The first litter is now 3 weeks and 5 days old. That litter was six and all of them have survived. One was dropped by an adult that was visiting and we were advised to "put it out of it's misery", but it was not showing signs of pain. We decided to pray for it and wait awhile and that little one has made a full recovering as far as we can tell.
The second litter is now 1 week and 4 days old. That litter was 12 and we have lost two. The momma rabbit stuffed some towels into the nesting box and one of the weaker ones was unable to get to her to nurse, so we found that one dead and dehydrated. The other one that we lost was a couple days later and again the momma rabbit stuffed a towel in the nesting box and as she was leaving out she accidentally drug out several babies behind her and one got squished behind the nesting box. It was also one of the weaker ones. So sad to lose them, but that it nature and with 12 babies we knew from the beginning that we would probably lose some. There is one that is half the size of the others, but the others are doing well. We are trying to help this little one by taking it out and letting it nurse from it's momma all alone.
This is the little one (black & white) that is so much smaller and weaker. It is hard to tell by this pic, but it is half the size of the others.
Another pic of the tiny one (black & white).
This is the daddy rabbit of all the babies. He is now in solitary confinement and obviously very lonely in his new cage.
These are our new cages that we were able to get for a great bargain. We were going to spend our day last Saturday building cages, but I got these cheaper than I could buy the supplies to build. We only needed one set, but thinking into the future I wanted to get more while the bargain was there. Each large section is 5 seperate cages that each measure (30" x 30"). That times two is 10 cages . We got this all for $120, which is the equivalent of getting each cage area (30" x 30") for $12 each. That also comes with the water sysem in place and feeder trays. Our only issue at this point is that we will need to eventually have a roof of some sort over them. For the time being Peter (daddy rabbit) has a piece of tin over his cage and we move it to open his cage (cages are toploding).
This is a pic on one of the healthy bunnies from the second litter. Size is about 3" long by about 1 1/2" high. They have their fur some, but the eyes and ears are still closed and they resemble puppies at this stage of development. Miraculously in a matter of days they will appear more like bunnies and the eyes will open. Soon after the ears will open up. It is truly amazing to see them transform.
This is not a great pic, but this is the 10 youngest litter in their nesting box.
This is our first momma rabbit and her 6 babies that are now 3 weeks 5 days. They are about 7" long and 4" high. Bunnies are fast growers! Her litter has three that look like the daddy, two like the momma (like the one on top of the box), and one little "black sheep of the family" (black & white). Savannah has named and claimed this one as Zebra (her favorite animal).
Zebra got a trip inside the house. Zebra was not so sure about the surroundings.
Zebra gets cuddled like a little baby.... they all do! ;)
These little bunnies are not going to allow this much longer, though. They are started to kick their little "Wanna Be Mommas". Sierra is quite happy to be holding and mothering them while she can, though! We are all thoroughly enjoying our bunny babies!
And we have learned so much from them. We have dropped our Science curriculum for now and loving it. They are amazing little creatures and there is so much to learn about them. I have been truly surprised at some of ways rabbits mother their babies vs. the way humans do.
- The mother actually stays away to protect her babies from predators. Mom has a strong scent that attracts other animals. The babies have no scent.
- She usually on feeds them a couple of times at night to when predators are not around. That includes people, so you are not likely to see her feeding them at all, if you are trying to observe this. We thought our first mother was starving her babies.
- If mother does not feed them it would be rare to be able to save them as there is nothing that can replace rabbit milk. A mother can be held on her back and forced to nurse one that is not getting feed and this is what we have had to do with our weaker babies from the larger litter. We are only doing this with the one little one now.
- Male rabbits can maturely breed by only 10 weeks old.... Good to know. Seriously, there is no way to tell the sexes apart until the male is "mature".
- Females can breed again as soon as their babies are out. So, solitary confinement for daddy bunny is a must.
- Mother starts to run from her babies by the time they are about two weeks old. She is not willing to be a "human pacifier" like some of us human mothers. ;) She is one smart cookie!
- Babies hop, but seem to lose this ability in several days. They then start to walk first on all fours and around two weeks they begin to hop, again.
- And many more random facts.....
And they are really fun!!