I was concerned for awhile that I was posting too much about my animals. My blog is a gardening blog and I thought it was beginning to turn into a "Look at my Pets!" I would then have to rename my blog to "Noah's Ark" or something.
Well, it's been nearly a month since I've given a rabbit update so here goes..
This is Jack. We so far have figured out that we have 1 boy out of the 4 new bunnies we received. It's so hard to tell ya' know. Jack is a super sweet rabbit. I built him this box to get into in case of rain or wind. Our area for the animals is fairly protected but I'm a worrier and thought the bunnies would be happier if I built them a box inside the cage. (The others are next) Jack likes it, but prefers to spend most of his time sitting on the top. He keeps it clean and sleeps a lot perched up high. Fun Jack...
Here are the three sisters: Smoochie Louise, Jill, and Cotton. They stay in the same hutch preferring to snuggle together and groom one another. The floppy-eared one we know is Smoochie, but the other two..well it's hard to tell. We're thinking about dying their tails or something to differentiate them. One does have a softer coat, so I can tell by petting her that this is Cotton. But, in the scheme of things, I don't think they're all broken up over the fact I can't tell them apart. As long as the food and water keeps coming they're happy.
Trying to keep the new bunnies tame has been our biggest challenge. We try to hold and play with them daily to make sure they are used to it. Bunnies are so skiddish and it doesn't take much to get them into a thumping & scratching fit if they feel insecure. So far they tolerate our lovin'.
Now to our skiddish & huge rabbits...
Miss Janie with the "huge" dewlap is first. Honestly, we don't feed her much! These two rabbits eat far less than the younger rabbits. The poo production is proof of their efficient 10 pound bodies. We have found something that Jane absolutely loves though...DIGGING!! We have a pet corral that we set up to allow the rabbits some time in real grass and dirt. Jane, who normally is still as a statue, turns into this amazing digging machine. She loves eating grass roots, scooping out the dirt, sliding and stretching out her body to smooth the dirt out. She'll literally do this for hours! We put her out there several times per week to get some exercise. (We rotate all of the rabbits out this way too)
Now Tarzan..ya' gotta love him. He runs in circles in his cage at the very site of someone coming to visit him. He's not a snuggler, but you can tell he enjoys human company. Talking to him gets him all stirred up ready to run some more.
This is the rest of the enclosure we built onto the end of the chicken yard. Basically it extends parallel along the west side of our privacy fence. We still plan on covering the top of the area like the chicken yard so we can grow grapes or some other sort of vine over it. It will provide nice shade for those hot 100+ degree days in the summer here.
We lined up the hutches in one long row to maximize roof coverage and protection for the rabbits. A long gutter attached along the backside of the roof is another thing we plan on adding for rainwater catchment.
As you can see, we haven't added the worm bins underneath yet. I decided to wait until spring when I can construct raised boxes for the worms underneath. With cold weather here, I thought the worms would reproduce at a more rapid rate in a warmer environment. I'm trying to get as many red wigglers as I can as fast as I can. The other part of the equation is the fact it may take some effort trying to deter an invasion of fire ants into the worm bins. Elevating them and treating the ground beneath the bins may be our best option.
Until then, we're shoveling rabbit poo into buckets and hauling to the garden. We sprinkle the ground underneath the rabbits when we're finished to "sweeten" the soil and reduce any amount of urine smell.
There ya' have it...Life on Bunny Lane.