Monday, 14 August 2017

Bonding Rabbits

Importance
In the wild rabbits live in groups and even domesticated rabbits thrive from company of their own kind, there is nothing like another rabbit friend, once bonded, so it is highly important that if you are considering getting a rabbit that you also consider getting an already bonded pair or are willing to find your rabbit a friend.

Age and size doesn't matter when selecting a friend for your rabbit, as they all speak the same language, although it is important to stress that not all rabbits are compatible so your best option would be to take your rabbit to a rescue centre to help find the perfect bunny for them or have a plan B if your rabbits don't bond.
Remember: Rescue centre rabbits are already vet checked, vaccined and neutered.



Best match
Although most rabbits get on when they are younger, as soon as puberty hits, they can become very aggressive towards each other and fallout. So, it is important to get both your rabbits neutered for physical health, mental health and for them to be able to have a bonded friend or two. A male and female neutered pair generally works best, although not always the case. You should wait at least 8 weeks after the male has been neutered to try the bonding process as the hormones may still be in his system and can still cause aggression or potential unwanted litters and for the female to be fully healed after her spay.

Introduction
Once you have found your rabbit a friend, you want to introduce them in a small neutral area, this is an area where both rabbits haven't been before and have nothing in there that smells of either rabbit, this can be a small run, crate or even the bathroom. The bathtub without any water in it, with a towel in the bottom can make a great place to start, this is usually a neutral space and if they begin the fight the towel may slip slightly and they are more likely to stop and try and regain their balance without a full on fight. If they begin to fight, you can hold a towel up in between them and remove the towel once settled, or try again another time.

Thumping
You may find that the bunnies start thumping their back feet against the floor, this is okay, they are unsure of each other and it is a warning sign.

Humping
If they are humping each other - that is okay, they are trying to assess dominance and work out who is in charge, sometimes the other will give in or this can be a battle between them.
Excessive humping - is not okay and you'll need to step in and remove them from each other.
Humping of the face - is okay to some degree but too much can cause issues with the other biting the others genital area and this isn't okay and again you'll need to separate them.

Nipping/Biting
You may also find that they may nip each other this is also dominance related and them telling the other off or to stay still, this is okay unless they are biting really hard or they draw blood. If they draw blood I'd remove them from each other and try again another time, after they've been living next to each other awhile - although some bonds just aren't meant to be.

From Ellis Conroy-Hargrave

Gauge
Once you have put them together, you need to gauge how they are with each other.
If they have humped, groomed or ignored each other these are all good signs and I'd open up the space for them so they have a bigger area and gauge how they are in a larger space, still keeping a very close eye on them. If they continue to behave and get a long, then I'd watch them for that day, clean out the hutch or bed area with distilled white vinegar and water to disinfect and help get rid of the smells of either bunny and if I'm happy with the way they have been all day then they can go in together that night if you are happy to. Some rabbits are an instant bond, which is amazing, others can take a little longer.
If you are unhappy with any of their behaviour, it is best to put them in separate hutches but so they can see each other and smell each other overnight, just to be on the safe side and for ease of mind.

Stress bonding
Putting both rabbits in the same carrier and taking them for a 30-45 minute drive can bring your rabbits closer together, this is part of stress bonding, the rabbits are already stressed in the carrier and car so it can push your bunnies to look after each other and sit next to one another during the journey, as well as getting used to one another.

Here's Bugs and Winnie from Amy K Gregory

Living next to each other
This is a step which you can start with if you aren't happy to put them together straight away or if you are waiting for one to recover from their neuter/surgery. But it also comes in handy during the bonding process if your bond isn't so easy.
Having two runs and two hutches next to each other, will allow them to live next to each other, get used to one another's scent and behaviours and let them get to know one another. Once they start to lay next to each other, start to relax and even ignore each other, that is the time that they are usually willing and accepting of each other and ready to meet in a small neutral space.

