Friday, November 25, 2016

The rabbit problem

C. is off somewhere, so I'm finishing the last of the apple pie. Heh heh.

She's planning to crawl under the building today and turn the outside water off. And hike down to the pump house and turn the heater on. Then I suppose we should gather up hoses and garden stuff and put it all away for the season.

I've been on rabbit-colony duty for some months now. C. does a better job of cleaning it, but she's got plenty of other things to do. (I don't mention that they are her rabbits – and you talked her into getting them, Emma Rose!) Not that I'm bitter. I'm really not. I like the rabbits.

Being hippie idealists, we've worked to keep them in a utopian colony, despite bunny squabbles. You know – everyone getting along, sharing common spaces, frolicking together. We had a great bunny colony years ago. But this one has not been successful. Monty Python was right about rabbits – they can be vicious little bastards. I'm serious.

We started out with a colony of six: Smokey and Crystal, and their four offspring, Rue, Marty, Fondu and Plum Bob. They have known each other all their lives; the four males are neutered. The basis for a stable, happy community, right?

Over time, Bob got aggressive and had to be moved to a cage. Marty, the pushy little runt, has had his face ripped up twice. Rue and Crystal (the girls) have gone after each other. Fondu the Magician is pretty mellow, but will not put up with being hassled. Rue hassled him, got her face all cut up, and now Rue is in a cage. Crystal seems to get along with Fondu, so they have the run of the colony (the old boys' bathroom) and Smokey, who is a sweet-natured housebroken guy who gets along with everybody, is installed in our bathroom. Marty is in there now, too, though he is not housebroken.

So, basically, a maximum of two of our rabbits can be housed together. The utopian colony is a bust.

Since I have to separate them, I'm working on building some "rabbit condos," which are large cages with multiple levels that encourage jumping, climbing and play.

Lola's bunny condo, from
The plan is to build a condo for everybody (in pairs, if possible) and let them take turns running loose in the room, and in the bunny yard in summer. Rabbits are trendy house pets these days, and there are a bunch of groups promoting humane housing and treatment for them. You can find lots of info online abut house rabbits – but watch out for meat-rabbit sites. Our bunnies are fiber animals first and pets second, but not dinner. We don't need to see graphic photos of rabbit "processing," thank you very much.

So, yeah, working on the rabbit problem. In the usual slo-mo. With pie.

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