Papillon with us 2017-19

Papillon was a black and white mini-lop buck born in 2017 who arrived at the end of October 2017. His mother or grandmother or great grandmother had been bought with a buck by someone who was told the pair were the same sex. Because of this mistake Rosie had litter after litter with her sons fathering further litters after the original buck died. We took her and four of her variously aged offspring including Papillon from one cage and another three from a different cage from a person who had been evicted. The rabbits indoor cages had been stuck into an outdoor bin cupboard with the doors against the back wall so they had to be dismantled to get them out. They had no food or water or bedding or shelter, just each other and the weather was very cold and they had no warm coats as they had been indoors previously.  The only reason there weren’t more babies was that there were no adult males left, by luck rather than design. Some having been given away, others having died. There were two young males in the cage, Skipper and Papillon, but they were both too young to have fathered further litters although we were a bit concerned at first just in case. Skipper was clearly too young but Papillon appears to be a month or two older and could just have been old enough. Either Rosie or Poppy is his mother and Blue and Skipper are obviously related to him either as full or half siblings. Petal and Pearl probably share a few relatives with him too. Their Dad was probably Rosie’s son or grandson.

Skipper and Papillon  spent the winter after they arrived living together in a hutch and run combo on the patio waiting for warmer weather when they could go to the vet for their neutering. We didn’t want to rush it because they are both still small and had a difficult start to their lives. Luckily they seem good natured and have shown no signs of fighting although there are rather a lot of unpleasant surfaces in their vicinity which they have liberally sprayed with urine as their hormones were good and active. With spring came the RHD scare and they were both vaccinated. We wanted to further put off neutering them in case of adverse effects particularly as they were both still extremely small and were still getting on well. In fact they  were getting on so well that we felt safe adding Bilberry to their group. He is an old buck that we cannot be certain has been neutered as he spent most of his life with people thinking he was female. So better safe than sorry. He definitely can’t impregnate the boys! And as I expected they were very sweet with him although explaining all the ‘wrestling’ the three of them did to a child could be embarrassing!

Sadly both Skipper and Papillon died young, probably due to the extreme inbreeding.