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“Mr. Icecream, A.K.A ‘Scarface'”

Icecream was a purebred California rabbit. A breeding buck. He was a neat rabbit, big and incredibly laid back. When I first brought him home, I already had a breeding buck, Hazel. So Icecream lived
in a large open-air pen that shared a side with the rabbit pen in which Hazel and the ladies lived. The fence that contained Icecream was nothing special; 2×4 inch welded wire fencing about 6 feet tall, with 1 inch chicken wire reinforcing the bottom perimeter to better contain small birds.

Icecream was a funny bunny. One day I walked passed his pen and he was laying limp on his side on the sunshine.
Oh no! Icecream! How did you die?! What happened?

I rushed into the pen and approached him; limp and laying prostrate in the middle of the pen. I poked him. He slowly lifted his head up and looked at me.
What do you want? I’m trying to sleep.
He stared at me for a moment, then when convinced I had nothing important to say to him, flopped his head back into the dirt, sighed, and went back to sleep. I got a good laugh out of him, what a strange rabbit!

So one day I have a gal visiting the farm to buy chicks. I’m walking her back to see the birds and she says, “Oh my gosh! Your rabbit! What happened to him?!
I stop and look at Icecream. He’s sitting in his usual spot, motionless, with a veritable bib of blood. Blood just pouring down his chest.
Um…. I have no idea, I guess I’ll have to check on him when we’re done here because he didn’t look like that this morning!
Great first impressions to folks I’m selling livestock too…

So as soon as I got the chance, I inspected old I.C.. His lower lip was gone. Just gone. His lower incisors could clearly be seen as though he had a horrible underbite. He otherwise seemed fine though. I kept a close eye on him (this was before I got into healing herbs) and he healed just fine without complication.
I had no idea how he managed to lose his lower lip.  Then, one day I was sitting with the colony in the rabbit pen. I enjoy hanging out with the buns now and again.  Icecream wandered over to the fence that separated the two pens and proceeded to stuff his lipless chin through the wire, just smooshed his whole face as hard as he could into the wire. Hazel stomped and growled at him. Icecream smooshed his face harder through the wire until his nose and remaining lips were oozing through it. Hazel walked up to Icecream and growled at him. Icecream didn’t move. Hazel then proceeded to bite a chunk out of one of Icecream’s upper lips.
Really, Icecream?! You just stuff your face through the wire for Hazel to bite pieces off of?!

By the time I came up with a solution to keep Icecream from feeding his face to Hazel (which really didn’t take me that long!), his nose and most of his upper lips were gone completely.  Thus I began calling him Scar Face.

I put hardware cloth over the area he liked to smoosh his face into- nowhere else. Icecream wasn’t smart enough to circumvent it by moving 2 feet over. Icecream would still spend his days smooshing his face into the mesh hardware cloth.  You could hear Hazel’s teeth biting metal, trying to rip more pieces from Icecream’s face. Oh how he hated Icecream! At the time I had no other runs to put poor IC in, but at least the hardware cloth did the trick.

Eventually Icecream got to mingle with a colony of ladies. They hated him, too. None of the other rabbits liked poor Scar Face. He did manage to father some rabbits, but he didn’t make the best breeding buck.

A few years later Icecream died. He sat in an outdoor nesting box one winter night. It snowed about a foot. He sat inside the nest box and eventually suffocated, making no attempt to dig out or escape. Any other rabbit would’ve dug itself out, or better, left the box and gone inside the coop. Not Icecream though. I, of course, found him there the next morning. He wasn’t with the colony like usual and I had to go looking for him.

Poor Icecream. He wasn’t a very smart bunny. Meat-breed animals are ill-fatedly thus. I did get to keep some of his daughters though and his diluted genetics produce very docile rabbits.  Thank you, IC, you strange, strange rabbit!