Saturday morning Jason came back in the house from doing chores, and I could tell that something bad had happened.
"Stupid rabbit died giving birth."
"She bled out."
"Are the babies alive?"
"Yeah, six of them. I put them in with the other mother, but I don't think it's going to work."
He then left to attend some training, while he was gone the rest of us wondered if anything could be done.
That afternoon Little Sister asked if Jason would mind if she kept one as a pet. He could breed it if he wanted to, but it would be her pet. I thought that'd be fine. I suggested she take two so that they would keep each other warm and to hedge her bet. I told her to take the two livelest ones. She went down in the the barn with my parents to help her.
When she came back she had three.
A few minutes later my Mom came up with a sheepish look on her face and said; "My sweatshirt pocket is moving."
"How many?" I asked.
"All of them."
"You do realize that even if they survive, we will still be eating them."
"Yes. I know."
We did some research and warmed a bit of cows milk for them and fed them with droppers we happened to have (sometimes it pays off to keep things--sometimes). We put their mothers fur from her nest making in a bucket with straw and a piece of flannel for them to crawl under. We put numbers on their back with a non-toxic washable markers and made careful notes on how much milk each took in. We fed them, put a warming light over them, and hoped for the best.
That was four days ago.
Their fur is coming in, they are peeing on their own, and taking a teeny nipple we borrowed from a friend. We are so surprised at how well they are doing. We all assumed that we'd loose them all in the first day. As far as we can tell all six are going to make it.
The question Jason keeps asking us is, "Are you sure you will be able to eat them when it comes time?"
"Yes, all but the one we keep as a pet."
Jan 2013 :: Edited to add--
A few days later all the kits died. Later we finally received some credible information and learned we had fed them improperly.