Saturday 20 October 2012

3 Baby Bunnies

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We have some excellent news on the rabbit front and can report that Padfoot plus 3 two-week old baby bunnies are now rescued to the Maternity Unit where Pads is now standing guard outside the 'bedroom' of her new hutch and the three babies, in a nest made with fur from her belly and new dry hay are hiding within.

That sounds nice and easy and relaxing, doesn't it? It was not that calm to start with. Dad had done the sheep-free-range thing which happens now twice a day; the sheep get let out of the paddock to roam the lawn, the pond garden and the stuff around the allotment where the crops are finishing ( or in the case of the big York cabbages, so slug-riddled that a sheep is hardly going to make visible damage!) and all we dogs were locked up indoors, so Mum and Dad drew a deep breath and went to look.

At first glance it was all a loss, the compost 'heap' looking more and more like a trampled, dank mess of rotting nettles and the 'hay plug' Dad had seen blocked only a collapsed, empty tunnel with a few shreds of fur in it. But Dad climbed over the fence and started to look for other entrances as then found one right at the back against the wall. This proved to be a shallow tunnel about 2 feet long and when the top was broken open there was the nest, obviously still warm, dry and cared for, and now wriggling visibly with new life. Wearing rubber gloves to minimise the human smell put on the babies, Dad lifted nest-ball complete with babies into a Curver bucket held by Mum and Padfoot had helpfully hopped straight into the cat-basket a few seconds earlier, so Padfoot and the nest could be hurriedly transferred to the calf house and the hutch there quickly bedded with new hay, sawdust, water and food.

Now we just need Pads to stay a good mother for 2 more weeks or so, while the babies are weaned. Then she can go back in with Ginny and Rogers and the bunnies will stay indoors as they grow for a month or so while we decide what to do with them; sale as pet rabbits, or the larder.

In other news, we have blitzed the big overgrown hedge to the east of the front lawn, between the lawn and the "Primrose Path" (Our 2nd driveway, if you like). This had been neglected for at least 15 years and was a mess of big blackthorn, elder and hawthorn poles 10 foot high and 6 or 7 foot thick. Not any more. Now it's a neat 4 foot tall and 2 feet or so thick and, hopefully, thinking about coming back as a nice green reviving trimmed garden feature!

Just for fun, here too are a couple of pictures of the chickens up a tree, possibly trying to get a better view of whether their sister is going to hatch those eggs tomorrow or not. There is also a nice Autumn shot of our lane starting to get nice and colourful with the leaves and, finally a shot of Dora's flank showing her beautiful gingery wool. Like the inside of a Crunchie Bar, says Mum and we are not going to argue.

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