A few weeks ago, I reported the birth of a litter of rabbits. I now have a second litter.
The first litter all died. It is a sad and painful tale which I try not to think about for I might become angry.
I left for the family reunion for two days and left the litter in the care of my friend June. I left her with a healthy bunch of 9 little ones about the same as the one's below. When I phoned in two days there were only three left. I am not sure what happened but there was distress in the bunny cage. A couple died then. Instead of relieving the problem. June thought she could care for the bunnies better than their mother. She removed them and tried to hand feed them. By the next day there were three left and one of those was not doing well. Then there were two. It took June three weeks to "love them to death".
It is very difficult to intervene in the raising of young animals. It takes skill and knowledge and just plain luck. Removing young from their mother should be the absolute last thing.
Unfortunately, I think June doesn't fully understand her capabilities. And, I think she was doing what she did at least in part to satisfy a need in herself as well as a perceived need for the rabbits.
It has been a sad lesson. I feel badly for June as she thought she could accomplish something. On the other hand, I am mad as hell, at both myself and her.
But life goes one.
click on pictures to enlarge
Here is my new litter of bunnies. I think there are nine. None have died. All are doing well at 6 days old in the care of their mother. They are nearly all black or gray with one, which I think is light brown with some white on it. In a couple of weeks they will be up and about so I will know for sure. To take this picture I lifted the lid off the nesting box attached to the rabbit cage. I have not told June yet about this litter, yet!
This is the doe peeking it to see what raised the roof on her nesting box nursery.
Meanwhile, out in the yard the two pigs are enjoying a little feed. Ruby is the red duroc sow and Babe is the last of her litter of ten. ( Note the single strand of electric fencing which keeps them in the farm yard)
Babe is supposed to be June's pet pig. She has not spent enough time with it to really tame it. It is really at the age and size to be slaughtered for human consumption. Hummm! What would June say!!!