Skye's Story

I adopted Sunny and Sadie when they were 6 weeks old from a man who had adopted 4 'girl' rabbits for his kids and found out one was a boy. All three rabbits got pregnant and so I had the pick of the litter. I picked two fawn 'girls', brought them home, and named them Sunny and Sadie. They grew up together and were a bonded pair. For almost two years, nothing happened. Then as I was feeding them, I noticed Sunny chasing Sadie and mounting her. She growled at him and ran away. I checked Sunny's gender and found out she was a he. I changed his name to Sonny. One month later, I found five beautiful and healthy babies in the nest box. They were so perfect. They grew and grew. By the next day, they had fur and when the week was done, I could tell their colors. I had two magpie rabbits, one vienna marked tort, one vienna marked blue tort, and one vienna marked fawn. Then at 8 days, I lost my first baby. At this tender age, when a baby gets out of the nest box, they get cold. Even if it's 70 degrees - that's too cold. He got too cold. I found him, still alive, with Sadie staring at him. Rabbits have NO WAY of moving their kits. If they picked them up, their teeth would slice right through their tender skin. I tried for four hours to warm him up. Before he died, he twitched his leg and moved a little - that's all I was looking for, a sign that what I was doing wasn't a waste. He gave me that sign, and then died. I named him Soldier for fighting so hard. 

The four remaining kits opened their eyes on day 11. On day 13, I was with them in my bed. They were all sleeping and I was stroking them. My usually very friendly, non-hunter type, 3-legged cat was sleeping next to me. He got up about 30 minutes later, stretched, turned, and grabbed the tort baby. He ran around the room like a mad man. The baby was screaming. I pinned the cat down, got the baby, and calmed her now. She seemed fine. No outside injuries, and seemed calm after a little bit. Two days later, she was dead in the nest box. You can literally scare rabbits to death, which is what I think happened. She was named Sapphire and buried next to her brother. 

The other three continued to grow and become very active. I had two boys and a girl left - the VM fawn, VM blue tort, and a magpie. I left to go to my friends house one afternoon after checking the babies - they were all healthy and active. By this time, they had a full coat of fur and wouldn't get chilled. I came back the next day to find the blue tort kit dead outside the nest box and the fawn dead inside the nest box. I was devastated. The blue tort was named Storm for his spunky attitude and the fawn was named Steel for his tough personality - he was a little bulldozer. 

Because I didn't know why they died, I brought the remaining kit inside. I brought her back out twice a day to nurse, supervised. The mother rabbit could have easily been spooked. A scared mother rabbit will kill her kits to protect them. I didn't want that to happen the last baby. The kit's personality blossomed and I fell in love with her cute face and outgoing attitude. This little girl continued to grow and grow and eventually got the name Skye. She was the only baby to make it past 2 weeks. 

I want to give props to Sadie though for being such a fantastic mother. Most first-time mother bunnies will not take care of their young, kill them, or not know what to do with them. Rabbits pull fur from their bellies to make a nest for their young a day before up until right after the kits are born. Sadie began building her nest an entire week before. Not only that, but she pulled so much fur, her belly and shoulders were bald. She was very protective over them. Even if she did kill Storm and Steel, it was to protect them. 

On the left is a picture of (left to right) Sadie and Sonny. To the right is Sadie's litter when they were first born, surrounded by her nest.