Tag Archives: rabbits

Bunnies have feelings to…

Picture     I spent last night rearranging hosing in the garage for one rabbit.  I am very fond of sly and the big hunky guy likes to see other rabbits.   Sly gets so sad when he can’t see any other rabbits that he won’t eat or drink!  Annabelle is due to have her litter next week Thursday.  The temperatures in upstate New York have been quite cold so I want to be able to heat Annabelle’s house for when she has her babies.  This however requires that I put up more solid walls and and roof meaning Sly would be unable to see his favorite lady. I ended up moving everyone just so Sly can see Dixie.  After I was done rearranging everyone I looked out over my tiny bunny empire and giggled.  I just spent an hour just to make one rabbit happy… but it also made me happy.  I like to know that my animals are happy and enjoying there lives.


Indoor Rabitts

     We raise Giant Chinchillas here at Cacia Farms.  Living in upstate Ny we  can have brutal winters with large amounts of snow and wind.  We move all our rabbits into the garage for winter to protect them from the harsh winters.   This also enables us to continue to breeding throughout the winter.  I have litter trained all my adult rabbits, this makes it easier to manage them in the garage.  Amazingly our rabbits seem to be more reliable using the litter boxes than our indoor cats (but that hasn’t helped my argument that Pete should move into the house).
I like to use large tupperware crates seeing as how our rabbits average 13.5 pounds.  I line the bottom of the bin with Top Bedding used for horse stalls.  This layer is super absorbent which helps reduce any urine smell to nearly none.  On top of the absorbent pellets I put a layer of aspen shavings.   I like to use aspen as it has considerably less dusty than pine shavings.  I also find the aspen to be softer when using in the nest box.  Gus particularly loves helping me change out the litter boxes as each of the rabbits gets to get out and run around the garage.  Gus mostly just follows the girls and Sly but not Pete.  Pete and Gus take turns chasing each other.  I am not sure what Gus thinks of the other rabbits, but I know he knows there will be no herding Pete anywhere.  I do however let Gus help me politely herd all the other adults back into their enclosures.

The Not So Day Off

PictureI decided yesterday I would take the day off, well that lasted about 1 hour.  People who own border collies do not get days off.  He made a record 40 minutes after Jeff left for work before he began to struggle in the bed with me.  We call it struggling with Gus because he doesn’t really snuggle.  He pushes his nose up into your throat (which makes it difficult to breath) all while flailing about wildly its extreme snuggling hence the name struggling.  After Gus had successfully let me know we would not be sleeping in I got up to conquer the day.  I decide to make some chicken stock as I was almost out.  I put my chicken carcass in my stock pot with celery, onions, and carrots.  We had also cooked a rabbit in the crockpot the day before so I added the bones from the rabbit aswell.  I left this to simmer for several hours while I caught up on some sewing.  I have been working on the same wall hanging for several years.  Every year I bring it out around fall and think I will have this done by christmas to hang on the wall.  Christmas comes and goes and then I would put the wall hanging back in my unfinished box of projects. (UFO)  Yesterday I finally finished it!  It did however take me twice as long since my cat George stole all the border pieces to play with and kill.  After chasing her all over the house and snatching my fabric back from one very angry kitty  I finished it!  Unfortunately I still won’t be able to hang it up this year for christmas as it still needs to be quilted.  All this time I have been being productive Gus is sound asleep in my bed, so helpful.  After straining the broth and putting it in cans to be pressure canned I put the pot in the sink.  I put dish soap inside and turned on the water.  I thought now would be a good time to run out and quick feed the rabbits.  I would like to take this moment to just mention how cute and distracting baby bunnies are!  When I was done snuggling squishy bunnies I returned to the kitchen (now swamp).  Apparently you shouldn’t leave the water running in a giant pot with dish soap because It goes everywhere!  I also decided today would be an excellent day to start socializing the rabbit I have picked to keep!  Gus was super excited that there was a small squishy rabbit on the couch.  I just have to pick an amazing name for it!  All in all it was a very productive and relaxing day even if I didn’t get to sleep in.

