The baby bunnies are about 6 weeks old and ready to be released. In the last few weeks, since they have opened their eyes at around 10 days old, I have introduced them to food. Kale and organic romaine lettuce along with a good supply of timothy hay have been introduced as soon as they opened their eyes. At around the 14 day mark, they started to nibble and eat on their own. Being a sucker for their cuteness, I went the extra mile and added carrots and strawberries to their food bowl. They do need as much nutrients as possible to be released. I continued to dropper feed them the KPR and heavy whipping cream mix up until week 5 and gradually backed off by week 6. Around week 3, the bunnies can be held up right while feeding or they can be placed on a table for feeding. If placing the bunny on the table for feeding, be sure to gently, but firmly hold the bunny in place. They are quick even at this young age.
So, we planned the big release date. I have to say it was bittersweet. I have personally raised these babies since they were a day old. I have held them, worried about them and taken care of them every day, all day, for weeks. I was frightened for them. I was worried beyond belief about something happening to them. I knew deep down that I kept them healthy, but could not prepare them fully for the outdoors. I was also excited for them because I knew they were born to run free. I mustered up the courage I needed and took their cage outside. We opened the door and one by one we released them. And then it happened, my worst fear...
Rabbits are solitary creatures. They are NOT pack animals and can, at times, become territorial and fight.
This is one of the many reasons why it is important to release them around six weeks old. One of my bunnies was attacked by one of her mates. Typically, a rabbit will attack another rabbit by pounding on its back, eventually damaging or breaking the spine. That's exactly what happened to the smallest bunny in nest. Her back was broken. We wouldn't learn the extent of the damage until a few days later, but there was no way she could be released.
I see the other bunnies in the yard and around the lake by my house. It's so much fun watching them run and grow. I still worry about them, of course, but they are doing what they were born to do. And, I am sure they are a nuisance to anyone with a garden. It makes me laugh to think about them chomping away at lettuce, flowers and other things people grow.
But, we still have one bunny. She is in her cage, alone and safe. Her story, while tragic is also an amazing story of triumph. Stay tuned for the story of Lucy. XOXO Stacey