After a 31.75 day gestation period, Socorro gave birth to eight healthy plump, strange looking little aliens yesterday morning. Having read that rabbits generally give birth at night after a 31 day gestation period (but ranging from 28-35 days, rarely exceeding 32), I had expected to see a fuzzy bunny pile waiting for me when I went on my morning rounds. When I peaked in there were no babies to be seen, but I did catch Socorro in the act of pulling yet more fur from her stomach and busily rearranging the fluffy nest. Thanks to the previous day’s review of Storey’s trusty guide, I knew this second episode of fur pulling and nest rearranging meant the babies would *probably* arrive soon. Of course, by “soon”, I figured they’d come that night. So an hour or so later while M and I were out gardening I was surprised when he whispered “I heard a baby!”. And there she was up to some sort of rabbit birthing business in the nest box. And sure enough a few more squeaks sounded from her hutch moments later. Not wanting to disturb her, we silently jumped up and down waving our arms in the universal interpretive dance of excitement. At last! Baby bunnies, baby bunnies, baby bunnies!
After giving Socorro time to nurse and rest, we presented her with a veritable feast of parsley and dandelion greens which she joyfully accepted and munched down like a champ. While she chowed down, I was able to move a little nest fluff aside and count eight little bodies, all of which seemed to be plump and lively. From what I’ve read, eight is a total blessing. Rabbits only have eight teats so having more than eight usually means some runty and likely dead bunnies that can’t be supported, while less than eight doesn’t utilize the full resource. I am very hopeful that all of the bunnies will pull through. It also helps that Socorro has been a wonderful mom so far. I see her peaking in on the babies to check on them occasionally. And she is still super friendly towards M and I and shows no signs of changing. What a good rabbit.
I am so excited to see how the bunnies grow and progress. At 10 days they should start opening their eyes and at three weeks they should start hopping out of the nest box. I’ll try my best to keep you folks updated as I am able to get closer to the bunnies and can better document the goings on in the rabbit kingdom.
It is beautiful out. 75 degrees. It smells like summer. What a weekend to be outside! I’m outside at the picnic table right now. In addition to the baby bunny excitement. M helped me plant some more garlic and Russian Banana fingerling potatoes. We do love potatoes. The blue potatoes I planted last month are so happy, that it seemed like a good idea to get some more in the ground. The lettuce and arugula sprouts and a batch of Walla Walla onions also seem to be loving this gorgeous weekend. The wheel of the year is truly turning here at Quiet Owl Farm and I am just so happy that sprouts and babies season has rolled into town.