Tuesday, October 26, 2010

It's Official

As you can see, they all fit pretty snugly in that basket I use to bring them up and down stairs to play with them. I picked that basket because it has a lid. Unfortunately the lid doesn't lock and they are now big enough to get out of it. I found this out when I put the basket on the dryer and started filling food bowls and tidying up the cage before I put them back in with Poppet. The next thing I know there's a little white body hurtling down between the cage and the dryer. It wasn't much of a drop and there was some clothes or something wedged in there, but still, it scared the snot out of me. Twisk wasn't the slightest bit scared. Not even a little surprised. Just seemed to realize that all that take-off practice had finally paid off. So from now on, the basket stays on the floor. Anyway, I had considered keeping Twisk (the white rabbit) and now it's official. He can fly so he must stay at Reindeer Station Farm, home of the flying rabbits.

I brought these guys up last night and let them play in a big box Rob brought home from work. First I gave them all massages. I would love to know if I'm the only person who does this. I've never heard of anyone else doing it. I discovered how much bunnies love massages when I was trying to find a way to make friends with Merry who, if you remember, is evil. She still attacks me sometimes when I first go in her cage, but once I start massaging her head and body she seems to decide that I can live. For today.

They all love it. If they're not used to it they can be a little jumpy until they trust you, but you know they are really relaxing when a) they let you put their head in your hand to massage it or b) they get so loosey-goosey they relax enough to rest their head on the bottom of the cage and you can hear their teeth touching the cage wire (it's a bit like hearing fingernails on a blackboard, but it means they are really relaxed.) Sometimes they tooth-purr - it's like cat purring only they do it by grinding their teeth.

Anyway, after their massages you can see they were very relaxed and they got into some of the funniest positions. In one of those pictures above Wilfin Beck (the blue one) is completely on his back. There were some other really great ones but they happened so fast I couldn't catch them on film. The picture of Treacle (the greyish tan one) with his legs out behind him is one of my favorite bunny poses. It's only beat by when they are completely on their side. You know a bunny is happy and content if it feels safe enough to lay on it's side. The bunny book calls that a bunny smile.

I call them all "him" because I can't tell yet what they are and it just makes life simpler. I can't believe they'll be four weeks old on Thursday. Then I can only play with them for another four weeks before they go to live in their new homes. Rob says I'm going to cry when they leave. He's probably right. At least I know they all have good homes to go to. That makes it WAY easier.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Super Powers

I took the nestbox out yesterday because the babies weren't using it much. Now they have more room to hop around which is good because Poppet seems to be driven a bit to distraction by all of them. They are eating hay and oats and I caught one drinking from the water bottle I put at baby level. (I caught Poppet drinking out of that bottle too even though she has her own!!) I think they might be nibbling at her food too.

They are like little kids who discover they have a superpower...they will be hopping along and all of a sudden they shoot halfway across the cage and they're like, "Whoa! That was AWESOME! Ma! Ma, did you SEE that?? Did you all see that???" Too funny.

Having these babies is one of the most entertaining things I've ever done. Unfortunately now I'm sick so I'm afraid to hold them. Can rabbits catch colds?? So I watch them like bunny T.V. There are no commercials and you get a lot of entertainment bang for your buck.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


So last Thursday I was feeding the bunnies at 6 in the morning and what did I find but Poppet pulling out her fur to make a fluffier nest for her BABIES!!! I had given up on her having babies. Last month's breeding was a false alarm and she didn't seem pregnant this time either even though I knew what I was doing this time when I bred her to Lucky.

There were six living babies and one very large dead one. I've heard the large ones often suffocate during birth. When we were raising rabbits when I was growing up we always lost the runt so I was worried about ours. And we did lose him, but I'm not sure we would have if Poppet hadn't gotten sick. The temperature plummeted one night and stupid me, I brought the babies inside, but not Poppet. I figured she had plenty of fur, but I didn't take into account that she'd plucked herself practically naked underneath. Anyway, when I brought the babies back to her Sunday morning she was not acting right and she had all the signs of GI stasis. So we ended up at the vet's for IV fluids and medicine. And the next day I got to put my old nursing degree to work giving her IV fluids myself to save a trip back to the vet. I even administered a shot in the line. Goes to prove what I always say, no education is a total waste. I think I've already given more shots, meds, and treatments as a farmer than I ever did as a nurse!! LOL!!

While Poppet was recovering I had to "help" her nurse by holding her and letting the babies latch on. Needless to say she did not like it, but she wasn't feeling well enough to protest either until early Monday morning around 1. She decided she'd had enough "help" and was ready to feed them on her own terms. Which was a relief because they were looking none too fat to me, but by last night, as you can see from the picture, their little tummies had filled right up. She's a really good mom and doesn't mind at all when I take them out for a bit to "bunny sit."

The only colors I know I have are one blue, one black and maybe one white. The two tan ones could be fawn or tort or chestnut...I'm not sure. The white could be pearl or opal. We'll have to wait and see when they get more hair. Now that the worst of the danger is past I'm looking forward to enjoying them instead of worrying about them. :^)