Taking it Slow

Sienna (above) is learning to trust me. Every day since we brought the rabbits home I have worked softly and gently with them to make them feel comfortable with me. Every day she has greeted me with one ear up and one ear down. Today I got both ears up and that happy blissful look rabbits have when they close their eyes while you pet their heads. And she didn’t want me to stop petting her when I started paying attention to Cinnabun and actually butted my hand with her head. Cinnabun who was initially less wary seems to be going slower in the trust category, though. She will let me pet her head, but she doesn’t want to come too near the door.

Wildfire on the other hand only moved to the middle of his cage when I opened the door instead of to the back of it and he let me pet him. Then when I pulled my hand back he followed it and let me pet him just inside the door. He, too, got blissed out rabbit face. I am very pleased with that. All in all, these red rabbits are very friendly, though I don’t think the does were well-socialized. Fortunately I’ve got plenty of experience with socializing rabbits and trying to make them friendly now.

I read something that said that New Zealand Reds and Blacks had far better personalities than Whites and were much friendlier and a lot of NZW does are just plain mean. While I’ve only had to deal with one mean NZW and I’ve pretty much trained it out of her with a lot of patience and sweetness (she hasn’t bitten me in a while), I have had a few psycho ones. I managed to work it out of Sweetie Belle before she died. I also worked it out of her sister Serenity, although she is still a squeaker if you try to take her out of her cage when she doesn’t want to come out and will do crazy circles (not to be confused with happy circles). I swear, you’d think someone was trying to kill her, but she does have to come out when we clean her cage since she is cage protective. I try to just open her door, she’s on the bottom level, and she will often jump out to run around on the shed floor, but not always. And then she will jump back in most of the time and if not, doesn’t seem to mind being picked up off the floor and put back in. She just hates being picked up and taken out of her cage. Mostly, though, my NZW rabbits have been standoffish or slow to warm up, not mean or crazy. And the bucks are very sweet.

We got 10 dropping pans scrubbed and rinsed today and 2 cages fully scrubbed and rinsed. We still need to do 7 dropping trays and clean a few more cages. The weather got really bad near the end and we were also running out of steam. Me because I have a cold and haven’t slept well and the husband because he is just exhausted from picking up the slack I’m leaving due to my cold. Plus my blood pressure went wonky (160/100) and I had to go to the doctor and get stuff sorted and change my dose on BP meds. He’s taken over homeschooling and the morning rabbit duties as well as cleaning up after meals, cooking quite a few of them, and reorganizing the living room and kitchen, which we were in the middle of when I got sick. He’s a saint that one, to let me rest when I need to.

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