The Perversity of Rabbits

Can you tell they’re being exasperating?

To be honest, not all that exasperating. It’s just that I spent a few hours building nest boxes for Trudy and Delilah, who are both due around the beginning of next week and who have both been nesting in their cages with whatever they can find (shavings, grass, hay). Measuring, sawing, screwing boxes together, filling them carefully with an inch of shavings at the bottom, then up to the top with hay, noting where they’ve nested, clearing a good solid base for the nestbox, putting the boxes in….

What do they do? Pull the hay out of the nestbox and build a new nest in a different corner of the cage! I feel scorned.

On the good side, my old pet bunny, Biggles, recently bereaved, seems to be settling into a reserved companionship with Tigger, the young Rex buck. So far, I haven’t let them actually meet properly, but she steals his hay through the wire side of his cage and they’ve touched noses a couple of times in the doorway without fireworks. She’s often snoozing on the floor near him when I go into the shed. If they keep being civil together for a few more weeks, I’ll try letting her into his cage (not the other way round, I’d prefer her not to kill him!) and see if they stay civil. Once a rabbit takes a dislike to another rabbit, it takes months (if not years) to re-educate them to being civil again and I really don’t want to have to go there.

Jezebel’s litter are now all bright-eyed and growing proper coats, and since they’re now ambulatory and bouncing round the nestbox instead of buried in the fur in a heap, I have finally got a definitive count. She has nine. Clever girl!

Whisper it not where they can hear, but I have ordered a captive bolt stunning device, designed specifically for poultry and rabbits. I can (and frequently have) executed rabbits by both the “heavy blow to the head with blunt instrumen” and the “dislocate neck” methods (both legal and recognised humane means of slaughter for small animals in the UK) but my hands are ageing as fast as the rest of me, I’m getting a twinge of arthritis in the fingers and I decided to make life easy. From now on, my rabbits should be dispatched, humanely and legally, by means of a spring-powered contraption. Pix when I get my mitts on the device – it’s in the post at the moment.

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