I hate to be a Debbie Downer, but that's just the kind of day it's been at Hot Cross Buns. In the wee small hours of the morning, Cookie kindled her litter. She had two stillborn babies and one little baby that is holding on.
When I got up at 7, I immediately checked on Charlotte and Gladys. Charlotte had given birth to two little babies, presumably peanuts, and both were stillborn. If they were truly peanuts, they would have only lived a few days. Gladys had given birth to two stillborn kits, as well. Her babies appeared to have been of normal size.
One living kit our of seven babies. I know breeding Holland Lops is difficult, but today just hurt my heart a lot.
I am investigating causes and effects as to why our losses have been so high. I contacted the customer service department at our beloved Sherwood pet food, asking which formula and feeding amounts to use for pregnant does. The response I received was surprising. They stated that none of the Sherwood formulas are meant for pregnant does and recommended a 50-50 mixture of Sherwood Adult combined with a different brand of rabbit pellets containing grain to increase the carbohydrate levels. I was rather flabbergasted, but believe we may already be making some progress toward having healthier litters.
We have three more litters due in early May, so hopefully by gradually changing the food pellets, we may see better outcomes next month.
Amy is the Big Bunny at the Hot Cross Buns Holland Lop Rabbitry. She manages the furry bunnies as well as her own brood of five kits, with the help of her incredibly patient husband of nineteen years. Hot Cross Hoppenings will be a journal of our adventures in Holland Lop life.