Minggu, 13 Februari 2011

Orphaned Baby Bunnies

Many mother rabbits leave their babies in nests that are above ground and in plain sight. Consequently, it is very common for humans to stumble upon a nest of baby bunnies (or kittens to be technically correct). It is very common for the human to think that the babies have been orphaned by their mother. This is because the mother usually stays far away from the nest for the majority of the day. She will return to the nest briefly in the middle of the night to feed her babies. Rabbit milk is very nutrient-dense and so feeding only takes around five minutes to complete. Then the mother will typically leave the nest again. The majority of these "abandoned" nests are in fact being tended to by a diligent mother.

One way to tell affirmatively if a rabbit nest is in fact orphaned is if the bunnies are cold and or dehydrated. If you gently pinch the skin into a tent position and it doesn't immediately sink back down, then it is probably dehydrated and malnourished. Also, their bellies should not be sunken in.

If you or your pet accidentally disturbs/ruins a bunny nest, don't worry! You can rebuild the nest and place the bunnies back inside and the mother bunny will be none the wiser. Do your best to rebuild the nest as similar as it was before it was disturbed, and handle the baby bunnies very gently.

If the eyes of the orphaned baby bunny are still closed, and the ears are still pushed back, you have very little hope of raising them yourself. Even trained professionals have a difficult time successfully nurturing bunnies when they are that young and lack a mother. However you should take them to a bunny veterinarian or wildlife rescue center as soon as possible.

If the eyes of the orphaned baby bunnies are open and they are able to move around, you can start by feeding them warmed goats milk. Then, contact a wildlife rescue center, as it is illegal to raise wild animals in most states.

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