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Down to Five

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Licorice had seven babies, but one of them was dead either at birth or shortly after.  The other six seemed to be doing fine.  I was surprised to see one of them out of the nest box very early on — even before any of them opened their eyes.  I was afraid that Licorice was rejecting it for some reason, so I put it back in the box.  The next day, ALL the bunnies but two were out of the box.  This was strange.  Finally, Stephan just took the nest box out, but the bunnies had a hard time moving around because their feet were so small in comparison to the holes in the bottom of the cage that the feet went through all the time.  The holes in the bottom of the nest box are smaller, but they bunnies (eyes open by this point) didn’t seem to want to be in there.

So the other evening, I was in the garage checking on the bunnies.  I turned around for a minute or so, and when I looked back, I saw a bunny upside down (belly in the air), with its head stuck in one of the holes in the side of the cage.  It took me quite a bit of effort to get him unstuck.  I don’t know how he managed to get his head caught so quickly.  He had a leg stuck, too, and I had a hard time getting it out because with all his fur, I couldn’t tell if his leg was in the same hole his head was, or in the hole next to it.  I finally managed to rescue him, but he looked rather traumatized.

Stephan wasn’t home at the time, so I texted him and asked him to check on them when he got home late that night.  He did, and found that one bunny (probably the one I rescued) had a broken leg.  (I thought it would have been the front leg — the one that had been stuck — but it was a back leg.)  Stephan said already he could tell the bunny was dying.  Its body temperature was lower than that of the rest of the bunnies, and it wasn’t moving around well at all.  Stephan brought it inside and tried to feed it a little milk.  The bunny seemed to want to eat, but just wasn’t looking healthy.  Stephan did put the nest box back into the cage and put all the bunnies back in the box.

When I got home from work the next day, the little bunny was dead.  I felt sad for it, but I don’t know what else we could have done for it.  I don’t know how to keep the bunnies in the nest box if they are determined to get out of it (or if the mama is taking them out — I’m not sure which was happening.)  Stephan suggested that next time she kindles, maybe we should put her in a cage with smaller holes in the floor.  Perhaps that would have helped.

For now, we have five healthy bunnies.  Two of them are light colored, and three of them are darker.  Here’s hoping they all make it.

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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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