English angoras at 5 and 10 weeks old

The two current litters of English angora bunnies here at Hillside Farm are now at the ‘absurdly cute’ and ‘merely cute’ stages.  Gomez & Cheiri’s babies are now 10 weeks old and Janet & Phineus’ babies are now 5 weeks old.  At five weeks old, Janet’s babies are all pretty much weaned and eating on their own now.

white fuzzy bunny with ears up
10 week old Zeus

Zeus & Co. are ten weeks old now and getting pretty fuzzy.  He’s still the white boy and there’s two black girls and two black boys as his siblings. Since they’re getting so fuzzy, it’s getting pretty difficult to tell the black ones apart these days.

It used to be that Zookie Schwartz was the smallest one.  Ziggy was the one who would come over and lick folks right away.  Zoey was the one bouncing around and had flippy ear tips.  Nowadays, though, Zookie is as big as everyone else or if it isn’t it’s hard to tell under all that wool.  Ziggy doesn’t lick folks anymore and Zoey’s ear tips are now upright like everyone else’s.  Guess I should tattoo them so they’ll be easy to tell apart.

It will be time for their first hair cut pretty soon, no doubt.  Hopefully, Zeus will keep his fairly open face so he will be easier to groom, but we will see what he does as he grows.

black and white really fuzzy bunnies

It’s quite a pile up of fuzziness when they’re all in one spot.

So far all of them are still here and I should recheck the genders to see if any of them have switched.  It’s pretty difficult to be 100% accurate when they’re young but they’re getting old enough that it should be pretty easy at this point.  Once they’re adults, it’s really easy but we want the males and females separated before then.  Last time I looked, Zeus was male and there were two of each gender for the other four blacks.

small brown angora
5 week old Coconut

For Janey & Phineus’ litter, as far as I can tell at this age, they’re all females.  One of them is going to move to Oahu.  The little brown one is now named ‘Coconut’ and she is planning on flying off to Oahu when she’s older.  She’s only five weeks old now, so it’s going to be another month or so before she flies away.  At five weeks old, they haven’t gotten as fuzzy as Gomez & Cheiri’s babies but they’re working on getting fuzzier.

In non-bunny news, I’m still working on getting the bunnie’s website’s home page to show up on mobile devices.  All the pages except the home page seem to be mobile friendly.  Wish I knew more about CSS and other web page building things.

Email to Blog Post

Word Press tells me if I send an email to this email address (they generate one for you, nothing easy you get to pick) then it will automatically be set up as a blog post.

Will it work? Let’s find out!

Can we add pictures? Let’s find out!

(Ah, logging on to check, it looks like sending them via Outlook emails who likes to put a blue background to the emails adds the blue back ground as a picture.  Guess I’ll  use the bunny’s email of HillsideFarmHawaii@yahoo.com instead.)

Now if there was some way to get different fonts in there, that would be fun.

Last day of June

Summer is here, it’s the last day of June and soon we will have July.  Woot!  Not that it makes a whole lot of difference to our seasons or anything.  We do get more flowers appearing in the summer.  This one is a volunteer.  I think it’s a gloriosa lily and it’s somehow survived 27 years of neglect in the back yard.

I think it’s supposed to be poisonous so it won’t be fed to bunnies, but it is very striking looking.  A long spindly stalk with almost vine habits that has flower buds that look more like pods and then these flowers appear.

When opening the flower buds they go through a ‘helicopter’ stage with is interesting.  Then the flower petals go up like alarmed bunny ears.

Another question is how or when to harvest oats?  These are special ‘hull less’ oats which are supposed to be able to be harvested and processed without machinery.  I have an oat flaker, so if we can figure out how to harvest and dry the seeds and get the husk off, then they can be made into oatmeal.  I’m sure the bunnies will want to eat the grassy parts.

There’s the current state of the garden.  The lettuce is still hanging in there pretty well.  A few of them are thinking about bolting but haven’t done much about it yet.  There’s been tons of beans, still no tomatoes.  The oats are the silvery green in the back left corner.  The orange in the middle is a large marigold.  The really red lettuce is outside the picture as well as the gloriosa lily.

So far there’s just one melon but it’s bigger than a softball now.  It’s escaped out the back of the garden and is climbing all up the hillside.

The watermelon isn’t the only climber around.  Ziggy climbed up and over the wall between the baby bunnies and the three adult REWs.  So, Ziggy was visiting with her aunties, Dolce, Petunia & Suzie.

The rest of the ones who weren’t climbing over to visit with the Aunties had ti leaves to munch on for awhile.  Hopefully Ziggy will decide to stay on the side with ti leaves.

Baby bunnies getting bigger

Into a new area!

The baby bunnies are now old enough that they don’t need to live with mum bun anymore.  The top of the second hutch was all cleared out and cleaned up for them.

The hutches have removable floors and removable front doors.  That makes them much easier to clean.  Here in the picture, the front doors and the floors are removed.  The lower ‘floor’ in the picture is the tin roof for the lower area which redirects the droppings to the back of the hutch.  There’s partition walls so this ten foot by two and a half foot wide area can be left as one big area or segmented into as many as three hutch areas.

Once the floors and doors are reinstalled again, then it’s ready for bunnies.

At the moment, it’s into two areas.  The baby bunnies have one side as their new home and the other side has the white girl bunnies.  We’ve only got three adult whites at the moment, Dolce, Petunia & Suzie, so we could use some more whites.  We will keep Zeus from the new litter and possibly the white one from Janet’s litter, too.  Although we still don’t know what the genders are on them yet.

Janet’s babies have their eyes open and are much more mobile now.

 

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.