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A Big Mistake

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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.

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About Karen Koch

I like the old-fashioned lifestyle. All this new-fangled stuff baffles me sometimes. I cherish living out in the country, raising chickens and rabbits, planting fruit trees, and enjoying a slow life filled with beautiful words and ideas. I don't always achieve a slow life. I teach middle school English and manage a little burgeoning farm with my husband, and somewhere in the midst of that, I try to find time for writing, running, knitting, reading, and playing the ukulele. And sometimes, I actually succeed.

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