Poppy with us from 2017 to 2018

Poppy was a very pretty sooty fawn mini-lop doe born in 2017 who arrived at Hopper Haven at the end of October 2017. Her mother 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 Poppy 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 too young to have impregnated Poppy or her mother. The third female, Blue, who could be Poppy’s daughter, was too young to have become pregnant anyway.

Poppy and her mother or grandmother and her daughter or sister or niece or whatever relation they are to each other now lived in our nice big chicken shed with a lovely big attached run and greatly appreciated having the space to run around and play. Sadly neither Poppy nor he mother Rosie were with us for long. Poppy suddenly died one night in April and then her mother died the following night. At the time we thought it must have been RHD and so took precautions to isolate Blue and avoid spreading the disease further while we got the healthiest rabbits vaccinated and prepared to vaccinate the rest if necessary. Thankfully it can’t have been RHD or we would certainly have lost more rabbits. In hind sight we now think that a fox must have been pestering the rabbits and that they must have had weak hearts from their poor previous life and inbreeding and couldn’t cope with the scare. Blue the remaining group member stayed healthy and has now been bonded into a group of six where she is getting on splendidly.  It us such a shame that the others couldn’t have continued to live out their lives with us so happily as well but at least they had six good months.