Wow. So much going on!
Like I mentioned a couple weeks ago, our own little human baby is due in a few months (in case you missed it, yep it’s true!) and then our pet bunny Sophie decided to quadruple her hormone levels like mine, and had her own litter of sweet baby bunnies. Yay! Let me rewind a little bit though…..do you remember about a year ago when our bunny had a surprise litter of bunnies and we were trying to hand feed them, because the momma had no interest (the full store HERE)? Well, a lot has happened since then.
If you remember all of that, here’s our bunny Poppy that we had originally, who was surprisingly pregnant and delivered 4 baby bunnies and we found 2 of them, barely alive.
We tried our very best to feed those 2 babies and keep them alive, but even after several days of success, they eventually died too. I don’t even think I ever updated you guys about all of that here on the blog…..but we were kinda bummed about the whole thing. (The last one to die, actually died right in our hands…..so tragic. But dang it, they were so sweet!)
Anyway, a lot has changed in our bunny arrangements and for a variety of reasons, we actually swapped bunnies around and re-homed our Mini Rex bunnies to some teenage girls who really wanted them for 4-H, as well as Poppy (our Holland Lop)….and we ended up with some sweet Mini Lop bunnies. I know, a regular ol’ bunny circus around here! ;) (And just a fun fact ::: Mini Lop bunnies aren’t really all that mini. They’re like 5-7 pounds and are pretty robust. No clue why they’re called “mini” though…because they’re even bigger than Holland Lops.) We also decided to switch up their living arrangements and built a garden-type shed in our backyard and built cages inside. We call the whole thing our “bunny barn”. We also added some windows and even insulated the inside. This way, they are more protected from the elements and yes, call us crazy….but we have a window AC unit that we spoil them with in the summer, because it’s so hot here. Anyway, we love our Mini Lops….especially those floppy ears that hang on each side of their head.
One of our Mini Lops is a black doe named Sophie and she’s a beautiful bunny, with a lot of charm.
She has always been pretty sweet and has let the kids fuss over her and hold her, etc. (These pictures are from last summer, when she was a lot smaller….and we still had green grass!)
Sophie has always been a bit bigger in size than our other bunnies we’ve owned. But one day, we realized she was looking more chunky than normal and figured she must be pounding down her pellets and extra hay. But then, we also realized she was becoming really territorial and cranky, especially when we were trying to hold her and pet her. She even bit Ellie one morning when she was feeding her and reached over to pet her….which was really strange behavior for her. We figured out though, that she wasn’t just getting chubby, she was actually pregnant. So, we put a “nesting box” in her cage, so that she would have a place to start creating a nest for her litter of baby kits.
Then, suddenly one night, she started pulling out SO MUCH FUR from her own body, to create a nest. It’s fascinating that they instinctively know what’s going on in their body, and they start preparing a place for their little babes. (Unlike humans who need ultra sounds to confirm it and then piles of baby books and google to help us figure it all out. Haha!) They don’t start pulling their fur until pretty close to delivery, so we knew it was going to happen soon.
Then, maybe a day or two later, we peeked out in the box, and sure enough….5 teeny tiny little baby bunnies were hiding under all that fluff. Oooooh, we were so excited. But also really nervous that they wouldn’t make it. However, we decided to stay far back and let nature take its course….even if that meant they didn’t survive. But each night, Steve and I would go out into the bunny barn, and pull back the fur a bit, just to see if they were still moving. Sure enough, even a few days later, they were still squirming and squeaking. YAY! (We also noticed that Sophie had calmed down and was a lot more relaxed around us again. She was happy to let us pet her again….which we were happy about! I tried telling Sophie that I completely understood the rage of pregnancy hormones, and that we totally forgive her for being moody while pregnant….haha!)
***4 days old (sorry for the terrible iPhone pic)
At 7 days old, we could hardly believe how big they had gotten. They started changing so rapidly.
