This is Donuts litter, born just about 10 days ago. They started as 11. Ultimately only 8 remain and that’s taken some intervention – not too surprising or shabby for a first time mom though. They’re a colorful bunch. Can you spot the tiny one that almost didn’t make it? It’s hard to believe they’re all the same litter.
They’re right on time for opening up their eyes.
There’s three rabbits we’re considering keeping from this litter. Both harlequins and this exceptionally chunky black kit. He’s literally heads bigger than the rest of the litter.
The rest are very middle of the pack, including the other castor, the two smaller blacks and the white kit. They’re all adorable, though.
Then there’s the runty one. It’s so small it’s been getting bullied away from its food.
About half the litter was like this after the first couple days. Dehydrated, shaky, underfed. A few didn’t make it, including this one, one of the harlequins and the white one. When a bunny doesn’t get enough to eat, it falls behind and will probably NEVER get enough to eat without intervention. So we started force nursing.
This is where you take the mother rabbit and lay her on your lap on her back, and place the babies on her tummy. Through this method they get rabbits milk to drink straight from the tap without competition. It’s more reliable than bottle feeding which often ends poorly for a host of reasons. Most of them quickly recovered – except for this one. This one is still getting daily feedings separate from the rest of the litter.
The expectation is that once its eyes are open and it starts sampling solid food it will start to catch up… Until then it’s just one high maintenance kit.
Lastly, a picture of Donut, our valiant mom.
What a good first time mom.