Thursday, April 8, 2010

Drama of Chubs & Sir don Julio...

As always, the rabbits have continual drama here. The current drama started a few days ago. Chubs, our Californian doe, was let loose by our Little Frog. Chubs was put out on the lush lawn in a welping pen, to which Frog left the connectors open when she was done petting her. So Chubs went on the lamb ( meeting up with Sir Don Julio who was on the lamb himself because he is the Houdini reincarnated). Normaly not a big deal since they always stay around the property and come to the front door begging for their meals within a day. This time was different. Chubs, we suspected with her extra thick waist, was pregnant. VERY pregnant.
We spent yesterday in west Virginia for one of our spotlights and had not seen her come up for the usual begging of food. Then, I spotted her and Sir Don Julio out by the chicken this morning.
I knew care would need to be used while trying to catch them in the early morning. I grabbed a bowl of their food and was able to walk up on them. They came running for their pellets and let me do a few scratches on their heads. This is where care and restraint must be played. If I grab them at that point, they would learn my bringing of food while they are loose would mean I am trying to catch them. I took note Chubs was not as chubby like the other day. So I let them eat a bit and went back in the house for a banana.
I looked out the kitchen window and began to worry. They pranced over to the backyard property line where Chubs began pulling fur from her underside. I knew at that moment she either had given birth already or was about to begin. I walked up with their banana and chubs ran off for the neighbors woodpile. She continued to pull fur at the mouth of a tunnel just under the pallets of old firewood. I grabbed her and could tell, she had already given birth.

I ran back to put her in the whelping pen and back to the wood pile. In that short time, The Sir Don ran away from the woodpile as I came back up & a baby bunny was outside the tunnel. She was cold but alive.
I ran her back to Chubs and grabbed my work gloves. Time to move all that wood and find the babies.

I found 3 dead and 5 alive. They were spread out under all 4 pallets of wood. I believe the story behind this Rabbit event may just be from sir Don Julio stomping 3 of the babies. ( This is normal male rabbit behavior. Normally females will protect their young from other rabbits.) in this case, i think Chubs was leading Sir Don Julio away from the babies when he would not leave her alone to birth. She was in the act of pulling fur while trying to draw him away from the nest. She passed the placenta within minutes of me putting her in the whelping pen.

One baby was far too chilled to survive and passed shortly after being placed with Mom into a safe and secure nest box. All are now warming up in the garage with Chubs. Sir Don Julio is now housed in a small cage which escape is near impossible.

And to think, I was sad over having no Farm babies this Spring. I will try to breed her again in about 4-6 weeks for second litter of meat rabbits. The problem is...Not only is she a problem to breed, I never know if she is pregnant until the week before she gives birth. And that is only due to the larger body girth. I need another female for easier breeding. I'll just be content with what I have for now.
Sweet dreams,


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