Sunday, August 11, 2013

Anges' Mourning

Please note if you are looking for warm fuzzy cute rabbit story and want to keep believing that farm life is just fun and hard work this is probably not the post for you . This post describes parts of farm/rabbitry life that some people do not want to know about.
Agnes lining the nest box with fur.
Agnes with a mouth full of hair she pulled.

Ruphenfefer: Expectant Papa Bunny
This morning I woke up to find that Agnes was pulling fur for her nest. Today was the 28th day of her pregnancy, however we didn't want to get our hopes up since last time she was only going through a false pregnancy (which included nest building and labor). Anyway, I went out to get some photos of her with a mouth full of fur and discovered what appeared to be blood in her urine. Shortly after coming inside we saw (on the "BunnyCam") that she had hopped into the nest box and was having contractions. We continued to watch her on the "BunnyCam" for about half an hour since we didn't want to interrupt. However as soon as she popped her head up we scurried outside, camera in hand. When we got there Agnes was still sitting alertly in the nest box with afterbirth hanging from here chin. Moments later she exited the nest box to reveal several underdeveloped, dead kits. Agnes' chest and bum were covered in blood, so I decided to get her cleaned up and then worried about sanitizing the cage and nest box. Hindsight being twenty-twenty, I realize a) I should have cleaned the cage first, or b) set her on a table with a towel on top. Instead I elected to lay Agnes on her back in my lap. This resulted in a mess when her stomach contracted again and she gave birth to another dead kit (making a total of six). After I finished cleaning her and cutting away her soiled fur, I transported Agnes to one of my portable cages. Once she was relatively comfortable, I proceeded to remove everything her cage, throwing out what could not be sanitized including hay, food, salt licks, etc., and steam cleaning what was left (cage, nest box, hay rack, tray, etc.... hand washed the food bowl with dish soap though). Now Agnes  has settled back into her cage and seems to be "normal" other than a little more afterbirth and a small amount of blood. Somehow this didn't seem to shock me as bad as I thought it would (other than the kit that was born while Agnes was on my lap) since I knew that a litter of dead kits wasn't unheard of, even if the breeder did everything right. In any case I think it might be some time before we attempt breeding again.

1 comment:

  1. So sorry to hear- I didn't know they could give birth to dead kits.