Loved up French Lops - Arnie and Luna from Alison Frances Ford

Swapping litter trays/hutches
If your bunnies are still misbehaving together or you aren't ready to try them together yet, then you can also swap their litter trays or areas over, this will again help them get used to each other's scent without them actually interacting with each other, some bunnies will thump, throw the litter tray etc. this is normal behaviour as your bunny can smell another rabbit in what they think is there territory, once this behaviour stops you can go ahead and let them meet in the small neutral space as mentioned before.

It can take hours to days to bond a pair/group of rabbits sometimes even weeks or months, be patient, there are even services out there that can do it for you or help you through the process. Rescues often let you take your rabbit to them for your bunny to find their perfect match, they can even help you put them together and gauge how they are before you take your new bunny home and even take back the rabbit if you can't get the bond to work, although as stated a male and female neutered pair works best.

Ozzie and Dexter - nearly 12 years old! 
I swear their old age is down to their lifelong friendship
from Karen Collins.

Good Luck with any bonding! Feel free to ask any questions and I'm more than happy to add in anything if you feel I have missed anything important out.

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Woburn birthday celebrations

For my belated birthday my sister had arranged for us to go to Woburn Safari Park, this was the first time I have been on a safari, but I love animals and the Zoo, so this was a real treat! 

She arranged for her and her partner to pick my partner and I up, on Saturday morning around 9am, then we set off for an hour drive to the park. Upon arrival we decided to do the drive safari first and saw many animals, including a bear that walked right in front of the car! As we went around we took lots of pictures and had a good laugh, we parked up and found a bench where we had lunch, that my sister had prepared for us. Was lovely apart from the amount of wasps that wanted to join us for lunch.


My sister and her partner enjoyed a ride on the swan pedalo whilst my partner and I sat and watched, enjoying the sun.
Once they were back we went and saw the noisy otters being fed, muscles and vitamin pellets, then behind us was the Birds in action show just about to start, although one of the birds, called Pep, flew off and apparently likes to eat people's sandwiches and fly back when he is ready!


After watching the bird show we went around and looked at all the animals on the foot safari, stroked a goat in the petting zoo and nearly had my ring stolen by this little monkey...


After around 5 hours of being at the park we went to the gift shop, where there was some gorgeous items and then grabbed an ice-cream; I had a mint choc chip cone. After the ice-cream we went to feed the birds in the rainbow lodge, where we were given a little pot of nectar, held out our hands and the birds sat and drank the nectar.


We had a great day out exploring for 6 hours and headed home. My first trip to the Safari park and the first time my sister's partner had ever seen a red panda! 






Friday, 28 July 2017

Pickin' Chickens Game


Picking Chickens is a Drumond Park game, designed for children over the age of four and for 2-4 players and retails at around £19.99.

You will receive: 
A game board - with a fox in the centre that pops up, surrounded with 12 yellow chicken coops that can be removed.
4 double sided chicken cards - one side with four white chickens on, on the reverse there are four different coloured chickens, as there are two different levels of play.
16 chickens - a variety of different coloured chickens. (4 of each colour)
1 farmer card - a card with a farmer on.
and an instruction sheet.


The aim of the game is to save four chickens first, don't let the fox catch you!

Level 1 -Young Chicks game
To be the first player to collect four of any colour chicken.
Level 2 - Older Chicks game
To be the first player to collect one of each colour chicken.



Each game starts with the fox pushed down and the tree trunk closed.
Each player has a card, with four chickens on.
Take it in turns to spin the board, select a chicken coop, pull it out and add a chicken to your card. (White chickens are any coloured chicken for level 1, the coloured chickens must be the colour of your chicken in level 2, if you've already got a blue chicken and selected a blue one, then you cannot add it to your board.)
Keep spinning and collecting chickens, if the fox pops up, you must remove 1 chicken from your board - unless they have the farmer card, which entitles you to use for one turn.
The winner is who can fill their card the quickest.

It is a great little game, I would definitely recommend it for young children, but older children may start to learn where each colour chicken is kept, so would recommend for children between 4-8 years of age.

