Saturday was Day 31 for Fluffy, and she kindled that afternoon. She had already been in hormonal pregnant rabbit mode, driving her cagemate Nibbles crazy. Well, Nibbles hadn’t seen the half of it.
Saturday, Fluffy finally started pulling fur for her nest. She covered the entire floor of the cage just about, and stuffed some in the nest box as well. I did catch her pulling her fur in the cage, and then collecting it from the floor to put into the nest, but she left plenty of fur behind!
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Fluffy covered everything with white fur, including Nibbles, who kept worriedly nosing up to her.
Once Fluffy had just about denuded her dewlap, and thinned out the fur on her belly, sides, and legs, she took a break. Nibbles wasn’t sure what to expect next at this point. Then, Fluffy hopped into the nestbox and started kindling (delivering her babies). This just about freaked poor Nibbles out. She got so worried about Fluffy!
She anxiously crawled all over Fluffy, trying to see if everything was alright. Finally, Fluffy was done, and Nibbles was confused. She sat in the nestbox and sniffed at the babies, then turned around and sat there and looked at me.
Once Nibbles got out, ILoveBunnies noticed one of the babies wasn’t moving. She pulled it out, and I tried a little to revive it. But it was dead, and it seemed to have some sort of deformity to its chest cavity. It is not uncommon for this to happen, but it was our first loss.
Later on, when we were sure Fluffy was indeed finished, we pulled out the nestbox to count the babies, check their health, and make sure the nest was clean and dry. Fluffy had not cleaned up as well as Pearl and Squeak do, but she may get the hang of it better with future litters. Even if not, all it takes is the removal of some hay and the replacement of it with fresh hay. No big deal.
I found a clump of hay and fur in the bottom of the back of the box. It was stuck together with some stuff from the birth, and, in it was another stillborn kit. It was tiny, and apparently had not been fully developed. This, also, is not uncommon.
I pulled out the newborn kits and handed them out to excited kids.
There were seven healthy, terribly wiggly babies! So Fluffy delivered 9, a record for 24 Carrot Rabbitry, and 7 survived. Very nicely done for a first-time doe!
Here’s the father of these kits: