Surprise – My Male Rabbit Had Babies!

Newborn BunniesTwenty-eight days ago we got two male Flemish Giant rabbits.  We named the black one Pepper.  My oldest daughter insisted we name the grey one Clover despite the fact he was a boy.  So, you can imagine the confusion I felt when I walked into their house (a large converted playhouse) and found what initially appeared to be a dead newborn rabbit on the floor. I completely froze.  Then, I looked over in the corner and could see what appeared to be an empty nest of grey fur – Clover’s fur.

Oh my God, Clover is a girl.  We’ve seen Pepper trying to mount Clover numerous times, but research had reassured me it was just his way of asserting that he was the dominant male of the two.  Normal.

Two weeks earlier, I had noticed a few pieces of Clover’s fur in the corner just as it was starting to get hot outside.  Shedding I thought.  Normal.

So, after I regained my composure I quickly scooted the bunnies outside so I could deal with the dead bunny on the floor.  It was completely still and I felt sick to my stomach.  Poor little baby and poor little Clover to have gone through this.  I picked it up and as soon as the cold little body was in my hands it made a little gurgle and started wiggling.

It was alive!!

I had no idea what to do so I decided to place it in the nest and then go call my mother.  She lives on a farm and rescues animals all the time.  She would know what to do.  I picked up a bit of the fur and placed the baby in the nest, then bolted inside to call my mother.  No answer.   AHHHHHHH!  Left panicked message.  Texted my husband.  CLOVER HAD A BABY.  Screamed to my sleeping 14 year old that Clover had a baby, HELP! Then bolted back outside.

My daughter and her friend were placed on “keep Pepper & Clover separated” duty while I ran back inside to get more food/water for Clover and a crate for Pepper.  I looked over at the nest and could see the fur wiggling.  I lifted it and there further down were at least six more.  I must have been so panicked that I didn’t even think to search the nest for more.  Anyway…I didn’t want to pick them up so I’m not sure if there are any more under these ones or not, but I’m thinking not.

Of these seven, one appears to be what they call a peanut – large head with tiny body.  These ones apparently never survive.  There’s also a really, really small one that worries me because it looks more blue than pink but it was wiggling lots. The others looked to be larger, pink, and seemingly healthy and wiggly.

Mentally, I’m trying to prepare myself for the fact that its quite possible none of the baby buns will survive to 8 weeks when they can be weaned.  Clover is still very much a baby herself, barely four months old and it isn’t recommended they are bred before nine months.  According to a few sites on the internet, something like 40% of rabbits abandon or kill their first litter so I’m really concerned that with Clover being so young that this could happen.

I guess time will tell.  Wish us luck.

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