Saturday, November 5, 2011

Two week old bunnies - eyes open and hopping around!

Another week, and they are growing like mad!  They really look like rabbits now - with eyes open:

And great big Thumper-style feet:

They are out of the nest box; we had some problems with "nest box eye," a condition that can result from an extended stay in the nest box and the accumulating bacteria in there.  Erin cleaned their eyes and removed the box, giving them a shoe box instead, plus a big pile of straw.  If nest-box eye isn't promptly dealt with, the kits can go blind from it.  Erin is very on top of things with these little guys, and has been very attentive and responsible with them.   There are two super cute little guys that she will be selling when they are old enough - they are "booted."  That just means they have white feet, which isn't desirable in show rabbits of this variety, so she is planning to sell them as pets.  (If you are local and want one, let me know!)  She is hoping some of the others will turn out to be show quality animals; she is planning to breed them if they are and establish a pedigreed line.

This has been really remarkable for me to watch Erin take on this project with such gusto.  I can't believe she is turning 12; she's that baby in my first birth story.  And then on the other hand - sometimes I forget that she is just 12.  Since she is my oldest, she takes on a lot of responsibility.  She babysits, does dishes, can cook a handful of recipes, does laundry (even if she does persist in hanging my shirts up inside out...).  Her 10 year old sister Anna does a lot of these types of things too, and they are both becoming so mature and competent that I forget how young they still are - until, of course, they remind me by pulling some absurd stunt that only a 10 year old and a 12 year old could come up with!  (Like making up a new game called "bicycle tag" that we can play with our 4 and 5 year old siblings.  Just to be clear, bicycle tag was outlawed when I found out about it.  Which was not as soon as I would have liked...everyone involved was lucky it was only a skinned knee that brought this game to my attention!)

Anyway, this is a bunny post, but watching my babies care for bunny babies has been pretty interesting for this mama.  This week we expect the kits to branch out from the short little hops around the nest that they've been taking, and start exploring the hutch in earnest.  This means Hazel doesn't get as many treats as she is accustomed to - apparently greens can kill a baby rabbit by giving it diarrhea.  I still wonder how wild rabbits cope with this problem!

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