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Old 05-18-2013, 02:02 PM
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Default abandoned baby rabbits, what to do?

We watched as a mother rabbit dug out her nest a few weeks ago and knew she'd be back to have her babies. The nest is right outside our back picture window by our tortoise enclosure.

She had 6 babies a few days ago. Now mom is m.i.a. probably food for a nearby coyote den, if I had to guess. As of yesterday, we saw a couple they looked fine. Today though we've only seen one she is clearly distressed and endangered.

We have raised all manor of animal, reptile..... We currently have 2 rabbits. We have tanks/cages, heat sources, lights, bedding, Timothy hey, rabbit food, kitten formula, water bottles, etc. I know we can give the surviving babies a better chance than they have now (which is less than zero).

So do we jump in and bring the babies in or let nature take it's course? If they were to survive for a few weeks I would want them to be released. So anything we do now would need to be done with minimal "human imprinting".

The realist in me says that they are perfect snake food size for a few of our big males! I'd have a problem with that option and Mrs. Kozmic would have my *** but, you know....just sayin!

Input please as time is of the essence. I'm sure they won't survive another night. My wife is on the fence but I know it's killing her inside. I'm always up for a challenge but don't want to trump mother nature.

Regardless, I can't keep them where they are because they are literally 8 feet from my back door. I don't want to invite predators that close.
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Old 05-18-2013, 02:11 PM
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If you have to ask then you know what you'll end up doing. Post some pictures of your new bunnies for us to see.
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Old 05-18-2013, 02:14 PM
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Wild rabbits are extremely difficult to rescue at that age. We faced the same decision last year when one of our dogs killed the mother rabbit. Among other things, the mother rabbit stimulates her young to urinate by licking their genitals, and this goes on for a couple weeks at a minimum. A human would have to simulate the same thing with wet cotton balls or something similar, or the babies die of uremic poisoning, or some such thing. It seems cruel, but nature has a way of dealing with these events. There isn't much you can do.
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Old 05-18-2013, 02:29 PM
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Yeah, I'd pretty much draw the line at that whole licking thing.

When something like this happens so close to your house you feel like you're somehow obligated to become the surrogate mother. You're right though, at such a young age the mother serves a multitude of functions to aid in survival. Many of which are not easily duplicated or probably even fully understood.
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Old 05-18-2013, 02:41 PM
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Just remember. They were born free.....
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Old 05-18-2013, 02:44 PM
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Born to die like everything. Sooner or later. Circle of life. Don't intervene, let nature take its course.
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Old 05-18-2013, 03:15 PM
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I dunno...baby rabbits grow up to be big, tender, juicy.......never mind.

Anyway...I'd try to save em.
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Old 05-18-2013, 03:17 PM
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Intervene for all that is good and decent in this world Intervene!!!
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Old 05-18-2013, 04:15 PM
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Circle of life and all that stuff, Yes, it hard to do nothing but that's the way nature works sometimes. It seems harsh and it is.
It's just that you happen to see it. What of all the others that are out there that you do not see, birds, rabbits whatever. There is a reason, what, I do not know but there is.

I do not believe they are on the endangered list.

Let it be.
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Old 05-18-2013, 04:42 PM
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I'd say let nature take its course, but being that they're less than 8 feet from your doorstep, I'd be inclined to either relocate them, or find a bunny farm that could take care of them.
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Old 05-18-2013, 04:54 PM
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I have raised 4 rabbits and 3 squirrels from tiny, hairless babies. I've never done the stimulation thing with cotton balls, didn't even know about it. A tiny bottle from a pet supply store, baby formula and a heating pad is all that's needed ( and a lot of time). Keep them warm and fed and they will be fine.
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Old 05-18-2013, 05:04 PM
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Sadly we hadn't seen any motion around the nest most of the day and that was just one of the babies earlier. I finally decided to check and all had died. I think most probably died with the cold of last night. They were removed and put into our ever-growing pet cemetery out back.

I don't think anything we would have done could have helped them.
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Old 05-18-2013, 05:16 PM
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that's nature for you. It sucks but it happens.
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Old 05-18-2013, 05:32 PM
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Quote:
A human would have to simulate the same thing with wet cotton balls or something similar
Or be really weird.....
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Old 05-18-2013, 06:22 PM
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Default Life is a learning experience

So mother bunny thought making a den near your house was a safe place. Obviously she sniffed around and smelled no predators in that area. Obviously you take your dog in at night. Obviously she planned to spend many happy nights with her babies eating the green grass near your house. But she was wrong.

You watched the babies die and now you and wife feel guilty.

Life is a learning experience. Next time your wife will know exactly when to kick you out that back door to rescue bunnies. End of story.
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Old 05-18-2013, 06:31 PM
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you wanna take care of the rabbits george?
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Old 05-18-2013, 06:50 PM
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Default You can do it!

I plowed up a nest of rabbits with my tractor a few years ago...momma rabbit didn't return.

I called the local county Agricultural Extension Agent and asked best way to keep them living. His advise was good and it worked.

Tractor Supply or farm & garden stores sell kitten formula (yep, kitten formula.) Feed them with a small "eye dropper." When they grow a little a small pet nursing bottle works. Warm the formula and feed the rabbits every 4-5 hours.

They are ready to set free when you take them outside and place them on the ground and they run away so fast you can't catch them.

