I should have known Lola’s behavior last night was too good to be true. She died overnight. At least I felt like I got to say good-bye to her. And at least her kits are 4 weeks old and eating solid food and drinking water. There is not a sign on her of anything wrong. She was eating and drinking as of yesterday morning. She hadn’t been sneezing or coughing or acting like she had a cold. There was no diarrhea. It was just a real sucker punch to go out there this morning and see her dead like that. I know she was from the bad genetic line on both sides of her parentage, the one that just drops dead of no apparent reason, but I kept hoping she’d escaped it.
I had planned on keeping a kit from this batch to raise up, but now I won’t. This leaves me with Andromeda left from that line with the exact same parentage. I will continue to use her, but won’t keep any more kits from her, either. So far her son Alexander is not showing the signs at all, but his brother did so I know it is in their genetics.
I’m not sure what I am going to do about Leo. While I’m pretty sure the problem came from Piper’s genetics, I do think he carries it as well, although as a recessive. It only came out when he bred with Piper. He still makes good meat rabbit kits, but I can only breed him with one rabbit right now to avoid those genetics and I’m not sure that is reason enough to keep him, especially when I have two other bucks and one growing up that is almost mature. He also has a nasty habit of rolling in his poop, so keeping him clean is difficult because he doesn’t groom that area of his body very well. I think I just have to stop breeding him completely.
There is a woman who will take him for free and she runs a sort of retirement home petting zoo. Maybe that is my best option at this point. I’ll have to think about it.
I really thought this string of bad rabbit luck was over. I guess not.