This morning, I opened the nest box and counted three babies. The one from yesterday was warm and wiggling, and appeared fine other than the gash on one side. I found the fourth baby out on the wire. The fourth baby was missing the skin across the rump, tail and groin and was already cold. I have to assume Paris accidentally flayed the baby attempting to get it back to the nest box. I'm hopeful, but still not expecting the dog-damaged baby to survive. I can only wait, watch, and hope for the best. Her already small litter of 4 is down to 3, and possibly 2 if my favorite one doesn't pull through.
Today was auction day, so I loaded up the last of the hamsters and gerbils, and a couple extra bunnies and left for the day. The turn-out at the auction was surprisingly small, and the prices were dismal. If I weren't so terribly allergic to the hamsters and gerbils right now, I'd have waited for the spring sale where they'd have easily fetched twice as much or more, and been more likely to be guaranteed pet homes. I immediately had seller's remorse on one of the rabbits that I had had second thoughts about selling. I wish I'd have kept that one back, especially for the $3 she sold for. Lesson learned - if there's even a hint of a second thought about selling - I won't.
To make the situation worse, right after all of my animals sold for abysmally low prices to people I couldn't be sure weren't intending them harm... my husband sent me a text to tell me that Sweetheart (the Angora doe) had given birth to six babies, which were scattered throughout the cage, all of them dead. Absolutely heartbreaking.
Back to the auction, I came with the intent to bring home two new bucks. One to replace Porkchop, following his temperament change due to a dog attack, and one to replace Death Knight, as I needed a suitable buck for Jean (Flemish Giant doe). I did manage to find both at the auction. I picked up a very friendly 12-week-old light grey Flemish Giant buck, and a very colorful buck to replace Porkchop. At first I thought the colorful buck was some kind of rex mix. He's white with black and tan spots across his back and down his rump. His fur reminds me of a Polish bunny (not short and close-cropped, but not long and shaggy either). The guy sitting next to me said it was a Rhinelander rabbit. I've heard of the breed, but never seen one in person. When I got home, I looked up the breed, and found that even if this one is a purebred, he'd be disqualified for having too many rump spots, and not enough white between them. That's fine by me, as I plan to pair him with the New Zealand does and the Harlequin does next year.
And who can go to an auction without an impulse buy? Yes, it's true, I've been doing some looking at Holland lops - but it was purely window shopping. Then I saw this adorable pair of Holland lops at the auction, and much to my surprise, nobody outbid me. They were labeled as "proven breeding pair" and had one torte bunny and one blue-eyed broken bunny. When I got them home, I moved Sweetheart out of the baby-proofed cage and moved the lops in. The buck seems friendly enough, and the doe is pretty round in the middle. I cleaned out the nest box and returned it for them, since they're housed together, I don't know when babies may be expected. I've also decided to use them as a bit of an experiment. Because they're so much smaller than my other rabbits, I'm going to leave them together for the winter to keep each other warm. If at any point she seems to be distressed or losing condition, I will separate them and give her a break from breeding. I'm concerned with this being our first attempt with small rabbits over the winter.
The Bunny Barn is still a work in progress. Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny with a high of 57, so hopefully we can get the shingles on the roof and get some form of wall structure in place before winter hits us full force.