If Found Please Take Care - Know How to Take Care of A Wild Baby Bunny
Written by The Rabbit Hole Hay Team
Wild babies of any kind can be absolutely adorable. They tug on our heartstrings and their innocent squeaks make them irresistible.
With all this cuteness going around we need a voice of reason to step in and help us manage our emotions. It's important to understand any consequences that can come from jumping on our emotions and taking care of them right away.
Do you know how to care for wild baby bunnies? Keep on reading to find out more!
Wild Baby Bunnies are Wild!
One essential fact that we must not loose sight of, no matter how cute they are, is that they are wild animals. Nature has done an amazing job creating a system in which these creatures belong as part of that complete system.
While wild baby bunnies appear to look similar to domesticated rabbits they are not the same. Much of the needs that they have are similar but because of their breeding those needs can be easily misunderstood and mismanaged by a well meaning animal lover.
Are They Really Abandoned?
Most "abandoned" wild baby bunnies are not abandoned at all. A wild mother will only visit the nest and feed her bunnies a few times in the night and in the early morning. She will only visit the nest for very short periods of time when she does visit it. The best thing to do upon stumbling on a nest is to leave it alone and make some observations. Are the babies cold? Can you see if their bellies appear to be full? (Sometimes you can actually see a "milk line".)
Now that you have observed the nest take a thin string and place it around the nest and observe it's locations and position. The next morning go back and observe these things:
Do the babies appear weaker than you last saw them?
Are they cold?
Have they been fed? (If it is the morning they should certainly appear plump)
Has the string been disturbed?
If the string has been moved and the bunnies look full and cared for despite their apparent vulnerability they are being taken care of better than you could hope to and you should leave them alone. Nature is beautiful, just observe and it'll be more satisfying to see them grow as intended.
My Cat Brought It In, My Dog Dug Them Up, or...
Ok, so now we come to the real point. Assuming they are still living and not seriously hurt, the idea of everything from here on out is to try and minimize the damage that you will do to raise them to viability for the wild again.
But wait... I want to keep them as a pet... please.... they are sooo cute.....
I'm sorry, but no, they are not pets. Trying to make them one will be a disaster that will only end in heartache for everyone. Knowing how to take care of a wild baby bunny is not as straight forward as it seems. Need some reasons?
Wild rabbits are prey animals, they need lots of hiding spots, room to run when frightened, etc. While you are holding them and your dog comes barking into the room they will literally die in your arms from fear.
Wild rabbits need the diversity of foods and environments that they live in, your warm little house is not where they are intended to live. They will be more susceptible to disease than a domesticated rabbit.
All rabbits need their mothers milk to get the anti-bodies needed to create the correct gut flora to survive after weening. Without this they are destined to have a short, tough life.
If they are old enough, (about a 3.5 ounces) put them back outside, it is likely that they have been weened and are ready to survive on their own.
It Appears I Am Their Only Hope
Successfully raising a wild rabbit to be released back into the wild is not something to be done by an amateur. If you are reading this it is likely that you are not equipped to deal with this rabbit and give it any hope of surviving. The best option is to call in the professionals, they know how to care for wild baby rabbits.
Ok, now that you don't need to know how to care for a wild baby rabbit and all your nurturing instincts are on high alert let's put those to good use. There are lots of adorable rabbits to adopt. These will be much easier to manage and equally rewarding. Visit Rabbit Rescue Groups to get started and read this great blog on taking care of baby bunnies.
After you adopt a new furry friend, make sure you know all the basic information on how to care for your rabbit! To help we created a Rabbit Starter Kit eBook. You'll learn common rabbit terms, what to place within your rabbit's first aid kit, and more!