About a month ago, the girls started fighting. I thought it was because they were too stimulated because they were close to the house and the kids had been outside playing right next to their cage (which would stress anyone out). I talked to two different people at pet store and feed store about what we were experiencing and they said it sounded like my girls were stressed. So I moved them to a cute little nook in the back of the yard, made sure to give them time on the ground and lots of fresh food from the garden.
The behavior continued. In fact, this last week it got worse.
Realising I knew next to nothing about rabbits, I decided they just didn't get along and I was going to get rid of one. We set up a place that would take Ariel, our smaller orange rabbit (who bites us when stressed too) and had plans to get that done this weekend.
Little did I know, I was asking ALL the wrong questions.
This morning we woke up to a gruesome scene. 9 dead rabbit babies... most of them flung out of the sides of the rabbit cage, and Sophie (our big grey rabbit) sitting in her own pulled out fur at the back of the cage. The second I saw the fur I knew what happened. We don't have two girls. We have a BOY and a girl. Ariel is a boy. And Sophie has been trying SO HARD to get away from him so she could have her babies in peace. She has been fighting and fighting for the last week and we had no idea what for. I seriously thought it was a rabbit personality clash.
I feel so bad. But honestly, how could I have known? Even if I had researched the care of rabbits to the teeth (like I usually do, but I bought pet rabbits. Not farm rabbits.) then how would I ever have guessed that my two female rabbits would have babies? But crap... I feel SO bad for leaving her in there.
So we are healing, again, this morning. And I am really starting to understand why people don't always want the farm life. Some days it can be hard. Really, gut-wrenchingly hard. This one happens to be hardest on me... The kids are fine for the most part. Even Cyan. When I explained it, she held Sophie, wrapped in a towel, for about an hour and a half sitting on the back porch. She fed her clippings from the garden and in time the sweet rabbits whole body melted into the relief of being safe and eating without her tormentor chasing her around the cage. And as Sophie started to relax, so did Cyan. And Cyan seems fine now. No big scars from this one like the chicken deaths. She knows what happened, and why, and now that we are doing something about it, all is right in the farm life world.
Both the older kids still have lots of questions that I can't answer, so I sent Alex down the street to the library to get a bunch of books on rabbit care. We are taking "Ariel" to his new home today, and Sophie is breathing a sigh of relief that she doesn't have to defend anything anymore. As traumatic as it was, it is now over, and she is more content than I have seen her in weeks.