In December we bought three rabbits with high hopes of being overrun by bunnies.  We were warned that we’d have “bunnies coming out of our ears” but, no such luck.  As a matter of fact, our first litter ended up with one eaten bun (by the mama) and the rest not being taken care of and dying.  The second litter, only three, were attacked by the mama.  The third pregnancy ended up being a false pregnancy.  And then due to an unforeseen event, the girls leaving the hutches open and a dog attack by Legend and Lacey, we lost our Fudge (dark brown doe) a week before we expected her second litter.

Needless to say, here we sit six months later, with our NON prolific bunnies, and no babies yet… Until this morning!

Approximately three weeks ago, we decided to let all of our does live together in a colony setting.  Supposedly it’s less stressful and more natural.   We felt the advantages were two-fold.  The first being just one set of chores – fill one water, one feed trough, and you’re done.  For nine rabbits, one set of chores vs. filling nine water bottles, nine food bowls, et cetera is just a huge perk.  The second perk was completely unexpected and that is, rabbits PLAY!  Who knew?  They groom each other, they fight, they play, and they explore.  Rabbits love platforms, they love to dig through material, they’re just happy, lazy bunnies.   The downside is, of course, now they feel so much more like pets than food.

DH built a nesting box two weeks ago and a ton of baby “tents” for the does this weekend, plus a platform for playing.  The does spent last night building nests of grass and alfalfa, digging out chips, and generally making themselves comfortable.  And this morning?  Well, we were thanked with our first successful litter!  They’ve got round little tums, which shows Mom is feeding them.  They’re well covered, nice and warm in their well built nest.  Could it be?  Finally?  Our first successful litter.  I hardly dared to stick my hand in the nest, but from what I could tell, the count stands at seven.  I wanted so badly to check out their colors, but resisted!  We’ll see in about a week or so when they start poking heads out of the nest.  As for Mama, we treated her with a bit of clover and dandelion greens.  (And, yes, our rabbits are used to greens – it won’t make them ill.)  We’re expecting three more litters this week and if all goes well I’m chalking it up to the colony setting!

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