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Heavy Heart

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Samara

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It's with a very heavy heart that I explain the changes we've made in our rabbit household. As many of you know we've had trouble with our three bucks fighting. Gubble and Atticus are neutered and Matthias was waiting to be neutered when he was of age.

Atticus and Gubble had a row not yesterday but the day before that has left Atticus with a very large triangle of his ear missing. It didn't require stitching and it missed the major ear vein. My husband Dean and I had a long talk the night it happened while we were lying in bed and we with heavy hearts decided it was best to remove two of the bucks from our home. Something we'd not had luck with previously.

I contacted friends of ours that breed and raise their own bunnies. Their barn is huge and set-up in an awe-inspiring way. They knew of the issues we'd been having and they were willing to offer us a best solution so all of our six rabbits could be happier. We decided not to separate Molly and Gubble because they've been bonded for some time, so with a heavy heart I said my good-byes to Mollycakes too. We brought Gubble, Molly and Matthias to them on Saturday.

Deconstructing their enclosures at home was heart-wrenching. It was a mistake for me, personally, to try to integrate more than one buck into our home prior to any being neutered. It caused bad blood between them and things never eased. I made a pact with Dean that we won't take on any more rabbits, doe or buck, until our three remaining buns pass on naturally. If at some point we are left with one of our trio still alive we'd certainly look into a companion for their remaining years. All three of them are under a year, so they've very close in age.

I threw myself into making the NIC condo I've been dabbling in making recently. I picked up some things at Home Depot and spent much of the night working on it. I think I ended up heading to bed around 1 or 2 in the morning. I added a second level, put a bin feeder back on, and at Pipp's recommendation in various posts I opted to cover the current linoleum with indoor/outdoor carpeting for better traction and running. I left the linoleum down because the little girls, Starling and Pidge, are still working on learning the litter box, so anything that soaks through the carpet won't absorb into the actual floor beneath. The shelf is 14 inches high and so far Pidge hasn't attempted it that I've seen. We're going to give it a few days and if she still hasn't managed it we'll add steps or a ramp. I plan on making a third level above the second just for variety. Both Atts and Star really seem to like jumping up to the new level and leaping off it. The level is carpeted like the bottom of the enclosure, but I added a large fleecy blanket for them to snuggle in or dig at. It's in hopes they don't dig at and try to pull up the actual carpeting covering the NIC panels.

The enclosure is 6 NIC panels long, 3 panels wide and 3 panels tall. The den area is where I added the shelf, so the area with levels is 2 panels long by 3 wide and 3 tall. That leaves them a 4 panel by 3 panel space for running and and frolicking.

I also amended the litter box situation; I'd been finding that they like to tip the boxes and scatter the wood shavings everywhere then pee on those, which in turn as you can imagine get kicked around and spread everywhere. So the changes we made were to A) switch from wood shavings to wood stove pellets. I picked up two 40 pound bags from our local Tractor Supply Company for around $5.00 each. I jokingly said to Dean we should make space and buy a ton to save on cost. He stared at me. Hey I tried! And B) I deconstructed one of our medium sized plastic crates and made a litter box out of the bottom portion of that. I split the den section of the enclosure in two with extra NIC panels so the new litter box fits snuggly and can't be shifted from it's location. The opposite side of the den I left open for snoozing or kicking out to relax.

I'm still working on ideas to spruce it up. Perhaps a toy bin and a few hay racks would be a good idea. Some hanging bird toys they could pull apart, too. I like having switched bedding because it means Pidge's fur isn't constantly covered in it. It gets tedious when I groom her getting it all out, you know? She is so patient though. Such a darling love. Dean groomed her the other night and fell head over heels in love with her. He was telling me too last night while he was helping me work on the condo that he loves how when the bunnies are loose he can stoop and pet Starling and she reaches up to him, or just simply doesn't run away.

Here are some pictures of the condo from last night. If you have any suggestions on ways to improve it or spruce it up, please let me know! Part of me wants to add an additional level on the left side above the water bottles, but I wasn't sure if that would greatly reduce their upward binkies? What do you guys think?

Please pardon the stray poops; Starling and Pidge are still learning the ropes about how to use the litter box. It doesn't take long after cleaning for their wee little bottoms to start spilling out bunny poops!







Another thing I'm having trouble with is figuring out how I should go about amending my website as far as Gubb, Molly and Matthias' pages. Is it awful to just take their individual pages down? Should I create a new page called Past Pets and attached them to there? I don't want it to seem like I'm erasing them from my world. I feel so terrible. I know for our home it was the right decision and now they're in a better place where they won't be constantly fighting. I'm not sure how to handle the gallery sections of my website either. Maybe keeping their assorted pictures up will serve as a reminder of my failings and help me keep that pact with Dean about not making the same mistakes again.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated on that front.
 

LakeCondo

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How about keeping a page for awhile & indicating that you are now their grandparents? And invite their new parents to join RO & let the pages be theirs if they want them.
 

wendymac

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Aw, Sammy, I'm sorry that it came to this, but I can completely understand. You based your decisions on what was best for your bunnies, and for that you need to be commended. Not many people would have admitted it wasn't working, much less found a solution. I know how hard it is to say goodbye to them, but all of you will benefit in the long run.:feelbetter:

The new condo looks great! It almost makes me wish I were a bunny. :)

I used to have a personal website, and any time I lost a pet I found it easier on myself to leave it be for a while. Then, when emotions weren't so raw, I'd take it down. You need to do what you feel would be easier on you.
 

Samara

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Thanks Wendy, that means a lot. I'm sorry that my mistakes ultimately fell on them, but this situation is better and I know in time everyone's hearts will heal.

If you were a bunny I think you'd trail all the Flops, Calis and Polish bubs with you and I'd be a crazy rabbit lady! I was on your website the other day ooo'ing and ahh'ing over LeRew. I want to play with French Lop ears. :)

I'm on my website right now in a different tab makes some changes. I decided to go with the Past Rabbits page, and I'm making links to Molls, Gubbs and Matthias' pages from there. I'm not sure what I'm going to do as far as my main rabbit gallery and their pictures, but I those I think I need to leave up for some time.

When my oldest cat, Grover, passed away in June I left his picture up for a few weeks before taking it down. I have the picture that was on my website framed in my living room.
 

wendymac

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Don't beat yourself up. We're human, and we all make decisions that seem right at the beginning and then aren't quite working out. Many people would have been selfish and just kept them all locked in their cages.

I really like the way you did your site. If Starling happens to show up missing, I have NO idea where she might be. :big wink:
 

Samara

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:D You would love her. She gives the best bunny kisses ever! She loves to snuggle! She and Atticus have cinched a tight bunny bond. They are grooming each other as I speak!

I want to lie on the floor at your place and have you throw all your Frenchies at me. I love them so!

Thanks about the site. I make changes pretty constantly, but I try to keep the informational stuff easy to read and access. :)
 

wendymac

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Don't make it so tempting! *uses googlemap to plan route to snuggle Starling back* LOL

I am very happy that I chose French Lops. I almost did mini lops, then saw Frenchies and was like, "THAT'S the rabbit for me." I love, love, love those big ears! I pet Max's ears so much that I have to keep redoing her tattoo every so often. LOL
 

MyBabyHasPaws

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Aw, I think you did the right thing. You admitted your mistake and actually corrected it. How's Atticus's ear doing?

I think the condo looks gorgeous!!!! I want to make one sooo bad, and I will. I just need to spay Bugsy, neuter Oreo and get them bonded.. simple, right? LOL! :)

*big hugs*
You did the right thing!
 

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