Saturday, March 27, 2010


Since Alli is part of the Vet Science program at school, over breaks she brings home animals to take care of while they don't have school. For spring break, she got two different types of animals, but a total of 8 plus. The plus part is because the sugar gliders have babies, but I can't count them because they keep them hidden. They are marsupials and they carry their babies in their pouches.

They are also nocturnal, so they are active at night... and stay in a pouch during the day.

There are 5 Sugar Gliders in the cage, and during the night they run all over the cage, playing.

They are cute little animals.

The bunnies are a whole 'nother story. This is Binky. Until she had the babies in her cage on Monday when the class went to the lab, they had no idea she was pregnant.

In fact, I think Alli said they thought she was a he.

Well, Binky doesn't really know what to do with her babies I don't think. She was very mean to them. They were piled on top of each other and she would take her front paws and push them away - into the side of the cage. And she would walk (OK, hop) right over top of them.

I tried talking to her - telling her to be nice to her babies - but she didn't listen. When Alli came home from school on Thursday, one of the babies had died. I used google and went to a site to try to find out what we could do. We were afraid they weren't being fed, so we went to the pet store, bought little bottles and asked what we could feed them. Puppy milk is what we were told. It comes in 12 oz cans, same size as a soda, and costs almost $8 a can. So, we got it and took them home to feed them.

Their eyes are not yet open. They didn't care for the puppy mlk much - they drank less than a tablespoon. We kept them in a little basket in a towel to keep them warm.

On Friday, I tried to feed them again, and they wouldn't take it. I was growing increasingly concerned with their lives, so I put them back in with their mama and asked her to let them try to feed. Begged really. And she did! They got their little bellies full, and then they tried to cuddle for warmth. She's not much of a cuddler, and she again took her paws and shoved them into the side of the cage. So, I took them out again, and put them back in the basket. We are putting them in the cage to eat each day, she seems to allow that, but out of concern for them, we only leave them in there an hour or so at a time. They are still doing well, so we hope they survive Spring Break with us!


Barb said...

Awww, what cute little guys you have at your house!! I'll bet Conor is loving all this!! It's such a neat opportunity to have some experiences without the lifelong responsibility for them. About the bunnies. I'm not sure about tame ones, but the wild bunnies spend only about 5 minutes a day with their babies and then take off so predators won't find them. Her milk is very rich and they do pretty well. Make sure Mom gets lots of good nutrition too so she can feed them, she probably didn't get much of anything extra because nobody knew she was pregnant. Hope this helps.

Mayo said...

Got to be careful with newborn babies, mom's don't like for humans to touch their babies until they are 4-6 weeks old. If you do have to examine them for whatever reason, baby powder should be used, both on the babies and the mother's nose to mask your scent. I'm guessing this might be part of the reason the mother is rejecting them? But it's also weird that it wasn't known she was pregnant ahead of time, as they usually tear out some fur ahead of time from the females dewlap (bulge under chin - which can be another indicator that it is female) to prepare a nest.
Good luck with the babies, I wouldn't leave them alone with the mother though unattended if she's showing hostility, but also know that rabbits aren't very "loving" to their offspring either. Do you have the in a nest box? Important to keep them warm and secluded to keep stress down.
I've rambled long enough, email me if you need want more, I raised rabbits in my youth (had over 100 at one time).

Katie said...

She didn't make a nest for them, or someone cleaned it out of the cage before we got them. I did read about the fur pulling and nest on that website, but she didn't do either.

We have been keeping them in a little basket outside of the cage from the mother - making sure to keep them warm. They go in the cage twice a day to eat, and she is allowing that, so they are doing well. :)

Thanks for all the advice!