Friday, April 27, 2012

Feathering One's Nest

It looks like I didn't give away the last male baby bunny in time. When female bunnies are getting ready to give birth, they tear fur out of their bellies with which to line their nests for the babies. Jasmine did this the last time she gave birth and that is what alerted me to the fact that she was expecting--she didn't get very big and doesn't like anyone touching her belly so I didn't know by her tummy size. This time Jasmine apparently has decided she has a much better source of nesting material and treated me today to a gathering of it.

In order to properly present the story I must needs provide a bit of background. Every morning the chickens clamor to be let out of the coop into the yard where they scatter and do their free-ranging thing. They usually do this without going first into the play yard where their food and water are located so they can break their fast. So round about noon, they want to go in to the plentiful food and water in the bins. Today when I let the chickens into the play yard--which they share with the bunnies--so they could have their midday snack, I witnessed an odd sight: As the chickens clustered around the food bin, Jasmine (momma bunny) went around behind them and starting checking out their butts. I wondered what the heck she was doing until she reached up, grabbed a bunch of soft, downy butt feathers with her teeth, and yanked! The targeted chicken squawked and pulled away--leaving Jasmin with a mouthful of feathers. She took off with them, and upon her return, grabbed another chicken.  On one of her butt-grabs, the chicken to which she was attached swung around and Jasmine didn't let go. Instead, she went arcing around and flew off with a wad of downy grey tufting out of her mouth. I so wish I had thought to snap a picture!

When I told Dee about her activities, we went and looked out in the play yard/hutch for the nest, but I didn't see it. Then Dee pointed out where somebunny had dug a big burrow underneath the ramp and lined it with Timothy hay. Looks like this litter is going to be born in the natural and the wild. Maybe it's time to finally get the chicken and bunny cam.

After the chickens were all let back out into the yard, Jasmine enjoyed her own drink and a nibble at the now-communal feed and water stations (the bunnies have their own in their hutch, but they like to share with the chickens).

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