Monday, February 11, 2013

Trying to Beat the Odds

I was curious the other day, and looked up how likely it is for our little bunny friends to actually make it with no mama.  Can you believe it's as low as a 10% success rate?  Neither could I, but there it was. 

We is sleeping

I would like to beat those odds, but two days ago, I could see I might not.   The littles were skinny and a bit dehydrated.

We is STILL sleeping

So I did what anyone would do--I went to mama.

Not my mama, though, she doesn't know what to do with bunnies.  I went to Daphne, THEIR mama, and brought her in to nurse them.  I thought that maybe, just maybe there was a chance that they weren't rejected totally, but instead she had been booting them out in mistake.  She can't really see, so perhaps they were "casualties" of her going in and out of the nest and not seeing the babies falling out.  I was hoping, though, if I could kind of hold onto her, that maybe I could just have her nurse them, if she'd be willing.

Honkshooo!  Honkshooo!!!

Thankfully, she was willing.  She knew exactly what to do, though the first time I had to hold her still for longer than she would have liked, and bribed her with an apple to keep her in one place.  Since then, she's been more patient with waiting for them to eat, and has been letting them nurse a little better. 

I have to hold her still, and she steps all over them all the time.  It's become apparent to me that Daphne is blind, probably completely, because all she does is react by smell.  When she gets in the nest box, it's all a mishmash of smells and she's like a bull in a china shop and she stands all over everyone.  Luckily those babies are squirmy, and they move to be in position, but I still have to lift her off someone from time to time.  But she stands somewhat patiently, and the babies usually have big tummies when she's finally had it.  If they don't, I supplementally feed them with what I have.

Sleeping pile o' bunnies

We've been doing this twice a day so far, and it seems to be going ok.  I have also discovered that little bunnies LOVE grape Pedialyte, so that's a good thing.  If they get really dehydrated (and they have been), I grape Pedialyte them up and they are so happy.  They slurp and slurp.  I've also changed over to a modified insulin syringe to feed them, and that seems to be better for them as well.

 So, like many things, we wait and see and hope.  Two of the three have opened their eyes, which I take as a good sign that we're developing normally.  I'm sure the third will follow soon.

I'll keep you posted!

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  1. We had a momma rabbit who didn't want to be a momma rabbit and the first time around we lost almost all her babies before interfering and saving the last two by literally forcing her to nurse. It took both my daughters to hold her down. She was a french angora so bigger than other rabbits so needed two pair of hands. They went out faithfully for each feeding, turning mom over and attaching kit to nipple. It worked they lived. After that, we made sure to breed her at the same time as another doe who was a great momma and who was only too happy to nurse bad momma's babies. Also, it is next to impossible to determine the babies sex until they are about 6-8 weeks old. Good luck and hope all goes well.

  2. Soooooo cute! I'm so glad Mama is willing to feed them. Sounds like they now have a fighting chance.

  3. Glad to hear that mama is doing better with the babies. And good for you feeding them! They are sooo cute. little fuzz balls!!!
    I hope it works out for you and the bunnies.

  4. Oh good for you! It would be great if she would just take them back. Hang in there : )


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