Sunday, April 21, 2013

Not Always the Way you Think

Well....I've been wrong before.

I said that all the little bunnies were going to live.  All 10 of them.  Because, Camille, who is a crappy mama, was going to be watched very carefully and live in the house.

It didn't matter.  And it seems to have not been Camille's fault, directly.  Oddly/interestingly/sadly enough, the babies have just been up and dying.  We are down to two.

I think by tomorrow, we'll be down to one, if any.

Having watched 8 babies die, I have come to the conclusion that there is some sort of genetic mishmash going wonky here.  They were fine for the first 3 days.  Then on the fourth day (Friday), we started to lose them by the bucketload--four in one day.  At first we suspected Camille was stepping on them, but Camille was removed and they died anyway.  Yesterday, we lost one more and I got to see what happened to the little one as he/she went.  First they get very skinny, which seems to happen despite being fed.  Then they get cold.  Usually they crawl away from the pack.  Then they stiffen up to the point of being frozen.  Their mouths open, and then their muscles relax, but then they gasp for breath until they die.

It's truly horrible. 

This morning, three more are gone, leaving the two above to remain.  The one on the right in the picture is showing signs of the "disorder".  He/she is getting thinner already, though he still ate and peed like a champ this morning.  All the bunnies, up to the point of dying, have been perfectly normal in all respects.  Then they thin out, get cold, and so on and so on.  It has been truly heartbreaking to watch.

Though I guess it leaves an interesting question behind.  Camille is a red Satin Angora.  Buckley is an Opal English Angora.  What is it about the two of them that should not be bred?  I can't say that I have completely ruled out environmental factors, but it seems that the combo of the two parents are what is causing these babies to die.  I'm wondering if it's linked to hair color, or the breeds together, or if one parent has something that got passed on, or if they both are heterozygous for something that, when put together, equals dead babies.

I don't know, and I'm going to look into it as much as I can.  If I get any answers, I'll let you know.  In the meantime, think good thoughts for these littles.  They're all that is left!
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  1. Bunny babies are so cute, I hope the few you have left will grow up well. I have minilops. My advice to you would be do not lift them up or touch them until they after some weeks comes out of the nest by themselves. This is what I have learned. Good luck with your wonderful animals.

  2. Oh man, how horrible. I'm so sorry this is happening :-( I do hope you can figure out what the issue is so you can get around to some better bunny experiences! xoxo

  3. So sorry to hear this has been the outcome. Hoping you are able to figure out if it's a genetic issue, and hoping even more those two littles make it through.


  4. Thank you all!

    Helen--I think you're right, but the mama was the one moving them. They'd get settled in the nest, snug as bugs, and then she'd start moving it around. There was always one behind, and that one died. When we took mama out, the nest didn't move anymore, but the babies died anyway. We have no idea what the heck is up. It looked like they were being fed.

    1. That is so sad. I am sorry for you.

  5. Oh how sad! Amazing how attached you can get to wiggly little lumps, isn't it?

  6. How sad. So sorry to hear about the bunnies. I hope you can find some answers.

  7. So very sorry. I have raised wild baby rabbits up at times. I have had to get up every two hours through the night to feed them. Also, the mother always licks and grooms them........especially where they pee and poo. It is supposed to make them be able to go. I would just take a warm damp cloth and wash it gently over them. They all grew up and were able to be released. I hope this might help.

  8. Oh no. It makes for such sad days. I am sure you will find something in your research - but be careful - there is lots of really stupid stuff on the internet also. It sounds like you have a good handle on what is going on - just sorry you have to go through this.


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