Photos Copyright: Maggie May
My lucky little rabbits have just received an early Christmas present.
It was a friend who first put the idea into my head. She told me I was making things hard for myself transferring Ash and Lily from hutch to run each morning and evening and having to clean out two lots of accommodation. She suggested a Bunny Barn and told me to look on the web site for a bargain.
Well, I soon found one and within three days of ordering, the flat pack was delivered.
My son, Sam, being a carpenter by trade, soon had the barn standing in one piece. In fact it took him less than 15 mins from start to finish.
As the bunnies were quite used to their old way of life and knowing that rabbits like routine, I wondered what they'd think of their new abode.
After the shock of finding themselves in a completely different environment, they gingerly sniffed their way around their new habitat but avoided the steep ramp to their sleeping quarters for a long time. I knew Ash, the black rabbit would soon get over his reservations because Netherland Dwarf rabbits are quite agile jumpers. However, Lily is a little more sturdy and chunky and her legs are much shorter. I wondered if she'd ever get the hang of going up to the top level. It wasn't until the next day that she tentatively started to mount the ramp but when she got to the top, she couldn't quite grasp how to get off the ramp and onto the landing so she let herself slide all the way down again and chickened out. She didn't attempt it again for a long time. Ash, on the other hand was by then, racing up and down the ramp as though he'd always been doing it. He practically leaps off the top of the landing in what looks like a suicide jump.
A day later, Lily finally plucked up the courage to go and inspect the upstairs living quarters but then she decided she couldn't get back down.
I can remember having to show my late cats how to use a cat flap and I had to do the same with Lily and the ramp.
Anybody coming into my house would have seen me lying on the floor with my head inside the run, coaxing the bunny up and down the ramp with dried apple treats.
The effort definitely paid off and everyone seems satisfied with this new abode. It certainly looks better than the run, is easier to clean and the rabbits still use their tray as a toilet and they have so much space to exercise in and I seem to have more time as I'm not transferring the bunnies to another place twice a day.
They come out regularly for cuddles though.
So thank you, dear friend, for putting me on the right track. sometimes other people can see things more clearly.