Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Well, Surprise!!!!


Allow me to admit how stupid I can be.  I'm not proud.  I am a dope.  Case in point:

Yesterday I came home from work to a rabbit in labor.  Bella was in her cage, amidst a mess of shredded papers and hay, and clearly straining to push something out.  It took me a minute to assess, but I realized--DUH--she was in labor and making no progress.  Yep, I'm a genious. 

I wasn't sure how far along she was, labor-wise, so I carefully picked her up to look at her rear.  And there were feet.  I'll be.  But the feet were the wrong feet (the backs, not the fronts), I knew that right away, and he/she was stuck, and poor Bella, she was having quite a time with him.  So I gently pulled the bunny out.  Field medicine at it's best.

As you can imagine, I think, he was stillborn.  A single.  A big grey guy (he had hair!  Freaky), born breech--too big for Bella, who is 3 1/2 pounds, to handle.  Understandable why he didn't make it.  I kept watch on Bella to make sure she was done, and an hour later, it was obvious she was.  So I left her alone.  This morning, she is her normal self, except--get this--she likes me.  Every time I've approached her in the past, I've gotten the laid-back ears.  Not today.  Today she's my buddy.  Ears up, looking at me without horror in her pink eyes.  It's nice to see.  I guess there's nothing like having someone assist in a difficult labor to make friends.

Why the surprise??  PJB (Philip Johnny Bob's nickname) mated Bella WAY back in the beginning of September.  My husband and I both managed to catch it (and laughed, because that falling over thing bucks do is TOO funny).  I did a quick guess on due dates, and waited.  And nothing.  28 days--nope.  31 days---nope.  35 days---nope.  When the dates passed, I thought, well, whatever happened, it didn't take.  But it did, just not that time.  Yesterday was way past the day, meaning that whatever I saw wasn't the time that worked.  But the next time, it did.  He's been busy, that little stinker. 

Of course, now I'm looking more closely at Ygraine.  She's got a pot belly.  I thought she'd just been eating well--she was so super skinny I've been feeding her up.  She doesn't want PJB anywhere near her, and hasn't for a long time.  I just thought she was old and crochety.  I admit my stupidity.  Yesterday, after the rabbit I didn't think was pregnant gave birth, I looked at Ygraine and noticed that she's really moody.  She's been a bit moody lately, but yesterday, moreso.  Yesterday she didn't want me to touch the sides of her belly, which is new.  This morning she is the same. 

Oh hell.

I put some nesting material in her house, I will cover half with a towel, and I will wait and see.  Maybe there'll be another surprise?  At least I'm watching this time.

But I'm not a total loss, I have learned from this experience.  I have learned:
  1. Rabbits do not exercise restraint when it comes to breeding.  I thought they didn't like one another.  Um, no.
  2. Just because I couldn't get pregnant easily and have lots of stupid issues with it, doesn't mean everyone has the same problems.  I should learn to assume that if a mating took place, there's going to be a baby.  Period.
  3. I need to stop running PJB with the girls and put a fence down their play area.
I will keep you posted on Ygraine, if there's anything to report.  I will tell you that this morning, when PJB walked by Bella's cage, she didn't snort at him.  She looked interested in him again.  Like, "Hey big boy, come here often?" 

Strumpet.


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9 comments:

  1. amazing! Who would have thought huh?
    That is mighty interesting... I can only imagine the surprise.
    I wonder if he'd made it if you'd caught her sooner or if he had died already? All sorts of questions running through my mind.
    take care... have a good one. Pat

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  2. Better get that buck into his own cage or you'll be overrun as we were five years ago!

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  3. Sarah the Girlfriend-in-LawOctober 16, 2012 at 12:55 PM

    Bunny bunny bunny bunny... Mwahahahaha!

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  4. Hehe what a surprise indeed!!! Busy little bunnies, eh ;) Poor Bella and her misadventure, I hope that Ygraine does better (if she is indeed baking a little bunny bun in that oven of hers).

    Good luck to you as well! Just another adventure at Chicken Scratch :)

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  5. So, now you know where the expression "breeds like rabbits" comes from!

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  6. Pat--I beat myself over the head with that one plenty of times. I don't think I could have made a difference, but I'll never know.

    Mary Ann--Too true! He's got a cage of his own, it's the outside run they share. Not anymore! I've learned my lesson. Fertile little buggers!

    Sarah--Methinks I will keep one eye on you (and a running head count) whenever you come to visit!

    Mandi--I know, poor Bella. She started nesting last night, I'm not sure what that's about. I'm going to check on them soon.

    Mom--Yes, I do. But it's different to see it in "action". Live and learn.

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  7. Rabbits do not exercise restraint when it comes to breeding. HAHAHAHAHAH!!!!! That should be a bumper sticker or something. :)

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  8. Absolutely nothing can top experiential learning. I used to have rabbits, but never bred them. Nice that Bella has decided your a bud.

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  9. Wow. Kinda got a chuckle out of this post. Sorry about Bella, but glad she's doing alright.
    I would agree and lock up the buck...bunnies like to keep busy;-)

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