Jump to content

Menu

What to do with baby bunny in the yard after all its siblings were killed by predator?


ILiveInFlipFlops
 Share

Recommended Posts

DH cleaned up the remains of several baby bunnies in the yard this morning, and then we put it out of our heads. Until about 30 minutes ago, when I spotted a huge stripy orange cat nosing around under our lilacs. I hurried down there to shoo it away and decided to take a look under the empty compost bag that was laying where it was looking. Turns out that there was one more baby under there :-(

 

I don't know whether the mama bunny is still around, and I don't know how the cat is getting into the yard, but the girls then told me that they've seen the cat hanging around before. I don't know how I've missed it, because it's gigantic and practically neon orange! Anyway, the baby doesn't seem to be injured, but I don't know what to do with it now. I don't know for sure that the mom is dead, but will she come looking for her babies after the horrible thing that happened, and with cat scent all over the place? Should I just leave it outside in the cold and hope the cat doesn't come back, or should I keep it inside and try to get it to a wildlife rehab person?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is it staying in its hole? If so, put 2 twigs in the shape of an X over the hole. If the mama bunny is coming back to feed it, the twigs will be moved within a day. The mama only visits the nest about twice a day as to not bring attention to her babies from predators. I would think the mama would still come back after the attack, but I'm not positive. Are you able to feel the baby's belly? If it's full, most likely the mama has been there. If not, there's a good possibility the mama hasn't been there.

 

It's probably best to call a rehabber to see what they recommend. Normally they tell you to do what I mentioned, but with the cat lurking around it might be best to put the bunny in a rehabber's hands to give it a better chance at survival.

 

Good luck!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have no idea about the legality of the cat thing. This cat looked clean and well cared for, but it didn't have a collar or anything, so it's possible it was just a well-fed stray. I'll check with my neighbors to see what they know, but my neighbor is insane about animals in his yard and always has live-capture traps set. If he hasn't caught the thing, I don't know what else we could do. I'll look into it though.

 

There's no visible nest nearby, so I can't do the X test. The dead babies were spread out across a section of the yard and this little guy was further away (I guess it made a sprint for the protection of the empty bag), so I don't even know where to look--and I have been keeping my eyes peeled since we had a rabbit make a next three feet from our brand new garden last year! If it's back there, it's well hidden this time.

 

I had brought the rabbit in in a shoebox because I was all freaked out, but we went and put it back out where we found it, in a little hollow at the base of the lilac, with the bag loosely draped over it for some protection. Hopefully its mama will come back and find it. In the meantime, we canceled our plans and will just hang out here today to keep an eye out in case the cat comes back, so we can scare it off. I really, really hope mama rabbit come back tonight!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I saw my dog carrying something around in the back yard, I went out to investigate. She had found a baby squirrel. Thankfully she had a very soft mouth while carrying it and had not killed it. I put into a shoe box with an old rag and called a local vet to get the number for a rescue organization. Someone came by and picked it up in less than an hour. I just could not bring myself to let nature take it's course. I'm a wimp that way!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Baby bunnies can almost never be saved by rehabbers anyway.

 

That's not true. I raised bunnies a few summers ago and while I did lose some, I did manage to save quite a few, and that was my first time doing it. I know quite a few people who raise bunnies every year and have much success.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's not true. I raised bunnies a few summers ago and while I did lose some, I did manage to save quite a few, and that was my first time doing it. I know quite a few people who raise bunnies every year and have much success.

 

We live in a neighborhood with LOTS of bunnies. And we know lots of people who've tried, and mostly failed around here. We've gotten some and passed them to rehabs, that ended up losing them too. :(

 

This was a site we looked at when we thought about trying. It really gets into the kind of problems wild rabbits can have when you're trying to raise them by hand.

http://www.2ndchance.info/bunnies.htm

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

We live in a neighborhood with LOTS of bunnies. And we know lots of people who've tried, and mostly failed around here. We've gotten some and passed them to rehabs, that ended up losing them too. :(

 

This was a site we looked at when we thought about trying. It really gets into the kind of problems wild rabbits can have when you're trying to raise them by hand.

