Tuesday, October 16, 2018

The Picket Project

It's been over a month since the last Picket update so it's well time for something new.  Picket is now 5 months old and still enjoying being a house rabbit. 

Her favorite thing is still to lay down on the bed and take a nap.  This seems to be the place where she is most comfortable, which is understandable because for the first 4.5 months of her life, all her interaction with us took place in this room.   She's perfectly relaxed and will allow anyone to pet her and snuggle with her while she's laying on the bed. It's also where she is the most playful.

However, in the last few weeks, we have been working on moving her from the bedroom to giving her free reign of the house (with supervision).  This means opening her hutch during longer periods of time, closing off the bedroom where she cannot hide in there, and then having her venture around thru the house as she is comfortable.   We have also been giving her meals to her in the living room rather than the bedroom to help her associate the living room with good things.

For the first few days, she would only come out for her food. She would then finish her meal and instantly head back to her hutch where she felt safe. We do keep her hutch door open so that she can retreat back if she wants. 

Slowly, the time she would spend in the living room has been expanded.  First she would suddenly just appear, hop across the living room floor, check out a few things in the living room and then head back to her hutch.   Then she would hand out a lil longer in the hallway, sitting on the runner that we have there now.  (She doesn't particularly like the tile floors). 

However, now she spends longer times in the living room, hoping up on the couches to be with us, to get her cheek rubbed and a treat.. We have had to make sure all wires are out of her reach so that she will not try to nibble on them but overall, she's done really well having free run of the house.  At night she still has to have the door latched on her hutch so that she isn't unsupervised or so that the cats can't cause her any trouble while we are asleep, but most of the day she's free to come and go as she likes.

She's still not completely weaned off her milk yet but is not drinking near as much as she had.  She focuses more now on her veggies and has recently discovered that she loves grapes (seedless), pumpkin and strawberries.  As she has gotten older, I am limiting her access to foods high in oxalates such as spinach and broccoli to avoid her developing bladder sludge caused from large amounts of calcium found in those types of foods.  She still receives a maintenance dosage of Beni-bac each Monday to keep her gut healthy.

And she's still a huge cuddle bunny..  I hope she never outgrows laying her head on my shoulder and falling asleep!! 

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