Judy Hopps Daniel is our gray Lionhead rabbit and she is about 7 months old. She is healthy and ready to enter the life stage of motherhood. Although she might be one of the smallest of our animals, and this pregnancy may not be a big deal to some, we are so excited to be expecting our first babies on Equipping Arrows Farm. Just like the rest of our adventuring, we're learning as we go and we're excited to have you along for the journey. I'll be sure to update this blog post as things progress.
This is the point where I have to give a shout-out of thanks to our friends, Josh and Brandon at Pecan Grove Farm. They are literally 2 miles down the street and Judy, Raisin, (& Terry the goat) were born on their farm. We are so thankful for their friendship and mentorship, especially from Josh (I have definitely called him from Tractor Supply with questions and he's been such a patient teacher and mentor.)
I should also mention, this is ALL my husband’s fault. smh
As the bunnies started to get old enough to breed, I started learning about whether or not we should have them spayed or let them continue to naturally mature. As you know, we like to keep things as the Lord intended them as much as we can around here and we don’t have a buck (male bunny) so we really have no need to have the surgery done unless they started showing aggression.
[ You can imagine that having animals in our backyard has prompted many interesting conversations with my inquisitive children. I have to say, I have impressed myself with some of the completely truthful, kid-appropriate, and God-honoring explanations that have just come out of my mouth. I’ve also totally bombed and accused the Alpaca’s of playing leapfrog too, so there’s that.]
Anyways - this particular morning at breakfast, the bunny’s age of maturity came up in discussion (because why not?! #backyardfarmlife) and I explained what this surgery would mean. My daughters were devastated. Although we have never talked about it, they informed me that they wanted their rabbits to have baby bunnies one day. I simply responded with, “you’ll have to ask your Dad.” TOTALLY expecting him to say NO! I was actually counting on him saying “no!” I hate having to be the fuddy-dud so sometimes when the kids get a wild-haired idea but I don’t want to be the one to crush their dreams, I can just say “Ask your dad.” (Feel free to email me and tell me I’m not the only one who does this!)
The problem is, I forgot WHO I was sending to “Ask daddy.” It was my mini-me who not only looks like me, but she also has the “determined” trait and once she gets an idea in her head, it's hard to tell her No. (This is the same child who has had me pricing airfare to Madagascar ever since our Africa Unit.) So she “Asked Daddy” and he said, “sure.”
Which leads us to where we are now:
Judy was successfully bred on Tuesday May 12.
On Sunday May 24 (at day 12 gestation), Josh was able to come by and teach us how to feel for little baby bunnies from the outside of her abdomen. It was confirmed that she is pregnant and we (Josh) suspect she is carrying 3 babies.
The bunny sisters have been together since they were born but as Judy's time to deliver approaches, she will want to have her own space and she will begin to prepare a nest for her expected litter. Around day 27 of gestation, we will put Raisin in the bunny space next to her (together but separate). Judy will pull hair from her own chest to use for the nest that she builds, as her babies will be born without hair. Isn't God cool to create animals with instincts to care for their young?! At that same time, we will place a "nesting box " in her hutch and she will be able to create a sweet nesting space for her babies. This brings a whole new meaning to"nesting" as it pertains to an instinctual urge to prepare and clean in anticipation during human pregnancy doesn't it?
So now we wait … but not for long. Rabbit’s gestation period is 31 days but we’ll be on the lookout for anything after day 27.
June 11 // UPDATE: Judy’s Bunnies are HERE! Click here to read their day-by-day journey.