Quillin Weaving

A blog about spinning, dyeing and fiber related things.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Harper's House

This is Harper's Bunny Condo. It is fairly large - 42" the long way across the front 28" from the front to the back and 29" high. It even has a cute little ramp for him to go from the first floor to the second floor. The lower floor is where he eats, drinks and has his litterbox, it is some kind of gray laminated plastic that is textured so that a bunnie's feet don't slip around too much. Very important. Also easy to clean. The second floor is short carpet and there is a piece of pvc pipe that holds the second floor securely up there so it doesn't bounce around while being bounced on. The whole thing went together with zip ties and was made by Lucas M. who sells these bunny condos on ebay. The entire thing took me about an hour to put together. The base is nice wood underneath and has casters so you can move the entire thing around - providing it will fit through a door, it is rather large. Harper seems quite happy with his new place, although he is probably happiest hopping around the house tormenting the cat (who still doesn't like him) and finding new things to explore.
The corner of Harper's condo is visible in the right hand side of this photo. The drum carder (Louet) sits on a table where I do the carding and the closet door is ajar. Why didn't she at least close the closet door before taking the picture? Because it is the whole point - when a rabbit moves into your house you discover that all kinds of things that were once commonplace like closed closet doors become up for debate. If you have a long thin closet with those doors that hang from the top and slide side to side this area may become a Fascinating Place for a rabbit. It is very much like a warren with two exits and it is nice and dark inside and some thoughtful person has included things inside that you (the rabbit) can spend endless amounts of time rearranging and tossing around. Instant playground.
Why wasn't Harper in any of those previous pictures? Because he was Busy. You will notice that he is a little blurry in this picture - because he is Busy and cannot be Bothered to Sit Still and have his picture taken. You will have to be happy with pictures of where he lives. And of the Very Patient English Cocker Spaniel who Waited and Waited while I was trying to take a picture of Harper to have HER picture taken.......

She always looks so serious about having her picture taken. She is ready for spring with her plaid bandanna.

And for those of you who insist on some kind of yarn  and roving news, yes there will be new Falkland and Coopworth roving at the market on Saturday.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Spice up your spinning with new kinds of wool. Have you always wanted to try Merino and Silk? Merino and Tencel? Blue Faced Leister? Now is your chance. I will have new roving dyed in vibrant colors for the market on Saturday. Also available is new Wildefoote Sock Yarn in new colors 450 yd balls for $20 each.

Harper has to be the fastest bunny ever to "get" housebreaking. In four short days he figured out litterbox training and has made no messes elsewhere in the house. Lots of people have asked how housebreaking a bunny works so I will share what I know. There are lots of places online that can give you more directions so check out the House Rabbit Society if you need more info.

When Harper first came to live with me he had been spending all his time in a pretty small cage with a wire floor and a tray underneath. To give him time out of that I set up a dog exercise pen in my living room. My floors are tile. I put down towels over the entire area and let him run around. He quickly decided on a corner of the enclosure to pee on a regular basis, the little pellets were all over. I put a cat litter box of the basic plastic variety in that corner with another towel in it and a handfull of hay. I was skeptical of this at first because not knowing rabbits I could not believe an animal would eat and pee in the same box, but guess what - they do! Harper was quick to jump in the litterbox and try it out but at first he did pee in other places. After several days of letting him get used to having the box in the enclosure I began to remove the towels from the floor, one each day. He loves to lay on the tile so this was great to him. I left one towel under the litterbox to catch any errors but they are rare. By the time the last towel came up he totally had the concept down and would only pee in the box. I expected the pellets to be all over the place as before but they are primarily in the box also, an occasional one will show up outside the box but nearly always this will be on the last remaining towel. Once I saw that he had this idea down I simply let him out of the exercise pen leaving the door to it open so he could come and go. He quickly checked out the house but always returns to the litterbox to pee. I have now removed the exercise pen entirely and just the litterbox remains. It is easy to clean, just shake out the pellets and wash the towel.

Harper is not out loose in my house all the time. He is free to run around for several hours every day and because he has taken to the litterbox training so well I have purchased for him a large bunny condo with a solid floor. I used one of those corner litterboxes in his wire cage while I was working with the big square cat style litterbox so that he would have the option to use a litterbox even when he was not free in the house but was confined in his cage. This kind snaps into the corner of a cage of any kind and is triangular with a high back and a wire on the bottom. For this one I use wood shavings for the pellets since they are under the wire and don't come into contact with the rabbit. I did not want Harper to be touching litter that had been used and dragging it with his fur all over the cage - that is why the towel in the large litter box. Angoras are like dust mops.

Rabbits are very underappreciated as house pets in this country. They are clean like cats and easy to train. They are quiet and don't make a lot of demands. They are easy to feed and care for and not very expensive to obtain. They make better pets after being neutered or spayed but that is true of all pets. If you are considering getting a house rabbit check out your local animal shelter or pound because many many are turned in every year.