You know how I said it’s really hard to tell whether a rabbit is male or female?
Apparently it can be just as difficult to tell if your doe is pregnant.
The last time Licorice was pregnant, she ate like she feared a food shortage. Instead of her regular one scoop per day, she ate nearly three scoops. That’s why, in the last couple of weeks when I saw that she hadn’t increased her food intake, I was sure she wasn’t pregnant.
I was wrong.
Unfortunately, because of my error, we didn’t put the nest box into her cage, which meant that when she gave birth sometime today after I left for work, her babies had no place to keep warm. I came home to find eight dead baby rabbits in her cage.
I feel horrible. Licorice wasn’t eating much, and she didn’t seem to be pulling out her fur (which mamas do just before they give birth to make a nest for the babies), so I just guessed wrong. Rabbit mamas don’t get nice big bellies that are super-obvious, and without the fur-pulling and the ravenous eating, I lost faith in her.
We learned a lesson today. Whether we think the doe is pregnant or not, we’ll always put a nest box in her cage a week before she would be due.
So, I’ll take a deep breath, apologize to Licorice every day for the next week, and then try to breed her again.