Saturday, October 29, 2011
Honeysuckle has NINE!!!
She did it!! This morning about 4:30 Anita was awakened by little squeaks. She has temporarily moved the hutch into her studio because nights are getting cold and sometimes does give birth on the hutch floor, which means the babies need to be quickly moved into the nest so they don’t die from exposure. They are born fur-less and blind. When she turned on the light, there was Honeysuckle, cleaning up baby bunnies. We are happy to report that she is calm, eating carrot tops and doesn't mind if we touch them.
Suddenly having NINE grand-bunnies is making Anita act (or at least feel) like she's eaten ten pounds of white sugar. Especially telling since she’s thinking of passing out cigars.
Of course worries aren’t over. Will Honeysuckle actually NURSE them? There have been calls MaryLou, the very expert breeder and owner of Honeysuckle’s Heathcliff and now a friend to Anita – Marylou is reassuring like a La Leche League coach talking to a new mom. She says that rabbits nurse very quickly. They instinctively do not spend much time hovering over the nest for fear of predators. So they hop on, the babies bounce up and grab a faucet, get a few sucks, and in a seconds mom is gone. However, if it doesn't look like the babies have fed by tonight then Honeysuckle may need a little encouragement about latching on and even get a dose of oxytocin to get things started. So we’ve calmed down a little.
We have a plan in place and if their little bellies are not round by bedtime, Anita and I will hold her and put the babies on the nipples two by two.
And furthermore, we WILL NOT think about what the back porch will look like in a month if all nine babies survive. We will try to get some videos up soon.