Tuesday, August 26, 2008



mid-july: we got phyllis and gladys. they had just been bred.

the next 3.5 weeks: we were not sure if they were pregnant or not. hoping they were.

august 13: they started pulling tufts of fur out of their chest to line their nesting boxes. we got them nesting boxes. said boxes were too small so they ignored them. found one bigger box and gave it to phyllis, continued to hunt for another box for gladys

august 15: in the morning we noticed that phyllis has given birth. in the afternoon gladys kindled, too. but her babies were born on the wire floor of the cage. (newborn rabbits look like this:they aren't exactly cute)
gladys' offspring were on the floor of her cage, struggling pathetically, and on the cement floor of the basement. there's a little gap at the bottom of the cage that they must have been magnetically drawn to, since there was no other way for them to get out. either way, there were babies all over. one was dead. i gathered the babies into the too-small nesting box and went upstairs to call around for a properly sized box. i found one pretty quickly. when i went back downstairs to move the babies to the bigger box i found that phyllis had tipped the box onto it's side so she could feed her young. their bellies were taut and they were too deeply asleep to notice when i moved them.
i was really impressed with gladys' mothering. i'd read that mothers often abandon their young if they're handled too soon after the birth, and i was afraid that we'd lose the whole brood. i was reading up on getting phyllis to foster them. gladys and her instincts kick ass.

august 16: in the evening i went downstairs to check on the babies and feed the mamas. i found a baby on the floor a few feet from the cage. it was very cold and barely moving, but when it smelled its mama it started squeaking. did you know that rabbits can squeak? only when they're really freaked out. anyways, i checked on the baby a few hours later and gladys had fed it. such a great mama.

august 17: in the evening my partner found another baby several feet from the cage. it had to have been on the floor for at least 48 hours. this one didn't make any noise when it smelled its mama. it died a few hours later.

august 21:august 26: the bunnies have gotten at least 5x bigger than they were at birth. they're really cute. they opened their eyes.

august 27: i've been reading up on vermiculture (aka vermicomposting, using worms to compost) and am trying out a worm bin under gladys' cage. so these are the newest residents of the house:red wigglers!!!

1 comment:

  1. We raised rabbits for many years, both for show and for meat. I heard about vermicomposting, and wanted to try it but I just never got around to it. We only have two retired luv bunnies left. I remember all the babies that were born, and trying to make sure that the nest boxes were in on time, and that they were the right size. My dad made most of ours out of plywood and they worked really well. He got the pattern online I think, but I'm not sure where.