Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Betsy and Pewter babies

Betsy and Pewter were due last Thursday. I was out of town visiting my family, and getting spoiled rotten while I recuperated from my surgery. I came back Friday morning, and the two does had waited for me. Bob said they showed no interest in nesting when he gave them hay, but when I gave them each 1/2 a flake of hay, they promptly built their nests (in the corners of their cages, instead of in their nestboxes) and delivered. I put the nests into the nestboxes, made sure I got all the babies, and waited to see what would happen. A couple hours later I reached into the pocket of my sweat pants, and found a baby rabbit. I had left one in there while I was moving nests and checking on everyone, lol! It was a Pewter baby, and since Betsy had a smaller litter, I put it in with hers. Good thing I did. Pewter cared for her litter for a couple of days, and then just stopped. After a couple of days, when it was clear she wanted nothing more to do with them and they would starve if something wasn't done, I put them into Sunrise's old nestbox and put it, them, and Sunrise into an empty cage. Her litter is six weeks old, normally I wait two more weeks to wean, but they're eating well and this was an emergency. Sunrise was clearly puzzled by all this, and hopped in and out of the nestbox, unsure of what to do. I finally held her and put the babies on her tummy, even going so far as to put their mouths right on her teats, to no avail. They would not nurse. This has always worked for me in the past, but not this time, I guess they were too far gone. So, the lone survivor of that litter is in Betsy's nestbox, very fat and happy. I guess it is a blessing in disguise, as I would have had to find wooler/pet homes for all these guys. Now I just have the one left to use in my quest to build more size and bone into my Giant Angoras. If it's a doe, I will name her Cessna, since her ears will likely stick straight out like airplane wings. If it's a buck, I think I will name him King Lear. :)

Speaking of Pewter, there will be no Pewter Stew :). A young friend of mine is taking her, he's in for a challenge, lol! In fact I spent about a half hour today working on her. She mats terribly, so I try to keep her in a short coat. With her loose skin, I have to work slowly and carefully, today I got about 1/4 of her done, I'm giving her a buzz cut clear down to the skin, what with summer coming. She's a "jumper", which means when she's tired of being groomed, she does her darnedest to leap off off the grooming table. So when she starts getting antsy, it's time to quit, because I'm in no shape to prevent a 16 pound, very determined animal from leaping off the grooming table. I think I need one of those restraining boards I've seen pictures of.

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