This evening #1 and #2 were out doing bunny chores. It was last check before bed, as we always check for babies when we believe a doe is close to kindling. My son came in and said Beatrice had kits, but no nest and she may be dead.
Beatrice was one of the bunnies born here back in March to Penelope and Bennett, and she spent the summer at the resort. Yesterday she had started fighting with her cagemate, so I had moved her to a cage with a nest box. I had also found a lump on her chest that I was concerned with. As anticipated, the buyer backed out (understandably) today, so I had thought I'd be watching Beatrice for the next 35 days and evaluating her health in a month.
Tonight she delivered four kits before dying of complications. All of her kids were cold and dead already when we found them, and she literally took her last breaths with #1 watching over her as #2 ran in to get me.
I'm both heartbroken for the loss of a beautiful doe and her litter, and relieved that she passed quickly and didn't have to suffer a long wasting death by cancer or force me to make the decision to kill her to prevent her from being in pain. This is part of breeding rabbits. Sometimes things don't go as planned. It's sad, and it's hard to explain to the younger kids (#4 still cries when we lose one). We checked on her three times throughout the day, she never made a nest, never pulled any fur. This couldn't have been prevented. Sometimes these things just happen. She was very young, inexperienced, and just not able to kindle properly on her own.
We have two days left on baby watch for Mint Oreo, but I don't think she's going to have any babies. Then we have planned litters hopefully due this month on the 10th and the 20th.
We are hoping to get the new bunny barn set up this week or next, and work on building the new shelving to hold the cages as time allows. I'm hoping to get rabbits moved before the first snowstorm. We're picking up straw tomorrow as this week the lows will be dipping into the 30's.