Monday, July 26, 2010
I am mortified. I not only have to admit I was wrong, but I have to make this confession on the world wide web. I knew rabbits would not obey the incest law; I did think the shortest day would be a breeding deterrent. But not so.
One and one did not equal three, it equalled five. But Tuzi didn’t stick around very long after he had impregnated his sister. He disappeared back across the road or she packed him off as being no longer necessary. For around four weeks we were fooled, but then one day there was a large quantity of white rabbit fur in the outer enclosure and Teresa thought to investigate the inner hutch. She found a ball of breathing fur which she took, correctly, to be baby rabbits.
We were initially disturbed as, Tuzilina never seemed to be with her offspring, but a google search revealed that baby rabbits do not give off any scent so the mother in the wild keeps her distance in order not to attract predators. As well, rabbits feed only twice a day, early in the morning and early in the evening, it’s the babies’ shared warmth, not any warmth from the mother that keeps them alive. Our ones grew rapidly and within the week were acquiring fur – one white and black like the father, one white and charcoal like the mother and one completely charcoal – by the second week their ears were becoming more and more developed. They emerged from the hutch successively two days apart, so that by the time they were three weeks old, they were all in the inner enclosure and starting to venture into the larger fenced area. At that stage, we were bringing them inside so that I could have a lapful of baby rabbits.