Updated: Jan 14, 2021
We are apparently developing a tradition here of introducing out lovebirds - or in this case, love bunnies! - in pairs. In this case our loving couple, Wednesday (doe on the left) and Montoya (buck, on the right). Wednesday and Montoya came to live together because Charlie (who is a doe - we didn't name her!), who was supposed to be Wednesday's roomie, was having none of it. We found ourselves short on colony space with a cold snap moving in and not many options.
Wednesday, at the time, we were pretty sure was sterile. We had plans to re-home her after her third breeding - to a proven buck - resulted in another disappointment. Not just for us either. Each time Wednesday ate more, put on weight pulled hair and then... nothing. The last breeding she didn't even do that. So, we were talking about re-homing her, figuring she would be happier as a pet somewhere that she could run around the house.
In the meantime we moved Montoya into her pen and Charlie into his.
Immediately, there was a difference. While she has been bred before, Wednesday had obviously disliked the previous bucks she has been with. She ran from them, bit at them and generally surrendered only when she was too tired or hungry to do otherwise. Montoya, however, was a different story. He is a young male, and he didn't immediately charge her to do his business. Instead, he sniffed her politely and then began to investigate the large, new pen.
Apparently hard-to-get was the way to go! Wednesday began to approach him, at one point even wiggling her tail under his nose. Still nothing. The other females in the other pens began to make eyes at him through the bars, resulting in some adorable bunny-jealousy in Wednesday. Eventually Bunnigo figured out the game and lost his virginity, but the two of them were still far more likely to be seen lying together quietly rather than... well... being rabbits.
Imagine my surprise, when shortly after Christmas it occurred to me that the end of the bunny box tunnel was all sealed up! It was quite cold, and I couldn't figure out why the pair weren't under cover until I investigated. It took some doing to pry the box open (it was frozen shut) and there we found a wonderful, Christmas surprise!
Five happy, healthy babies who were quite disgusted by this sudden introduction to the cold air! They aren't sure about this being held thing either, but tolerated me. Mom and Dad kept a close watch on me while I counted and checked on health, and when I closed the box back up, Daddy made sure I knew this was his babies!
A couple weeks later, I checked on them again. Eyes are beginning to open and one even headed for the tunnel to explore a bit while the box was open! Despite the conditions, it appears they are all doing very well.