Animals & Pets

Got some plants on the way and some animal drama for my birthday.

Today has started off with a bang! For starters it is my birthday. I am feeling better than yesterday, thank goodness and I know I’ll feel even better tomorrow when we go to see Pamela at The Farm.

I am still having fun entering all sorts of giveaways to try winning some of the things we need for Tater, you can enter too. See this post for more details.

N was so cute, he made a little scavenger hunt of gardening goodies for me to find for my birthday. You see all I wanted was plants and bulbs for my birthday so he ordered them. Unfortunately growers will only ship after your latest frost date so I wont actually have the plants and bulbs until April, which was expected.

Still he wanted to make some excitement for me on my birthday so he clipped out each photo and description of each thing he got me, then he glued the paper to Popsicle sticks and pipe cleaners. Then he hid them in various plants and other places for me to find. He even wrote this cute little poem to kick off the scavenger hunt:

Now I can’t wait to be in the new place and to start planting the pretty garden goodies there! Fun. Also, my birthday fun would not be complete without some pet drama right? Well, our rabbit gave birth to 4 babies last night!

*WARNING* This is not a happy baby Easter bunnies story, if you can’t stomach the ways of nature skip this section!

While I was in the tub last night N was making the rounds feeding all the animals and he discovered 4 pitiful dead baby bunnies at Maybelle’s feet. Apparently she had given birth and we were unaware. So N comes to get me so I can see what happen.

We weren’t sure if Maybelle had killed the babies or if they had just died on their own. There are a number of reasons why baby rabbits don’t survive birth. We expected that genetics issues (a lop ear and a dwarf mating) combined with Maybelle’s lack of experience in mothering would have contributed to the lack of survival of the babies. Also some rabbits kill their young too.

Basically warmth is the main killer of baby rabbits (called kits). Mothering rabbits don’t usually carry their young around the cage in their mouth (like cats do) and when babies are born outside the nesting box they often aren’t warm enough to survive and mom can’t do much to remedy this.

Normally breeders will have to rub the born babies to warm them up. They’ll also move them back to the nesting box where they’ll be warm and safe if mom births outside the nesting box for some reason.

Well upon inspection of the 4 dead bunnies we did not see any signs of cannibalism or mistreatment. The babies were either born dead or died shortly after birth on their own (either because of cold or whatever). It is sad but is ultimately part of nature especially in situations like ours where the babies are an accident and the mother is not experienced in breeding.

Now this morning apparently Maybelle was birthing another baby. When we went down to check on her she was in the process of having one that was breech, it was partially out (from tail to ribcage)… After about 10 minutes of no progress we knew it was stuck so we helped her out a bit by gently pulling on it while she contracted. It came out and was of course dead as a result of being stuck.

She is still acting a bit weird so I am keeping an eye out to see if she has more babies today. I can’t feel any moving inside her but you never know. The reading says her delivery of a litter should be done in about 20 minutes and we aren’t sure if last night’s litter was from a separate uterus than the breech one we noticed this morning. She could still have more in there so I am watching her closely, just to make sure.

*Update* Since publishing this she has birthed one more baby but she started munching on this one.

I did snap photos of all this for the blog but am opting not to post them right on here, since I don’t want to offend or scar anyone not wishing to see the sight. If you want to see the photos you can view them here: #1, #2, #3 & #4. Just be sure the kids aren’t looking over your shoulder or anything. They aren’t gross, just sad.

Oh and in addition to the dead bunnies Dixie also left us her own little presents overnight:

After being outdoors until about 9pm yesterday and having fun all day yesterday she managed to shit out all that for us between midnight March 19th & 10am March 20th. Nice huh, good thing we are keeping her confined to a tiled room at night.

Happy Birthday to me!

<p>A city girl turned farmer. Yes women do farm ;) Owner and operator of direct to consumer, Ryder Family Farm in Southern Illinois.<br /> Wearing many hats I'm also a mother to 3, a wife, a yogi, a farmer, a 4-H & Girl Scout leader & hospitality manager.</p>

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