Wild Rabbits

Brown little rabbit with daisies on green meadowWhat to do when you find a baby rabbit:

1. If the baby bunny is not injured it should be returned to the nest site and left there. The mother rabbit only comes to check on the babies once a day, usually at night or in the early morning. You can use flour around the nest to see if the mother has returned overnight.

2. If the baby bunny is injured then it should be taken to a rehabilitation facility

3. If hand rearing orphaned baby bunnies is required then:

a. Keep the bunny warm

b. Keep the bunny in a dry nest like setting (try a box with hay bedding). Make sure that it is in a safe quiet place away from an predators (cats & dogs)

c. Milk replacer (1 part Esbilac powder, ¼ part heavy cream, 1 part water or 2 parts KMR, 1 part Multi-Milk Powder). The bunny should get 2-3 meals a day. Be careful not to force too much food as aspiration pneumonia is common. A total of 2-30ml/day depending on the size and age of the bunny is common. Milk replace is the only food for the first 10-15 days

d. Consider adding a probiotic such as Benibac to help the GI flora

e. Baby rabbits need stimulation of the anogenital region to promote urination and defecation. This can be done by gently stroking the area with a warm, wet cotton ball. This is usually only necessary for the first 1-2 weeks.

f. After 15 days small amount of solid food, such as Herbivore Critical Care, hay or rabbit pellets can be offered (~5% of the diet).

g. By 20 days the baby bunny will be primarily eating solid foods; however, milk replacer should still be offered. Make sure you are offering hay to the bunny at this point in time.

h. By day 28, the baby bunny should not be receiving milk replacer any longer, however, water can be offered from the bottle.

i. Once the bunny is eating on it’s own and fully mobile it should be re-released into the wild in a safe/protected area. Try to choose an area where other rabbits are living.

4. Hand raising baby bunnies is a very difficult and time consuming process. Every with the best care remember that rabbits are a prey species and mortality is very high in these young babies.