We have had two small tragedies in the rabbit department, both maybe related to the hot weather and, maybe also to my inexperience and bad husbandry. You will recall that I found 4 of Padfoot's litter outside the nest box and wriggling in the dewy grass. I rounded them up and gave them a shallow 'tray' (the bottom 3 inches cut out of a box) to contain them. It did not occur to me that there might be other babies scattered about the 'bedroom'. On Saturday there were actually 5 in the tray, so either Mum had found one and brought him into the fold, or he'd crawled there. Unfortunately there was a 6th now lying in the gap between the back of the tray and the outside wall and this poor little mite had died of lack of Mum's milk. His little corpse was all slack and loose-skinned. I could kick myself.
Meanwhile I had looked into Ginny's box and her kittens seemed to be safe enough at the far end of the hay from the 'door', so I had not given them the tray and 'Berlin Wall' treatment. One of these little ones had managed to escape the nest and had gone on to escape the mesh run too (small gap underneath where the ground was not 100% flat) just before we, unawares, let the dogs into the orchard for their off-the-leads romp. Towser had found it and had it in his mouth when we rescued it. It managed a few gasps but then expired. I suspect that the sweltering heat is what is making the babies move about, to try to find somewhere cooler, so we have now put 5 inch high 'walls' in each box to stop escapes, moved the runs to more shady spots AND covered the tar-felt roofs with a good layer of cut, tall grass to stop the intense heat. Everybody seems to be sleeping happily and it is much much cooler in those hutches. I should just say that this, on the latest count, leaves Pads with 5 babies and Ginny with 5-6.