Friday, August 17, 2007

Critter House

Living in the country, I have found, leads to an inescapable conclusion: you become host to many critters. Especially when you have kids.

The above picture is the new Turtle Hotel, the ten gallon aquarium I found at the thrift store at the same time I found fellow blogger Gina. The turtles seem to like the increased amount of space per turtle, and we like being able to see them better.

I had also mentioned purchasing rabbit food. Long story, the kids rescued a baby rabbit from a cat, tried to keep it indoors, and perhaps inevitably, it died this morning. But The Hermit took the kids to the Carlton County Fair this afternoon, and for some reason I had a feeling they would not leave the fair rabbitless.

We are now the owners of three brown lop eared rabbits, which we are picking up Sunday. Add them to the cats, the dogs, the sheep, the geese, the chickens, the horses...oh wait, yeah the turtles.

So...I've never been a rabbit person. I just don't understand keeping rabbits as pets. I know there are a lot of you rabbit keepers out there, so please tell me: What do you like about rabbits? Any hints for rabbit keeping success? I guess we have two boys, one girl, and we're supposed to keep the boys apart so they don't fight, but if we have a girl that means baby bunnies in the future...unless we keep her away from the boys...I'm so new to this!

Morning temperature 32 degrees. Frost damage in the garden, although I covered a lot of beds last night so that probably helped some. No month without frost here.


Anonymous said...

Check with Sharon the Birdchick. She keeps rabbits and has a great blog too.


gtr said...

Hey, Deb! Good to see the aquarium in use already!

I was determined as a kid to keep rabbits as pets (even rescuing some destined for the stew pot from my country cousins). They WERE very cute- I had lops, too. They were fun to look at and pet.

But in my experience, they often would go from being passive in my arms to kicking and scratching rather explosively; maybe it's a rabbit thing? Their legs are so tense compared to a cat, etc.

But I haven't kept rabbits in YEARS, so maybe I was doing something wrong as a kid? My grandma used to tell me I'd get sick from all the scratches on my arms, but thankfully they all healed without scars. Now I get scars from trying to corrall my old cat for medication; I think old skin is less forgiving.

Don't mean to scare you away from rabbits, but they MIGHT be less hands-on than some pets- depends alot on how they were raised and handled earlier in life. Good luck!

Tracy said...

I have no expertise with rabbits - like you, I don't really see the appeal. But I'm still amazed that you get such low night time temperatures! You're not way up near Canada so it just amazes me.

Deb said...

Rick- I love the Disapproving Rabbits thing.

GTR- That's what I'm thinking, they might be kind of wild for pets. But we'll see. I'm sure they'll get a lot of attention the first few days!

Tracy- I think it's part Lake Superior effect; the lake is warmer (or cooler)than air masses around it, and cooler air gets pushed south to where we are, in our little (less that 100 foot relief) valley.

Maybe I should move my garden to the highest spot on our land, which would be a lot less convenient.

pablo said...

Quit bragging about your frost damage already!

We have a lop-eared rabbit living in our kitchen. The boy it belonged to moved to an apartment that doesn't allow pets. So where else would it go?

They're sweet and benign, but this one isn't that cuddly. It doesn't like to be held.

Laura in New Jersey is a big rabbit lover. You can link to her from Whorled Leaves, I think.

Nickie said...

I have a great large rabbit, such a sweetheart, loves to be cuddled and gets along great with the cat and the dog. He has a favorite toy too....runs around the house with it.

barefoot gardener said...

Bunnies? I had a friend who kept some once upon a time, but don't remember much about their upkeep.

Whenever I start to get a little too jealous over your apparent slice of heaven up there, you post that you have some horribly low temp! I supppose I had better learn to appreciate what I have, huh?

Betty K. said...

You have a beautiful menagerie at your home, if you didn't have kids you would miss all of this.
Children bring so much joy and animals into our lives, there is so much bringing a lost animal or bird home for us to see.
Whoa! 32 degrees in the morning, how far north do I have to go to find that, pretty soon it will snow there.
I live in southeastern MN where it is raining right now, like there is no end. [where is my boat].
I enjoy reading all your blogs.
Nature Knitters Mom [Betty K.]

Floridacracker said...

I would suggest Laura of Somewhereinnj too, as she is rabbit blessed and seems to love having them in the house.

House rabbits are a totally alien concept to me personally, but then so are cats!

Have fun with your zoo. The kids will benefit from the contact and memories will be made.

~Jennifer said...

My sister had a rabbit indoors for years. It hopped around the house like it was a cat or something, even used a litter box. (But not as well as a cat does.) I'm not sure what the appeal is, but then most furry things make me itch, so I've lost interest in most cute fluffy things.

Deb said...

Pablo- I'll blog a picture of frost damage tomorrow just for proof. This is insane!

Nickie- Your rabbit sounds like a good house pet!

Barefoot Gardener- If I just moved a mile or two away, I think I would be out of this cold spot. This is insane!

Betty K- Thanks for commenting! I've heard about all the rain down your way, roads washing out and everything. Glad you're safe.

FC- She was one of the bunny people I was thinking of when I found out about our new acquisitions.

I only had a cat and some fish when I was growing up. I think these kids' early years will be a lot richer than mine.

~Jennifer- I'm sure the situation would be very different here if I was allergic to furry things!