Peanut gave birth

Peanut gave birth to 4 babies on 11 Jan 2006, at about 8pm. The first 2 babies were rolling all over the cage when they were born… but the 3rd & 4th babies died soon after / at birth.The first sign that Peanut was going to give birth was when she suddenly started pulling out a lot of her fur to line the cage… and before long… out popped the babies. We put Baby One & Two in a shallow carton box to prevent them from rolling out of the cage. The babies look a little like tiny piglets – dark pink, furless & blind. In fact, i couldn’t even see their ears!

First time any of my rabbits gave birth so i quickly went on the Internet & got some info on what to do. Interesting thing abt mother rabbits – they don’t lie together with their children, instead preferring to watch from a safe distance. The reason is because being prey animals, they’re afraid that their scent may attract predators & so in order to keep their babies safe, they usually watch them from a distance. Mother rabbits feed their babies twice a day, usually during dawn & just before dusk.

This is the tricky part… how does one tell if the mother rabbit has fed the babies? What if being a 1st time mother, she doesn’t know what to do? Or what if the blind babies are unable to find her teats to suckle?!?

According to the American House Rabbit Society site, it says that a baby that has been fed will have a distended stomach. Babies who are left hungry will wrinkle (a sign of dehydration). The important thing is to leave the mother alone to feed the baby ‘cos if she senses “predators” around, she’ll not want to go near her babies. Also, a mother may not feed her baby till 24 hrs after they’re born.

So we decided to observe Peanut & her babies. Up till last night, i really couldn’t tell whether she fed them or not… though they seemed the same size as when they were born. But just now, when i got home from work about 3pm+, the babies looked quite wrinkled!! Which made me very very worried. I tried to use a syringe to give them some milk formula (bought from the pet shop) but they were so sleepy that they refused to drink.

I know the babies will wake up abt 6pm+ but i told my dad not to disturb them… i mean what if Peanut does feed them but ‘cos we’re around then she holds back right?? But my dad JUST WENT TO CHECK ON THEM!! (It’s 5:59pm now).

He says that the babies are awake & rolling about… and i told him to quickly move away ‘cos i’m sure no matter how quiet u are, the mother rabbit will still be able to sense a human being near her cage.

Anyway, i really hope Peanut knows how to feed them. I took half day off today to come home to spend a bit of time with them… they’re really cute even when sleeping. Sigh… it’s kinda sad but their survival is out of my hands… and i can only cherish whatever time i have with them.

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January 2006