We seem to be having a bad luck streak with rabbits this week...
Last month we rescued 3 rabbits from bother-in-law's yard. Someone had released their pet rabbits a few years ago and they started to breed and a few had found their way to BiL's, so he and K live trapped them for us before cats/crows/dogs killed them. We were happy that one of them was a female and not too pleased that the other 2 were males. We bred the female, Ivy named her "Midnight", and set her up in her own hutch. The males were put in a hutch together until we could get another stand built. Brown male was named "Fudge" and the Black male got the name "Butch"
All was fine, or so we thought... We did notice the two males chasing each other in the hutch but didn't think much of it. Last Monday, Ivy came home from school and went out to feed the rabbits. She came running back in and said somethings wrong with Fudge! She was very upset. Fudge was dead, he had obvious wounds from Butch. Mike and I felt bad we hadn't separated them sooner, but there wasn't much we could do now. The next day the girls shared the news with their friends... this ended up a huge headache for me. Three boys wanted to kill Butch in retribution, two girls were scared of all the rabbits, Sean was in tears and asked a LOT of questions about death and the rabbits, Anna kept bringing up the subject at supper and Ivy was extremely emotional. I think most of the neighbourhood kids have let the subject go but Anna hasn't and I'm not sure about Sean. It's hard to learn "life's lessons" about death. Hopefully none of the kids will be traumatized.
Then yesterday morning, Sunday, Ivy once again went out to feed rabbits and came back shortly saying there was a strange small creature dead on the ground. My first thought was of the cat and his hunting presents. But I was wrong. It was a dead newborn bunny, it had crawled out of the hutch and died of exposure. I looked more closely and saw more dead bunnies in with Midnight, she hadn't made a nest inside her box, she had the bunnies on the cage floor. I found a total of 5, all dead, but all fully formed and mature. By my calculation, from the breeding we had set up, she would not have been due until April 30, another week from now. Midnight must have been pregnant before we caught her. We all were upset, those poor little bunnies didn't have a chance at all. It's not uncommon for young rabbits to lose their first litter due to inexperience, but it's still sad none the less. Today I'm thankful this litter didn't make it as it most likely was from inbreeding and inbred rabbits never seem to do well, which causes heartache later on. I told the girls that they can talk and ask questions with Mike and I but they are not to tell their friends nor the boys I babysit. I can not handle another week of weepy kids, their parents are going to start to wonder what kind of house/people they are sending their kids to.
Today, Monday, I went out after the kids left for school and checked on the rabbits. I'm glad I did. My old little rabbit, Baby Bear, didn't make it through the night. I have been expecting his death all winter long. I'm fairly certain yesterday's sudden heat contributed to his passing. Baby Bear was second generation to be born here, and was one of our best breeder. He was over 9 years old and has been looking rough and old for the past year. He was always my favorite, very friendly and he will be missed...
So that's three bad things/three deaths, so the law of three has passed and we'll now have better luck, right?
Time to start a new generation, all new stock. Yup, it's all good now.