Fern is a blue-eyed gold uppy eared rabbit with white markings, she was born in the Sanctuary on 18/4/11 after her mother. Violet was brought to us after she was given to someone while pregnant still with the buck who fathered the first litter. We took her to prevent the new owner being overrun by rabbits, which can happen in a very short period of time. They don’t say ‘they breed like rabbits’ for nothing! Luckily the first litter were all male so they stayed with the buck.

Fern and her sister at about ten days old.

Velvet was of course pregnant again, heavily so. We expected her to give birth at any point after she arrived as the babies could be felt moving inside her, but she held off for two weeks. We think she had a chat to the guinea pigs next to her who told her they are supposed to come out running! Anyway before she had them you could actually see her sides heaving, just like a guinea pig mum and she was eating for England. Hoovering up the veg and alfalfa we gave her. They were very big babies, fat and chunky, but not quite able to run! Luckily (because we already had too many rabbits) she only had two. Both were female so it is a very good thing we took her, as they very quickly could have produced lots more litters taking the problem to another level. Sadly her sister got bloat and died when she was only 18 months old. And her mum got head tilt and was put to sleep in 2016, so Fern is the only member of the family still with us.

Fern and the Snowdrops

At first Fern lived with her mother Violet, who was a blue grey rex, not the hairy Violet we have here at present, and Snowbie but she had to be separated from them as she was chasing poor Violet so much. She was then bonded with Alvin and Ivy, and  lived with them  until Alvin became frail and Ivy got ill. Then her bossy behaviour became too much for them and we separated them. She now has a new toyboybun, Treebeard whom she is very taken with and they are both happier and healthier. He is quite dominant and she is not able to bully him and anyway she appears to be so smitten that she doesn’t want to.

She is a big fat rabbit and I have to keep an eye in the state of her bottom as her belly gets in the way of her cleaning herself properly. The risk of flystrike means that keeping rabbits clean is imperative. I couldn’t previously restrict her food because Alvin was old and quite thin but now she is with Treebeard she won’t get such a lavish supply.

Fern, Ivy and Alvin