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Introducing: Marty!

December 25th, 2008, 11:35 AM
Merry Christmas Everyone!

I went for dinner to my sister-in-law's last night and met their new friend.
This is Marty.

He is a baby cottontail she and hubby found about 5 months ago. The mother had been mauled by a predator but she managed to get back to the nest before she died. 2 of three babies were dead. They showed no signs of being attacked so most likely they starved - but Marty was still breathing so they brought him home. (Actually, no idea if it's he or she - but they're using he, so he it is....)

So they did some internet research about how to care for baby rabbits. Went out and bought some of the mix used to hand feed kittens and started to syringe feed him. They weren't holding out too much hope but he took to the feeding like a trooper and within about 3 days was fattened up and getting into all sorts of trouble. They figure he was about 3 weeks when they found him; he was TINY - fit into a shirt pocket tiny - but the eyes were open and most of the fur had come in. Marty took the feedings for about 4 weeks and then started experimenting with hay and pellets. Took him about a week to wean himself off the syringe all on his own and he's been chowing on hay and pellets ever since. They just started giving him some fresh veggies.

He's still fairly small - about the size of my Pepin (medium-ish dwarf) but he's super streamlined and has legs that go forever - plus the too cute for words cottontail.

They let him run free unless they have company. He's pretty skittish - won't let you touch him or pick him up without having to wrap him first but if you just sit on the floor or the couch he'll come check you out, crawl all over you and even snuggle up for a nap next to you.

They don't quite know what they're going to do with him as of yet (never expected him to survive!) Basically, letting him go outside is not an option - way too many predators and they've gotten pretty attached to him. Hubby is a hobby carpenter so he's drawing up plans for a really nice hutch/run out in what used to be the boat shed. It's heated, has lots of windows and is huge. He's planning on enclosing a really large area, building in what is essentially a raised bed and planting grass......

Of course he'll always be welcome in the house. The outside run will be where he gets to hang out when he can't be supervised. They are learning the FULL meaning of the term "bunny proofing" as Marty gets older, bigger, and more able to get up onto things like tables, desks, counter tops.....:evil: They are hoping he'll mellow out a bit and learn to leave things alone.......and I've passed on what info I can about how destructive a hormonal bunny can be so hopefully they'll consider sterilization so Marty can enjoy his family indoors!

December 25th, 2008, 01:03 PM
He's a cutie alright. We (in Toronto) had a real run on rabbits a few years ago but, I haven't seen ANY for the past two years.