http://www.2ndchance.info/bunnies.htm

 

 

 

There's definitely a high failure rate when it comes to bunnies. The stress alone of a human raising them could kill them. I'll check out the link you posted in a few, but I pretty much know what the issues are when it comes to raising bunnies. It's not easy, that's for sure. But I do know a lot of people that are very good at it. There are definitely a lot of factors involved in the success rate of raising buns so I don't recommend it to anyone that isn't really experienced with it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, the cat killed the bunny :( We tried to keep it out of the yard, but that thing is stealthy. I caught it three more times, trying to get back to that baby, and I managed to scare it off each time. After the last time, I went around the front of the house, and darned if that thing wasn't waiting on the other side of the fence for me to clear out :glare: We kept an eye on the bunny but tried to stay inside so we wouldn't discourage mama bunny from returning. Around 11:00, DH and I were sitting here watching TV when the bunny started screaming. I ran outside, but I was too late. That's a sound I'd really like to never hear again.

 

I know it's the circle of life and all, but damn, I'm sad tonight :crying:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

They are cute but here you would be considered slightly mad trying to save one. We have an Easter Bunny shoot down south every year at Easter and curse our idiot anscestors for importing the cute little things. I'm sorry you had such a distressing time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Was it a bobcat?

 

You know, that's a good question! I really don't think so, because we don't live in that sort of area, and this cat is bright orange and stripy. But who the heck knows?!

 

We don't care for rabbits, they like the garden too much, so I won't share my advice.

They are cute but here you would be considered slightly mad trying to save one. We have an Easter Bunny shoot down south every year at Easter and curse our idiot anscestors for importing the cute little things. I'm sorry you had such a distressing time.

 

Yeah, I know it's a little silly to be so invested. If it had been adult rabbits, I wouldn't have been nearly so upset. But those teeny tiny babies are just so helpless, I can't help but feel the urge to protect them. Oddly enough, we've had them living in/near our garden for two years now and they haven't done any sort of damage (I say tentatively while knocking on wood, throwing salt over my shoulder, spitting, and making the sign against the evil eye!). Wow, you guys HUNT Easter bunnies on Easter?! That's hardcore!

 

Awwww...... I know that scream. I hope to never hear it again in my life as it's just awful. I'm sorry you had to witness that. :( And thank you for caring for the poor little thing.

 

Thanks, I appreciate it. I knew they could scream, but I'd never heard it before. It was really a terrible sound :( Mama bunny showed up this morning, hopping around and looking sort of mystified around the corner of our patio. After she was gone, I went down to see why. Turns out, I had inadvertently placed the lid over an old 18-gallon Rubbermaid tote that used to serve as an herb planter but that's just been hanging around empty for awhile now. And guess what I found in the bin? The now-empty nest. This bin is literally in the middle of the hustle and bustle of our gardening work. Since she had those babies there, we've built a new raised planting table literally next to the bin, brought in a million plants and seedlings, potted several containers and watered all the existing containers repeatedly, threw bags of compost around, dragged the hose around, threw down many boxes of mats (we're using to kille the grass between the beds), planted bulbs, etc. I very nearly emptied that bin out several times! My mind is blown that there were baby bunnies in the thick of it that whole time. I wonder where the heck we'll find them next year.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you live in Michigan, it would be illegal for you to attempt to rehab it without being licensed by the DNR. So, you would need to leave it be. That said, most wildlife rehabbers will not take baby bunnies anyway. They are notoriously difficult to keep alive.

 

I got a license last year to save some newly hatched woodducks from the neighborhood cats after they fell out of the nest and their parents left. Worked our tails off for eight weeks, had to beautiful females feathering out, and then the first night we had them outdoors in a secure pen to begin acclimating them to the outdoors, with the idea that in a couple of weeks, we'd be taking them to stateland in an area where many woodducks nest, bam....they were dead in the morning. I have no intentions of going through that again and the bloomin' things will nest across the street again this year because they.always.do., and I'm determined to not get involved.

 

It's hard, but probably best to let nature take it's course. The reality is that without predators, rabbits would overtake the earth!

 

Faith

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...