Friday morning when we gave Jasper fresh hay in her hay box. Instead of eating it, she immediately grabbed large mouthfuls of hay and started building a nest. The next morning we noticed more than half her fur had been plucked out, also for the nest.
Saturday she was still working on completing the nest. She didn't need me to help, so I decided to play the NEW HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE game on Xbox360!!! Sorry, got a little carried away. Anyway, in the middle of playing I started wondering how the bunny was doing. So I paused my game and went outside. I was shocked to see one baby bunny wriggling on the ground. She must have pushed it through a hole at the top of her cage. Then the bunny fell 2 feet and crawled a little to the spot where I found it. (remember that 50% of first time bunny mamas kill their first litter) When I opened the cage, I found one more baby, that had been kicked out of the nest and put both bunnies back in the nest. That's when I noticed baby #3, which was lifeless. He had several bite marks on it. I left that one out so Haven could see it. Jasper jumped in the nest I put the babies in, but whatever she was doing to them caused them to make distress noises.
So then we had Operation Rescue to get the bunnies away from the Murderous Mama. And when I say "we" I really mean "me". I endured bites and karate chop front paws and got the baby's nest safely out. I transferred the nest materials into a cardboard box. Mama Jasper is now temporarily staying in a small cage in the kitchen, while the babies stay in their little box in a closed room where no kitties can get them either.
It's next to impossible to bottle feed baby bunnies. You almost always get the milk into their lungs and then they die. So what to do... what to do.... Well, I hold down the mama bunny twice a day until all the babies drink their fill. I had to do it once with a litter when I raised them in high school. They will be weaned around 8 weeks old.
Right now they are very cute. I've taken the liberty to call them bun-buns. Because one is "bun" and the other is "bun". Together, they are bun- buns.
Aren't they cute? Yeah well, I guess that brings our current count to 18. But no worries. We will NOT be naming the bunnies. Because we all know that naming animals leads to keeping animals. Seamus' birthmom Alexa gets first dibs on a bunny.
The third bunny that was assassinated by his own mother was put on the porch. I would've let our outside cat eat it, but he sniffed him a little and then walked away. Silly. Marshall said he'd throw it in the trash in the morning. But today the baby was gone. There's only one possible solution. The baby was taken by a band of roving raccoons, who apparently took the baby and buried him in the ground. Or, perhaps they revived him and are raising him Jungle Book style. Or maybe the neighborhood hawk swooped down and got him. Either way, there's no more dead baby bunnies on our porch, for which I'm happy about.
Anyway, we're super thrilled that we put the bunnies together, and 30 days later, we have babies!
In case you're wondering... this put our current pet count at 18.