All posts by Niele

Garden Eating

bowl of green beans

Lots of food in the garden at the moment.  Two different types of green beans were harvested today.  They were tasty!  The Good Mother Stallard have a nice creamy texture when the beans inside are a bit older.  I may let some of them get ripe enough to be soup beans, I think they’d make excellent soup.  Bean with bacon soup made with Good Mother Stallard beans may be exquisite.  I’ll have to grow some to the shell bean stage and find out.

It’s really hard to get a good picture of how red this lettuce actually is.  It’s a deep dark ruby red, very vibrant.  Tastes good, too!  There’s a green leaf lettuce, a green blushed with red romaine and then this really red leaf lettuce.

baby watermelon hiding in the leaves

A new baby watermelon!  Yay!  This is a variety called ‘Hanby’ and hopefully it will be tasty.  Here’s a link from the Baker Creek seeds website with a description of it: http://www.rareseeds.com/hamby-watermelon/

Ha!  Can do the beans, too, I guess.  Ha!  The Good Mother Stallard are a pretty bean.  I’d forgotten they were pretty when I planted them.  http://www.rareseeds.com/good-mother-stallard-bean/

Their website claims 5 to 6 beans per pod, but I’m only seeing 2 to 4, it’s still early on in the harvest, so maybe there will be the larger beans later.  I’ve left the ones with 4 beans in the pod to save for seed, although there’s also another bean growing alongside so maybe they shouldn’t be saved for seed until the other bean is gone.  This is the other bean, the McCaslan 42 is a more or less regular green bean so I wouldn’t want to cross the two.

The garden is all powered by bunny berries, I’m amazed at how well bunny manure works.

In the bunny world, Janet’s babies are opening their eyeballs now.  

They’re also starting to wander out of the nest.  Not very fast, not very far but they are getting more mobile.

 

Now it’s African Violet Time!

box of African violets packed for shipment

So my friend got three boxes packed just like this.  The plants that you can see the leaves of are standard African violets.  Each one is a small plant and each one is different.  The white packages have semi-miniature to full miniature plants in them.  He got three boxes like this!  Over 100 different African violets!

So, of course he drops by to open the boxes at my house and it took hours to unpack them all.  However, occasionally there would be a leaf which had broken off or had a bent stem.  So those leaves were potted up and will hopefully sprout a new plant.

Aftrican violet leaves being started

Mine!  If they all sprout a new plant I have no idea where they will all go.  Maybe outside somewhere in the shade.  African violets can grow outside since we’re in Hawaii as long as they don’t get sun burnt or eaten by the chickens.   All of these leaves are from the standard sized African violets.

small leaves being started

These nine leaves are either ‘semi-miniature’ or ‘miniature’ African violets.  Some of them are fully grown and flowering in a two in pot and their leaves don’t go over the edge of the pot.  Way too tiny, but really cute.  The tiny leaf in the middle with the white edges is from a miniature African violet called “Bunny Hop”.

tiny pink African violet

Isn’t that just the cutest thing?  It’s the one called ‘Bunny Hop’.  That’s a two inch Dixie cup that it is planted in.  The leaf being started from this plant is in a small terrarium.  That may increase the odds of it surviving.  These aren’t my plants, I just got some leaves from some of them.  He got them from a place called ‘VioletBarn’, I’m sure there’s an online link somewhere if you need African violets, too.  https://www.violetbarn.com/    Aha!  Thought there would be one.

So we will see how many of these sprout into new plants.  If they all sprout, then we will have to find a place to put them all, but one thing at a time.

close up of black bunny showing fiber quality

I don’t know if your screen is big enough, but can you see the utterly soft fiber on that bunny?  I’m pretty sure that’s Ziggy and the undercoat is the really soft fiber that we harvest to make into Hula Bunny yarn.   Ziggy is going to make fiber for ‘Moonlit Dance’ color.

Little black bunny eating grass to make into fiber

Ha!  Those gourmet folks are always enthusing about grass fed beef.  What do they know?  We’ve got grass fed yarn, that’s gotta be better, don’tcha think?

Here’s our Grass Fed Yarn video

 

 

 

Okay, they’re officially cute now.

White bunny with attitude on nest box

This is Zeus being officially cute on top of the nest box.  Sometimes he gets this attitude that is supposed to be manly bunny, I’m sure, but it comes across as ungawdly and absurdly cute.

