The rabbits are happily nested in their winter home, inside an old chicken shed/milk shed we used to milk our goats in when we had them. It's a tight fit, but it works, and I'm so glad there is less chance of my having to thaw frozen water bottles and put up weather breakers!
There are four rabbits now, two New Zealands and two mixed-breed, and I am in need of a new female New Zealander. 'Rowena' is past her prime now, and though she makes wonderful nests, nothing happens. I think she's ready to retire.
One of the mixed-breeds, 'Douglas', is quite the wild one. His previous owners let him run around their backyard, because he absolutely hated being in a cage. However he would still grab a hold of the kids' pant-legs and not let go. Not such a good pet! When I brought him home, he toned down a little, but still ran around like a crazy thing whenever I came into the shed. So about a week ago, I decided to see how he'd do on his own on the shed floor-- with a puppy and a chicken! At first I wasn't so sure he would survive, as the puppy (who's name is 'Wolfie' by the way...) liked to grab a hold of him and hold on for dear life while the rabbit tried to get away. Not such a good idea.
I didn't want to be responsible for the rabbit's demise, so I put him back into his cage and instead let him out into the shed only when I was in there feeding. This way I could train the puppy to leave him alone. It worked! After a while Wolfie lost interest in trying to eat Douglas, and Douglas is happily rooting around and exploring his new home. He and the puppy are actually friends. They run up to the door when I come down in the morning, Douglas looking for his grain, Wolfie anticipating his morning inspection of the rest of the farm.
And Douglas has found another friend. His eating companion is the chicken (who happens to be from the same previous owner), who discreetly pecks at the oats while Douglas chows down. It's a perfect match!