Sunday 2 June 2013

Left On The Shelf

Back in the days when I had a pair of outdoor bunnies, one (Santa/Elvis) regular and one (Jemima) with a mouth like a vacuum cleaner, I trained them to eat separately. One would stay in their house and wait for their food to be put in while the other would jump out and race over to where their food had been placed outside. This meant they could have different diets and the regular bunny wouldn't have to go hungry when, one mouthful in, piggy-bun had eaten everything.

Training them this way and maintaining the separation was always straight forward. If the door was open, say because I was changing a litter tray or water bowl, and one of them finished their food, you only need to worry about that one big target. If they tried to make a move towards the other, often a quick hand in front of the face to stop them in their tracks followed by making a bit of a fuss of them was all it needed to distract them until the other was done.

As you can imagine, trying to do the same with seven baby bunnies and their mum is not so simple. It's like trying to hold back water by standing in front of it with your hand raised - "No!" you exclaim, while most of it flows around you and does as it pleases behind your back.

So faced with trying to give Texas a tasty veggie breakfast while the kids get their healthy-digestion-encouraging pellet mix, I had to get just a little more creative. My solution? I have now trained Texas to jump out and run round to the shelves where I store the hay then jump up to her awaiting bowl, while I place the other bowl with the babies' food in their house. Sure, a couple invariably leap out with mum for a lap of the shed before returning for their snacks, but so far none has noticed the tasty delights located a foot above their little heads!

Not only has this been a success in keeping their diets separate, but Texas really seems to enjoy getting a break from her little ones. Snuggly as they all still are together, she definitely seems ready to let them go and I think she is looking forward to returning to the Rescue next week to start looking for a husbun.

I quite enjoy solving these extra challenges that come with living with fluffy family members, the only downside is that once you've established a funny little routine like this with foster bunnies it makes you miss them all the more when they move on.


"Finally! I can eat my snacks in peace! Now if you could just sort me a private bedroom with a free mini-bar I'll be sorted."


  1. perfect solution!but those babies are so adorable mind you so is mum!

  2. Well done! That looks like quite a handful to cope with....

  3. We raised a bunch like that once - no Mom. We missed them but not for long. It was LOT of work! You are doing so well.

  4. They are all IDENTICAL, mini version of mom! I bet they are a handful! I wish I could adopt them all.