Today I was feeling all kinda blahdiblah. Couldn't get off my backside to get started on the stuff I had planned for today. Finally, after a dozen of mental kicks up the proverbial I get into my little sheltered garden and start prepping the raised beds for the raspberry bushes to go in. That meant weeding and pulling out some sun flowers that had done their dash.
Off to the rabbits to give them a little treat and what do I find in one of the cages: a cold kit laying outside of the nursery part. I grab it to dispose of it and it's still alive. Stone cold but still moving. Quickly do a check inside the nursery and find four more kits wriggling around! Take the cold one with me, get a hot water bottle ready and carry it around for a while, turning it all the time til its temperature has risen a bit. As soon as it felt warmish to my touch I put it back with its siblings, as this is the best way to keep baby bunnies warm.
As this is a bit unexpected, they were due 7 days ago, I begin to wonder if the other doe, they were mated on the same day, might give birth as well. I keep a beady eye on her, but stay away from the pen. Don't want to upset her! Anyway, in the afternoon, just before getting the kids from the school bus, I notice she's pulling fur out furiously and has already put a huge load into her nursery nest. By this stage I'm internally squeaking with excitement and delight.
Once I'm back with the kids we go and listen. They are very quiet, but there are distinct "birthing sounds" coming from the nursery. And Wanda, the doe, has blood on the tip of her nose. So we leave her til I can see her out in the run having a drink and cleaning herself. Go and check, and another 5 kits. All a healthy looking size and wriggling like they should at 10 mins of age!
The important thing is now to wait and see if all feed well. Out of the ten, seven are white, 1 black and 2 light or dark brown. It's kind of hard to judge the colour at this stage. But once they're a couple of days old and the first fluff appears on them, it'll be easier.
This is a relief, as I had been wondering if either my bucks and/or the girls had gone sterile. This was the second mating and I had all but given up hope. I'm not sure why they took so long, I assume the approaching autumn might influence the incubation time. Who knows, I just have to remember that for the next autumn matings.
And as for the bonding question: was I feeling restless and all that because of the impending births??
I hope not! I'm intending of breeding the rabbits throughout the year and can't really get into this state just because a doe is about to give birth!! Let's wait and see. Today has turned out to be a good day after all: baby bunnies and gardening done. Now I just have to feed the goats, the piglet, milk a goat and put my children to bed!