A Hard Lesson Learned

Raising rabbits sounds fantastic- who wouldn’t want to spend all day playing with bunnies? The reality, though, is that you will experience more sad days than one would expect. This morning was an example.

Every morning, I feed my kids, then go outside and refresh waters and feed in all the rabbit cages. I started off with the side of the yard where the Flemish are, like every morning. The first thing I saw in one of the cages was a dead kit. Then another one… HALF EATEN. Then another. And another. Seven dead kits spread about the cage. Three were chewed up. One was actually under the cage. There was no nest, no pulled fur, nothing. Just seven deceased, ice-cold newborns. They say they aren’t dead until they are warm and dead. If they are that cold and not moving, try warming them up to revive them. No luck this time.

The mother was one of the girls we got not quite a month ago. We did not breed her so she arrived to us pregnant. She showed no signs of pregnancy at all. Chances are, she was a first-time mother and had no idea what to do. This is not uncommon for new bun moms. They’ve never “mommed” before and they panic, forget to build nests, and sometimes eat the dead kits.

It’s a tragic loss. Seven gorgeous babies. The mother is acting normal, though, even trying to breed again with her sister. We have several other girls who will be first-timers towards the end of the month. Pearl, Holly, Charlotte, Athena, Calypso. and possibly other Flemish are all bred. The new girl, Aurora, is likely pregnant as well. We tried breeding the two youngest adult girls, Toffee and Nova, but they had no interest. Maybe next month. Either way, everyone has nest boxes. Everyone is being closely monitored. We have no idea if the other four Flemish or Aurora successfully bred. All we can do is take more caution and pay closer attention. Holly has started building her nest today and Pearl has finished hers a couple days ago after spending a week on it. They’re both due on the 18th along with a few others. We know who the mother was, and we will breed her tomorrow since she is acting normal.

My mom and husband have been working on getting new large and sturdy pens built for each rabbit. I purchased three new cages this weekend to get my buns in larger areas. We had to separate my two bucks Chester and Torgue unfortunately, for the DUMBEST and CREEPIEST reason.

As we were breeding the rabbits on Tuesday, Torgue was peeking through and watching closely… and taking out his jealousy of the breeding males on Chester. Chester was getting sick of it and ran around the cage damaging his feet. He has a genetic issue with his feet and they get sores easily. We are considering letting him run around the chicken yard, as long as he gets along with the other two bucks in there. He’s an angel, but you never know how the others may treat him. Now Torgue is acting lonely. He’s right next to Walter’s cage now, but he doesn’t get to cuddle Walter. I feel bad for the brothers.

So yeah, this week has had a lot of finagling and learning moments. That’s life, though. Right now, I am working on my very first rabbit foot key chains and pelts, so I am sure I will have more screw ups to chat about soon.

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