Friday, 7 July 2017

Oscar's First Birthday


Birthday celebrations with Oscar

This gorgeous blue eyed, little man, is my nephew, who turned 1 a couple of days ago. Unfortunately we do not live that close to his family so we travelled up at the weekend to celebrate his birthday. He grows so much every time we see him and I can't believe it has been over a whole year that this little man has now been on this planet, he is such an angel and started learning to walk, so his walkers that he received as gifts from others went down a treat!
We celebrated with playtime and a barbecue outside in the glorious Yorkshire sunshine, with great company and some lovely food, Oscar sat in his new pool with his toys; giggling and playing - his laugh is so infectious, until it was time for more playtime and time to explore the garden.


I created his card with a 6x6 inch blank card and envelope, some brown kraft card for matting and layering, 3 gorgeous decorative sheets of paper, some ribbon from my stash, Hobbycraft's self adhesive, glittered number and letters and a fabulous toddler image from LOTV art pad.



Sunday, 14 May 2017

Mum's List Film



A heart warming, emotional roller coaster of a film, based on a true story, about the loss of a mother to cancer. The film switches between three different times, now, when Kate, the mother is no longer with us, from around the time she was diagnosed and throughout the treatment, and to around the time they first met when they were teenagers and first got together.


When Kate first gets diagnosed, they have a positive outlook, as their son, who had previously been diagnosed, had a much smaller chance of survival and is still here today at the age of 5, they got through it as a family and that is what they intended to do again!

We slowly see her deteriorate through having a mastectomy, to chemo and then radiotherapy, but the cancer spreads through to her lungs and bones, she is eventually hospitalised.

We see the family coping as best as they can, after she has past, but just when everything goes well, those moments where you start to enjoy yourself and make a slip up - the heart wrenching moment, where Singe is out at a club with friends and he turns to ask Kate, who was no longer around, what she would like to drink, you can really connect with the character and feel the sunken feeling he must have been going through, throughout the journey and through moments like these.

Kate's list and requests are revealed throughout the film, a great film but I would recommend to have a box of tissues handy!


xox acres and acres xox

Friday, 12 May 2017

Woodland Walks

I love a good walk, great for both physical and mental health, there is plenty to explore through Chiltern walks and nature reserves.
Here are just a few photos I have taken when on a couple of walks with some spectacular views, you can see for miles.




Watlington Hill





Saturday, 1 April 2017

Netflix Series


Netflix is an online streaming service which you can stream via most devices and sometimes even built in to your Smart TV. 

There is so much choice, from old movies, to more recent, from comedies to horrors, even includes cartoons and Netflix exclusive films and series, with so much choice it is hard to decide what to watch!


They currently offer 3 packages, ranging from £5.99-£8.99 a month, although they do offer a free months free trial for those that are not yet a member. All UK Packages contain the same content other than the amount of people that can be logged in at one time and HD and Ultra HD isn't available in some packages.

Me and my partner love to sit down together when we get the chance and watch films on Netflix, being available on so many devices it is even great if we go away somewhere, as you can even download certain films and series. Here are some fantastic series I would highly recommend and we both enjoyed as a couple, please feel free to share your favourites and give us some ideas to watch.

Comedies
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
How I met your mother
Pram Face
Gavin and Stacey
Bad Education
Fried
Siblings
The Delivery Man
Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Don’t trust the B---- in Apartment 23
Outnumbered
One day at a time
Grounded for life

Thrillers
Dexter
Stranger Things
Luther
The Returned
Glitch
Grimm
Being Human
Orphan Black
iZombie


Dexter has to be our absolute favourite, but with series 8 being a big disappointment; a socially awkward, forensic technician, specialising in blood spatter pattern analysis, who has urges to kill but his adoptive father had taken him under his wing to show him the correct way and bring him up as well as his could, those that deserve to die and torture others, get what is coming to them.
This will leave you gripping onto the edge of your seat, unbelievable moments, leaving you cheering for Dexter Morgan, but he isn't the only killer in town.
I highly recommend even for those that usually aren't into the thriller, crime series, this will leave you wanting more.