Thursday, April 3, 2008

Baby Bunny Info

When we accidentally dug into a rabbit's nest in our manure pile, we weren't sure if we were dealing with the situation properly. We left the bunnies as close to what remained of their nest as possible and covered them with a little manure and hay to keep them warm and safe. I've been checking on them, because I've been worried about them. I wasn't sure if I ruined their chances of survival by touching them or if the partially destroyed nest would prevent the mother from coming back to nurse them. However, the mother must have returned, because I saw new dig marks around the nest and because the bunnies have been growing at a rapid rate each day. They appear to be very healthy.

I found a website that has invaluable information on what to do when you find a wild rabbits' nest: http://www.rabbit.org/faq/sections/orphan.html. It assured me that we did most everything right. I shouldn't have kept checking on them, because I was probably attracting predators. However, I have to admit that the mother bunny was brilliant for making her nest in a manure pile. The smell of the manure probably masks the smell of the bunnies when predators do pass by. Also, my manure pile is surrounded by chain-link, so dogs can't get in. I mainly have to worry about cats and birds. What is interesting is that mother bunnies only come by the nest once at night and nurse the babies for about five minutes. The rest of the time the babies just sleep and grow, occasionally coming out at night to explore.

When I last checked on them, the one on top hopped out of the nest. I didn't want it to hop out into the open in broad daylight, because we've had a lot of hawks hanging around. I picked up the bunny and it sat right in the palm of my hand. I couldn't resist petting its luxurious fur before placing it back into the nest and covering it up. Since the bunnies are growing so fast, their "dog pile" of warm bodies is rising closer to the surface, so I put another layer of hay on top. They open their eyes at 10 days, and their eyes have been open since Monday. They are weaned at 3 to 4 weeks and stay with the family for 4 to 5 weeks. With that information I feel confident that these bunnies will survive... at least until they find the highway or the food crop of some shotgun-toting farmer.

6 comments:

Resting Racers Ranch said...

ah... cute babies... I had that happen once but they were in a wood pile and before I knew what they were, my dog already had them out of the nest and killed them. I was totally upset!

Resting Racers Ranch said...

I'm glad I found your blog. It's always nice to see what other horse owners are thinking.

Rising Rainbow said...

The only nurse once a day, that is very interesting.

Mellimaus said...

AWWWWW, what adorable babies! I don't know a thing about bunnys in a manure pile (LOL) but they sure are cute, even if they picked a strange (and smelly) place to sleep. ;-) cute post!

barngoddess said...

I saw their photo, how precious!!!

we have some rabbits that hang around here, the coyotes do not usually venture into the yards so thay are somewhat safe except....
"shotgun-toting farmer" Im not a farmer

LMAO we like rabbit meat here. We do not hunt on our 30 acres but farther away from home so our 'pets' are safe.

dont think bad of me!

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

barngoddess - Don't worry. I try not to judge. Before there were supermarkets we did have to grow our own food and hunt for meat. Does rabbit taste like chicken?