Today we took the K and L litters out (separately) to the grassy fenced in kennel to get an idea of temperament and personality. I learned a lot!
The L litter was first, and while I was pretty confident that Lucien was friendly (and he is), and I knew the black does were shy, I did not anticipate the drama involved when I took the first one out. She kicked violently, tearing at both of my hands, she flailed and twisted and flopped. And then she started to scream. If you've never heard a rabbit scream, let me inform you. They typically only scream when they're being killed (when an owl or fox or something grabs them). It sounds something like a woman screaming, or (in the case of this young doe) like a little girl screaming. And it's loud. I'm pretty sure my neighbors were getting ready to call the police. It didn't help at all that the flailing and kicking (and screaming) got Moose into a frenzy and he wanted to eat that bunny and kept charging forward to try to nose-bump it as I was trying to re-adjust my grip to avoid her claws and settle her down. I managed to get her to the grass kennel, but not without getting some painful scratches on both of my arms.
I brought the rest of the litter one by one from their normal cage to the kennel with much less fanfare. Upon entering the enclosure with the litter, Lucien greeted me at the door and sniffed my shoes before hopping off to nibble grass. Lilith (the screamer) started racing around the cage, bouncing over her siblings, kicking them, dominance thumping her feet, and charging. She started them panicking, which made the kids afraid to sit down in the kennel to play with the other bunnies. So Tony came in and sat facing the corner Lilith was in, and attempted to pet her and calm her down, and yes, I said "attempting" because Lilith is a monster. She hunkered down and stopped charging as long as he kept his hand on her, but the instant he lifted his hand she'd shoot out from under it and start springboarding off of her siblings, through the water bowl, and eventually face-first into the kennel panel before he herded her back to his corner. While Tony distracted Lilith, the rest of the kids all climbed in the kennel and had a great time playing with Linda, Lorelei, and Lucien. Linda and Lorelei look very similar (though #3 insists they're slightly different colored - one being "more black" than the other which is "more brown"). Lorelei has white hairs on her front left foot, while Linda does not. Fortunately there's no mistaking Lilith as she's got agouti patterning over her entire back. Since she's definitely not pet quality, and no responsible breeder will want a temperament like that in their bloodlines, it looks like Lilith will be doomed to be a meat rabbit. Lucien on the other hand is a model bunny, friendly and sweet. Little #5 (three years old) picked him up at one point, unassisted, and carried him to the other side of the kennel to sit down with him. Within several minutes the kids were arguing over who got to play with Lucien because he was clearly the nicest. Not to discredit Linda and Lorelei. They're a little shy, and they did kick just a little when I first picked them up, but they calmed down immediately when I held them close and put their faces under my arm. They'd be good pets with a little more work, but right now they'd also be good for future breeding if anyone is interested.
No surprises here, they are wonderful little bunnies. Temperaments couldn't be any better. They're curious, outgoing, and happy to come and check up out as we sat in the grass with them. They were taking turns running and kicking their little bunny heels up. They scampered and played, nibbled on grass, and really seemed to enjoy having the space to stretch their legs.
I took the opportunity to clean out their cage. I guess all the hay I've been giving them lately created a block in their potty corner allowing it to start building up. Yuck! So I took care of that right away. I'd have noticed it sooner if we did rabbit chores in the light more often. Poor bunnies were starting to get stained yellow. That's no good. Hopefully they'll groom themselves and be back to their beautiful white coats (for Kin, Kai, and Kaelyn anyway) within the next few days.
We also got our laundry done today. My mom was prepared with a list of jobs she needed done. Much to her surprise, between the kids and I and my mom we got them all done within an hour. She figured it would take a couple days to get to all of it. Brush moved, lawn mowed, bird bath removed, fountain set up and running, plants moved off the deck and watered, and the dishwasher unloaded (clean dishes put away). Kids were still asking for tasks, so Tony had #2 clean out our vehicle. Nice!
It's wonderful to leave the hotel. It's literally a breath of fresh air.