get another buck as somewhere down the line you’ll want to keep some of his does or perhaps a buck that is very nice. You don’t want this issue to be in your line. Pneumonia in rabbits is not contagious to humans but can be transmitted to other rabbits so improve your ventilation and keep an eye on the rest of your herd. If the rabbits were not acting sick, I would not be afraid to eat them provided the meat was thoroughly cooked. (You eat much worse from the store; trust me!) — Jackie
Green growth in pond
I am sorry to hear you must have surgery. Never a fun time. I hope it is uneventful and takes care of the problem.
We have a small ¼-acre pond that is only six feet deep and this year I noticed there is all kinds of green growth in spots on the water surface and also growing under water. We do not have fish in the pond. It was dug out three years ago and the man who dug it hit coal so perhaps the chemical balance will not permit fish. We stocked it once but all the fish died. Anyway, my question is how do we eliminate the green growth in the water. We use the pond as a swimming hole and I worry about chemicals.
Drs. Foster and Smith have a pond catalog (www.drsfostersmith.com/pond) with many helpful supplies to help clarify water and get rid of extra plant life. Bales of barley straw often will clear up an algae problem by just sinking a couple in the pond; totally natural. Another source for pond supplies is Pond Solutions (www.pondsolutions.com). You may just have temporary algae bloom on your pond which will lessen in a few weeks. Sometimes if you deepen a pond to seven or eight feet, it will discourage plant growth, if that would be an option. We’re going to do that with our spring basin as it is getting too much plant life. — Jackie