Phoebe’s kits are always so eager to greet the day and go outside. They love to run back and forth the length of the rabbit tractor and jump and skip and hop over their siblings. It is only their extreme flexibility and maneuverability that keeps them from crashing head on into each other. They like climbing, too. Yesterday there were three of them on Phoebe’s back. She doesn’t care at all. Probably anything is preferable to her nursing. Phoebe’s of a mind that once in the morning and once in the evening is enough, and of course the kits try to get milk every chance they can get.
Piper took off the urine guard in her cage again, in fact, I caught her with it in her teeth, so I just took it out. She is cranky in the last couple days of her pregnancy and if she hates it that much she won’t be happy and comfortable until it is gone. She has built a nest in the nesting box, though knowing her she will probably tear it apart and rebuild it a couple of times. It’s only day 29, so she’s got a bit to go. She has cut back on her eating of pellets and hay, which is normal for this stage of things, though she is still devouring the fresh vegetables. Last night I gave her a red kale leaf and a yellow chard leaf right before we started bringing the others in for the evening and she had them gone by the time we had the last rabbit in. She has also doubled her water intake.
We bred Lola for the first time yesterday. She was not amused. In fact she looked shell-shocked. We chose to breed her with Leo since Starbuck won’t be 6 months old until September 19th. Any future breedings of Lola will be with Starbuck. Leo tried to romance Lola, but she was having nothing of it for a good period of time, though she did finally let him groom her and snuggle at the end. We’ve had their tractors side by side all week to encourage pheromones, but Lola was nowhere near as receptive as Phoebe on her first mating or as Piper is on any mating. Hopefully this just has to do with Lola’s general skittishness and dislike of…well, the whole darn world, apparently. It seemed like a successful mating. Lola was definitely wet afterwards. We only kept them together for a half an hour.
She still seems annoyed with us today though she did deign to come out of her cage and go to the tractors. We have moved her over so she is between Sweetie Belle and Serenity so she doesn’t grump about being beside Leo. Animal personalities amaze me. Before I got into raising animals and homesteading, I never would have thought there would be this much individuality. But there is so much.
Lola hates everything and everybody and prefers to be left alone as much as possible. She will stamp at you with her front paws if she wants you out of her cage. She doesn’t jump or hop much when outside, but she does run and does seem to hate everything a little less there. She has gotten better over the last month but she’ll never be a cuddly bunny.
Leo is a true gentlemen and prefers to romance his ladies. He tolerates being held, but prefers that if we are going to pet him we do it while he is in his cage and will even come to the door for pets.
Piper is laid back. She is an excellent mother and has no problem with you handling her kits after they are a couple of days old. She is defensive the first couple days, though. She is also defensive the last couple of days in her pregnancy, mostly shutting the cage door if you try to open it or laying in front of it to try to prevent access.
Phoebe is anxious. She is wary about her kits and doesn’t like them taken out of her sight and will check them all over when she gets them back. She is very sweet and has never even nibbled on anyone’s hand.
Serenity is delightfully sweet. She loves to rub noses with the other bunnies through the tractor walls and with the humans. She likes to be pet and is always looking for a treat and doesn’t mind being held. She is always happy to see us, shows no fear at all, and comes right up to the cage door when we appear.
Sweetie Belle is insane. She will squeak at the slightest cause. Filling up her food dish, she squeaks. Giving her fresh hay, she squeaks. Giving her fresh water, she squeaks. She’s afraid of her own shadow and tries to stay in the far back corner of her cage when anyone comes in the shed, even though she has never been treated badly by us. She has been this way since we bought her and it makes me wonder sometimes how she might have been treated the first 8 weeks of her life, except for her the fact that her brother and sister came from the same place and are nothing but affectionate sweethearts. Once she is outside she seems happy, though and runs and dances like most of the rest of them.
Starbuck is the sweetest, gentlest buck. He likes to be held and cuddle. He is constantly chinning the humans or giving whisker kisses. He will sit next to one of us on the bench and bat at our hands with his head to get head rubs. He is an active runner and dances a lot. He seems to love everything and everybody and always comes up to the door to greet us. Although when he has enough he will let us know, usually by shutting the cage door on us and leaning against it with both front paws.
Young Andromeda is as mellow as her father Leo and as laid back as her mother Piper. She is friendly and likes to be pet and doesn’t mind being held, but prefers to be down in the grass playing with her litter mates. I hope she keeps her personality as she grows up, because she has inherited the best possible traits from her parents.