From the safety of an underground nest, it was time to follow the light at the end of the tunnel and meet the world.
There are probably more youngsters still in the nest, but there’s little chance I’ll see them. Once the babies become alert enough to explore, their mother immediately moves them to a new place. By sundown they’ll all be gone, and the hole to the nest will be covered up.
There are six bunny basement condos in and around the barn. Different holes are used at different times of the year, depending on weather conditions. The nests are always near a water source and protected from direct sun. They are made comfortable using pine shavings and feathers found easily in the barn and around the chicken enclosure. When the hens are molting, I have my very own bunny maid. She gathers as many as she can in her mouth and stashes them in her nests all day long. Nice!
If you haven’t met Jasmine, our resident barn bunny, you can read her story, Meet Jasmine, Flock Bunny.
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This is Jasmine, she has lived among our flock of chickens for years. She usually waits for the hens to leave the coop, then sneaks in and eats their food. She lives under a pallet in the feed room, when she has babies, there’s a nearby hole in the corner of the barn, pretty sure she keeps them way down in there. I’ve seen her take hay, shavings, or whatever else she can find down there for nesting material. Once she destroyed my broom, I guess the bristles where quite a find for her building project. Last winter a quilted moving blanket used to cover my coop was shredded to bits! The cool thing about that was only the stuffing in the blanket was used, she left the outer material, wanting only the soft fill for her babies.
Jasmine will join the flock to eat when fresh greens are offered, they all seem to live in harmony. It is not uncommon to see them all gathered around the drinker, Jasmine hasn’t noticed or doesn’t care that she’s a little different from her chicken family. However, oddly enough, she never raises her babies to be flock bunnies. All her young are briefly introduced, then never to be seen again.
After a devastating monsoon storm that destroyed our barn in 2014, two coyote and hawk attacks, feral cats, and one resident bunny killin’ dog, Jasmine is still here. Tough ol’ gal!