Caring For Wild Baby Bunnies

 

 What to Try First:

The best thing to do, if you find a wild baby rabbit is to find the hole or burrow where it's nest is and put it back!  Don't worry about your smell making the mother bunny reject it, she won't.

If you are sure the mother is dead (your dog brought you her lifeless form, etc.), then you will need to either formula feed the baby or find a wildlife rehabilitator.

If you can find a rehabilitator in your area, this would be better, as such a person will likely already have the hands on experience in feeding bunny babies. With something this tricky, experience helps!  Here is a website that might help you find a wildlife rehabilitator in your area (you can also call your local humane society and/or veterinarian):

http://www.tc.umn.edu/~devo0028/contact.htm

 

 

What to Do When the Wild Mama is Dead:

Whether you are taking the bunny to a rehabber or not, the first thing you must do (if you know the mother rabbit is dead and so you can't simply put it back)  is to keep the baby warm. If you have a heating pad, try filling a small box or pet cab with a towel for warmth, then set the pad on low and place it under the box.  Then put the baby inside on the warming towel.  This will help the baby conserve body heat and therefore energy/calories.

 If you don't have a heating pad, try heating some water and placing it in a water tight bottle, such as a good quality sports bottle.  Then put it in a box or basket and fill around it with an old towel, and put a light towel over the top of this.   (You are essentially making a "hot water bottle".)  Be sure to test the result by placing your hand on top, to be sure it isn't too hot.   This should help until you can send someone to the store for the heating pad (or get the bunny to a more experienced person).  

 

What to Do If You Must Formula Feed

If you must feed the baby rabbit formula yourself, then you will need the information below.  Please take the time to click on each high-lighted link and read the information before emailing us for more instructions.  Do NOT try formula feeding without first reading these instructions.

 

  1. Information sheet from the House Rabbit Society
    about nursing (orphaned wild) bunnies:

    http://www.rabbit.org/faq/sections/orphan.html

     

  2. A

  3. rticle that tells you how much formula to feed the baby:

http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&S=0&C=0&A=495 

   

  1. What kind of formula to feed baby bunnies:

 

Pet Ag KMR Milk Replacer Food Supplement
for Kittens & Small Animals Liquid

The world's #1 milk replacer.  KMR Milk Replacer is formulated to closely match mother's milk in protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Fortified with essential vitamins and minerals. Available in powder or liquid. For kittens, baby hamsters and other small animals.

You can click on the can above to purchase the formula directly from Petco.com, but since you are in a hurry, you are better off running out to your local pet store and picking some up directly.   Right click on the picture of the can, and then select "print picture".  This way you'll  know just what to get when you arrive at the store.

 

What to Do Next

Once you are formula feeding the babies you will still need to take care of their other needs.  Of course you will still be keeping them warm, as instructed above.  

And you will need to check the old towel they are laying on and replace it with a fresh towel if it becomes damp or soiled.   If your wild babies are doing well, then you may want to make up a nest box for them, filled with Carefresh litter.   This can be easily discarded and replaced as it becomes damp.   The heating pad, set on lowest setting, can go under this next box.

When the babies become big enough to move around on their own and their eyes are opened, you can offer them a water bottle and rabbit chow pellets.   By this point, you will want to be sure the next box is inside a cage so that the bunnies don't jump out and get injured or lost.  

Once again, the best choice at this point is to find a wildlife rehabber who can guide through what to do next.   Our specialty is pet rabbits and we have no experience with releasing hand raised wild rabbits to the wild.   Remember however, that hand raised bunnies will have lost some of the caution their wild cousins would have.  And this will make them more vulnerable to predators and other hazards.

 

Additional information on raising wild bunnies can be found here:

 

Raising Orphaned Cottontail Rabbits

Helpful information from the Alabama Wildlife Center.   Please note that if you are planning to hand feed a baby rabbit, you must not lay it on its back to feed.  Place the rabbit in a sitting up position.  The FAQ sheet mentions this only once and it is easy to miss, but quite critical.

 

Orphaned Baby Bunnies 

Important FAQ from the House Rabbit Society.

 

 

click one of these topics for more information

Breeding Like Rabbits!

Rabbit Care    

How To Care For
Baby Bunnies

It Could Happen To You! Our Bunny Farm: 
A Look Back
Help!  I Found
 Wild Babies

Our Favorite Rabbit Links

 How To Build An
Outdoor Bunny Pen
Mothering
 Rabbit Style
Illness & Injury The EK Bunny Pages
 Photo Gallery
 Feed & Supplies
Not for the Wild! Kids Bunny Fun! How Not to House

For information about rabbit care, please click on one of the underlined topics above.

 

 Return to ...

How To Raise Baby Bunnies 

 


 

back to
main bunny page

 

  

 

Amazon Honor System Click Here to Pay Learn More

 

 

 

 

Check out our  great  Earth's Kids  Kids Can Change the World action pages and
 learn how kids can learn more about nature and living in harmony with it in the Earth's Kids KIDS CLUB!

 

Don't miss Earth's Kids      Spring and Winter fun and learning pages.

Valentine's Day,  Easter and  Saint Patrick's Day

pages for science and craft activities, reading and more!

 Every day is  EARTH DAY!  Check out our great fun activities, art, & learning
about ways to help grown ups and kids help our Earth!

Wondering about the weather?  Don't miss the Earth's Kids special feature on  Climate Change & Global Warming!

Emergency Preparedness!  

Learn how to keep your children safe in the event of a natural disaster.

Tips to Teach Kids How to Wash Hands!

 

 www.earthskids.com

Copyright Earth's Kids 1999.  All rights reserved.