Thursday, May 16, 2013

...and then there were seven more... plus a picture of Blacky, the black squirrel

Late last night came the phone call:  a cottontail's nest had accidentally been destroyed by a back hoe and there were seven survivors.  They had also found what looked like pieces of the mother...

Cottontails cost about $40-55 per animal to raise, and these are only about 10 days old.  The family was at most willing to donate $50.  I really had to think about this one, because that is a hard hit to absorb, and I have no way to generate additional income except through my crafts.  However, I said yes.  Not sure why, but somehow things have always worked out in the end although the stress over money woes is probably taking years off my life...

The litter of seven tiny cottontails.  Left top corner is the tiny runt, you can see the size difference.  He is wrinkly due to dehydration.  

These seven had been given cow's milk and six had badly bloated bellies.  One is a lot smaller than the others and probably had been pushed aside by the bigger siblings during feedings all along.  I had to rehydrate him quickly and then tried go get the others to drink some medicated rehydration solution to combat the bloat.  There was nothing else I could do for them until the bloat subsides except empty their bladders, hopefully the bloat won't kill them overnight.  The little runt had refused the cow's milk and, once he came alive after the hydration fluids had kicked in, was later able to drink a good size portion of formula.  Fingers crossed that he hadn't been without food for too long already!

 These are the two smallest in the litter, the runt is on the left.  A very skinny baby, I don't know if this baby will pull through.  The baby on the right has a bloated stomach.

Timing had been perfect:  I had just  received a shipment of  bunny meds and additives in the afternoon.  However, I will have to buckle down and force myself to try and tube feed if the bunnies lolly-gag during feedings or I won't be able to keep up.  I don't want to, but feeding now 26 babies will otherwise take up the majority of the day and night.  Too much, way too much.  Tubing will insure they get the correct amount of formula every time, but it could also kill them if placed incorrectly.  And the only one who tubes bunnies regularly not only lives nearly 3 hours away but is also not available due to family illness.  - This could turn out to be the most stressful season yet!

Here are two baby squirrels, on top a regular gray squirrel baby, below a black mutation squirrel.  There are pockets of black squirrel populations throughout Massachusetts but they remain quite rare.  Hopefully the genes of this little black female will dominate and she will produce black offspring. She won't be a tiny squirrel, she is robust and promises to grow rather large.

If you want to help, please consider a small donation or visit my Etsy shop.  You may contact me directly anytime via the email address listed on my blog. I try my best to check emails at least once a day.  My handmade cards stock is a lot larger than what I have been able to upload onto Etsy, I just don't have the time right now to do that.  Whenever new babies arrive there is a period of nonstop work until they are stable and we all are settling into a routine.  Of course, the phone doesn't stop ringing, and the next arrival will create a new hoopla all over again.  That is because intake consists of an exam to determine the condition of the new arrival, warm fluids and set up a new cage, clean off any parasites, hydrate the newbie, and then catch up on all the other animals which means yet another late night and little sleep...

1 comment:

  1. Sigi you have to be one of God's Angels here on earth. It is wonderful all you do for the helpless animals. Bless you and keep up the good work. Jan