It works...these all survived.

If it happens again, try this.



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Old 05-18-2013, 06:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Delos View Post
So mother bunny thought making a den near your house was a safe place. Obviously she sniffed around and smelled no predators in that area. Obviously you take your dog in at night. Obviously she planned to spend many happy nights with her babies eating the green grass near your house. But she was wrong.

You watched the babies die and now you and wife feel guilty.

Life is a learning experience. Next time your wife will know exactly when to kick you out that back door to rescue bunnies. End of story.
With all due respect, your post is wrong on every imaginable level. End of story.
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Old 05-18-2013, 06:57 PM
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I hear they taste like rabbit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 05-18-2013, 08:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cocked & Locked View Post
I plowed up a nest of rabbits with my tractor a few years ago...momma rabbit didn't return.

I called the local county Agricultural Extension Agent and asked best way to keep them living. His advise was good and it worked.

Tractor Supply or farm & garden stores sell kitten formula (yep, kitten formula.) Feed them with a small "eye dropper." When they grow a little a small pet nursing bottle works. Warm the formula and feed the rabbits every 4-5 hours.

They are ready to set free when you take them outside and place them on the ground and they run away so fast you can't catch them.

It works...these all survived.

If it happens again, try this.



are you really sure they "survived" though? Seeing as they were babies when the mother abandoned them, they probably weren't taught how to forage, what animals that are dangerous (although this might be an instinct), and other such things...
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Old 05-18-2013, 08:12 PM
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Default Never get weak

Every few years my back couple of acres gets flooded with cute rabbits. They bolt or circle and follow my riding lawn mower. They like the new green grass left behind after my mower does its job.

At some point the very large owls around here start taking a few. The owls even get a few small dogs.

But the hawks are the biggest threat. When they migrate south, just before winter, I might have one trembling rabbit under heavy brush.

I doubt if any wild rabbit ever dies of old age.

With foxes all the rabbits must do is outrun the other rabbits. There always seems to be other rabbits to outrun.

But hawks fly deathly fast through rows of trees and down between brush. A scream n the dusk is not a Banshee. And it is illegal to shoot “raptors” in farming country. Easy to get negative on this issue.

But then another few summers comes and goes and you are up to your ankles in rabbits again.

Hawks are only good for the one really evil pest that tries to tunnel into your attic when over populated.
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Old 05-18-2013, 08:20 PM
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We "rescued" four after Mama poked her head up under the mower. Fed 'em kitten formula. Three died within two days. The fourth was quickly joined by a week old male kitten. They spent the first month of their lives together until the rabbit died of unknown causes. The cat lived a good long life.

Long story short, even if you do try to save them, you might not be able to save them. Do what your conscience leads you to do, but realize that they may still not make it.
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Old 05-18-2013, 08:30 PM
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I tried to save 7 this spring, 4 died after a few days but 3 seemed to be doing good but ended up dieing on day 7. I fed them kitten milk replacement every few hours and kept them warm but its hard to duplicate Mother Nature I guess
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Old 05-18-2013, 08:37 PM
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are you really sure they "survived" though? Seeing as they were babies when the mother abandoned them, they probably weren't taught how to forage, what animals that are dangerous (although this might be an instinct), and other such things...
Nah..I doubt they all survived. Critters probably got some and I probably rolled at least two of them later on with my LeFever Nitro Special 16 gauge.
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Old 05-18-2013, 08:39 PM
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Hawks are only good for the one really evil pest that tries to tunnel into your attic when over populated.
Do I detect a touch of dislike/fear for something that is a better predator than you? I ask out of philosophical interest, not to flame or criticise.
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Old 05-18-2013, 09:56 PM
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Default Yup, did not know it was obvious

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Do I detect a touch of dislike/fear for something that is a better predator than you? I ask out of philosophical interest, not to flame or criticise.
Yup, I did not know it was obvious. I will try to cloak it better next time.
(After excessive scratching in my attic over porch area, I live-trapped a few of them “tree rat” squirrel rodents and let them loose at local bird refuge that has no squirrels but adequate Raptors. I think the raptors followed me home after the third time of being their candy man).
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Old 05-18-2013, 10:58 PM
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I doubt if any wild rabbit ever dies of old age.
You can bet on that.
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Old 05-18-2013, 11:13 PM
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You can bet on that.
And I'm wonderin' if anything ever really dies of old age...
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Old 05-19-2013, 01:45 AM
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Yup, I did not know it was obvious. I will try to cloak it better next time.
No worries. I am always intrigued at the reactions and attitudes of others towards wildlife. For example, my late wife worked with a girl who got woogie just looking at photos of ANY non-domesticated animal that was not in a cage. The idea that I was close enough to two jackrabbits to take their picture just freaked her out. Then there was the girl I dated in England who extended familiarities to spiders that would surely lead to lethal consequences in more exotic countries.

Quote:
(After excessive scratching in my attic over porch area, I live-trapped a few of them “tree rat” squirrel rodents and let them loose at local bird refuge that has no squirrels but adequate Raptors. I think the raptors followed me home after the third time of being their candy man).
They're not daft. My Dad discovered that while driving slowly (20-25 ish) along country lanes in England in the twilight, owls would pace his car to see what he flushed.
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Old 05-19-2013, 08:12 AM
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