Follow the tour through the Rabbitry and meet the cast…
I’ve been having weird dreams about our animals lately. I dream mostly of chickens escaping or rabbits not eating, both of which would be terrible. Have you ever tried to catch a chicken determined to be free? It’s hard.
So last night I dreamt that I went into the rabbit shed to feed them their evening pellets, but when I looked in the cages the rabbits were no where to be found. All of the cage doors were still locked and there was no way to escape, but somehow they did. Frantic, I looked everywhere to find all three sitting on top of their cages looking at me. It seemed to be one of those things where you look once, not there, look twice, aha! Anyway– when I woke up I was a little confused as to what was dream and what was reality.
I think I may be overly concerned with their welfare. Of course I did plenty of research before buying these rabbits, but the actual daily care is a little more than I anticipated. Angora rabbits require LOTS of grooming to prevent them from getting mats or eating too much of their own wool. Thistle’s coat is twice as long as the two does so he is much more prone to mats. I’ve had to pick out quite a few already near his feet and on his side.
The constant worry of loosing such a valuable animal to something as stupid as ingested wool is apparently bleeding into my sub-conscience. At least all I have to worry about with chickens is frozen water… and brain-dead Honey flipping the nest box onto herself leaving her trapped. Other than that.
Yesterday morning I went about my morning chores as usual. Feed the rabbits. Thaw the rabbit water bottles. Open the door for the chickens to come out into their run. Throw hot water on the chicken waterer to thaw it out. Check to see if their feeder was full. Glance around for eggs. Eggs? I didn’t put brown golf balls in there to trick the chickens… that’s an EGG! Holy crap! There are three eggs!
Needless to say, we fried them right up. I have never had an egg that was not from a grocery store, so this was a very exciting experience for me. They tasted delightfully rich and were fantastic even without salt or pepper. I didn’t bother using either because I wanted my first real egg to stand on its own. And it did. If you’ve never tasted a “homegrown” egg… you should!
If you look closely at the picture you can see that all three eggs are slightly different colors. One egg was really long an narrow, the second was fairly average shaped, and the third was average shaped but had white speckles all over. It’s amazing how hens can lay eggs that look so different from each other.
When I cracked the eggs open I noticed how thick the shells felt. Compared to market eggs, those suckers were difficult to crack open. Just look at how orange those yolks are! They even look fresh. I bet these would really turn a hollandaise sauce into something special.
This past week we have all been getting to know our new rabbits better.
Thistle, our ruby-eyed white buck is a charming but lazy boy. When I go in their shed I often find him laying around practically lounging. I half expect to catch him eating potato chips in front of a secret television. Silly rabbit. Despite his obvious love of afternoon napping, he always rushes up to the cage door to greet me. Although I’d like to think it was just me he is happy to see I do know better. He is always looking for hay to snack on and he has smartly made the connection between me… and hay. Silly rabbit.
Dandelion is our fawn colored doe. She is shy, but sweet. I can tell. She is still getting used to us. An almost two-year old is a lot to handle in your face everyday. Believe me… I know. But Dandelion is coming around. She let’s me pet her more and more each day, each time I pick her up it gets a little easier, and today she even let Cami stroke her head. She may have even enjoyed it. She’ll come around.
And lastly, Clementine, she is our chocolate tort doe. Of all three rabbits I think Clementine is the most outgoing. She is always cheerful and happy to see us (even if it is under the guise of hunger) and is more than happy to receive her share of love. Clementine will let Cami pet her as long as she likes which is the best kind of rabbit for an almost two-year old to interact with.
I am even beginning to think that Clementine will be our first doe to breed in two months. She seems up to the job as far as temperament goes and this will give Dandelion a little more time to warm up to us. Which brings me to my next task… figuring out rabbit color genetics. What do you get when you breed a ruby-eyed white to a chocolate tort? I’ll let you know when I’ve mastered Punnett squares.
Wow! Our first real, official rabbit post. It’s not all thinking and planning and plotting anymore. We actually have rabbits now. After a 15-hour trip to Eureka and back… we have our three new rabbits home and safe in their custom shed.
“Thistle” the ruby-eyed white buck. He is super snuggly and potentially my favorite so far. Thistle is 1 year old. We were both surprised when we first saw Thistle because of his size. He is certainly two whole arms full when you hold him.
None of the rabbits are related so I should have a pretty good breeding program for a few years before I need some fresh stock. Well, out to give them their evening meal!