|Help Me! I Found A Baby
It is very common to uncover a nest of cottontail
rabbits that may appear to be abandoned. Mother rabbits
do not abandon their babies under normal circumstances.
She only feeds her babies once or twice during a 24-hour
period, usually between dusk and dawn.
You may never see her return to the nest. If the babies'
eyes are still closed, they are under 10 days old. If
they look plump, are nestled snuggly next to each other
and do not appear to be in any immediate danger, leave
Check to see if the mother is coming back to the nest by
looking at the babies' bellies, first thing in the morning.
They should be round, full, and fat.
Keep your dogs and cats away from the nesting area.
Cottontails are ready to leave the nest at 3-4 weeks of age.
If the nest has been disturbed, even by a lawnmower, put all
the babies and bedding back in place. The mother won't mind at
If you find a small rabbit hopping around that appears to be
too young to be on its own, remember: if it is as big as a
tennis ball and can run away from you it does not need your
If you determine that the babies are injured or in need of
- Place them in a small box with the
bedding from their nest, if possible, or soft rags. Baby
cottontails are incredibly fragile and do not take handling
by humans well. THEY WILL DIE OF STRESS IF HANDLED
- Keep baby rabbits in a box in a warm,
quiet place away from children, household noise, domestic
pets and bright lights
- If you have a heating pad, turn it on LOW
and place it under HALF of the box
- DO NOT ATTEMPT TO FEED ANY TYPE OF
FORMULA TO A BABY RABBIT. You may kill the animal
- If you have to keep it overnight, you
should only attempt to rehydrate it. You must wait until the
baby rabbit warms up, as a cold animal cannot digest
properly. Prepare a 50/50 mixture of Pedialyte OR Gatorade
with water. Once the rabbit has warmed up, you may gently
attempt to give it drops of this warmed mixture with a
- If it will not swallow, do not force it
as this could lead to aspiration
- If the bunny doesn't have its eyes
opened, stimulate it to urinate and/or defecate by slightly
dampening a cotton ball with warm water and gently stroking
the genital area. These instructions are good for the 24
hour period that it might take for you to get the baby
rabbit to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator