Sunday, March 06, 2005

Bunnies, Bunnies, Everywhere!

The baby bunnies are out of the nest and are running about like little mad things. It turns out we have seven (five mostly white, although a few will have himalayan markings, one black & white spotted with black eyes and the most gorgeous eye makeup and another that also has gorgeous eye makeup like hotots but lovely cinnamon markings on white). They are all very pretty of course and are very very friendly!! They are now eating greens, hay & pellets & drinking water from the bowl.

Lucky now lives mostly on the top floor with her own litter tray, food, water & cardboard box & towel. I think she's already a bit put off to visit the babies as they have very sharp teeth and still want to feed from her. Once she's on the ground floor, the babies run for her and try to latch on so she then runs away again. (Imagine how a mother bunny must feel raising babies in a small hutch!! It must a nightmare as a mother bunny's natural instinct is to stay away from them as much as possible and in a hutch she'd never have a moment's peace.)

Since taking on Lucky & her babies, it's got me thinking about some people who take on baby bunnies thinking that the mother is not looking after them properly. My advice to anyone who has a pregnant bunny is to leave the mother to instinctly look after her bubs and to not interfere. A mother rabbit's milk passes on all sorts of necessary antibodies to the bubs ensuring they have a long and healthy life free of illness. When people interfere and raise baby bunnies with milk substitutes, the babies really do not have a healthy gut flora to start their lives and can therefore become ill later on in life.

When baby bunnies are born, the mother has already prepared a nest in advance to ensure the bunnies are kept warm and safe. The mother bunny will not stay with the babies as cats or dogs do and only visit standing up for 5 minutes during the early morning to feed and then leave again. The milk that she provides to the babies is enough to fill them up with all sorts of goodies for 24 hours which means that what she provides must be very filling and nutritious.