The last few days have been odd. We figured Tasty would have given birth on her 32nd night. That was on the 20th but we went outside to see no change. Same with the next day. And the next. Today my boyfriend walked into the living room with a concerned look on his face.
“I think there is a mouse in Purina’s cage.”
“I heard some rustling in her cage. I think a mouse might be nesting under the nest box.”
Purina is the rabbit we bred deliberately and she is in the basement of our very secure house. A mouse in her nest box did not make any sense. Our house has shown no signs of mice, despite the rabbits. And any momma bunny would kill a mouse in her territory.
I crept downstairs to hear the same rusling. DEEP under her fur and hay I found one wriggling body with pink ears poking out the top of it’s head… Then two.
So here’s a fact that none of the rabbit breeding guides tell you. If it’s a little cold, momma bunny burries her babies deep in the litter. And I mean BURRIES. Then she stamps all over the nest so it looks like nothing changed. Every picture of baby bunnies that you see shows them on top of the litter and fur. This is not so. They remain burried deep for a week or so.
So I went out to look at Tasty’s nest box. Tasty is in the garage. It’s very cold in there as we just got first real snow fall and freeze of the year this week. It is about 30 degrees out there. I lifted the nest box to find a pil of hay and fur. And at the bottom? It was warm.
Well that explains the mystery of Tasty not giving birth… She DID give birth. And BOY are rabbits good at covering thier tracks. The instincts of these animals to hide thier young from predetors made it so that even well-meaning me couldn’t tell they were there.
So now I have my two small litters of rabbits waiting to be nursed and open thier eyes. I have not yet counted them… Purina and Tasty are the two most neurotic of my rabbits and I do not quite trust them yet… And I fear to disturb Tasty’s nest because of the cold in the garage. Under all that fur and hay the babies are nearly 100 degrees. A big jump from the 30 outside of it. I will count them sometime soon, however, and check for dead young.
Hooray for baby bunnies!