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Bunny Alcatraz

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Many of you have read about my rabbits amazing ability to continually escape recently well, no more!  This is the first year that we have done runs inside with litter boxes and there was sure to be a learning curve.  We so far have learned that pete cannot in fact be contained without solid walls and roof.  We learned that if you do not secure the gate the runs that the rabbits will run free.  Most importantly which I cannot believe I did not think of is that baby rabbits are small and fit through the bars.  I have spent all weekend and Monday catching baby rabbits and putting them back in with their mom Dixie.  I decided today that I was done retrieving Dixie’s babies.  My husband and I went to home depot and got plastic  sheeting material.  I cut panels the same size as our playpen runs and zip tied them on 3 sides.  On the fourth side I only put the sheeting on the bottom portion so the heater can still provide heat and old air will get flushed out.  Now I would like you all to imagine the entire time I’m doing this the baby bunnies keep getting out and trying to help.  Pete is also running loose because when I stole dixie’s babies back from him I left his roof open.  Pete took immediate advantage of his open roof and leaped out.  At this point I decided it was best to just build Alcatraz, catch rabbits after.  Well… that was a good plan except the part where Pete keeps steeling my zip ties and baby bunnies are chewing on my pants.  I finally got all the walls up and a roof now I just had to catch everyone.  This weekend I let dixie out to catch her babies but Pete was locked up.  I could not let her out as Pete was still free range at this point, he is very hard to catch and does not come to his name like dixie does.  It took me about thirty minutes to catch everyone and put them in there new prison.  Everyone was very happy about the new housing arrangement … except Pete who remains unimpressed with his enclosure.  At this point baby rabbits are running all over their enclosure while Dixie gives me the “You are really going to leave me in here with these little monsters?” look.  Very proud of my little building project!
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Adventure is out there…!

Escape was the theme of the day yesterday.  My border collie escaped the yard and the bunny decided he was going to live in the house  I was sitting at my mother in-law’s counter talking to her while Gus had a play date with their dog Cabela.  I looked out the window only to see my wonderful border with his head under the fence.  As I was opening the door to call him back to me the whole border collie disappeared!  I, of course, had no shoes on and ran to the front door to jam my feet into my Bogs.  Ace had just freshly stomped on my left foot and lets not forget about the right ankle being sprained.  I ran around to the side of the yard that he disappeared on only to find no border collie.  At this point I am envisioning my beautiful border collie squashed by a car.  When I got up the hill and through the woods there is Gus making friends with the neighbor behind the house.  I called Gus who came running over with the “Mama look what I did” face! He was so proud of himself and I couldn’t really yell at him since he did come when called.  Gus and I went home where I proceeded to ground him and tell him he can’t talk to any of his girlfriends for a week!
Pete one of our herd bucks enjoys hopping around the garage while I’m out there.  I believe he likes to go check on his ladies.  I had swept up after all the rabbits, fed everyone and given annabelle her meds.  I too a short trip into the house to fill the watering can. I left the door open that leads from the garage into the kitchen, as I would only be a minute.  Gus went out which I didn’t think anything of as he is very good with the rabbits.  What I didn’t know was that Pete had hopped inside while Gus went out.  After filling everyone’s water I realized that Pete was no-where to be found.  It was then that I realized Pete was not actually in the Garage.  Complete pandemonium doesn’t quite explain what you see when you walk in to find one giant rabbit chasing a giant cat followed now by Gus who had followed me in.  I grabbed Gus an threw him outside with our lab.  Now the hard part of catching Jack or Pete.  Luckily Jack is a very food motivated cat so I busted out the liver treats and called him.  Jack amazingly ran over jumped on the counter for his treat.  I snatched a very happy Pete up who was not so impressed when I put him back in his enclosure.
Needless to say there is never a dull moment in my house.  I sometimes love to see the reactions on peoples face when I tell them how many pets I have.  The chaos that is my house has a peaceful rhythm that I could not survive without.

The Mice Will Play

PictureHave you ever heard the saying “when the cats away the mice will play”?  Well, my wonderful husband is off to hunting camp this weekend.  Jeff leaves tonight and will return on Sunday evening (in theory with venison for the freezer).  Well, any perfect housewife would use this time to deep clean the house, maybe wash all the linens, and clean the refrigerator.   Let’s all be honest here, I’m a wonderful wife…I just seem to lack the perfect housewife gene.  I plan to camp on the couch with the dogs watch endless movies and TV while working on my hand sewing projects.  I also have every intention of bringing Pete the rabbit in to snuggle on the couch (which is highly frowned upon).  Jeff may ask, “Where did all the grey hair on the couch come from?”  I will of course deny I have any knowledge of any rabbits inside the house.   So I will raise my glass of wine to all the other wonderwifes of hunters alone during deer season weekends.  I encourage all you ladies to take this opportunity to do something wonderful for yourselves!