Raising rabbits is no cat and dog story

By Grant McGee: Local Columnist

We added some rabbits to the family after Easter.

“I’m not eating any rabbit I’ve raised,” I told The Lady of the House.

“These won’t be eating rabbits,” she said. “These are composting rabbits. Feed and vegetables go in one end and garden compost comes out the other.”

When I told my friend Kent, Bard of the Pecos, about the rabbits he saw them as a waste of time.

“If you want garden compost get a horse,” he said. “The stuff is easier to pick up and you get more of it.”

So we got a black rabbit and a white rabbit, started feeding them and they started to grow.

We let them play in the house with the cats. The cats invented a game called “Bat the bunny” and the rabbits invented a game called “Chase the cat.” The Lady of the House had plans on free-range rabbits; they’d be kept in a fenced-off part of the yard with an open hutch.
The time came when we thought they were big enough to spend the night alone.
When I came to check on them the next morning the white one was gone.
At first I thought an owl had swooped in and flown away with the bunny.
I walked around the yard and found her. She wasn’t alive. I picked her up and studied her. The culprit was unmistakably a stray cat.
Playing with the family cats was the white rabbit’s undoing; she hadn’t been afraid.

So we went out and got another rabbit to keep the black one company; we read that rabbits are very social. This time we got a brown one. The new bunny went in with the black one.

Our calm, black rabbit suddenly changed in personality, chasing the brown one around the yard probably yelling in rabbit talk, “Hey, who are you? What are you doing here.” We separated them. “I guess we better read up on raising rabbits,” I suggested to The Lady of the House.

We found out there’s a process a rabbit owner needs to go through when introducing rabbits to each other. After following some tips we put them back together again. Now at mid-day siesta time they sleep next to each other.

The Lady of the House built a more secure hutch for them.

At night we close them up with a couple of carrots or an apple. “We ought to put a little TV in there for them,” I said. “Wouldn’t you like it if you were a rabbit and you’re all snuggled up inside your own hutch for the night with a big carrot and big screen TV?” The Lady of the House gave me “the look.”

Rabbits like to dig. It’s a fascinating thing to watch, especially how they push the dirt away from the hole with their front paws, scooting along the ground with their bodies. But we couldn’t have them digging under the house or under the fence so we put screen on the ground.
After this last chore The Lady of the House gave out big sigh.
“What?” I asked.
“These guys are more trouble that I originally thought,” she said. “Maybe we should’ve gotten a horse.”

“Yeah, and at night we could let it in the house and it could watch TV with us.”

Once again I was given “the look.”

Grant McGee hosts the weekday morning show on KTQM-FM in Clovis. Contact him at:
blisscreek@plateautel.net