Baby Bunnies & Rabbits

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Baby Bunnies & Adult Rabbits

In most cases, the mother is somewhere, hidden nearby. She has not abandoned her babies. The mother comes only at dusk and dawn, when she is sure no predators are watching. The mother will stand over the nest and let the babies nurse. You should do nothing. Try not to disturb the nest in any way. If someone has removed the babies from the nest, gently put them back and make sure they are covered with nesting material.**

 IT IS A MYTH THAT IF YOU TOUCH THE BABIES THE MOTHER WILL REJECT THEM.

This is true of all animals, even birds. The best chance they have of surviving is with their parents.

If you are concerned that the mother might be dead, there is a simple trick to see if she is still around. Take four sticks, about 8-10 inches long but not much thicker than a toothpick. Place them in a tic-tac-toe pattern over the nest. Check back in 24 hours to see if the sticks have been disturbed. If the sticks are too big, you won’t see a change. You can also place small pieces of a cotton ball in a pattern. If you find that the mother has not returned, CALL A WILDLIFE RE-HABBER.

If you have a pet that has disturbed the nest, make sure they don’t continue to disturb it. If the mother has made the nest in a completely inconvenient spot, and there is no way to keep the nest from being disturbed by pets or humans, you can put dog, or cat hair in the nest, and the mother will smell a predator has been in the nest and should move he babies sometime during the night.

Sometimes, simply placing a lawn chair or table over the nest with a sign not to disturb for a few weeks will be enough until the babies are able to leave the nest on their own.

 What to do if you find a single baby rabbit:

If a pet has brought you a baby rabbit, examine it carefully for injuries**. If the baby is injured, CALL A WILDLIFE RE-HABBER. The baby rabbit should be placed it in a small, covered container with some bedding, and a heat source*. Make sure that there are air holes in the container. The container should be kept in a quiet place, away from air-conditioning or extreme heat.

Do not handle the baby rabbit unnecessarily. Do not force-feed the baby or put any liquids in it’s mouth, unless instructed by a rehabber. You may place some fresh grass or greens in the container and a small jar lid with water. The baby must stay warm. Put a heating pad underneath half of the box the baby is in put it on LOW or if there is a lot of padding underneath the bunny such as blankets put it on MEDIUM Do Not put it on HIGH!  Make sure youfeel the  bottom of the box and make sure the temperature is not hot, it should be warm only! If you do not have a heating pad you can put a bottle filled with hot water in the box to keep the baby warm (wrap a small towel around the bottle). Change the water when it gets cool.

NEVER give a baby rabbit cow’s milk. The best thing to give them for a very short time is Pedialyte®. It should be administered warm and dye and color free.

Try to find the nest and put the baby rabbit carefully back.** If you are unable to find the nest, CALL A WILDLIFE RE-HABBER.

If it is necessary that a baby rabbit remain in your care for an extended period of time, make sure that you follow the rehabber’s instructions. This is especially important for their diet and the expression of their urine and feces. Baby rabbits that still have their eyes closed and their ears close to their heads are unable to urinate and often poop without manual stimulation. A baby rabbit that is unable to express urine will become bloated and be sickened by the toxins that build up inside it. You may see that the baby rabbit has been able to poop on its own, but it still needs to be stimulated.

 

If you find an injured juvenile or adult rabbit:

Place the rabbit gently in a box or container with a towel, old T-shirt or a blanket**. Keep the rabbit quiet and away from pets, children and air-conditioning, and anything that might frighten it. CALL A WILDLIFE RE-HABBER. You can place a jar lid with water in the box as well as fresh grass, clover, greens, apple slices or carrot tops.

*Examples of heat source are: A heating pad on low. A surgical glove, glass jar or bottle filled with hot water or micro waved for 3 minutes, wrapped in a dish towel.

A commercial heating pad. A hot water bottle.

**Always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling any wildlife.