Easter Bunnies (Part 2)

You may remember my previous post about Easter Bunnies. At that point, they were hairless and barely recognizable as rabbits. Since that time, our Easter bunnies have continued to grow. After about three weeks the little rabbits will begin jumping out of the nest box. We call them “poppers” at that point. From that point on, the babies begin eating food on their own. It takes between 1 and 1½ months for the doe to ween the babies. At that point, the babies are more or less independent, but still spend plenty of time with mom (who continues to groom them).

The babies are a little over 2 months old now. Mom will remain with the babies for another week or so, and then we’ll remove her. We’ll keep the babies together because they’re used to being together. Keeping the babies together for now will reduce stress. Here’s how the babies look now:

Rabbits01

Yes, it’s pretty amazing to see how fast they grow. There are six babies in here. We’ll separate them according to sex once they get a little bigger and put them in separate cages.

Some people wonder why we use such heavy cages. The rabbits are kept outside so they get fresh air and sunshine. (The nest box in the back of the cage is big enough to accommodate all of them in bad weather.) Because the rabbits are outside to be in a healthy environment, they’re at risk from predators. The other day we came home to find two dogs after the rabbits. So, the heavy cages aren’t there to keep the rabbits in, but to keep the predators out. You don’t want you bunnies eaten by any of the huge number of predators that feast on them, so it’s important to build sturdy cages well off the ground.

I’ve had a few people ask what we feed our rabbits. They do get rabbit pellets as one of their main dietary items. However, in addition to the rabbit pellets, we feed them garden scraps, grass hay (grass that we’ve let grow a little long and then raked up), corn (to help them keep their teeth ground down and to provide needed fat), oats (to provide needed fiber), and sticks from our apple and pear trees (a treat that also helps keep their teeth ground down). Each of the cages also has a salt block with minerals (the red blocksnot the solid white ones). We make sure that the rabbits also have clean water (they tend to dirty it by sitting in it at times).

The picture doesn’t show it, but bottom of the cage uses a much smaller mesh (½” × ½”). Otherwise, the rabbits would quickly become footsore and could get infections from cuts. The mesh allows fecal matter to pass through. We wash the cages regularly to keep them clean.

 

Author: John

John Mueller is a freelance author and technical editor. He has writing in his blood, having produced 99 books and over 600 articles to date. The topics range from networking to artificial intelligence and from database management to heads-down programming. Some of his current books include a Web security book, discussions of how to manage big data using data science, a Windows command -line reference, and a book that shows how to build your own custom PC. His technical editing skills have helped over more than 67 authors refine the content of their manuscripts. John has provided technical editing services to both Data Based Advisor and Coast Compute magazines. He has also contributed articles to magazines such as Software Quality Connection, DevSource, InformIT, SQL Server Professional, Visual C++ Developer, Hard Core Visual Basic, asp.netPRO, Software Test and Performance, and Visual Basic Developer. Be sure to read John’s blog at http://blog.johnmuellerbooks.com/. When John isn’t working at the computer, you can find him outside in the garden, cutting wood, or generally enjoying nature. John also likes making wine and knitting. When not occupied with anything else, he makes glycerin soap and candles, which comes in handy for gift baskets. You can reach John on the Internet at John@JohnMuellerBooks.com. John is also setting up a website at http://www.johnmuellerbooks.com/. Feel free to take a look and make suggestions on how he can improve it.