Tuesday 22 March 2011

Pico's story

In July 2010 my husband came back from a day helping at the Rabbit Residence Rescue with a spare indoor cage and a pet carrier, explaining that Caroline had been involved in a large rescue and needed us to foster some bunnies for a while. We were already fostering some of her permanent special needs bunnies in our spare bedroom so when I opened the pet carrier and saw three little bundles of fluff, I was really excited at the prospect of looking after some baby bunnies for a change. Then the husband told me to look closer, and hiding behind the three fluffy babies was the tiniest rabbit I had ever seen. Smaller than a fist, its eyes were only just open and its ears were still flat against its head. Caroline had found it in a nest, amongst its siblings who were already dead. Caroline thought it was around 2 weeks old and wasn’t sure whether it would survive.

We got the babies settled in to the indoor cage and the three larger babies tucked straight in to the food we offered them. Caroline had given us some Cimicat for the tiny one and so we had our first attempt at hand feeding a baby rabbit. Luckily the baby seemed to want the feed and sucked it out of the syringe without difficulty. We then let the babies have a run around the spare room. The three big babies went crazy, binkying like mad. The tiny one tried to follow them but didn’t quite have the strength to hop and could only manage a very wobbly walk. When it had a wee on the carpet we were ridiculously pleased to know it could go to the toilet by itself.

When the next morning came the little one was again very excited when we offered the Cimicat. Over the next two weeks Pico, as the baby had now been called, continued to grow. We fed her twice a day and feeding time was a real joy. She would sit on a cushion on our lap and as soon as we offered her the syringe she would latch on and suck really strongly. By the end of the second week she could drink a full 1ml syringe within seconds and would take up to 15ml in one feed. After feeding she liked to snuggle in our hands for a 5 minute snooze before chasing around the room after the others. When the other babies were eating, she would desperately try to join in but her teeth just weren’t big enough. However as her teeth began to grow we started to hold out a Science Selective Junior pellet for her and she would grate her teeth against it and make it into a point!

After 3 weeks of hand feeding with Cimicat Pico was finally able to eat pellets by herself. We were so glad that she had developed enough to be able to eat properly but also a little bit sad that we didn’t need to hand feed her any more. Over the next few months Pico continued to grow, along with the other babies who had now been named Jonny, Roberta and Albert. Albert and Roberta went back to the rescue first, followed by Jonny a few weeks later. All three of them have since found new homes.

Although we would have loved to keep Pico permanently we knew it wouldn’t be possible as we already had 4 rabbits of our own plus 2 cats and 2 foster bunnies. We therefore agreed that Pico would return to the rescue to find a new home once the winter was over. To keep her from getting lonely, she was bonded with Wellington, a single bun from the rescue who Caroline thought could benefit from a winter indoors.

Now that the weather has finally begun to warm up, Pico and Wellington have been returned to the rescue. Both are very lively and Wellington is always interested in anything that is going on whilst Pico is more wary unless food is involved! Hopefully it won’t be long before they find the perfect forever home that they deserve.


  1. What a wonderful story. I hope the hoppy couple find their home soon.

  2. What a lovely story, thank you for sharing it. I can't believe those pictures! How big is Pico now, or when you saw her last?

  3. What a lovely story, and gorgeous bunstas!