Zeus getting ear skritches

Give him an opportunity for ear scritches and he’s a complete marshmallow.  So much for the big boy bunny attitude.

Little black doe sitting on the nest box

This one is now Zoey, she got named today and I’m not sure why Zoey, but that’s her new name.  Not sure if she’s gonna spell it Zoe, Zoi, Zoey, or Zoei.  Bunnies aren’t all that good at spelling, I guess.

She has the cutest little ear flip going on.  It’s just the tips, not the whole ear so I’m not sure how that fits into the ARBA’s ‘Standard of Perfection’ when it comes to English angoras.  It’s not a lop ear so it’s not a DQ.  They’re supposed to be upright in a tight “V”, but what about flippy tips?

bunny licking visitors

This is Ziggy, who for some reason likes to lick visitors.  She runs over and very very gently kinda nibbles and licks folks.  I haven’t a clue why and she’s the only bunny who does this.  Checking for flavor?  She doesn’t bite, just kinds tests for texture and licks.  Kinda tickles, too.  Lots of bunny kisses in  her future!

Little black bunny licking fingers

Finger lickin’ good, I guess?  Ziggy is an odd one.

Two black bunnies on the box

Bunnies on the box.  Not sure which two they are.  They’d swirl around the hutch and visit with folks and then they’d go do a bunny flop somewhere for a bit.  Then wake up and visit some more.

black and white bunny on box

There was a whole revolving bunch of bunnies on the box today.  There’d be one, there’d be several, they’d be there for a bit, then they’d be back demanding more pets and ear scritches.

Ziggy tasting the camera

Lots of bunny pictures today.   Ziggy is helping by tasting the camera.  She then stuck her nose in the middle of things probably trying to see how tasty the camera lens is.  Either that or trying to photo bomb from sticking her nose into the entire pictures.  What a strange bunny.

more bunny space

The babies are getting bigger, so the wall between their space and the one next to them has been removed.  They now have two thirds of the top of the first big hutch.  That gives them two boxes to hop on top of.  They also have a big dish of alfalfa pellets there all the time and ti leaves and other grasses and things to eat, too.

Zeus again just cuz he was being specially cute today.

Gargoyle Bunny

Dunno as if Zeus thinks it’s near Halloween or what, but he’s been practicing his gargoyle moves.

white bunny imitating a gargoyle

He was right up on the front edge of the nest box just about falling off.  Dunno as if fluffy and white quite goes along with the whole gargoyle theme, but he’s just a beginning fashionista and still needs to work on a few details.

Zelda was trying out the gargoyle thing too, but nowhere near as convincingly as Zeus.

black bunny trying to be a gargoyle

She just doesn’t have the whole gargoyle thing figured out yet.

Other than fuzzy bunnies, there’s been fuzzy scarves being knit.  I’ve started writing out the pattern for it since it may turn out well enough to be knit by other folks perhaps.

detail of a knitted scarf

This is the front side of the scarf.  It’s being knit out of Hula Bunny’s ‘Beach Bunny’ color of yarn.  It’s mostly ‘Old Shale’ or ‘Old Shell’ pattern which is sometimes erroneously called feather-n-fan.  This is NOT feather and fan, it is Old Shell.  Which is sometimes called ‘Old Shale’ because of the accent from when it’s spoken.  So, now that we have that clarified, here’s the back of it.

back side detail f scarf

This is the back and because the Hula Bunny yarn gets so soft and fuzzy, a lot of the fine details in a pattern will get lost in the fluff.  Which is why a big broad pattern is best with Hula Bunny yarn.

If it were made with an unmodified Old Shell pattern, the back of the scarf would sort of have an overall pebbly texture and no real interest, IMHO.  The vertical stripes were added in to make the back nice to look at, too.

At the moment, it’s only half knit since it’s only about three feet long.  I’m thinking maybe six or seven feet would be the nicest length.

Not that we need a scarf in the middle of June, but I have to start knitting now so there will be things ready for folks in the fall and winter.  More bunny haircuts tomorrow!  The bunnies have to help or all kinds of folks will be missing out on toasty ears, necks and noses come next winter.

Grapefruit tree oopsie!

grapefruit tree taken out with moneytree

Ooops!  The roots of the grapefruit tree were all tangled with the moneytree being taken out next door.  When one fell over they both went.  Oh wellos!  Guess we will have to get a new grapefruit tree.  Maybe the next one can be a ruby red grapefruit tree.  I like those much better than the white grapefruits.

last grapefruit and first beans

So this is our last grapefruit, but we did pick the first beans today from the Mother Stallard vines.  They are producing about a week before the other bean vine.

