Bunny Behavior & Health
Bunny behavior and health issues are addressed in the Hot Cross Buns Blog. Check back frequently, as we plan to post information on diet, treats, exercise, spaying/neutering, and much more.
A peanut is a rabbit kit that carries two copies of the dwarf gene, inheriting one copy from each parent. A healthy dwarf rabbit will inherit one copy of the dwarf gene from one parent, and the “normal” gene for size from the other, while a “false dwarf” will inherit a copy of the normal sizing gene from each parent. A peanut is a rabbit that is genetically unable to grow and thrive. Within a matter of hours or days, its brief life will end.
A peanut has some telltale characteristics that are present at birth or shortly thereafter.
Even if a peanut is able to take supplemental milk from syringe feeding, its body is unable to process the milk and it will still grow weaker until it dies.
Many breeders remove the peanuts from the mother as soon as it is apparent that they are, in fact, peanuts and are incapable of surviving. At Hot Cross Buns, we prefer to leave the peanut kits with their mother and litter mates, allowing them to derive as much warmth and comfort from them as possible for the duration of their short lives. The mama rabbits know that something is wrong with these special babies, and will often spend extra time with them, trying to get them to nurse. We have witnessed our does gently licking a lost little one, nudging the lifeless body of her baby, to wake it up. These mamas mourn the loss of their babies, and we think it’s important for them to have time to say good-bye to them.
Below are some photos of a healthy Holland Lop kit and its two peanut litter mates. Note the size differences. They are three days old. The largest kit (broken blue) has a full tummy, and well-developed legs. It was obvious the tiniest kit was a peanut when we checked the litter at birth. The larger broken black baby was believed to be healthy at birth and was of similar size to the broken blue, although more prominent eyes were noted. After two days, the kit was not gaining weight and weaker hind legs were noted. Also note the more pointed area just above the tail. Their bottoms should be nicely rounded, rather than pointy. The smaller peanut will most likely pass in the next 24 hours, while the larger one may live for several more days. We will give them all the love and comfort they can have during their brief lives.
Amy, the Big Bunny at Hot Cross Buns, enjoys raising the Buns (of course!), writing, crafting, woodworking, Bible studies, reading, gardening, being a wife and mom of five. Does she really have time to do it all? No, but she tries her best and drives her husband crazy in the process. She wishes to point out that she never said she enjoyed interior decorating (hopeless!) and organizing (that's her younger daughter's gift). Please don't expect a home worthy of a spread in House Beautiful when you arrive to pick up your Hot Cross Bun.