Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Checking in with the rabbits

There are some very comforting norms for us when coming out to greet the day and our rabbits. One of them is this, Twilight informing us that she has never once in her life been fed. Just like yesterday before we gave her food, and the day before. The Lady of the House wasn't able to quite get the degree of athletic desperation that she displays, but it at least gives an idea. She will regularly cling to the side of the hutch, and do flips off the roof. She is convinced that her mostly hay diet is killing her, positively killing her. She is of course on this diet for her own good since she has something of a sensitive gut to the very nutrient rich diet that is an all pellet diet. She doesn't see it the same way.

Quite the opposite, Dorado loves his hay to the point he won't bother with his pellets until he has flung, played with, danced over, and mostly consumed his hay. He will then consume most of the pellets, and save some of his precious hay for later. Often to fling around rather than eat. He isn't nearly that interested in toys, or really anything else other than females, when he knows what to do with them. Top Right is a nice photo the Lady of the House got of him derping at her with some hay in his mouth. A more common expression from him is the slightly concerned one Bottom Right. He never seems quite certain what to make of us, and will often go sit in his back corner. He isn't that scared or upset or he'd go into his private area where he can't see us, he's just concerned. He is a slightly odd boy, but a good friendly one.

There is quite the range of individual preferences in the kits as well. Most of them will try to cram in all at once at the feeders. Left if you look in the bottom right you can see that that baby is currently literally kicking its way over to get at the food despite there being another one 4 feet away to the left with the same food, and no other rabbits. There are also three piles of hay right behind it. For some reason half of the babies just MUST cram in to one feeding place until consumed and then move on to the other pellets. This leads to some very unhappy babies as is evidenced Bottom Left One baby has been kicked out away from the feeder and is sad and confused. Shortly that baby will make the assault to get a mouth full of food, and try to secure a place at that feeder rather than moving over to the empty one.

 But not everyone feels the need to engage in this particular past time of kicking the hell out of each other for food. A few of the babies cluster around the hay and happily chow down on it. Indeed a few of them prefer hay over the pellets. The Lady of the House and I aren't quite sure what the difference is, and why some babies want hay and others want pellets, but it is what it is. To every baby their own, and at least it reduces at feeder crowding to some extent.

As we get ready to move in to spring we have a huge number of things we want to do over the warm seasons. How many we can get done depends heavily on time and money. Time to do the work and money to get the materials for things that require them. The first priority is obviously the chicken coop, and next post will be stage 2 of chicken coop planning. That particular project has to take financial and work priority until it is finished because of the limited time to get chicks.

We also need to get gardening started, but that is fortunately a mostly free project that is headed and focused on by the Lady of the House with my work being fairly minimal in the form of turning the soil. Minimal in terms of time, not effort I suppose. The chickens and the gardening are the first and most focused priorities that Will happen. Other things that I want to do include making larger breeder hutches to allow the babies more room to grow and express themselves, improving the current hutches, working on the studio, and potentially building a green house or two. Oh, and building a wood rack out away from the house to reduce the rodent and insect population.

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