We’ve been eating the lettuce and beet greens for over a week now, too.  The little garden is going well even if excavators got the grapefruits.

The Power of Stacked Concrete Blocks

Well, we’ve been eating salad now for a few weeks and I don’t think all the garden construction pictures were ever assembled in a tidy manner.  There’s been some interest in it on an online garden forum so I thought I’d put the pictures here, too.

This is the fifth stacked concrete block garden so far.  The first three were on flat land and the same height all around.  The fourth is just off the side of this newest one, although I planted too many ‘permanent’ plants there (grapes, cotton, papaya, mulberry) so it is too full to plant lettuce and salad greens.

This newest garden is not only a garden, but also a terrace to hold back the hillside.  I’m planning to make another garden behind this one to continue terracing up the hillside.  Perhaps for that one, a much longer but narrower one which wouldn’t be accessible from the back.  We’ll see when it gets built what it ends up looking like.

 

This is the beginning picture with the problem hillside.  It’s too steep to mow very easily and we have things growing 24/7 around here so it is a continual problem.  Turning it into small terraces will hopefully make a problem into a benefit.

This new salad garden is very close to the kitchen door, so that will be handy for greens and herbs.  In the picture, the digging has already started a little bit.

I should have taken more pictures at this stage, but we were busy digging in the dirt and hauling concrete blocks around.  We were using whatever blocks we had laying about, it’d be easier with all the same size blocks.

When choosing the final size of your garden,  layout the first layer of blocks where you’d like your new garden.  That will give you an idea of how big it will be.  Then stack up a column of blocks as high as you’re planning on building the sides.  Reach into to the middle of the garden area over the column to see how easy it will be to garden in the middle.  It’s easy enough at this point to make the garden a half block narrower or wider depending on how far you can reach.  Since it’s accessed from the front and the back, you can make it as long as you like.

When building multiple gardens, leave a walkway wide enough after the plants have reached their mature size to still fit through between the gardens.  I had one set of raised beds that were too close together and after the rosemary had gotten large in the garden on one side and the asparagus on the other, there wasn’t much room between them.

At this stage in the picture, we’d dug down to the level of the lowest concrete block and spread weed mat across the bottom to keep weeds from growing up inside.  There’s also weed mat along the sides to keep weeds from growing in from there, too.  Depending on how aggressive your weeds are, you may not need to do this part.  If you’re in a dry area or concerned about anything in the concrete blocks leaching into your soil, then a layer of plastic would be an option there.

Notice the rebar stakes stuck in the blocks.  It would be better if it were every hole but we didn’t have that many of the rebar stakes.  You could also use old pieces f metal pipe, short fence posts, pretty much whatever metal reinforcement you can find.   The wire bunny cage in the middle is being used to screen out miscellaneous roots and rocks from the soil being shoveled back into the garden.

That’s 1/2″ x 1″ screen for the bottom of the cage which is a nice size for screening garden soil.  Being part of a cage, it holds it up nicely, too.  If you don’t happen to have a small animal cage handy, you could make a wood frame and nail the screen to that.  It’s rather a lot of soil, buying screened soil would possibly get expensive.  For this particular garden, it was made with stuff laying around so we didn’t have to go buy anything specific for it.

Well, we did get some new seeds while on vacation.  There’s a seed bank in Petaluma, California which is just an astonishing place.  All heirloom and open pollinated seeds and varieties I’ve never heard of before!  Woot!  I don’t know if you enjoy seeds as souvenirs, but I think they’re great.

view looking out of the seed bank's windows

This was one of the highlights of my vacation in Napa, California.

interior view of the Petaluma seed bank

It used to be an old bank building, now it’s full of seeds.  All of them heirloom and open pollinated so I can grow them and save seeds and continue growing the same varieties.  Having all these seeds and nowhere to plant them had been a driving factor in building the new garden.  Okay, back to the garden now!

garden helper co-opted with a bribe of new seeds

All those new varieties of seeds were useful in bribing our local youth to help shift soil and blocks around.  We added in some bunny manure from the bunnies we have here along with the bribe of seeds so he was enthusiastic in helping.  A bit disrespectful sticking his tongue out at the camera, though.  Ah, youth these days, eh?  It’s so hard to get good help, too.   (insert grins and snickers here)

pile of soil behind garden being built

It was rather a lot of soil to move around, the pile there is what was dug out of the area to start with and still needs to be moved back into the raised bed area.  It was a lot of moving of soil.  Fortunately, once it’s built, it doesn’t need that level of effort again.

almost filled new raised bed garden

It doesn’t look all that much different from the previous picture, but it was hours of work to screen and fill.  These gardens have more soil in them than you’d expect.

