Hazel's baby somehow lost all the fur on one of toes. We think either a mouse bit it (we may be having a rodent problem in the rabbitry), or it got stuck in the ball Hazel and her baby had in their cage to play with.
I think that the toe got infected and the infection carried quickly throughout her body. Just the day before she passed, she was hopping around carefree and happy, as sweet and friendly as ever. But the next afternoon, she had gone limp and couldn't lift her head.
When she died just a couple hours later, I was devastated. There are so many things I could've done differently if I had found her sooner, or took care of the toe before it got too bad.
Sadly, before I could realize what I had to do to save her, or what I should have done, it was already too late.
This is why being a rabbit breeder is so hard. Where there is life and happiness, there is always death and sorrow. This is why you might have to wait months before getting a bunny from my rabbitry. One day these babies can be perfectly fine, and the next they can be dying. Breeding rabbits is so emotionally draining and stressful. If all these healthy litters and surviving babies were below the number of lives lost, it would be completely futile to continue, in my opinion. But the surviving litters, the families visiting to pick up their new pet bunny they'll love and spoil for 10+ years, and the attention-craving faces that await me every morning when I go out to feed make it all worth it.
Even with these devastating and tragic losses, I will carry on. I'll never forget Hazel's baby. But I'll also have other litters. Hazel will have more babies. And hopefully this experience can help me with taking better care of my kits in the future.
May she rest in peace.