Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Little Visitors

Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-tail, and Peter came back to visit this year and they brought their friend Benjamin Bunny with them.

Needless to say I haven't been getting much sleep.

This one, we'll say this is Benjamin since I can't tell them apart, drank his formula, peed a river, and then crawled up into my hand where he proceeded to curl up and fall asleep licking me. One little monster promptly bites me before he deigns to start eating his formula. They've all just finished opening their eyes which means they are approximately 7-8 days old today.

I don't know their back story. My vet's office called to see if I would foster them. They'd been brought in after someone found them. As much as I don't want their poor mother to be dead I really hope someone saw her get mangled by a dog or watched the nest for 24 hours before rescuing these little guys. What is more often the case is that someone comes across a nest and thinks the babies have been abandoned because mother rabbits don't spend much time taking care of their young. They visit the nest only a couple times a day to nurse. This kind of negligent mothering causes many people to think cottontail babies have been abandoned. These kind-hearted rescuers are actually stealing baby rabbits from their moms.

Unfortunately, rabbits, due to their incredibly sensitive, difficult to balance digestive systems are the hardest of all babies to raise. It takes approximately 8 hours a day just to feed these little guys. I am fortunate in that I have domestic rabbits who can "donate" cecotropes to populate their guts with good flora. Without them their doom is pretty much ensured. Even with dedicated nursing and supplemental cecotropes there is no good replacement baby formula for rabbits which makes for a high mortality rate. Which means, no matter how hard I try I could lose most or all of these little guys.

But for right now, everyone is eating, peeing, pooping, and sleeping. Big thank you to my daughter, Rachel, who pitches in to help with some feedings. She's a pro:


  1. What a great post - these little ones are so beautiful I do hope they survive - and I hope more people understand them better, cuteness aside - I know I've learned something today!

    1. Thanks! I didn't know any of this before last year when I fostered my first litter. They're so complex. Such little characters though. LOL!!

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