I’d thought about lining the top row with solid flat concrete blocks, but didn’t have enough of them and decided to plant small plants in the concrete block holes instead.  Small low herbs like thyme will go well there.

At this point when the added soil was several inches down from the top, we started adding in the best soil as well as the amendments.   We have acidic soil, so crushed oyster shell was added.  We have really high rainfall which washes out the nutrients, so we added bio-char (crushed charcoal) to trap and hold the nutrients for the plant roots to find.  There’s also a lot of bunny manure added.  We have a whole herd of English angora bunnies who are very interested in garden greens so they do their part to help.

Planted five types of lettuce only three showed up
Missing two lettuces

All the little round things at the top of the soil is bunny manure.  It is a ‘cold’ manure and doesn’t need to be composted although by the time the greens are big enough to harvest it will have broken down quite a bit.

picture of a raised bed garden
New garden April 22nd, 2017

This is the garden after it’s been seeded and we put the little fence around it to keep the chickens out.  At least, we thought it’d keep the chickens out.  One still got in and scratched things around and ate a lot of the hulless oats we’d planted.  So now we have a fence across the front, too.  I may make one big fence panel to make it easier to put the fence up and down.  Or build a fence about six inches shorter so it can be gardened over easier.  I can reach and weed the front several feet but can’t reach the middle with the fence up.

That picture was taken on April 22nd, just after putting in the new seeds from the seed bank and a thyme plant at the front and Joey’s Tomato at the back.  The same person who gave me the Bleak Hall Sea Island White cotton seedlings also gave me what he swears is the world’s best tomato.  He had been growing it for ages so it’s acclimatized to the islands, but he was down to only six seeds so I’m growing it out for him and will hopefully get some new seed.

picture of tomato seedling

Interesting leaf shape and he says it’s an indeterminate variety so we should continue to get a lot of tomatoes from it once it starts.  I put it in the back corner so it can grow huge and escape out the side.

The other little sprig of green in the beginning garden is a small thyme plant.

the new garden at six weeks later

This is the garden about six weeks later.  As usual, I put in too much seed.  The lettuce still needs some severe thinning and the beans are at war with the tomato.  The ‘mater will last longer, though, so in a couple months the beans will die off and the ‘mater will still be there.  The beans provide nitrogen for the growth stage of the tomato.  They provide beans, too.

growing beans

These are ‘Good Mother Stallard’ soup beans, I should mark the first pods to be saved for seed later.  With things like beans that I want to make pods early on, I’ll save the first seeds.  With lettuces, which I want to take awhile before bolting, I’ll save the last seeds.

I should take another picture from the same angle as the first, I suppose.  Just to show what six weeks and a small excavator can do.

six weeks later

 

Aaargh! Vienna Gene Again!

See the white spot on the head of the chocolate baby?  That’s an instant disqualification at a bunny show when you’re an English angora bunny.  Sigh!  I’d thought I’d gotten all of this out of the herd earlier when Morpheus and most of his offspring were removed.

I’d also gotten the two black does mixed up.  It gets hard to read the tattoos sometimes after the bunnies get older.  So, the mother of this litter is Janet, NOT Jessie.   Janet could be a Vienna Carrier, but Jessie is of different bloodlines.

Janet’s g’g’g’grandsire was Tails of Paradise Stealth, whom I called ‘Zephyr’ since Tails of Paradise Stealth is a pretty lame name for a rabbit.  Stealth had been owned by someone breeding for Blue Eyed Whites which involves the Vienna gene which along with being necessary to get a blue eyed white rabbit, also causes all these white marks on their heads which makes them unshowable bunnies.

Stealth met up with Bumblebee Acres Forever (another less than stellar name, IMHO but much better than Zephyr’s.  I’d renamed BBA Forever ‘Cloud’ although her pedigree kept the original name).  They produced Hillside Anela who went to live with Dr. Mina in Hilo.  Anela met up with Bumblebeeacres Harry Potter and they produced AJM’s Toffee.  Toffee came to live here at Hillside and met up with Grinlow’s Dozer.  They produced Hillside Nicky Epstein who in turn met up with Hillside Country Cousin and they had Janet.

