Sunday, July 24, 2011

Breeding like rabbits...

This past Easter the Easter Bunny brought my three girls the perfect Easter present. When I (excuse me, I mean when the Easter Bunny) called my hubby to tell him about the most wondrous gift of all time his immediate response upon my asking "Guess what the Easter Bunny is giving the girls?", was, "It better not have a heartbeat."

What a buzz kill.

I laughed a bit hysterically and managed to squeak out, "Actually, there are three."

Total silence.

So I frantically backpedaled and began the whole shpeel of how the girls would take care of them (what? was Tess supposed to heave herself down the stairs and miraculously get herself to the bunny hutch?) and they were so tiny they would be no trouble at all and blah blah blah.

The hubby left me feeling less than optimistic when he informed me he would have no part of them so I better hope the girls stepped up to the plate.

Well! We would show him!

Of course the girls were thrilled with their mini Holland Lop Bunnies. They sacredly vowed to personally take care of them. Ellie named her's Thumper because she looked like the little bunny in the Bambi movie, Blake named her's Nugget but then had a change of heart and wanted to name her Sal so I kept calling it Salnugget which stuck so Salnugget it is, and in the name of not confusing The Toots, we named her bunny, well, Bunny.

We kept the adorable little rodents, sorry, bunnies, in the house until it warmed up enough for them to be outside. And it warmed up enough with the hubby for me to wheedle a bunny hutch out of him.

He and the girls, (not really but they did help for about a half hour so that counts, right?) took a Sunday in mid-May and built the bunnies a hutch. I took one look at it and immediately asked the hubby why it didn't look like the photo from the internet that I gave him. He was not impressed by my less than enthusiastic response to his efforts and quickly reminded me that the bunnies were not his problem yet he had spent the whole day building them a hutch and pen. If I didn't like the results than I was more than welcome to build a hutch myself.


So I sucked up the weird little hutch and the girls took turns feeding, watering, letting in and out and all things bunny related.

It soon became apparent that two bunnies were girls and one was a boy. Let's just say that the boy "asserted" his manliness at every opportunity. The hubby quickly pointed out that now I was a bunny farmer. I was a wee bit worried but shrugged it off.

Then Thumper died. Sorry to be so brutal but that's life on a farm. He had managed to escape from the oh so great hutch and we found him two days later at then end of our neighbor's driveway. He had been shot. Nice. Real nice.

But life goes on and so did we. Salnugget and Bunny lived in wedded bliss so Thumper was probably the third wheel anyway.

Fast forward to this morning. I, not Blake, not Ellie,(don't ya just love it?) I went out to let the bunnies out of their hutch and into their pen and to feed and water when I noticed something that looked like a weird nest. Well how odd. I peered in for a closer look and I swear to God, there were four babies in there.

Just what this three ring circus needed.

I yelled like the redneck I can revert to (a little too easily) for the girls to get outside. They all came a running and ooohed and ahhhhed over the babies. Then panic set in. How do you take care of baby bunnies? Does mama bunny do it all? Does she need back up like a normal new mommy?

And then, I looked into the pen and Bunny was, "asserting" himself on poor, and I can only imagine, sore, Salnugget. I was furious! "Leave her alone!", I shrieked at Bunny. But Salnugget was having none of it. She flipped Bunny over onto his back and smacked him in the head. You go girl!

So I immediately went online and researched and found out that the male needed to be separated from the female for fear he will immediately impregnate her. Oh. my. God. Really?

The girls and I (with the Bean and Bob-bay) headed back out to remove Bunny from the pen.

I then go back to the internet and upon further research discovered that while the male and female should be separated, they should still be able to touch and "nuzzle" through the barrier or else they get really stressed. OH for crying out loud!

So I begged Charlie to put chicken wire down the middle of the pen so that Salnugget and Bunny can be reunited but still be apart. He said no. And no amount of pleading on my part would sway him. I was so pissed.

Then I went in to full on martyr mode and told him to stay with Tess while I went to do the "man's job". I was out there for about forty-five friggin' minutes. Sweating and swearing and getting scratched by a terrified Bunny. I was also, (red neck sisters Hollah!) shouting out to the general neighborhood (hello Charlie) things like, "No don't come help. I really don't need any help at all. Please, just sit in there and do nothing. Really it's okay, even thought this is the worst made bunny hutch and pen in the world, I can do this myself!" And on and on.

When I came inside I was uglier than a grizzly bear and aimed it all at the hubby for daring to build such a ridiculous bunny hutch in the first place. And when he pointed out that the bunnies were not his idea to begin with and the girls and I said we would take care of them ourselves, I just got more pissed. Then I basically told him he should probably leave. He was only to happy to comply.

And the kicker is, I just looked outside to check on them and Bunny found his way to Salnugget despite my great architectural improvements to the pen.

Screw it. (pun intended)

Anybody looking for an adorable mini Holland lop? Ready to go in about eight weeks. And again about three months and eight weeks after that and again about three months and eight weeks after that and.....

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