Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The rabbit and a hare....

On May 14, 2013 our red San Juan rabbit gave birth to 9 baby bunnies.  I was so excited.  I just love baby bunnies.  On May 15, I found 2 dead in the cage.  On May 16, I found the last 7 all over the place - on the floor, in neighboring cages and some had bloody bite marks.  I tried  to put the babies back in Red's nest but she wouldn't have anything to do with them.  2 more died that afternoon.  Now, I have fostered puppies, kittens and chickens, but never bunnies.  I knew hand raising baby bunnies was usually not successful, but being the person I am - I just had to try.  I removed the last 5 from the nest and took them inside the house.  My husband just about flipped his lid, but one look from me and he shut up.  He knows better than to stand between me and animals.

I parked the them in the pantry because is has a door to keep the kitties out.  I put a heat lamp close to the nesting box to keep them warm but not hot.  I heated up some kitten formula that I keep on hand for just these kind of emergencies.  I started feeding them with an eye dropper.  Things seemed to be going well for a couple of days, then tragedy - 3 of the 5 babies died.  I was so sad.  What was I doing wrong?  Off to surf the Internet to figure this out before I lost the other 2.  After reading information from several different sites, I was able to determine that I needed to add heavy cream or half and half to the formula.  I didn't have exact measurements so I just eyeballed it.  It must have worked.

The bunnies are happy, healthy and full of spunk.  At the time of this writing, they are 44 days old.  They are eating pellets, carrots, grass, organic lettuce (I had some extra and thought I would share) and celery.  They also love the herb/weed known as plantain.  They are growing so fast!  Everyday, they get play time in the master bathroom. Why there?  It has tile floor (easy clean up of bunny messes) and I can close the door to keep stalker kitties and rough-housing doggies out!  They can run and jump to their hearts content without fear of being pounced on or used as a chew toy.

 I had to move them from the cardboard box they called home to a larger, better secured bird cage.  Now it seems it is time to move them to a more permanent home.  They need a hutch.  I don't have a hutch.  I am not going to buy a hutch because I think they are way over priced so I guess that means I am going to have to build a hutch.  It is going to have to built this weekend or next because I fear that they are going to get too big to get out of the cage!  I have to keep the cage door wired shut (unless it's play time or feeding time) because they can push it open.  Going to surf the net again to get some ideas then go raid the scrap pile to see if I have enough supplies.  I want to see if I can do this without spending ANY money.  I will post pictures of the bunnies as soon as my phone quits arguing with me.

Oh and the bunnies have temporary names Scratch -because of the terrible wound on his neck and his damaged right paw when he came inside. (which has completely healed and he has full use of his paw now.) and Spaz - I think you can figure this out.  My son and I want to change their names to suit their personalities, but they will still keep their nick names.

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