Monday, May 9, 2011

A Mother's Day Surprise...

Well, we had a Mother's Day surprise.  There's another mother in our midst...

Apparently Poly is Polly.  Sadly, her first litter - four kits (oops, make that five) - died.  Had we known she was a GIRL (pet store said BOY) we would've kept her completely apart from Podger, especially as young as she is (5 or 6 months).  Still, an interesting life-learning experience for the boys.

Tate found the babies first and didn't handle them, but came running to tell me... kind of in shock, as we had assumed all along that the pet store had sexed the bunnies correctly, and that Poly was a boy. 

Mom!  I think Poly is a GIRL!  There's some blood on her bottom and little pink things in the cage!  I think she had babies, but... they look dead.

Went right out to check, and found that he was quite correct.  

Tate has been reading a LOT about rabbit care, and I got online quickly to see what I could find.  She's really young and we never would've allowed them to breed had we known she was a she!


I've never seen newborn bunnnies before, but compared to photos in books, these appear normal.  I wondered if she just didn't have the maternal instinct to care for them (like keeping them warm!) but I don't think that's the case. 

The fur sticking to them is hers.  She had pulled her own fur out and prepared a soft nest for them.  And she had obviously cleaned them off.  We held the babies for several minutes, to see if warming them up would help, but no luck there.  Apparently, 50% of the time a doe's first litter will be born dead.  Sad.  I have no idea why.


The boys couldn't bear the thought of just throwing them away and decided to bury them.  Wyatt carved a headstone.


Tate did the digging, and Gunnar was the photographer.


Sorry, Polly, we had no idea.


11 comments:

diane_1105@yahoo.com said...

SURPRISE - know you'll use this to good 'teaching' advantage. Thanks to all your blogger friends who are praying for me. We'll talk to the doctor this afternoon - praying for CLEAN MARGINS ALL AROUND!

Q said...

Sounds like it's animal identification lesson time at the pet store! Can't wait to see the baby though, super cute I have no doubt.

Is that you're mom in the comment above? :) Glad to know when the appointment is. Praying this afternoon!

Cutzi said...

Oh wow! Exciting!

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Yep, that's my mom. She'll talk with the doc (phone) this afternoon to get results. Praying :D

Felicity said...

How sad about the babies, but how sweet of the boys to bury them that way.

Crystal in Lynden said...

That is a touching post and a very nicely done grave stone.

Kristen@nosmallthing said...

Oh my goodness...what a surprise. So sad that it ended that way. So will you breed them again?

Imagine how cute a little litter of baby bunnies would be! But then you have to find homes for all of them...

Ann said...

How sad, and how sweet to read the boys' responses.

The dB family said...

Oh, they are so amazing!! I showed them to Bub and he thought it was a little creepy. I hope when Polly is older you will breed her again. Do you think bunnies can be shipped across the continent? Glad the boys are taking it well and how neat to see that the wee things even got a special burial.

Blessings!
Deborah

Mrs. Squirrel said...

This was a bittersweet post.

You have some very caring boys. The honor and dignity presented shows a true strength in their character.

Hugs
-J

Susanne said...

We woke up one Christmas morning to 9 little bunnies. They were frozen even though my dad had put lots of nice hay in their hutch. Like you said, it was her first time. Not to worry though, by April we had 9 more! Eight black and white, and one chocolate brown.