So, more than likely that white dot on the little chocolate bunnies head is from five generations back.  Maybe I’ll just breed Ruby Eyed White rabbits so they’re all white and I don’t have to worry about if they have any additional white-on-white disqualifying  marks on their head.

Little bunners and excavators

Gayle still has her four little bunnies.  They’re fat and full, so she’d a good mum bunny.

They’re doing well and staying warm.  It’s kinda nice for baby bunnies to be summer babies since it’s not as cold at night.  Although, around here ‘cold’ is anything below sixty.

The other three does who were supposed to have babies this round, Suzie, Sirocco and Jessie, don’t seem to be in the mood.  I’ll give them another day or two before letting them meet up with the boy bunnies again, but it’s looking less likely that they will have any.

baby white bunny on nest box looking down on the four black ones

Didn’t want to forget the first batch of babies now that there’s four new ones.   We may have Zookie Schwartz and Zeus.   The white one may be Zeus since he’s a male and will probably be staying here and the name starts with a ‘Z’?

Hopefully this upcoming week will have a lot of bunny time.  Shear everybunny who needs a haircut, do a deep cleaning on the hutch and maybe start on the buck hutch?  It’s hard to know if it’s worthwhile getting started when the bunnies will be moving yet again sometime soonish maybe.

view after the excavator cleared things

The excavator cleared the line of trees that used to be between us and the neighbors.  That’s going to be a mock orange hedge  now, I think.  Too bad bunnies can’t eat mock orange.

Yay Gayle! Way to go Phineus!

nest with four newborn baby bunnies
Fresh baby bunnies!

Yay Gayl!  Good job, Phineus!  Woot!  Four more baby bunnies!

There’s one pink one (most likely a Ruby Eyed White), one chocolate and two black ones.  This is Gayle’s first litter as well as Phineus’ first litter so we have two first time parents.  Gayle built a nest and put the babies in it.  Although she also put the ti leaf in there, too, so she’s still at the fill the nest stage, I guess.  I gave her some more grasses so she can eat the ti leaf and put the grasses in there.

I had hoped Jessie, Suzie & Sirocco were going to have babies, too, but they don’t seem to have any.  Sirocco hasn’t even bothered to make a nest but Jessie & Suzie had made nests.  There’s still a day or two left before we can figure there won’t be any, but if they do have them they will be taking longer than usual.

another view of the newborn baby bunnies

I didn’t want to take them all out of the nest since they’re still so new, but I think at least some part of all four of them is visible.

So with these babies, we now know that Gayle has the recessives for chocolate and REW and we know that Phineus has the recessive for REW, too.  Yay!  It’s always good to find out more about a bunnies color genetics so we can figure out which colors to expect.

And there’s an excavator in the back yard!

excavator up behind a house with an ocean view in the background

The big pile of brush and trees that had been piled up there earlier is all gone now.  Yay!  Now we just need to figure out what sort of house to build there.   The bunnies will get a bigger and better bunny yard, too.

Nothin’ Yet

chocolate agouti angora bunny looking out of her space

For some strange reason Sirocco climbed over the wall between her space and Cheiri & the babies’ space.  Haven’t a clue why, she has her own nest box, food dishes, etc.  But for some reason, she was in with Cheiri and the babies this afternoon.  Their nest box had been turned over so there’d probably been some sort of commotion going on, but when I was out there to feed every bunny they were  all pretty chill.

Haven’t a clue why she wanted to go exploring today.  Bunnies are pretty strange.

No baby bunnies yet, although it’s still a bit early so there may still be some.  Guess I have no patience.

Haven’t had much bunny time today, nothing much fun – just a buncha work, but got tons of that done at least.  Boring, I know, no pictures of baby bunnies for two days in a row!  I’m hoping to get this huge project done (again – this will be the third time it’s been ‘done’) tomorrow, so then there will be bunny, garden and blog time starting perhaps Friday.

 

It was a Dark and Stormy Night

Well, that sounds like the beginning of a second rate novel, now doesn’t it?  It wasn’t actually all that stormy but it was dark and it was raining so it was almost a dark and stormy night.  Although it wasn’t really storming, just raining, but it was enough that tonight’s bunny update is that there is no update.

