Today began like any other day, I made breakfast and got my husband ready to go to work. It was cold this morning and lightly snowing. I asked him to bring in a load of wood and to check on our expecting momma rabbit, Aurora. He returned from the yard with 4 ice cold baby bunnies. In the past I would have just said that they were dead and put them in the trash. However, since the last time we had cold babies, I have been told over and over again a baby is not dead until it is warm and dead. So I did what any normal person would have done and stuffed the bunnies in my bra until I could get the heating pad warmed up.
I folding the heating pad in half and put them inside like a taco. I rubbed the outside of the heating pad trying to stimulate them. About 5 minutes passed and I noticed that one of the babies was starting to wiggle. My heart skipped a beat. I had no idea when these babies were born or how long they had been outside of the nesting box. I never expected them to be alive! It took about 20 minutes, but three out of the four babies came to after being rubbed and warmed up.
My husband brought a large tote with pine shavings, hay, the nesting box, food, water bowl and Aurora into the house. We are getting a winter storm today and I wanted to be able to keep a close eye on these precious babies. Aurora is one of my proven does. She does great in the summer, she is the rabbit that lives in my garden. She is slightly spoiled rotten, she lives in the two story hutch with a nesting area that does not require a nesting box. During the summer, she never drags any babies out of the nesting area and she is a wonderful momma. In the winter, we move her out of the garden and into the Bunny Barn. She does not like this idea. In the Bunny Barn she struggles with babies. I think that the nesting boxes are just not the right size for these large breed rabbits. She pulls fur and makes a great nest, but always ends up with babies outside the box. Last winter she did not have any successful winter litters. We will keep her inside the house just long enough to make sure the babies are doing OK and then I will take her back outside, hopefully by then the storm will have passed.
Bringing Aurora in the house was a shock to her so I helped her feed the babies the first time. I am hoping that she will calm down and be able to feed them herself, but right now I know those babies are very hungry and can use some cuddle time with Mom. I flipped Aurora on her back and she let the babies lay on her stomach and nurse. It was very cute. I am thankful for the three babies that we were able to save. I think this litter will always have a special place in my heart.