I finally got a good peek into Grindle's litter. She has an exceptionally large nest, and a lot of what Lil was complaining about in the comments is what has been happening to her litter. It started off at 7 healthy kits and they just kept getting lost in the nest. When Grindle went to feed the bunnies, some were swimming through fur trying to find her. We had a few cold nights when they were first born and some just didn't make it until the next feeding although I checked twice a day.
Part of the problem was that Grindle HATED the cardboard liner I put into her wire-drop nestcage. So after 12 hours of her being furious, I took it out. The nest got disrupted early on, and never got packed back correctly until yesterday and by then 3 bunnies had expired.
This bunny making business is fraught with uncertainty. Life is so fragile.
But, here on day 5 we have four healthy, well fed tortoiseshell babies. This color is much in demand by spinners and I cannot believe it is JUST the color of rabbit I need the most of (as does Betsy). So, I am grateful for them and that things are smoothing out in the nest.