Grayson and Babbitt have been moved to their new digs on the front porch. The cages leave a bit to be desired, but the dry footing is much safer for me as I care for my fur kids. Babbitt's cage was too small for him, and had many sharp wire ends that were committed to keeping my hands in a constant state of scabbed discomfort. I think we will both enjoy the improved conditions with his new set-up. Babbitt came to me as a rescue bunny and the inadequate cage was the housing that came with him. He is a handsome chocolate brown fellow around a year old. He loves to eat! We pick Red Clover blossoms, Plantain, Comfrey, Queen Anne's Lace, pigweed, Violet leaves, Raspberry leaves, Evening Primrose leaves and various wild grasses all durng the growing season for the bunnies, and Babbitt will eat them all. Sometimes Grayson will pass some of these up, but not Babbitt. He loves everything! During the cold months he thinks carrot tops and radish leaves, apple and carrot peels, and trimmings from romaine lettuce and spinach are gourmet fare.
Grayson had a roomy cage, but it sat too close to the ground. I was concerned for him because dampness became an issue as winter wore on. Slick mud that became slicker ice when the temps dropped were of serious concern to me...wrenched muscles or broken bones are just not high on my list of desired experiences. Grayson is smaller than Babbitt, a shimmering silvery grey, compact and cuddly. I got him from a friend a few months after the loss of my pet rabbit, Ziggy Whiskers, who lived with me for seven and a half years. I missed Ziggy, but had not thought about getting another bunny.
Then my friend called and said she had a litter ready to go to new homes and did I want to take a look. I had seen her at the local Farmers' Market the day she got the little guys who would grow up to be the parents of the litter she wanted me to see. I had asked her to call when they had offspring...you just can't imagine how darling those babies were! I went, I saw, I was conquered. These babies were just as irresistable as their parents had been at the Farmers' Market. And the one that stole my heart completely was the smallest of the lot. I came home and set up a cage for my new little friend, and the next day took the pet carrier and brought him home. For a few days we called him Ears because they were the biggest thing about him. I am not sure exactly how we arrived at Grayson for his name, but it seemed to suit him then, and it still seems to suit.
I had not intended to have two sweet fur kids, one seemed enough, but after Babbitt had been here a few days I had gotten attached. He is part of the family now, and seems content with his place. What is a very nice little bonus is their contribution to improving the soil in the veggie garden. With a little pelleted newspaper in the litter trays urine odor is minimal and cleaning is not a smelly chore. Rabbit manure has a high nutritive value and is a superior addition to compost. It is also of great value worked directly into the planting sites for peppers, tomatoes and other heavy feeders. I am thinking I would like to try top dressing a couple of plants each of Okra, Eggplant and Summer Squash this season to see if rabbit manure would help them deal with our less than ideal summer weather conditions.