Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Bunny Awareness Week

From 26th April till 2nd May it is officially Rabbit Awareness Week. I only realised this today when I was on Facebook and found out via the PDSA who directed me to the official website RAW. Having looked through the site and cooed over all the lovely pictures it has made me think about how much I wish I still had my bunnies (I prefer to call them bunnies). They are in bunny heaven now and greatly missed.

It all started around ten years ago with Gwyneth and Flopsy (who were supposed to be sisters but turned out to be a couple). After months of nagging my parents finally allowed myself and my sister Emily to adopt two bunnies. We went to a pet shop and chose a beautiful black doe eyed bunny (Gwyneth) and a cuddly grey bunny with eyes you could drown in (Flopsy) as her companion. Our bunnies were in separate (tiny) cages but the shop owner assured us they were "both girls". He even picked them up and had a quick look at their nethers to make sure. Naively we believed him and thus began our era of bunnies. Reliving this story makes me feel embarrassed at how stupid I was not to realise that a) they were probably younger than he said they were, b) they were NOT "both girls" and c) we should have adopted our bunnies from a rescue organisation, not a pet shop (although I am glad we did end up with Gwyneth and Flopsy)

A month or so passed with no problems, I bought a book about bunnies and a "How to Train Your Rabbit" type manual which enlightened me to how intelligent bunnies are and how they can use a little tray and live in the house instead of outside in a hutch. We weren't allowed to do this though and my Dad kindly made a huge rabbit run and although we had a few issues with getting them out of the run and into their hutch at night everything was fine and they seemed happy enough.

It was a Saturday night, sometime in December, I checked up on them to see if they were warm enough and heard a funny noise that sounded a bit like a donkey grunting. When I opened the hutch I noticed that both bunnies were agitated and in the covered end of the hutch a large mound of bunny fluff had accumulated. A squeaking noise was coming from the mound of fluff and when I investigated I was greeted by five squirming pink blobs. Baby bunnies! I was stunned but then realised that whilst I was busy discovering this Flopsy was mounting Gwyneth and she was the one responsible for grunting like a donkey. I hang my head in shame when I remember that we mistakenly thought that Flopsy was Mummy Bunny and left him to look after the babies whilst removing Gwyneth. This caused her to grunt like a donkey even more alerting us to our mistake.

Eventually we came through the chaos and moved Flopsy into his own bachelor pad and arranged for him to be castrated. Gwyneth looked after the babies, unfortunately two of them didn't survive but the others did and they were absolutely gorgeous. News of the babies spread and despite my trying to hide them we had a little girl from down the road come to adopt some of the babies. I wanted to keep them all but it was actually a good thing that she came along as Gwyneth was pregnant again!

We didn't realise at the time but when we discovered her first litter and Flopsy was on top of her it was all it took for her to become pregnant (I now completely understand the phrase "at it like rabbits") After her first pregnancy I read up on the signs and symptoms and it wasn't long before I noticed Gwyneth nesting and helping herself to Flopsy's fluff to use in the nest (We moved the love birds back together once Flopsy was doctored) I knew at this point that we had less than a month before the new babies were due and things went a lot more smoothly the second time round.

As it turned out we ended up keeping just one bunny from the first litter (Alfie) and one bunny from the second litter (Miffy) and despite Miffy strangely trying to mount his Dad a few times they all lived happily together. Keeping bunnies was an exciting and rewarding adventure, I learnt an awful lot and have some brilliant and funny memories which I cherish. At some point when I have more time I will share some memories with you, but in the meantime in honor of Rabbit Awareness Week here are Five Interesting Facts About Bunnies...

  1. Bunnies teeth constantly grow throughout their life therefore they must have something to gnaw on in order to keep them at bay.
  2. A doe (female) is ready to breed at about 6 months of age and within 9 months can produce as many as 800 children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
  3. Bunnies have fragile bones, especially in their back so when picked up must be supported on their belly and bottom.
  4. Do you remember Thumper from Bambi? When a bunny stomps its foot like Thumper often did, it usually means s/he is warning you that s/he is uncomfortable or to warn predators to back off.
  5. Bunnies are very intelligent and just like dogs and cats can be trained to use a litter tray. Put the tray in place with some of their droppings inside, each time your bunny uses the tray offer a food based reward.

Best Blogger Tips

No comments:

Post a Comment



Related Posts with Thumbnails