It’s been a busy couple of weeks around here with August market prep, market day, and market clean up, plus we started homeschool around here, and then there’s just the every day busy – farm chores, house chores, parenting… and work!
We’ve been so busy that I haven’t gotten around to announcing our new homestead family member! Pippa!
She’s a four-and-a-half year old Holland Lop bunny and we’re so happy she’s here!
Many of you will remember that we have had one bunny, Rosie, who had a big adventure outside of the hutch in June, and sadly, as a result, her sister, Blossom died. (Read more about that here) We knew that Rosie would probably need a bunny buddy, but we weren’t sure at first if she was pregnant or not (we didn’t know what she’d been up to during her outing, but we knew there were lots of wild bunnies out and about, sooo…) We wanted to wait the full (potential) gestation period to make sure that we didn’t have two to fifteen (ACK!) baby bunnies coming!
My cousin, Kelly, wrote to me about a month ago (after the gestation period) and asked if I knew anyone who was looking for a bunny. Pippa was Kelly’s friend’s bunny and she was living in a basement and actually doing some damage to the drywall and trim. Her kids were off at college and poor Pippa wasn’t getting the attention that she used to get. Pippa had been on waiting lists for bunny sanctuaries and her mom was waiting for the perfect situation!
Guess what? We have attention, we have stimulation, we have a bunny buddy!!
We did some quick hutch modifications and created an outdoor area for the bunbuns, and arranged a time for Pippa to come to the homestead.
She arrived on August 24th with her people – her mom, Dana, my cousin Kelly, and three beautiful teenage girls who love her!
Poor Pippa! 🙁 She hadn’t been in a car since her first arrival with her family, and the traffic from Seattle was pretty yucky that day so it was a LONG car ride in a cat carrier. When she got here, she was sweaty and shaking and so scared! She just sat there in that spot… afraid to move.
Rosie didn’t know what to think either… she just stayed in her spot inside the hutch for the first hour or so.
Pippa brought her stool from home… she used it as a safe place and sometimes slept under it. Rosie eventually got down and checked out the stool. I noticed that she was rubbing her chin on the stool, and I thought, hmmm… what a funny place to have an itch! 🙂
Eventually Rosie decided to check Pippa out… she sniffed her, and chased her… and then she was humping her. Poor Pippa was just scared… she was breathing so fast and I thought it was going to be a disaster… Rosie was so aggressive and sweet little Pippa has no idea what is happening to her life.
Our new pup Chesney provided a little break for Pippa because I’m pretty sure that Rosie thinks Chesney is a bunny and she stops what she’s doing to come say hi to him. Pippa could finally catch her breath!
I checked on the bunnies a bunch of times throughout the afternoon and evening and eventually I told Carson that I was worried that something was going to go wrong… I was worried that Rosie was going to hurt Pippa.
I did some research that I neglected to do before Pippa arrived (so unlike me, by the way) and found that we did the introduction all wrong. We should have had separate space for each bunny… with a barrier in between so that they could interact but not touch. Unaltered female bunnies can apparently be the most aggressive and territorial. Sigh… Carson told me that I need to Farm Girl Up (a common theme around here!) and let nature take its course. He’s right, of course… but also… I started searching for another hutch so that each bunny could have her own spot to be… and if I notice that someone is being aggressive, I can separate them until they calm down.
Rosie seemed to settle down some. She seemed to be kissing Pippa more. And I discovered that bunnies have scent glands under their chins and that Rosie had been marking the stool, much like dogs mark their own territory. And I noticed that Rosie was rubbing her chin on Pippa. I hope I’m right in assuming that she’s claiming her as her own buddy.
They like to be together but they also like to be separate. I think that’s a good sign!
And now, more often than not, Pippa is the one chasing Rosie and humping her… and then there are sweet moments like this where they are cozied up together and being sweet!
Pippa has even marked Rosie with her chin!!
These sweet girls are pretty fun to watch, and even though we didn’t do the introduction the right way, it seems to be working out very well!
Welcome to your new home, Pippa! We’re glad you’re here! 🙂