When I was growing up my brother and I had a rabbit, it was a gift from my Uncle Theron so it was appropriate that the rabbit was named Theron…we may have had more than one rabbit…two maybe.
Years later at the resort I may have taken leave of my senses and purchased two angora rabbits…they died…not sure why. The children visiting the resort loved the rabbits…the next spring I purchased two regular old rabbits…I was told they were the same sex. Either both boys or both girls. We named them Ebony and Ivory.
One morning Far Guy hollered for me, something was wrong with Ivory she had blood all over her. Well I could see nothing visibly wrong with her…then I checked the nest box. Screamed and slammed the top closed. Baby bunnies…Ivory was a Mom…which meant that Ebony was the Dad..and they were not the same sex. Ebony needed to go in his own cage…male rabbits will eat baby bunnies. Ivory was keeping him at bay…or entertaining him…who really knows what rabbits think.
We went to town and got stuff to build a new hutch…one with an insulated nesting box so the babies would have a chance. One died…as I recall there were 12 little bunnies, they are born hairless or nearly so and look all wrinkled and funny.
We moved the hutches to a spot under the low hanging branches of the Spruce trees where they would be protected by the branches and out of the north wind. I would have to feed everyone all winter.
Do you know that a rabbits gestation peroid is about 31 days?
Seems that while Ivory was keeping Ebony away from her babies…she had been entertaining him…in 31 days we had another batch of rabbits…14 this time if I recall correctly. We had to modify Ebony’s hutch to give him space on one half of the hutch and moved the month old baby rabbits to the other half of his hutch until they could be moved back in with Ivory after the new babies were old enough.
I fed rabbits all winter and took them fresh water three times a day. They were tame rabbits and loved to be petted.
At that time we had four Shelties, Misty, Moses, Captain and G’Day Mate. I taught them not to chase rabbits. “No chasing bunnies” Oh they wanted too…but they wanted to please me more….and hated being scolded.
G’Day Mate, Ebony, Me and Miss Misty watching from outside of the fence.
The dogs were curious about the bunnies but left them alone. You see my plan was to release some of the bunnies and find homes for some…my sister Julie took quite a few.
The release went well. My husband had done the math…once he told me how many rabbits I would have to take care of the next winter I knew I had to release them.
We had bunnies all colors, black, white, and every shade of brown. I fed them morning and night…they would come running out of the woods when I hollered for them. A few found the way into the neighbors gardens. Arvilla once said “Funny we have never had problems with rabbits eating our gardens but now we do.” Rabbits were everywhere that summer, the tourists thought it was great and little kids would run after them…some of the retired guests would see how many bunnies they could count in a day.
A number of years later when we moved back here just about a half a mile from the old resort we drove in the driveway and there was a bunny that greeted us. Far Guy said “I bet that is a relative of one of your bunnies.” I got out of the vehicle and just talked to the bunny, it stood up on its haunches and listened. (Perhaps I am a rabbit whisperer)
So you see the rabbits that feed under the bird feeders in our yard probably look like regular domestic rabbits…because they are relatives of the rabbits I accidently raised.
To this day I cannot understand why rabbits are not raised in poor countries for food. I found rabbits really easy to raise.