So early Wednesday evening, when I went to make sure everyone had water, Boobs was acting a bit…. off. I was afraid she was having heat exhaustion, and brought her inside. It wasn’t terribly hot at that point in the day, but I wanted to be cautious.
She seemed to enjoy just chilling out on the floor of the chinchilla room, so I cleaned out the vacant chinchilla cage (it had recently housed chickens). She wasn’t hot to the touch, and her ears weren’t red or hot, so I was really kind of ruling out heat exhaustion.
I made sure she had some hay and water and left her alone for a couple of hours.
When I went to check on her, wiggling on the floor of the cage was a pink baby.
I knew she was pregnant, but her complete lack of nesting behavior over the past couple of days lead me to believe she wasn’t due for a few more days yet (I think she went about 33 days last litter, if I recall correctly. Wednesday was day 29). She’d also been peeing in the nest box every time I offered it, so I wanted to wait ’til she started making bones ’til I gave it back.
This baby was cold to the touch, but moving. So I scooped it up, put it in my shirt, and warmed up a heating pad while I set up the nest box.
Still no nesting behavior.
So I built the nest for her with bedding and hay and held onto the baby for a while.
She didn’t seem interested in continuing the birth process, so I put the baby in the nest and plucked some fur from momma to keep the baby warm, hoping the baby and the fur plucking would urge her to continue.
I checked on her at about 1:30 AM, and there was a second baby on the floor of the cage. A little chilly, but not cold. So I put THAT baby in with its buddy, and I hoped momma would be done birthing shortly.
I went to bed, slept, and got up at 4:30 to check again. No more babies.
At 7 yesterday morning, when my husband left for work, I checked on the rabbits again. There was another baby. On the floor, of course. Still warm, so I put him into the nest.
I thought for sure Boobs was done, since rabbits just don’t labor that long (or do they?).
When I got up two hours later, there were four babies on the floor. Three were dead. :’(
But one was still wiggling, so I warmed him up and put him in the nest.
And then at 7:30 last night, that darn rabbit finally decided to build a nest. Sigh.
What gives? I didn’t think rabbits labored that long. I’m wondering if the stress of me having moved momma is what caused her to birth outside the nest box.
…and if you’ve read this much, I reward you with a picture of three of the five:
In total, I have two red broken, one black (I think? The one at the top left there), one red (I think? The one at the bottom left there), and maybe one agouti, since its color is in between the two dark guys pictured here. But I don’t know rabbit color genetics, so I don’t know if an agouti is possible.