This is a new post for me as I usually stick with topics about animals we care for in my pet sitting business, like cats and dogs. However, just recently I was able to observe a bunny nest in the front of my house.
This got me doing some research as I watched the mommy Bunny give birth right under the bush in front of my house and then watched as she fed them and raised them.
She had 5 baby bunnies and all but 1 of them have left the area. We still have one baby bunny left who does not seem to want to move on. We named him Sherman. We hope it's a boy since we like that name. LOL !
There are many sources of information on wild bunnies on the internet so if you have questions about your newfound family members, get on the internet so you can understand what exactly is going on. I think it is fascinating.
So here is what I have learned so if you happen to come across a bunny nest this is just some information to help with your newfound family.
- A female rabbit will dig a hole for her babies. This can actually be smack in the middle of your yard or in our case she chose a bush in the front of the house. She will use materials from your yard and line it with some of her own fur by biting her fur off of her body.
- Once she gives birth she will cover up the hole and leave. She is NOT abandoning her babies. She is doing this to protect them. She stays away from the nest so predators do not follow her and know where they are.
- She will return to the nest only once or twice per day to feed her babies. Her milk is super rich with a lot of nutrients so the babies can survive with only 1 or 2 feedings per day. Feeding is usually done in the very early hours of dawn or at dusk. Again, she does this to protect them from predators. She will then cover up the babies in the hole and disappear for the day to eat for herself.
- She will continue to do this until they are about 3 weeks old. Once they get to about 4 weeks old they will start moving out of the nest on their own just to explore. They do not go very far and the Adult bunny will continue to come back and feed them and then leave again.
- Once the babies are about 5 weeks old they will start moving farther and farther away from the nest but do not leave the nest at this time.
- Baby bunnies will stick around the home nest for about 6-8 weeks then they will move on, however, in our case our one bunny has decided he seems to like it here and has stuck around eating and growing.
- Adult bunnies will start mating at 6 months old.
- Adult bunnies breed from February to September.
- Adult bunnies will start to mate again 30 days after the birth of their babies. The mortality rate of baby bunnies is low so constant reproduction helps maintain the species.
- Adult bunnies do not abandon their babies. They only feed their babies once or twice a day for about 5 minutes. The rich milk sustains the babies for 24 hours.
- Adult bunnies will not abandon their babies if humans touch them. This is a myth.
I am really enjoying "Sherman" who decided to stick around for a while. He seems to like it here and we like having him here.