I just can't do this anymore. Advice, please!!

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by goatkeepers, Jun 23, 2008.

  1. goatkeepers

    goatkeepers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 31, 2008
    Mooresville, NC
    I don't understand why all this is happening lately. [​IMG] Well, here's the story, I'll try to make it as short as possible.
    About 2 months ago, a friend's dog dug out 7 rabbit babies. A day or two old. She called and asked if I could try to raise them, which I did, on fresh goats milk. After about a week, the weakest one died, followed by the rest about 2 weeks later. I found out that they need to eat a certain type of poop from the momma bunny that has a bunch of enzymes in it, which gets their bellies ready for solid food. After my last (and favorite!) died, I was obviously pretty devastated and down. But I made it through it. Now this...

    This morning, I went to feed the goats in the pasture and Sammy, our great pyr, when I hear a shrill scream. I look down where Sam is, about halfway down the pasture and see she has got something. Long story short, she dug out a bunny nest and killed two baby bunnies. I got to her before she could get anymore. There are two alive ones and one that's been dead for a while, in the back of the burrow. We just had someone mow the pasture down for us on Saturday, so I don't know if that made the mom abandon the nest or what. But I locked Sam up for the day to see if the mom would come back but she didn't. The bad thing is that one of the two babies is infested with tiny maggots. It's SO disgusting, but they are coming out of the hole where it pees from, so I'm sure they are all inside of it. The other one has a couple on it but not nearly as many. They are about a week old I think, because one has it's eyes open and the other one doesn;t yet.
    I really don't want to start feeding them again, because I know they are just gonna die on me again, since they need momma's poop to get their bellies switched to solid food. But I can't just leave them down there to die.... I almost want to just let Sam back out so she kills them quickly. Gosh, this is so horrible. [​IMG]

    Please give me some advice on what you would do!! I am pretty sure that the mom either already got killed or isn't around anymore, since she hasn't come back by now....
     
  2. hcammack

    hcammack Overrun With Chickens

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    I would go let sam have them or euthanize them somehow. I am sorry this is happening to you.

    Henry
     
  3. pixiechick

    pixiechick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 23, 2008
    Jonesborough, TN
    I understand how you feel-- there's a point where you just can't take in more animals. Have you looked in the phone book for a wildlife rehabilitator?
     
  4. goatkeepers

    goatkeepers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 31, 2008
    Mooresville, NC
    I could give that a try. Thanks. [​IMG]
     
  5. asher

    asher Chicken Enabler Extraordinaire

    Jan 26, 2007
    Mountains of NC
    Have you looked anything up about caring for orphaned wild rabbits? It's not just a matter of feeding them. You have to stimulate them to defecate, too. (A towel/washcloth will work.)
     
  6. Cheryl

    Cheryl Chillin' With My Peeps

    wildlife rehabilitator!!! exactly...I have one right in my neighborhood, not that he could help you...but they do exist!
    goodluck
     
  7. goatkeepers

    goatkeepers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes asher, when I raised that first batch of them, I did A LOT of research! Thought I knew pretty much everything. I did rub their behinds every time I fed them and they would poop and pee for me. Like I said, the problem was the poop that I couldn't get.
     
  8. chickbea

    chickbea Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 18, 2007
    Vermont
    Oh, dear. What a terrible thing.
    Unfortunately, if they are already covered in maggots I don't think there is much that can be done for them. You can try a rehabber but they probably would tell you the same. I would take them to my vet and have them put down. I'm sure the vet will charge you little or nothing.
     
  9. goatkeepers

    goatkeepers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, I left a message for the rehabbers. Hopefully they will get back to me soon. That's kinda what I am thinking- if they already have maggots all over them, it's probably too late.
    Thanks for all the advice!
     
  10. SpeckledHills

    SpeckledHills Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would put the babies down. The chances of wild baby bunnies making it is generally so slim, as it sounds like you have full experience with.
    To put them down as humanely as possible, you could use a pistol shot to the head. I've heard of people using branch loppers to cut the neck on baby chicks that need to be put down, but I don't know how effective and/or humane that is (and with a rabbit, the situation could be very different).
    Hugs to you, and honor for all you invested in trying to help the past bunnies. So sorry for the struggle, and I agree there are times when it is not possible to try to help animals and is best to euthanize them.
     

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