Rabbits nest from March through September and have a litter every 28 days. The average litter contains four to five babies.
IS THE RABBIT INJURED (BLEEDING, BROKEN BONES, PUNCTURE WOUNDS, BEEN IN A CAT’S MOUTH, OPEN WOUNDS, ETC.)?
- If YES, take the rabbit to your nearest wildlife veterinarian or contact us.
- If NO, see below.
Is the rabbit fully furred with its eyes opened?
- If YES, if the rabbit is larger than a baseball and weighs more than 4 ounces or 100 grams, it is on its own and does not need human intervention.
- If NO, attempt to locate the nest (a shallow depression on the ground possibly lined with rabbit fur and/or grass; rabbits do not burrow) and put the rabbit back. Nests that must be moved (due to construction) may be relocated up to 20 feet away from the original site (scoop up and rebuild the nest with the mother’s fur and place the babies inside). Check back briefly once a day for two days. If the rabbits appear to be plump and healthy, leave them alone. Mother rabbits feed at dusk and dawn. You are not likely to ever see the mother. If the rabbits appear thin and weak, have wrinkled, baggy skin, contact a state licensed small mammal rehabilitator in your area immediately. Rabbits may be temporarily moved for mowing if they are returned to the nest before dusk. Do not attempt to mow within 10 feet of a rabbit’s nest if there are babies present. If you suspect the nest is abandoned, you can sprinkle the area with flour or cross two twigs over the nest and check back in 24 hours. If there is no sign of activity at the nest, you will then need to get the bunnies to a licensed rehabilitator.
Young rabbits disperse from the nest at 15-20 days old. By three weeks of age, they are on their own in the wild and no longer require a mother’s care.
NOTE : Each animal’s nutritional, housing, and handling requirements are very specific and must be met if the animal has any chance of survival. Cow’s milk and human milk replacers will make wild animals sick. Raising a wild animal in captivity is illegal unless you have a state permit.