This is never the sort of post that I want to make. Dealing with life and death on the farm (or in the backyard) is never easy. Last night I was pretty sure that Queen was not going to make it through the night. She wouldn’t lift her head or open her eyes. If I hadn’t touched her and felt warmth and the rise and fall of her back, I would have thought she was dead last night. I made sure that we all said good-bye to her. Sure enough, this morning she was gone.
We have lost animals before. Death by raccoon slaughter is mindless and senseless, but they kill to eat and to teach their young how to kill to eat. It infuriated me, but it was quick and part of the cycle of life. It wasn’t something that lingered (except for my intense dislike of raccoons). But we have never had an animal die of some kind of illness. We have never had one linger. We had been close to putting her out of her misery, but then she did a turn around. It only lasted a couple of days. If she had been alive this morning, I would have taken matters into my own hands, even though Mom couldn’t bring herself to do it. But she’s gone and it’s over and I’m relieved because I didn’t want to.
My son is taking it really hard. Queen wasn’t just my favorite. It’s strange how attached to a chicken you can become in 3 years. It is wonderful to discover how intelligent they are and just how much thinking they do. It’s been almost a year since we’ve lost any livestock. We were consoling ourselves with the thought of Queen being with Kyri who died eggbound and the ducks and the other chickens that were taken out by raccoons, being in a special part of heaven and eating all the cantaloupe and watermelon seeds and grubs that she could. I can’t imagine a heaven without animals.
Life goes on, though, and in the good news department, our rabbit cages finally arrived yesterday. The son and I put one together last night. It took about 3 hours to do it. I don’t think the other ones will take that long. I am just glad he is mechanically inclined. Anyway, so that cage we put out into the rabbit shed and we transferred Piper into it. We shouldn’t have to move her again while she is pregnant. With the easy clean cage with drip pan we shouldn’t have to disturb her much at all. Which is good because with the larger cage, I’m not sure I could reach her in the far back corner from the door.
I know that the equipment place said that these cages are stackable, but I don’t see how they can be. The top has no cross support so it sags just a little in the center. I’d be afraid it might collapse onto the rabbit below it. So when the husband comes back home we will build those PVC hutch frames to give them extra support and still stack them. For now Piper’s new cage is sitting on a table. We have a banquet table we can use to put two more cages on. I want to get the kits into them because they need the space. The Wabbitats are quickly becoming outgrown with three rabbits per cage. They will be the perfect size for growing out the ones we decide to keep for breeding, with one to a cage, though. They don’t need to be in an extra large cage while they grow to maturity.
Princess Angel Bunny let us walk right up to her today and she let us put food down right in front of her. Getting this close to her I can see she was in a really bad fight at one time. One of her eyes is damaged. I don’t know if she’s blind in one eye or if it’s just a scar pulling the eye funny. I just want to pick her up and take her to a vet, but she is just starting to trust us and I know it is too soon. I imagine if we do get her to a vet, it’s going to cost a pretty penny. With grooming and worming and treating the eye and whatever else might be wrong with her… I’d probably be better off taking her to the Rabbit Rescue station, but I’m so invested in her already. It’s supposed to storm badly tonight and tomorrow so she will probably disappear for a few days. She usually does when the weather gets foul and then I worry about her until she shows up again. Why do people dump pets? I just don’t get that mentality at all.