Oreo lived in his hutch and Jellybean in hers. One sunny day, I let them out in the run together to stretch their legs and they got along beautifully. Jellybean followed Oreo around and Oreo was a perfect gentlemen. They both seemed so much happier to have company so I started letting them out more frequently. Apparently their relationship changed at some point.
Now, I am not completely naive. I had considered the possibility of new additions but had done the research on the gestational period, how the mother rabbit would line the nest with her fur, and how her personality or appearance might change. Jellybean had done none of this. She was the same bunny she had always been and because of the wet weather had been in her hutch for well over the 28-30 day gestational period. Jellybean kept her secret well hidden.
The kits I discovered were precious little fur balls with eyes wide open and ears standing up straight. This meant they were at least 10-14 days old.
They were even trying to eat pellets and figure out the water bottle. I found a little white kit pushed out the nest the Friday I discovered the litter who hadn't made it. The next morning I found the little brown baby that looked just like it's mother the same way.
I have never raised rabbits or puppies or any mammal for that matter other than my own three children. But, I realized something must be wrong and assumed that milk or the lack thereof, would be the first place to start. After a quick trip to Tractor Supply armed with kitten milk replacement and tiny bottles, I became a nurse maid to five little balls of fur.
Jellybean seems relieved to see me every time I come down with towels and warm bottles in hand. She's more calm now than she's ever been, checking on each baby after I feed them. Whether she weaned her first litter too soon because of their sharp little teeth or her milk dried up for some unknown reason, I'm happy to report that both mom and the babies are all doing wonderfully.
And next time, if there is a next time, I will pay much closer attention to my very tricky rabbit.