That’s what it is like here at Operation Orphan these days. Add some opossum and 25 baby squirrels that just came in this week. Did I mention that they all need handfed? Yes, folks, baby season is NOT over yet! With no time to write a TBT this week, I want to repose this TBT about bunnies you find them in your yard or your dog’s mouth this week!
Rabbits place their nest in the middle of the yard, under the swing set, by the in-ground swimming pool, in the flower bed, garden and brush pile, just to name a few. Often the nest is right out where people have actually walked on the nest. KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN and if you see a spot that has fur and grass mixed together, DO NOT DISTURB THE NEST. Instead, mark it some way to help protect it from the lawn mower running over it and to let you know to keep your dog away.
When doing lawn work, please take a check of the area before you mow or weed whack. I already received a batch of four bunnies that were hit by a weed whacker.
Once you find a nest, here are a few things that you can do to help protect the nests:
– DO NOT TAKE BUNNIES OUT OF THEIR NESTS. If you don’t see the mother, it’s because she only comes to the nest late evening or nighttime. If you believe Mother is not coming to the nest, take two pieces of light string and make an X over top of the next. You’ll want to do this late evening and check the string right before daylight. If the string is moved, the Mother is there: LEAVE THEM ALONE. If it hasn’t moved, CALL A PROFESSIONAL WILDLIFE REHABILITATOR before you pick them up.
– Place a stake close to where the nest is so that when you mow you can skip that one small section.
– Place a clothes basket upside-down over the nest during the day and take it off in the evening and during the night so the mother can get to them.
– Build or wrap a small fence surround the nest. You’ll want to place the bottom of the fence just off of the ground high enough that the mother rabbit can get under it.
– Tie your dog up or monitor it; those bunnies will not be there that long.
DOGS AND BUNNIES
I had my say yesterday on cats and today I am going to talk about dogs. Dogs, along with cats, find bunny nests. However, dogs do not torture them like cats do but they will dig vigorously at the nest and injure the babies.
If your dog brings you a baby bunny, please see if you can follow your dog to find out where the nest is. Often the dog will go back to get more babies. If the dog takes you to the nest and you are sure the bunny the dog brought to you is unhurt, pull up some grass and rub the bunny down to get the scent of both you and the dog off of it and place it back in the nest.
You will also need to monitor your dog or tie it up because it will not leave those bunnies alone. I am often told it is impossible to tie the dog up but please try; it won’t be long before they are gone.
If the bunnies’ eyes are closed, they will be gone within three weeks. If eyes are open you are looking at another week or a little longer.
Doing just these little things will help save and protect these bunnies from being injured or killed.
Thank you! ~ Fran Kitchen
REMINDER: Just because you don’t see the mother doesn’t mean she is not around. She is usually in the area and will be back for her babies late in the evening or after dark.
Copyright 2017 Fran Kitchen
Operation Orphan Wildlife Rehabilitation Inc is a 501(c)3 Non-Profit Organization and does not receive federal funding. We are supported entirely through private donations, memberships, and proceeds from our education programs. To Donate visit our website at:www.operationorphanwildlife.com