Sunday, December 14, 2008
And it's about time!
After nearly a year of trying and quite a few failures, we finally have our first viable litter of baby bunnies. Our three breeding rabbits were just babies themselves when we bought them so we had to wait for them to mature. Apparently we didn't wait long enough because although they delivered their first litters just fine, they didn't seem to know how to make a nest, or nurse, or mother them at all. We had three or four litters that simply ended in tragedy. Then it was high summer (a really hot one this year) and no one was in the mood. Then it was a beautiful autumn and we thought we were back on track, but no dice. Neither doe conceived and we worried our buck might have become sterile from the extreme heat.
We tried one more time about a month ago, with the thought that if it didn't take, we'd have to try a new buck, but lo and behold, last week our pregnant doe began pulling her fur out to make a nest. A couple of days later the nest was full of warm babies. Now they've survived long enough to have a thin layer of fur. I think we might finally have something to show this time, and our buck officially gets a pardon.
I've found it pretty incredible that we're having so much trouble making baby bunnies. I mean, this is something that's supposed to happen with extreme frequency all on its own, right? If we can't get rabbits to make babies, we must be complete failures, right? We were seriously beginning to lose faith in our abilities. Needless to say, this event has really gotten us excited and boosted our confidence!