dutch rabbit

Dutch Rabbit-A Happy Slave to 2

Dutch rabbit Bob arrived and settled in during the autumn months. But as the days shortened, so did Babe and Bob’s time in the garden. I was shutting the door at dusk, and they were not happy rabbits spending more time in the house.

A Dutch Rabbit tantrum

So, they vented their frustration on my curtains but gave up when they did not get the desired reaction. Finally, the slave had put his foot down and was not about to give in.

My Dutch rabbits and I settled into a winter routine, with my spare time spent entertaining the bunnies. But unfortunately, the rain and soggy garden had taken away their playground and the place for them to forage.

So, the mess they made with the hay increased tenfold.

Time for Change

If you have read my earlier posts, you will know that Babe and Bob have the run of my house. With a toilet in the always open cage under the stairs and their hay in two trays outside it. That was fine until they started throwing it all over the floor.

So, I put the trays in the cage, and they were not happy! Babe and Bob quickly showed their displeasure by throwing a Dutch rabbit tantrum. They pulled at the slave’s trouser legs, turned the trays over and started eating the hay in the toilet.

The real problem was that I walked past the trays often, spreading their mess all over the room. The only thing I could do was move them out of the way in the corner.

So, with their hindrance. Oops, I meant to say help. We turned the whole room around to make a rabbit corner.

rabbit corner with always open cage litter tray hay rack and water
Rabbit corner with always open cage litter tray hay rack and water

Surprisingly, they liked it, problem solved, and peace and harmony reined until spring.

When I plan to fence the well-drained front garden to give Babe and Bob a playground next winter.

A Change in Dutch Rabbit sleeping arrangements

The winter seemed to pass quickly, probably because my lord and lady kept me occupied. And they still slept on my bed at night. Then March arrived, but so did a problem. Babe wet the bed, so thinking it was accidental. I changed the bedding and got back to sleep.

So, lord and lady Dutch Rabbit now needed a two-toilet dwelling. And, after some head-scratching. I finally installed a toilet in my tiny bedroom by utilising a small clothes airer hung on the radiator.

Back to dry harmony. Well, for three nights anyway. But Babe did it again on the fourth, and so did Bob! So, it was no accident, and they were scent-marking me.

the rabbit's toilet in its old position in my bedroom
The rabbit's toilet in my bedroom

Rabbit Eviction

Now there was no way I would stay in the middle of a peeing contest between two rabbits. So, I will be sleeping alone from now on.

the rabbit's toilet now under my desk
The Rabbit's toilet in position under my desk

Babe and Bob would now spend their nights in the small bedroom I use as an office and the toilet? Well, that is under my desk.

I expected them to show their displeasure at this change in the sleeping arrangements by throwing another bunny tantrum. So, I was surprised when they accepted the change and settled in without protest.

Probably just glad to get away from my snoring!

But I have two computers, four monitors, one NAS, and two printers on my desk. So, there are a lot of electric cables behind and around the sides of my desk.

Rabbit Proofing My Office

Now, the only thing stopping Babe and Bob from reaching the cables were the things under my desk. Enough to prevent them from getting to the wires when they were with me while I worked.

And the only time the door was open for them to come in. But while they were alone overnight?

So, I switched all the power off to the computers for the first three nights. Not easy; the switch is skirting height behind the desk, which is the entire width of the room.

And that meant I had to make like a rabbit twice a day and burrow my way into the switch.

But, as my masters were rapidly taking over my office, it was time to create a permanent barrier. And as things regularly drop through, the small gaps between the desk and wall. So, the barrier needs to be removable.

Sliding Pannels

Now, I had enough OSB board left from replacing the shed roof, but allowing easy access was a problem. The desk legs are a U-shaped square section metal frame. I could screw or bolt the board in place, but that would not permit quick, easy access.

After some thought and a visit to my shed and discovering some self-adhesive cable trunking, this is what I did. Fitted the trunking to the frame’s top and bottom horizontal faces and removed the covers.

I then fixed the trunking covers to the top and bottom edges of the board. So, now I had a track top and bottom to slide the board.

the sliding access under my desk
The sliding access under my desk.

Happy with the sides, I then used the same method to close the gap at the back of the desk. Now my masters would be safe, and I had sliding panels for easy access.

Rabbit Proofing the Front Garden

The Covid pandemic arrived, and March found us going into lockdown just as the weather changed. Dry and sunny, time to fence the front garden. The problem was getting the materials. The lockdown rules shut all non-essential businesses.

But, I found enough posts and cage wire to do the front garden online, not the fence I planned. But it will stop my Dutch rabbits from disappearing into the sunset.

The only problem now was concrete for the posts; it took me two weeks to find enough to make a start, but not to complete the job. However, I Finally had the main posts in place for the gate, the corners and along the roadside.

With no more concrete, all the other posts I hammered in. They would last the summer, but the winter winds, I thought, may lay them flat.

Time for the rabbits approval

Now, with the straining and cage wire in place, it was time to let my Dutch rabbits check it out. They did their routine inspection of anything new and settled down eating grass.

So, was everything in the garden rosy? No! If anything moved in the road, they ran in thumping. It was too open, and they could see too much and felt threatened.

The slave should have thought of that and sent himself to get some willow screening.

Not a Perfect solution

With the willow screen in place, they felt more secure. But remain wary of any large bird they consider a threat.
Large birds were not a problem in the back garden with high fences, plants, and buildings.

They could not swoop in for a surprise attack, and the bunnies knew it.

the new sail shade in the front garden
The new sail shade in the front garden

So, the slave installed a triangular sail sunshade. It has helped but is not a perfect solution. The seagulls screeching still makes them bolt for the door.

Capturing Dutch Rabbit Video

It was well into the summer before Babe and Bob realised that people and cars were not threats. And thought maybe I could get some of their antics on video in open space.

But no, it appears filming fast-moving Dutch rabbits with a handheld camera is beyond a mere slave like me!

When I set up babeandbob.com, I intended to use plenty of video footage, so now I had three choices. Give up, buy a costly camera, or install a security cam. Because giving up is not in my nature, and an expensive camera will not fix the operator.

I fitted the security cam, which looks as if it will work. But the weather has changed as we head into autumn, wet and uneventful, but we will see.

Winter and Spring 2021

As expected during the winter, the fence did suffer wind damage. Still, the front playground remained rabbit proof and useable.

We spent the autumn and winter pretty much housebound due to the weather and covid regulations. So, life fell back into a routine except for the front garden.

Then weather permitting, the rabbits could go outside to play while the slave suffered the cold and damp supervising them.

Spring arrived for a few days when I managed to repair and strengthen the front fence. Then turned back to winter, cold, windy and wet.

Now, in the last days of May, spring has returned. Babe and Bob are happier bunnies, having spent a couple of days in the gardens. At the same time, I have managed to make some much-needed significant changes behind the scenes of this blog.

Proofreading this post has made me realise it sadly lacks anything positive. But, my last post, The Vaccination and Neutering of rabbit Bob, I published in September 2020.

So, this post is to get things updated in as few words as possible.

Conclusion

The last 18 months, with the lousy weather and pandemic, would have been depressing without Babe and Bob. Yes, they have kept me busy, but they also make me happy every day.

People living alone have suffered through lack of activity and loneliness during the lockdowns. But my Dutch rabbits have solved both those problems for me. Am I happy being their slave? Sure I am.

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