More New Bunnies


Esther’s kits next to my lupines and mint

Well my girls came through. Esther kindled nine bunnies and Tuna kindled ten. That’s what you call a twenty-nine rabbit long weekend.

Esther’s kits had already arrived when I went in to check this morning. She had a combination of half light ginger kits and half what looks to me like black otter. I can’t wait to see how they turn out. As usual she pulled enough fur to line a hot tub.


One of Esther’s ginger kits

I was so busy getting excited over Esther’s kits that I barely noticed that Tuna was in labor. She ignored her fresh bunch of grass so that should have been the first indication. As I watched her over about a half hour period, she methodically gave birth to her large litter of healthy kits. Here they are just moments after being born, you can still see some placenta that hasn’t been cleaned out yet. These are some big litters so I’m hoping the predominantly fresh diet will keep all the kits alive. We shall see.


Tuna’s litter

The Garden


New baby rabbits and new baby plants

The garden this year has been doing very well. I’m sure the constant application of rabbit manure over a two year period is mostly responsible. I was lucky enough to score about 25 giant black plastic containers for free from a neighbor putting in a hedge, I think they’re about 10-15 gallons each, and so I’ve been filling them with compost and planting everything my heart desires. I have yacon, sunchokes, mammoth russian sunflowers, dill, tomatillos, baby doll watermelon, and delphiniums right now waiting to sprout. In my smaller flats I have phacelia, pickling cukes, red and green shiso, jalapenos and sweet peppers, celeriac and eggplant. I plan to put a few tomatoes of each kind in a pot full of compost as well to see how they compare to my tomatoes in the ground.

Last year I planted too many tomatoes and ended up not getting any, really. I got a lot of tasteless yellow cherry tomatoes that had self seeded, and most of my heirlooms went to rot before I could gather them. It was a sad time.

This year I am more disciplined. I have restricted myself to three types of tomato and started all the seeds in early March, outdoors in a cold-sowing operation. By that I mean they were started in plastic milk jugs. They did well and sprouted, now I have a good dozen seedlings of each kind: Aunt Ruby’s German Green, Japanese Black Trifele, and Brandywine. When it comes to tomatoes, I don’t care how they look. I want ones that taste good.


Grapes turning pink


Volunteer lavender plant in the asparagus bed


Blue columbines


Bachelor’s buttons


Patio peach tree


Peonies, finally!


More columbines


Edible violets


Perennial pansies


Lovely rhubarb


Double white lilacs




Valerian flower, such a sweet fragrance


Blue Veronica, getting ready to bloom


My asiatic lily patch, getting there!


My yellow climbing rose


The coop and hop vine


Backyard veggie garden progress


Poor white chicken is moulting


Old heritage rose


Love these big red poppies


Smaller white poppies are good too

New Bunnies Day

DSC_0044 Today was the due date for Esther, Samphire and Tuna; but when I went out to the barn for chores this evening, only one nest was furry and that was Sam’s. She kindled ten pink and healthy purebred Californian kits. Here they are next to my purple and orange cauliflower starts that need to get put in the ground ASAP.

As for Tuna, nothing. She just wanted her grass and treats and that’s that. I was a little surprised because I remember the breeding going very well. She hasn’t used her nestbox as a toilet yet though, so I’m still hopeful. Maybe tomorrow.

Esther sometimes kindles on day 32, so it’s not that unusual that her box was still empty. Once I had just about finished my barn chores, around dusk, I noticed her going into birthing mode. She was acting restless and breathing very rapidly and heavily. Then she started pulling fur. I sat down and watched her for awhile since it’s not something I usually see. She pulled it rhythmically from her dewlap and also from down both her sides. Then she gathered it all up and put it into the nest box. It’s nice that my rabbits have become comfortable enough with me that I get to witness these private moments more and more.


Resting in between fur-pulling sessions

It’s been a few hours since then so I’ll bet she has a litter out there right now. I’m very excited to see what she’ll throw since this is my first Standard Rex/Creme d’Argent litter. I don’t think we’ll have any Rex-furred kits this generation, but I’m hoping for some interesting colors. I’m also interested in finding out how this hybrid combo compares to the others as far as grow out is concerned.

Here’s an idea of the amount of greens the bunnies get fed every day during this time of year. The grass is growing so fast they can scarcely keep up. I have one tractor of four bunnies who have a low roof and a huge bundle of grass placed on top for them every day where they can pull it down and eat it. These particular bunnies have eaten almost no pellets and have only made it through one quarter of a 32 oz water bottle in ONE WHOLE WEEK. I will be constructing more low-roof tractors so that I can capitalize on this. I love the more natural diet, the fact that it’s free, and the added health benefits both for the rabbits and for the eventual consumer of the rabbits. Me.