Steady as She Goes.

It’s been mostly smooth sailing here for the past week. now that we have the first couple weeks and the holidays behind us, we’ve gotten into the swing of things, complete with routines and a semblance of order and everything.

 

The flouffs came out of their nest to explore. They met Bob whose training has really paid off, and Rex, who really doesn’t care about rabbits if he’s not allowed to eat them.

 

On the “not quite so convenient” side of the scale, the four pigs discovered that they can get out of their pen. They only get out (generally) when they’ve run out of their favorite foods and are ready to be moved. So far there has only been one actual breakout attempt.

The bright side of that is that the pigs are very easy to catch. Shake a bucket, shout their ames, and voila, the four little pigs come running home.

 

The chickens are learning to be free range chickens as we slowly figure out how to give them run of the place and keep them safe at the same time. No chicken likes to be cooped up.

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Their new run can be moved daily to give them fresh ground (which they make short work of) and still gives them the comfort of their house at night. Eventually they will have a moveable house as well, but for the moment it looks like their mobile house has been hijacked and turned into a garage for a lawnmower.

We’ve finished the rabbit pens for all but one rabbit–which means that he’s got the chicken mansion all to himself. It’s been interesting to watch the rabbits adapt to a lifestyle of living in moveable pens, and to see the different levels at which they are at ease. Rhonda, for instance, appears to be 100% happy in her house. She has been pretty well settled in there since day one with no real problems. The two males, known as Barrel Rider (he temporarily had a five gallon bucket as a house and liked to sit on top of it) and Mr. Rabbit (honestly, he just doesn’t display enough personality to have earned a better name.) are also pretty well pleased with their bachelor pads. Mr. Rabbit remains the jumpier of the two, while Barrel Rider is very nearly as chilled out as Rhonda.

The last rabbit is Granny. Granny is the mother of the others. She’s older, and wasn’t exposed to this lifestyle as a younger, so it’s easy to understand why she’s not quite as in love with it.

But she does seem to enjoy herself. She’s even got a new hobby.

Granny likes to dig.

It’s interesting because both Barrel Rider and Mr. Rabbit have dug a little bit. Granny does not seem to be trying to escape, just to burrow. She’s moved daily to new ground, so one night’s work is all she gets done. She has a house that she could go in, but she prefers to build her own.

For her own safety–so that she doesn’t get out and nothing gets in–we will probably redesign her enclosure with slats on the bottom so that she cannot dig but can still graze.

And since everything is going so smoothly, tomorrow we will get started on the big project of making an outdoor space for the ducklings and chicks who are rapidly outgrowing their brooders.

 

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3 thoughts on “Steady as She Goes.

  1. Hey, Dan! It’s Micah, from BYC(or Micah’s Farm). I know this is an old post but I’d like to know if granny digs out. I’m thinking of doing a colony and eventually rabbit tractors too but I think they would dig out before I got around to moving them each day. Any insight on that?

    Thanks!
    Micah

    • We have not had much trouble out of Granny. She did have a litter of kits under ground, but she has not been big on escaping at all. Other rabbits have been more troublesome. However, even our most troublesome escapees did escape less when there was more than one rabbit per pen. We have currently culled all but a few rabbits. If we choose to continue with our rabbit operation, we will move more toward a colony setup.

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