Too dark to take pictures and all the bunnies were sleeping and too wet to weigh them so not much to report today.  No new bunnies, either, but they aren’t due until tomorrow anyway.

Hopefully a much better report tomorrow.

One Month & One Day

The bunnies aren’t getting any new drastic size changes now that they’re a month old.  When they’re very small, they seem to change quicker.  Now they look like small bunnies instead of baby bunnies, but they still don’t look as fluffy as they will in a couple of weeks.

little black bunny sticking out his tongue

Zookie Schwartz is still being his usual quirky self.  Today he stuck his tongue out at the camera.  Guess he wanted something tasty instead of a flash bulb.

red leaf lettuce in the garden

Not sure why the dark red color doesn’t come through in pictures.  There’s more green in the lettuce along side  of it, too.

crowded leaf lettuces

It’s about time to thin the lettuce in the garden.  Still no beans yet, though.  We’ve had a few messes of beet greens, those are quite tasty.

Down to the last forty eight hours before we can hope to see more baby bunnies!  It seems like it takes forever sometimes, but considering how long folks with horses and cows have to wait to see if there will be babies, I suppose we’d get no sympathy if we complain.

One Month Old!

One month old today!  They’re all still here and doing well, Cheiri is a good mum bunny.  They aren’t quite weaned, but almost.  Within another week or so, they’ll be entirely eating solid foods.

The little white one likes to sit on the nest box.  Either he’s part vulture or he wants to be in charge, I’m not sure which.

This is Gayle three days before hopefully there will be baby bunnies.  She’s kinda looking plump in the middle and she’s laying about instead of nibbling on the grasses.  She’s already built a nest so she doesn’t need to put the grasses into the nest.  Frequently does will get real lethargic a couple of days before birth.  Resting up for the big event, perhaps?  Three more days before we find out if there will be baby bunnies!  Hopefully the change in diet is working, we will see.

So other than bunnies, there was an Orchid Show in Hilo today.

Some of these orchids looked like inter-planetary aliens.

Others looked like flocks of butterflies.

 

Some were pretty orchids

big hot pink orchids

Some were pretty outrageously colored

big display of orchids

And there were just piles of them everywhere.  The whole Edith Kanakaole stadium (where they hold the Merrie Monarch hula competition) was full of orchids everywhere.  It smelled really nice.

And they were selling the orchids, too!  Folks were taking loads of them home.

They do this in Hilo every year, should you feel the need to get orchids to go with fuzzy bunnies.

3 weeks 6 days

It’s almost like they’re all in a bunny bunch like when they were tiny bunnies, but now they’re just piled up in the food dish.  They started  out eating and then they just kinda ended up hanging out together.  Guess they’ve spent most of their life so far being in a bunny bunch so maybe it’s what they’re used to and comfortable with?

Grasses on the nest box got them out of their bunny pile up.  At least, all the black ones.

The little Ruby Eyed White decided to run to mama instead of jumping up to the top of the nest box.  But, there were enough grasses for everybunny.

Bunny Games (3weeks 5days)

King of the Mountain - black bunny on nestbox
King of the Mountain, er, well, nest box anyway.

Baby bunnies have Bunny Games.  We’d probably call it ‘King of the Mountain’, but I suppose for them, it’s ‘Bun on the Box’ instead.  Here’s the picture from moments before:

one baby bunny pushing another off the top of the nest box
Bun on the Box

How rude!  Just push your sibling off the box!  But, then he gets to be the head Bun on The Box.  The little stinker.

white baby bunny sitting in the food dish
Bun in the food dish

Sitting in the food dish is either a bunny game or some sort of commentary on empty food dishes.

bunnies eating mulberry branches
Mulberry for dinner again

It’s not exactly leftovers since they’d pretty much eaten all the mulberry from yesterday, but it’s mulberry leaves again today.  Maybe tomorrow they can have some ti leaves or grasses.  They also have their organic alfalfa pellets and supplements of black oil sunflower seeds & calf manna.

I think we have some tentative genders figured out for them.  The white one is a male, I think.  The smallest black one, Zookie Schwartz, (not sure if he’s gonna keep that name) is most likely a male.   The biggest black one is a female and of the other two blacks, one is male and one is female.  So, two black females, two black males and one white male.

We will be keeping the white male and probably both the females.  Part of that depends on what shows up hopefully next week, though.  We’re hoping for two litters next Tuesday and then another one the next day and one the day after.  We will have to wait and see.

