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dutch rabbit – a happy slave to 2

featured-image-dutch-rabbit-slave

introduction

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. So, they vented their frustration on my curtains, but gave up when they did not get the desired reaction. Finally, the rabbit 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.

a dutch rabbit tantrum

If you have read my earlier posts, you 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 the rabbit slave 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 entire room around to make a rabbit corner. 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, the rabbit slave changed the bedding and got back to sleep. Hence, lord and lady Dutch Rabbit now needed a two-toilet dwelling.

Now 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! Therefore, it was no accident, and they appeared to be scent marking me.

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The rabbit's toilet in my bedroom

However, there was no way I would stay in the middle of a peeing contest between two rabbits. Hence, I will sleep alone from now on. 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.

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The Rabbit's toilet in position under 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 the Dutch rabbits to come in. But while they were alone overnight? So, for the first three nights, I switched all the power off to the computers.

However, 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. But as things regularly drop through the small gaps between the desk and wall, the barrier needs to be removable.

sliding panels

Now, I had enough, left over OSB board, 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. However, after some thought, and a visit to my shed. Where I found some self-adhesive cable trunking.

So, I fitted the trunking to the frame’s top and bottom horizontal faces and removed the covers. I then fixed the trunking covers along the top and bottom edges of the board. So now I had a track top and bottom to slide the board into the metal frame.

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The sliding access under my desk half open.

Happy with the sides, I then used the same method to close the gap at the back of the desk. Now my Dutch rabbit 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 solid fence I had planned. But it will stop my Dutch rabbits from disappearing into the sunset.

The only problem now was concrete for the posts! It took the rabbit slave two weeks to find enough to make a start, but not to complete the job. However, I Finally had the key 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 rabbit's 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 to eat the 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 felt threatened. The rabbit slave should have thought of that, and sent himself to get some willow screening.

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. So, the rabbit 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.

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triangular sail sun shade in the front garden

Capturing dutch rabbit video

It was well into the summer before Babe and Bob, realised that people and cars were not threats. Hence, I could attempt to capture some of their antics in open space on video. But no, it appears filming fast moving Dutch rabbits with a handheld camera, is beyond a mere rabbit 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.

Conclusion

As expected, during the winter, the fence suffered wind damage. Still, the front playground remained rabbit proof and useable. We spent the autumn and winter pretty much housebound because of 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 rabbit slave suffered from the cold and damp supervising them. Spring arrived for a few days when I repaired and strengthen the front fence.

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 a slave to two Dutch rabbit? Of course I am!

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