Warning ~ Extreme Bunny Cuteness Ahead
I love to hold my rabbits (both English Angora Phiber Phactories!) upside down like babies in my arms and check out how cute their faces look in this position. It's also a great way to feel around underneath them to make sure there aren't any nasty bits or mats or anything lurking on the bottom side of the bun! This isn't the optimum pic cuz I was holding little Phillip with one arm and trying to get a picture (blind!) with the other but there it is. Amazing bunny cuteness! I'll have to have DH take one next time or better yet, hold the bun while I take the photo like I see it when I hold them this way.
Here's Phillip during our weekly grooming session..you can just see his bright little black eye! He's still got the funky baby English Angora hairdo going on...not the nicest stuff, baby wool. That's all the little neppy tips you see. I didn't cut it all off since it's been cold since I got him and I figured we'd just comb it out eventually. He had some matting issues when I got him but they are few and far between now. He's about 5 months old now and has grown in a BIG WAY. I think he's probably three times the size he was when I got him the first of October. No kidding. He was eating so much I couldn't even believe it. The eating has slowed down now so maybe he's past the major growth spurt but wow! He could pack it in, that boy!
I do a fly-by grooming once a week to get out stuff that shouldn't be there (hay, etc) and check for trouble spots and mats and all that. Today's mission was pretty basic and took less than an hour for both bunz. Definitely not fly-by when they're molting, that's for sure! More than once a week and way more than an hour per bun if you're plucking, like I do. That's only about every 3-4 months though.
Here's Phoebe hunkering down in the nippy wind (not that she's cold...she's just doing the scared bun act) with the grooming rake I use to go through their coats to remove all the hay bits, etc. that naturally get stuck in there over the course of a week. Phoebe just finished molting not long ago so her coat isn't as dense as it will be soon. She's not as dense as Phillip by any means...she's an older rabbit, and I don't know if that really matters but I suspect it does. I use a finer comb to take care of the super fine hair on their ears and behind their ears and to get the fine bits out of their facial furnishings. The silky stuff on/behind their ears loves to get all matted up so I keep up with that! The big pouf of wool over their eyes makes 'em look kind of ridiculous sometimes, I think, but I never cut it off.
And here she is looking a bit more lively and still having hay bits here and there. I had trimmed her facial furnishings last grooming (those are what's around their face/mouth area) so she looks a little thin through there. She hates having that part groomed (esp. under her chin!) and will sometimes gets mats there so I just cut them off. Hey...she's not a show gal so if she occasionally looks a little funky, I'm OK with that :)
I keep the fiber I get from these fly by grooming missions in a separate box and will spin them up together when I get enough. It's not the greatest stuff to spin since there will sometimes be hay bits in there or tiny mats or whatever and it's not aligned. I can comb it and get great aligned fiber or I can just spin it and get the slubby funky yarn, which I like. I've been just mixing Phoebe's combings and Phillips icky baby wool together the last couple times. While I dislike the baby wool (its super fine and webby and all that) I think it would be nice to have a Phillip Baby Wool skein :) I've been getting lots of prime plucked from Phoebe this year and can't wait for Phillip's prime plucked...he's SUCH an amazing blue color!
This is the bit I got today for my efforts...not much (just a handful) but something to add to the collection :)
I think the tort and the blue fiber mixed together will make something really pretty. Someone came into the shop the other day wanting to give me a blue/black buck and I wasn't there and I've resisted calling her back. I would LOVE another rabbit but the space I have for them at the moment is full right now and I don't have another cage. And. DH. Would. Shoot. Me. Maybe :) He doesn't mind that I got Phillip but oooh boy...maybe if I cleaned out the garage and made more room in there and got a free cage with him it would be OK. Mmmm...a black addition to the Phiber Phactory would be really nice! And I'm not finding them to be too much of a chore...I was a bit nervous when I got Phillip but it's not so bad. Would a third put me over the edge? I dunno.
Since I've got such a good thing going on with the housework issue now and am more relaxed and less stressed, I think it would be OK. And a black angora...sigh....
Ahem. Back to bunny cuteness!
Here's all of Phillip in his wooly glory. Yep, there's them baby neps at the tips again. Thank goodness most of them are gone by now. And here's a more frontal view...
But you still can't see his face. I imagine on a "good" english, you shouldn't be able to see the face for wool! The wind wasn't helping. I was freezing my ass off out there because I *thought* it was going to be the big 50 degrees today and it wasn't and I was in a thin white t-shirt like a dolt. But my hands buried in that wool were really warm! Awwww...I wanna go get Phillip and hold him like a baby again. He's a brat though. He was into the biting thing last grooming session but I just flipped him over and held him on his back as sort of a "punishment" in a way, and he didn't try it again this time around. I handle him quite a bit...not every single day but I always pet and feel around on him when I feed twice a day.
One last bunny cuteness photo before I go lay down! Or knit. Or spin. Or something relaxing since my house is cleaned (and I did WINDOWS today...just a couple!)
Oh! and I'll leave you with WEIRD BUNNY TIP #1...put them back into their cages BACKWARDS through the door. That way they don't get all wild and crazy wanting to leap out of your hands. I just figured that one out today. Yay me! Yay bunz!