“Houdi” drinking from chickens’ water pan

The fluffy girls

                                                   Photo by Ann McFerron

We are enjoying
the rabbits a great deal
these days.
The six girls seem to take after their mother,
who is a Lion Head.
They all have the mane
around their heads
and the mane doesn’t stop
on a couple of them:
they are total-body-sticky-outy-fur fluff balls.
Two of  the three boy rabbits
we put in a separate pen
with their Pappa
haven’t been seen in weeks now.
For awhile,
we thought they were too shy
to come out from the burrows.
But there are no indications
that they ever come out,
so we have no idea
what happened to them.
The third boy rabbit is black
sans mane
and lives not with Pappa
in the rabbit village,
but takes free run of the barn
and the alpaca pasture
and goat pen.
He has spent a couple of nights
and so far has outwitted
any predators
(currently, there’s another possum in the barn
and it has outwitted our trap.)
Ann and Frank have named the black rabbit:
“Houdi,” short for Houdini.

Our guests love seeing the rabbits
as much as we do.
The girl rabbits come out and sniff at shoes
and devour lettuce we bring.
I don’t know what it is about cute animals
that affects humans so,
but I’m glad for every giggle I hear.

We brought the rabbits to the farm
for their manure,
because Red Wiggler Worms,
which we raise for producing soil
from kitchen scraps, manure and paper,
love rabbit manure.
Originally, we kept the rabbits in hutches
and put pans underneath to catch their pellets.
Now the rabbits are free to roam the pens.
They tend to drop their pellets
in one area, or two,
so it’s not hard to harvest their manure.
This morning was the day
and I was pleased
at how much more rabbit manure
this larger family is producing.
Now there seems to be a reason-beyond-cuteness
for having such a large rabbit community.
(We are glad to have separated males and females,
limiting the size of our rabbit
since one couple can start a population
quickly: something like 3,000 rabbits
in a year.)
We are getting quite a manure crop
for our worms!
This morning, I delivered a bucket full
of rich rabbit droppings to the worms,
who I know,
if they could,
would giggle in delight
about those fluff ball rabbits.