Monday, July 23, 2018

Picket Project (Post 7)

Hard to believe it's been over two months since Picket came into our lives.  Since that day, she's made herself right at home in both our home and our hearts and is, without a doubt, the most spoiled jackrabbit on base.  Even my husband says that he lets Picket get away with anything.. lol 

Dad get's Picket Kisses (and showing why she's a black tailed jackrabbit)
Even though she's as large as a small cat (and still growing),  she still is a baby and is still drinking milk.  She's got about one more month of milk before she should start being weaned.  We're still giving her roughly half a cup of milk three times a day in addition to lots of hay and fresh veggies.  Just this week, we have noticed that she's eating much more hay than she has in the past, which is a good sign that she will start the process of weaning herself off the milk soon.

The funny thing about Picket is that she does a good job of only eating foods that are good for her.  The kids have offered her bites of bread and crackers and carb laden foods and for the most part, she turns her nose up at it.  With once exception.  Yes, that would be Picket trying to steal a gummy treat from my husband (and him allowing it!!).

Instead of gummy worms, however, I did buy a big bag of unsalted rice cakes for a treat for her. She REALLY likes these (although mind you, not as much as the gummy treats but these are good for her) and I will give her a small piece of one each night to nibble on.

I know shaming your pet on the internet is a thing these days.  So I will share this picture for everyone to have a good laugh.  I was making a video of Picket listening to music the other night and caught a yawn.

In a previous post, I talked about Picket's ears. This post, I thought I might bring you up close and personal to Picket's hind feet.  I mean, how often do you get the opportunity to get up close and personal to the back end of a jackrabbit, right?

Picket observing the Venus/Moon Conjunction
Despite the name, Jackrabbits are not rabbits, but are hares. They have huge back feet that are fully furred to protect the skin from the blistering hot sands of the desert. Lots of fur provides lots of insulation.   Picket was nice enough to allow me to take photos of her feet for you to see.  Below you are looking at the bottom of her foot and the thick fur that covers it. 

While her front paws are very small, her back paws are massive. Her back legs have enough power to help propel her to speeds of up to 30 miles per hour as well as jumping distances of over 20feet.  They can also jump straight up about 12 feet high with these feet. 

But most surprising is the size of her toes.  There is no skin webbing between the toes but instead each individual toe is separated until the foot. 

And on the tip of each of those toes is a very sharp toenail.  I have not trimmed her back toenails, however, I did trim her front paws because they are very sharp, almost needlelike.  By simply trimming off the very tips of them, it helps protect our skin, especially when she scratches on our leg wanting to be picked up.

And here's a photo showing how her back feet look compared to her front feet.  Also, she doesn't hop like a bunny rabbit does but instead her walk resembles more like a horses trot. 

While jackrabbits do have the ability of running at high speeds, they don't have much stamina.  All that running and jumping, even in the house, means lots of resting for Picket.  She doesn't have to worry about a coyote or bobcat finding her while she's resting, however, jackrabbits have the ability of sleeping with their eyes open to keep watch for predators while they are sleeping.  Picket likes nothing more than to find a nice soft place to lay down, usually on my chest.

Picket doing what Picket does best.
Unfortunately, we did discover that Picket does NOT like the vacuum cleaner - at all.  We had to do a quick vacuum on the rug under the kitchen table, which is near where her hutch sits.  Immediately upon hearing the vacuum turned on, she ran headfirst into the hutch, re-opening the wound on her nose. Luckily, we keep styptic powder on hand and quickly stopped the bleeding, but once again her nose is cut.

I was just commenting to Charles last night her nose was looking really good  It is the same wound, just reopened, so I'm positive it will heal fine (just look really ugly again for a while). Lesson learned, Picks will be in my bedroom with the door closed and someone snuggling her next time we must vacuum. 

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