Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Diary of Winifred's Babes: Day 3

Here are they at 3 days old.

We can see fur growing and even their little bodies have grown in this short time! Their markings are coming out and we can see so far one really white one, one really dark one and the rest are speckled with two being quite hard to tell apart at this stage.

They are individuals already- 2 of them like to make lots of fuss, crawling over everyone and scratching the floor, trying to get the best spot amongst Mamma Winifred's fur. There is one really calm, quiet guy- one of the speckled ones whose quite accomodating to everyone.

Winifred is much calmer and happier for me to come and check her bubs- she has let me watch them drink her milk twice now which is unusual for both her personality and the prey instincts of rabbits in general.  And a great pleasure for me as the noises of baby bunnies suckling are really adorable. Winifred has been timid and flighty til now and today I could pat her whilst she ate.

All things are nice and furry in the bunny nook.


Monday, June 6, 2011

Diary of Winifred's Babes: Day 1+2

Winifred, our rescue rabbit who was meant to be a Wesley came to us pregnant from the pound. It's something to always be aware of when rescuing from pounds is that they often do not have qualified rabbit vets to sex rabbits properly. It was a red flag though when she was labelled a desexed male as those are rare in pounds- usually a desexed rabbit is a well looked after rabbit. So she was flatting with a big white boy who is now also in another rescue, safe and sound and unaware of his 7 babies now welcomed into our world.

The warning signs were obvious- Winifred had started to re-arrange in her playpen- ripping all the newspaper from inside her litter tray and arranging it into her other litter tray. At one stage I watched her drag a huge towel, after knocking her water bowl and food from on top of it, over to the "nest" she was creating. From then on anything that went into the playpen, went into the nest, Winifred sacrificing all her bedding in prep for her babes. One of her veggie meals even went in once and I had to fetch it out.

The next sign was the weight gain- big fat bulges on the side of her body and then came the fur pulling- for two reasons: to line the nest with for warmth (these lucky buns have a cashmere bun which are farmed for their fur so they get extra soft warmth) and to remove barrier to the teats.

Sunday morning 22 days after we rescued Winnie, we awoke to seven very warm wriggly pink bodies as photographed above. You can already see some of their markings and I'm told they are quite big- maybe after their dad. They were making noise and crawling all over each other with so much joy to be alive! This told us they were healthy and happy!!

We even had the pleasure of seeing Winifred feeding her children this morning, her own milk- confirming their safety. Domestic rabbits share wild rabbits genetic imprint when it comes to baby care- they do not hang next to or sit on their nest- they feed once or twice a day then watch from afar. This is because they have a scent and babies do not yet therefore they could lead a predator to the nest if they were to guard it. Many people think they are not caring for their young, when really they are using their instincts to protect them. That's the prey animal instincts for you!

Winifred and her babes will be up for adoption later in the year but we are taking enquiries now. For fostering too as I am space poor now in this bunny refuge and would love help.

They are with Sydney Pet Rescue and Adoption and can be enquired about through bunnybooksydney@hotmail.com.

Good information on domestic, wild and orphan baby care from The House Rabbit Society here.

Will keep you posted on their progress,


Patch desperately needs a home

Gumtree: Patch the Rabbit in Desperate Need of a Loving Home


Black & White
Long Hair
Male Rabbit
Patch arrived to the Forest Animal Hospital a few months ago, and is looking for his forever home after a long rehabilitation.
When Patch arrived, having been handed in by a very concerned member of the public who found him alone on the street, he was matted and underweight. The staff at the Forest Animal Hospital and the Northside Emergency Veterinary Service have cleaned him up and nursed him back to health. He is very friendly, loves being petted and is very curious and courageous.
Patch is desperate to turn his luck around as he has actually been abandoned twice in his lifetime since his new owners never showed up for him. He is not an impulse buy, but a life-long commitment who deserves a family who will love him forever.
If you can find it in your heart and your home to adopt Patch please contact:
Forest Animal Hospital
612 Warringah Road, Forestvile 2087
Monday - Friday 8am-7pm
Saturday 8am - 12 noon
(02) 9451 4840

Northside Emergency Veterinary Service
612 Warringah Road, Forestvile 2087
After Hours
(02) 9452 2933