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!