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Rabbits/Wild and possibly orphaned baby bunnies


Today my father found a nest of five baby bunnies in our garden (our garden has a fence around it. The mother bunny dug under the fence to get in, a problem with which we are currently working on).'Based on this website I believe these bunnies are 4-6 days of age. Anyway, my father pulled them out of the garden (using a shovel, not touching them). Me and my mother decided we couldn't just put them back in our garden (they'd eat all of our plants), so we put them in a corner on the outside of the fence, covering them with the original nesting materials. One of the babies had begun opening there eyes as we were picking them up (with gloves) and putting them in the new nest. The other bunnies didn't show any signs of opening their eyes. All of the five bunnies have their ears completely down.

Is there any thing else we can or should do?

Dear Missy,

Yes, there is something else you should do.  If you want the babies to survive and not starve to death, you must IMMEDIATELY put the nest back exactly where you found it.  The mother will not find the nest in its new location unless it's about a foot away.  Otherwise, she will assume it has been found by a predator and destroyed.  (To her, that's what has happened.)

It is not too late to put the nest back if it was done yesterday.  But the babies will not be able to feed themselves if they are as small as you say.  As they starve, they will crawl out of the nest in desperation to find their mother, and then will likely be picked off by local predators such as rats, squirrels, crows, etc.

A rabbit nest should *never* be disturbed and especially not moved.  Moving the nest is a death sentence for the babies.

If you cannot put it back, then contact a wildlife rehabilitator who can raise the babies, or at least try.  At that stage, they are not easy to raise to a safe age to release.

You can find a rehabber here:

But the babies' best chance for survival is to be fed by mama, and that means putting the nest back and watching to be sure she is feeding them.  Please also read:

I hope this helps.



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Dana Krempels, Ph.D.


I've lived with companion rabbits for more than 35 years, and consider them members of my family. I can answer any questions about the biology and health of rabbits, from the commonplace to the unusual. But please note:

RULE #1:

Find a rabbit vet at for immediate help, and don't risk your bunny's life by spending time asking questions online! If you can't get in touch with your vet, read these Emergency Sick Bunny Instructions.

If you have found a wild baby rabbit, please read these EMERGENCY INSTRUCTIONS FOR WILD BABY RABBITS and then use this link to FIND A LOCAL WILDLIFE REHABILITATOR who can give you the right advice.

RULE #2:
Help me help you! Please make your subject line informative if you have an urgent question. then LET ME KNOW IN THE SUBJECT LINE so I can give your question highest priority over non-urgent questions. If you don't do this, then I can't guarantee timely assistance!

For all the best, most accurate rabbit health, care and behavior information, visit The House Rabbit Society.


I have been rescuing and rehabilitating domestic and wild rabbits for about 30 years. I have written articles for many rabbit rescue publications, as well as for the veterinary journal, Exotic DVM. I own EtherBun, the internet's largest listserve dedicated to health, care, and behavior of domestic rabbits.

Houserabbit Adoption, Rescue, and Education, Inc. (H.A.R.E., Inc.) president National House Rabbit Society (Board member)

Exotic DVM
Warren Peace (Journal of the House Rabbit Society of Miami)
Various newsletters of the House Rabbit Society, nationwide

Ph.D - Biology
B.S. - Biology
B.A. - English

Awards and Honors
Lightspan Academic Excellence Award for web site on rabbit health and biology

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