Sad Morning

It was a sad morning on The Rural Side.  Heather went out to feed and water the rabbits this morning while I was still getting ready for work.  Suddenly I hear her screaming and yelling for me to come quick.  Not knowing what was going on I hurried out the door towards the garage meeting her in the breezeway where she says one of the rabbits has babies.  She had just told me a few minutes before that she doesn’t like April Fools so I knew it was no joke.  In the cage there were seven little babies strewn about.  I quickly gathered them up and started checking them over to see if any were still alive.  Three gave some signs of life, moving slightly but barely breathing.  We took them all inside, into the bathroom, turning on the heater to warm them up.  The three started moving more as they got warmer, one even whimpering some.  The other four still showed no signs of life.  After ten minutes or so one stopped moving, with no sign of breathing.  Down to two, with them being thoroughly warmed I went out and built a nest for them using some hay and the little bit of hair the mother had pulled out.  I placed them both in the nest and waited to see if the mother would take care of them.  After a few minutes another stopped moving.  The lone survivor continued moving some but the mother didn’t seem interested in her little one at all.  By this time I have done everything I can think of to help, so I leave them hoping the mother will do what is needed to take care of her baby.

When I bought the rabbits they were supposed to be all does, so babies showing up in a cage was a complete surprise.  Being a first time rabbit owner I didn’t really know how to check to be sure of the sexes, taking the previous owner at their word.  After looking at the other two closely it appears we got two males and a female.  Nutmeg, the only one Heather named, turns out to be a boy.  Because he is a red New Zealand I want to keep him, but the other may end up being dinner soon to make room for another female.  I feel terrible because my ignorance caused the babies to suffer.  I sometimes jump into things without being fully prepared.  I should have found a local breeder who would show me what to expect, how to check sexes, and anything else that I need to know.  I should still do that.  I jumped into chickens with no experience and it has turned out alright.  We lost one guinea keet last spring for an unknown reason but that has been our only issue.  The internet is a great resource but it can also give a false sense of knowledge sometimes.

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