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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Bad Summer for Bunnies

Today, I lost the rabbit I loved the most in my entire barn. Stardust, named when she was 2 weeks old, when I thought she was going to die. Her mom, Star, was very sick, her sibling had already died, and I had to foster her to another doe, even though she was 2 weeks.

I was determined to love this rabbit to death and she made it so easy. She was the sweetest rabbit I own, always pushing forward for nose rubs. I can't help but feel that I could have done something for her. Maybe I could have, maybe I couldn't have, but the guilt is going to eat at me for a while anyway.

I've been told it's a bad summer for rabbits. So far, I've had a friend lose some rabbits to dog attacks- 8 weeks after it happened the first time. I had a friend nearly lose 2 babies to the heat, some folks I got started in mini lops nearly lost their junior buck to the heat, I've lost my own to the heat, and 2 to unknown causes. I've heard of another lady in a neighboring state who lost a good chunk of her herd due to heat stroke as well. Not to mention, there was an illness across the state of NC for a little while, though thankfully no one had their herd wiped out.

Will this get better? The heat problem will be eliminated when Fall comes, but what about winter? Are we going to wake up to frozen kits? Frost bitten ears, deceased rabbits? Is it just a simultaneous stroke of bad luck, or am I more fatalistic because I lost my Stardust? I suspect its the latter, rather than all the former. Every year, someone has a barn fire, folks lose rabbits to heat stroke, promising juniors die for what seems to be no reason.

Some folks give up. Others keep pushing on.

We'll have to see what tomorrow brings, won't we? Right now, I'm really down. I'm not really sure if I'm going to bounce back at the current time.

Thanks for reading.

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