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.

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.

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

 

 

 

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.

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.