While the husband sleeps and recuperates for his next night shift, I’ll be waking up early to get some footage of the rabbits. The grey doe, Moon, likes to lounge in spots where she can easily spot me. The minute I start to approach, she springs over to the hutch door, awaiting her hay and pellets. Watching her sniff and duck around is so cute that I just have to share it. The buck Mocha, on the other hand, hops away and then thumps the wire floor. I looked up what the behavior meant to more experienced pet rabbit owners. It seems that thumps are not only used to alert or warn other rabbits, but also a means to show dislike towards something around them. I guess he’s not too pleased to see me initially, but no worries, Mocha approaches anyway to munch at some food.
I have to resist the urge to pet them for too long while they eat. To mitigate my growing attachment, I give only a few ear scritches before leaving them be. I don’t like being bothered while I eat, so it’s kinder to give my rabbits the same courtesy. The only thing I’m working on is making the rabbits more approachable. This will make handling them a lot easier, especially if I have to check their feet and teeth. However, my husband suggested last night that maybe it would be best to spend a little more time handling our rabbits now. Since we spend a lot of our downtime binge watching Star Trek: Enterprise or Attack on Titan, we figured it would be a good opportunity to also pet and handle the rabbits during the episodes. This means that the dog may have to spend a little time outside: he loves chasing rabbits more than his dog kibble.
Outside of handling the rabbits, I’ll also be working on their hutch. We went ahead and housed the rabbits together in one hutch to not only avoid suspending wire rabbits cages (for now), but also so that the earth beneath the hutch begins to accumulate manure. I did some research online regarding the best way to collect the manure. After watching a few different videos, I decided to make a tarp sling under the hutch with a hole in the middle where it will naturally sag. This way the manure rolls down the elevated sides of the tarp and collects right in the middle, falling through the hole into a bucket. Easy collection, right? Well… I sure hope so.
I also mustered up the courage to ask my nearest Petsmart if I could take their broken or bent wire shelves. John Null, or jnull0 on Youtube, used bent wire shelving that he purchased at a super low price from his local hardware store. Null then used the wire shelving to create some very nice, suspended wire cages. I decided to go through with this new cage build after seeing how easily Null lifted the top of the wire cage and scooped his rabbits out. Way easier than crawling across a thin plank of wood to snatch up a rabbit pressed tight into a corner. I currently cannot take up too much space in my backyard with these rabbits without upsetting my neighbors, so it’s best to keep the projects small and on the downlow. If the shelving doesn’t work, I’ll go ahead and just purchase a wire cage kit for about $30 at my local feed store. I’m kinda hesitant, however, and will have to check prices online first.
The rabbit waterers also have to be upgraded. They are far too small and the rabbits empty them quite quickly. This means I have to go ahead and purchase the larger, pricier waterbottles. I could also make my own but I worry about the creative cost being more expensive than buying the already built bottle. The hay balls I bought are working great and minimize the amount of hay wasted in the hutch. Outside of that, the rabbits are taking well to their coastal hay and straight alfalfa pellets. I hope to go foraging this weekend to add more dehydrated greens to their pellets and make another mix for them. I’m kinda excited to do all this work, honestly. Last weekend I fixed the wire bottom of the hutch and its broken hinges. I’m a pretty large woman, so it was tough on my out-of-shape body to get it done. But so worth it! I felt better, a little more confident in my slowly developing skills, and got a boost in motivation. Sometimes seeing tiny results like fixing a hutch door make a difference in your day.
As always, be kind and tender to one another.