Saturday, March 26, 2011

A Heck of A Ride

Do you ever have one of those days where you just want to go back to bed and start over?  Today has been one of those days, so I'm glad it's ending, although I don't look forward to the night.  I have found two dead kits since Monday morning, of course, one may have been stillborn, since I found it the morning after they were born, and the second one I found Thursday morning, separated from the litter and lying alone.  It's really sad, and so I've been hyper-sensitive about the rest, even getting up in the middle of the night with a flashlight to check on them.  Even so, this morning when I went to check on them, I found one lying out of the nest box in the cage floor.  My heart sank, and I thought to myself, "I just can't take anymore dying babies."  But I removed it from the cage and set it on the shelf until I could get Nate to help me bury it.  I went back inside to process another death and to get control of all the emotions I felt.  My suspicion was it was still attached to Olivia's teat when she jumped out of the box.  I went back out to the shed, and as I was getting Olivia's hay bowl to fill it, I looked over, and the little kit I thought was dead was barely moving.  I mean barely.  My heart skipped a beat, and I picked it up and ran into the house with it.  It was still alive!  I remember reading in my rabbit book about cold babies and immediately snatched out a heating pad and plugging it in.  I placed a cloth over the heating pad and layed the baby on it and placed my hand over the baby to give it some warmth from above.  After a few minutes, it started squirming and squealing a little.  After I thought it had warmed up, I put it back in the box with its siblings.  When I checked them again, it was separted from the other babies.  I called my breeder friend, Christine, who suggested I reheat the baby and bring the whole nest box into the house.  She said once I get the baby warm again, place it back in the nest box and monitor them again.  If they separate again, the baby wasn't warm enough.  This time they snuggled up and stayed together.  Since I don't know when Olivia nurses, although my suspicion is at dawn, my strategy tonight is to put the box back in the cage until I go to bed, bring it back in the house for the night and place it again in the early morning.  After talking with Christine, I felt much better.  She shared her experiences with dead kits and told me it's just nature.  The control freak and fighter in me has a hard time accepting that.  So, I face another night.


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