All year I have had regular guests asking me what has happened to all our bunny rabbits. We used to have so many that the bucks were only allowed out to play with the girls one at a time to avoid a rabbit overload. Regularly guests would go home at the end of their stay with a rabbit or two to re home and return the next year with news of how their pets were getting on and on occasion bemoaning Farmer Nick when he had incorrectly sexed his giveaways and two had become six!
One night we lost a whole load to the local fox and this was followed with a disease that spread. Since then we have sterilised the rabbit house, bought several new rabbits and new hutches inside, however we still faced disaster after disaster like this one shared by Guy.
Last week Nick decided to make a return trip to the Farmers Auction up on the Devon border. He has been a few times and come home empty handed or with something quite different from what he set out to bid on so I wasn’t holding out much hope but agreed to take over the morning feed run with the children. I’m usually the one wielding a camera for this but figured driving the tractor, organising the food and taking pictures was too much and left my camera in doors. However I still managed a few snaps on my phone.
We finished not long before Nick arrived home and opened the car boot to reveal his success.
The children quickly took the chicks to join our latest hatched two in the chick nursery. They needed to be put under the heat lamp as quickly as possible after the 40 minute drive home.
Time was much less pressing for the rabbits since even the babies were beyond weaning age and able to be out in normal temperatures. It was a three man job carrying them; I think it was a mix of the weight and bulk of the cage and a shared sense of ownership of the new arrivals.
The original four rabbits were thrilled to see some friends enter their house and came dashing over to investigate. The new arrivals on the other hand were shy and nervous of leaving their cage, eventually being coaxed out with a few handfuls of fresh grass.
Theo and Jed soon choose their favourites and couldn’t resist a cuddle while Guy pondered the suitability of their sleeping arrangements with Dad.
It didn’t take us long to realise that the original four were all boys, this might just explain why we hadn’t had any babies! I know it sounds silly but rabbits are extremely hard to sex unless you catch them ‘in the act’. Anyway their actions soon gave them away and after a couple of hours of chasing Mum and the babies round their new home we knew we would have to separate them. The boys now spend their nights in a separate hutch giving Mum and her lovely new bunnies some peace and quiet, I fear it may already be too late to prevent her being pregnant again, but at least we know she makes a lovely mother!
Needless to say the guests were delighted to visit the rabbit house again and discover so many fluffy little bunnies running out to greet them.
They are even Twitter worthy!
“So lovely to be back at @coombemill. Totally in love with the new baby bunnies. They are just adorable. Kids loving it. — Hayley (@simply_hayley) August 23, 2014 “
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“Tales from the farmers wife” shares the funny and interesting happenings on our lovely holiday farm with Farmer Nick and our 6 children. A behind the scenes look on balancing family, farming, the holiday business and cooking for all.