Wednesday, June 10th, 2009


Well, I don’t know if I can give the colony the credit or not, but we have another successful litter!  For those keeping score that’s 0/3 successful litters and 0/10 live babies out of our previous hutch system vs. 2/2 – 14/16 babies still alive in our colony system.

It’s getting pretty exciting here.  Chocolate Fudge a.k.a Fluffy a.k.a whatever name they call her on any given day gave birth on Sunday morning.  She attempted to bury a dead kit on Tuesday and successfully buried her entire litter.  We dug them out and all were fine except the dead kit and one other that was squished in the burial process.  We removed the dead kits and she resumed caring for them.  They are all adorable, although I’m a bit sad that it was the two chocolate buns that died.

Tiramisu gave birth this morning to seven healthy kits.  It appears we have a white, two solid blacks, one solid brown, and three broken (speckled) babies.   She is doing a WONDERFUL job of caring for them and the nest is really beautiful.  I’ll post pictures of it soon.

I went out there late this morning only to find Opal making a grand nest for her babies.  We expect them today or tomorrow.  Butterscotch is also expecting today or tomorrow.  Unfortunately, she’s young and seems to be pulling hair randomly all over the colony pen.  Hopefully she’ll find a special spot for her little ones as well.

The young does are incredibly curious about the nests.  Opal and Tira are very defensive of their area, while Fluffy is definitely not.  But she’s such a space cadet anyway.  I barely hold on hope that she’ll raise all seven of them.   I’ll try to post pictures today or tomorrow.  It’s been incredibly exciting around here with 16 new buns and expecting more.  We found a few Monarch eggs yesterday plus one teeny tiny catepillar… How fun!  Incubator hatching is expected to take place on Sunday and I’ll try to post pictures of that as well.  So far it appears 34/37 eggs have survived to Day 17.

New update:  We caught Butterscotch giving birth in Opal’s nest.  There are two separate bundles of buns in the nest – one group of 6 and one group of 4.  The question is – same Mama or different Mama?  Opal and Butterscotch are NOT happy at having the same nest and are fighting.  I don’t know if Opal gave birth in there before Butterscotch or if she just wants her nest back.  Butterscotch we literally SAW giving birth to babies, so we know at least some of them are hers.

Pictures of the colony and rabbit teepees.

Colony eating greens.

Colony eating greens.

Junior does checking out the new digs.

Junior does checking out the new digs.

Tiramisu's Burrow

Tiramisu's Burrow

Above you can see how Tira enclosed her teepee.  She has filled in the front and left the back open.  Inside her burrow the entire front is filled in.  But within the middle is a bundle of fur, and if you notice, there is a lot of BROWN fur.  She doesn’t have brown hair so she’s been stealing fur from other mamas.

Inside - There are 7 babies in there!

Inside - There are 7 babies in there!

Fluffy's Nest 'O Buns

Fluffy's Nest 'O Buns

Fluffy's Mini Me

Fluffy's Mini Me

And the saga yet continues.

I’ve been very blessed by the responses to my question posed over at The Well Trained Mind forums.  I’ve been a fan of Susan Wise Bauer’s book for a long time.  I think I’ve owned it since Ana was in 1st grade and bought the revised edition when it came out.  I’ve had the pleasure of using The Story of the World Vol. I-IV, The Ordinary Parent’s Guide, and all of her editions of First Language Lessons.

I asked some BTDT (been there, done that) Mamas to respond to which they would find more beneficial to use – Sonlight or Tapestry of Grace.  I’ve come to learn, over time, there is so much value to be gleaned from mothers who have walked the path….  And I was anxious to see how they would compare the differences between the two for an older child, for utilizing in high school.

I’ll willingly admit that I don’t know if Ana is going to college.  She is certainly very academic but as I don’t wish to raise a feminist, the whole college question is hard for me.  I’d just as soon (ducking) have her find a mature and competent, Godly young man and get married at 20 and live her life as see her sent off to be under the tutelage of others.  The thought quite frankly scares me to death.  The liberalism taught at college isn’t just a course, but a whole body bathing, washing children in feminism and a liberal attitude.

But I do FIRMLY believe that we should equip and prepare her for whatever God might have planned for her life.  And, for our family, for Ana specifically,  this will include what some might call a “rigorous academic college prepatory program.”

I think you’ll find their responses very thought provoking.  Never once did it occur to me that she could plan her own days with this program.  I did know that Tapestry is considered the more challenging of the two programs, requiring much more thinking and writing.

Sonlight vs. Tapestry Take Two – High School Years

Moreover, I was grateful to be led to this link which showed how Tapestry has gone ahead and broken down the material into high school credits.

So, for now, I’ve made a decision.  We’re going to purchase Tapestry, one unit.  I’ve not yet decided on Year 2 or Year 3.  I still have some time.  The difficult decision has been made and we’ll see how this fall’s unit goes.   I think Ana will love having the control and freedom of planning her learning.