Just look at all that fur they had, after only 1 week!!! (And yes, most of the time, they stayed hidden under all that fur from their momma….nestled together and napping!)
Finally, I decided after 7 days, I couldn’t help but pick one of those baby bunnies up to get a better look (and because I also wanted to count to be sure they were all still living down in their nest). So, while distracting Sophie (the momma) with a big carrot, I picked up one of the spotted bunnies to check him/her out…..and WOW, look at those chunky rolls! Sophie was certainly feeding these little babies very regularly! What a relief!
Ellie, Connor, and Chloe were SO anxious to hold the babies….but we decided this time around to wait until they were 10 days old before letting them hold them. 10 days is when their eyes start to open and when they start crawling out of the nest and are learning their independence, etc…..so they knew 10 days was the magical day they could finally touch these little babies!
By day 10, their little eyes were barely opening but we decided to go ahead and give it a try. Ellie was the first to race out to the bunny barn right after school with me, and was so excited to grab one of the white ones.
Chloe finally joined us and was equally excited to snuggle this sweet ball of white fur!
By day 14, we decided to bring the whole litter inside for just a short time and handle them a little more, to get them used to us, etc. But even at day 14, they are still pretty sleepy and cuddly. They also kept their eyes mostly closed, even though each one of them were no longer sealed shut. They aren’t super brave yet…and if you place them together, they’ll stay that way for a moment or two.
But eventually, they get a little curious and start separating and figuring out things around them. My kids kept giggling while trying to keep them corralled, while I tried to take a picture! ;)
We really haven’t had many pets but bunnies are certainly a favorite around here. They are just the sweetest things….especially the baby variety!
And something that always cracks me up, is that if you lay a bunny on their back and pet their head and help them relax, they kind of become “hypnotized” and lay completely still, with their paws up in the air. Even the adult bunnies are this way….which makes it helpful for trimming their claws and checking their ears, etc. It’s pretty funny to watch!
We wondered how Oliver would interact with the babies or if he would even show any interest in them…..but he DEFINITELY wanted in on the fun! He tried really hard to be gentle but we had to teach him that holding them around their belly wasn’t really their favorite position.
He quickly caught on that he needs to hold under their feet….and that they like to feel cradled and secure!
Here’s Chloe, trying to “hypnotize” one of the white bunnies! :)
Connor is equally in love with all the bunnies…..and wants to name this one “super hero”. Ha! We’ll see…
But out of all the kids….I would have to say that Ellie is the most interested/concerned/enamored with these babies! She absolutely adores each one! The very first bunnies we owned were given to her as a birthday gift….and she has been such a great bunny owner ever since!
In fact, Ellie and Connor share the responsibility of feeding and watering the bunnies every single day and cleaning out cages once a week. They head outside to the bunny barn every single morning before school and take care of them….and I’m still so impressed that they do so without complaining. I guess the payoff of playing and interacting with them is worth it. Especially when they have baby bunnies to love and care for! :)
Having bunnies as pets has been so rewarding. Not only do the kids love them, but Steve and I like holding them too. They are a pet that don’t need (or want) a ton of interaction and by nature, they like their space. But they still let my kids fuss over them every day and are completely fine with being touched/pet/held/etc….as long as they feel safe.
But I’ll tell you what…..there’s something completely satisfying when you hold these itty bitty bunnies. They are such sweet creatures.
And these bunnies are extra special to our family….because after trying so hard to keep our past baby bunnies alive, it has been so exciting to actually see these little guys survive! So excuse us while we spoil these babies….and enjoy them while they’re so small! :)
Anyway, many of you were interested in those baby bunnies we tried to keep alive almost a year ago……and asked for updates etc. I’m so sorry it’s been so long, but it wasn’t a very fun post to write about babies who didn’t make it. But now that there are other babies here, it makes it easier to share that story. So, thanks for hanging in there and reading through all of this. They have certainly been so much fun to watch grow!
I hope sharing them has at least put a smile on your face today!