Math was never one of my strengths. Neither were my construction skills. Luck with animals came in a close third. My first pet was a rooster named Charlie. I traded a jack knife for him with our neighbor Tom. Tom got my prized knife. Charlie died. In hindsight I should have noticed the two inch spurs and assorted battle scars as a sign of his advanced age. Live and learn.
My second pet was a brown rabbit named Bosco. Using some old rusted chicken wire from the scrap pile, some rough lumber and some recycled nails found in an old coffee can, I built my first rabbit cage. I proudly placed him in his new home only to discover the cage empty the next morning. I surmised the rabbit size hole in the chicken wire was the most likely escape route. Fortunately Bosco didn’t venture too far and I was able to locate and recapture him. I quickly came up with a plan B. By this time we had indoor plumbing and the old outhouse was seldom used. I figured with winter coming on, it would suffice as a rabbitree. Of course when I went to check on him the next morning he was nowhere to be seen. After checking for gaps in the door which were too small for a wily rabbit to squeeze through, I surveyed the other options. The outhouse was a three seater, two big ones and a small one. I learned the hard way, rabbits can jump. Retrieving a flashlight from the junk drawer in the kitchen, I headed back to the scene of the disappearing rabbit. Peering down the hole, I saw a pair of eyes reflecting off the dim light. The rest of the brown rabbit blended in. To make a long story short, it is true rabbits don’t lasso well and they don’t climb up
board ladders on command. Suspending head first down an outhouse hole to catch a rabbit is not a memory needing a lengthy description.
Things went better in the following days. My sister Rosanne got a white
rabbit named Ice Cream. Soon we were in the rabbit business, learning about multiplication every month or so.
Mr. Ed’s Farm is a magnet for soon to be homeless animals. Perhaps because of my early farm experiences, bunnies have a soft spot in my heart. There are six adult rabbits currently in residence. Each has its personal story that helped it find a home here. I have a pretty simple management plan based on the multiplication lesson learned years ago, first keep the boys and girls apart! Second, check out the relevant rabbit parts to make sure the donors claims of buck or doe are accurate if you plan on their sharing cages.
The last pair of rabbits to gain residence are named Peanut and Emerald. Two beautiful, gentle does who have always been together. Not wanting to break up the roommates, I assigned them to shared quarters. About two weeks ago I noticed an excess amount of fur in the corner. I wasn’t particularly concerned because sometimes does will go through the motions of making a nest. Later the next day I noticed the fur was moving. Upon closer inspection I could see there were a number of tiny pink things wiggling around. After inspecting the pair, it was obvious Peanut was the new mother. Emerald was quickly removed for the safety of the babies.
Two days ago, seven furry cute and cuddly bunnies emerged from the hutch.
The rabbit inventory instantly went from six to thirteen. That I think is an over one hundred percent increase. Now if all five does had seven babies, I’d have thirty five babies plus six adults making the total somewhere around 41. If half the babies are does that would be 17 new does plus the original 5 that would be 22. If they each had 7 babies I’d be somewhere around 154. Anyway this form of a nature math lesson gives me a splitting headache plus keeps me awake at night.
So if you are a caring parent or grandparent that is concerned about getting a child interested in nature and math, call me to reserve a sweet little bunny or two. They should be ready to go in a couple of weeks. If I don’t hear from you soon, I’ll need to brush up on my cage building skills. Since I’m not great at checking out rabbit parts, I’ll have to have individual cages for each one. Without doing the numbers, that’s a lot of chicken wire and scrap lumber!