Bunny videos

Ha!  Learn a new thing every day!  Now we can have videos on the bunnies’ webpage.  Yay!

3 weeks old eating grasses.  This is Hillside Cheiri & Hillside Gomez’ first litter together and in this video they are three weeks old and nibbling on grasses.

https://youtu.be/OsC6RRRhYk8 

These are the same five baby bunnies four days later getting their first taste of mulberry leaves at 3 weeks 4 days old.  They seem to like mulberry better than grasses.

This is the first video from when they were nine days old, but I didn’t know how to put videos in the web page then.

3 weeks 4 days (Day 25)

baby bunnies on their nestbox
afternoon bunnies

Late afternoon all the baby bunnies are on top of their nest box leaving Cheiri to stay on the floor of the hutch.  She probably doesn’t mind being left alone.

baby bunnies in the mulberry leaves

Today was their first taste of mulberry leaves.

First Mulberry Leaves

Baby bunnies love mulberry leaves!  I was surprised at how eagerly they pounced on the leaves and started munching.  They’d left the supplement and went for the mulberry leaves instead.

little white bunny in mulberry leaves
REW in the mulberry

Guess I’ll prune the mulberry tree some more tomorrow.  The baby bunnies have mulberry branches along with the leaves, it will be interesting to see how much of the branch they eat.  Frequently, the bunnies will eat all the bark and leave the wood.  We will see tomorrow if there’s anything left.

baby bunny nibbling on leaves

3 Weeks 3 Days

little black bunnies munching on a ti leaf
Cheiri & Gomez’ babies at 3 weeks and 3 days old

They are almost beginning to look like big bunnies now.  They can get all their feet working properly and don’t stagger around like little drunken sailors anymore.  They’re eating ti leaves, grasses and the supplement.  They still get some drinks from mom bun, though.

mom bun and four black bunnies eating from a dish, little white bun upside down nursing on mum
dinner time

Most everybunny is eating from the food dish, except the little REW who prefers milk.  Right after this picture, Cheiri went off to the top o f the nest box for a bit.

black baby bunny in green food dish

The food dish is still bigger than the baby bunnies.  They manage to gt the food, though.

watermelon vine escaping out under the garden fence
garden escapee

We have our first garden escapee, too.  The watermelon vine has gotten out under the fence and seems to be headed for the back yard.  Probably just as well to let it wander.  That side of the garden is safe from lawn mowers and it will have more room out of the garden than in.

3 Weeks 2 Days (Day 23)

Seems like the little REW wants to be the maître d‘ of Chez Hillside.  Either that or he’s the teacher overseeing the grade school luncheon, hard for say which.  Everyone else was munching on the grasses, he was up there overlooking the whole process.

Then there was a shift change and the REW is chowing down on the feed in the dish while there’s another supervisor sitting on the box.

Personality wise, the littlest one is probably the sweetest.  He (or she, still don’t have a clue as to gender) is the most curious of them and is the first to investigate anything.  Might be a male, though, he never sits still.  Little busy bee, he is.

The little REW is shaping up nicely.  He/she has some nice conformation, especially at a mere 23 days old.  We’ll see how he looks in another couple of weeks.

We need more white rabbits to produce fiber for the Coconut Dream color of Hula Bunny yarn so hopefully this REW will be a male.  White bunny bred to white bunny results in all white babies.  If a black bunny is bred to a black bunny, they can be any color if the parents have matching recessive color genes.

22 Days Old (3 Weeks, 1 Day)

baby bunnies on top of nestbox

Poor Cheiri!  Now her hiding place is covered with baby bunnies!

I think they got up there by sort of climbing onto the back ledge and then on top of the bit of wood there to fill in behind the nest box.  Not sure if I should make a ramp for them to get down or not.

They’re still gaining weight at pretty much the same rate so even if Cheiri isn’t feeding them as much as they’d like, they’re still growing.

beet greens from the garden

It’s been about five weeks and now there’s beet greens from the garden.  They steam up nicely like spinach.  We should be able to get a couple servings of greens from the garden about every other day now.  If we add in the lettuce, then every day.

Now that the garden is all put together and is fertilized with bunny berries and we save the seed from the best plants, it shouldn’t really have very many more costs involved.  Maybe a slightly increased water bill, but water isn’t expensive here and we have lots of rainfall.  So it won’t quite be free vegetables, but it won’t cost much to keep them on the table.  That’s the joys of bunny berries and heirloom seed.