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Missy: Bunny Hero

May 15, 2012

So the other night doing chores Connor unlatched a door to the cage of one of the new does. Now I’d tattooed this doe a few days ago, but other than that she’s been fed and watered but allowed to hang out and settle in. That is, until the great escape.

Now yesterday morning Connor came in and asked if I moved the new doe. No. She’s not in her cage. Did I shut it the night before…no I wasn’t in it the night before. Ooops. 😦 Escape.

Now we try to prevent escapes for several reasons, but it happens. There is no leash law here, so dogs roam. There are few fences that are tight enough (and affordable!) for rabbits. While we “graze” some of the boys in wire dog crates without bottom liners they have protection around them.

So what we know is there’s a half wild young rabbit that is not eager to be caught that is loose…hiding…somewhere. Could be under a mountain of ‘stuff’ or under the trailer, or under cages or bushes or hiding. Think like a rabbit.

From where she was there are 3 ways to go. Under the cages (not there). Left (where Tucker was…and although he won’t hurt rabbits she wouldn’t know that nor take a chance!) or right. Go right…then to back (quiet) or front (busy – road, etc). We pick quiet. Look back in the turkey pen and in the pen next door see a grey blur. She’s inside a chain link fence – but there’s holes in the bottom that’d let a great dane in on the far side.

Connor goes around with a cage to try to corner her. She slips under the fence…back in with the turkeys. Then instead of the normal cornered…chain link lined with poultry netting – she finds *one hole* in the corner and gets out of there in back. Now outside the trees is a dog (not ours) that will kill critters. I go around one way – she ducks back in the turkey pen and “disappears”. Think like a rabbit – out front. We tried funneling her into a trap – didn’t work. She sprinted past us and was headed out past the vehicles when a black blur rocketed past me…Missy circled around to get on the other side and hold her back long enough for us to get repositioned.

With now three hands we cornered her near her rabbit buddies and re-secured her safely in her own pen. Missy got lots of hugs and pats for making an “impossible” job possible…and much like her mama Freckles and grandma Gael rose to the occasion. She’s fast and small enough to fit in places bigger dogs can’t…and determined enough to keep searching.

For all her quirks (and there are many!) she’s a good hand with small stock, and her smaller size and border collie instincts can be an asset. Being able to outrun a rabbit helps too! She’s a great example of it not taking papers to be a good farm dog, for although her border collie side is rich with great dogs, she has a trace to a trespassing thief of virtue. Freckles was on the back porch inside a chain link fence when he dug in for access in a short window of opportunity. Missy resulted, and several years later remains as a link to some really good border collies. Quirks and all.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. May 15, 2012 4:21 PM

    Awesome! Our neighbors’ toddler let their two bunny pets out one day, with much less happy results. =(

    • May 15, 2012 5:54 PM

      That is the very real chance when something gets out here too. 😦 We’re working on a barn upgrade, with an extra security fence around it to further prevent escapes. We don’t like losing any animal – accidents happen, but thankfully this one turned out ok. Thanks for visiting!

  2. Bonnie Havlicek permalink
    May 15, 2012 9:04 PM

    Hi Jan, if you can get close to an escape bunny, throw a jacket or small blanket over it. It will freeze when it can’t see where to go and then you can pounce on the bunny under the blanket. Glad you caught your bunny.


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