If you have found a wild baby bunny in your yard or in the bushes, your first instinct might be to ‘rescue’ or adopt it.
However, if the baby bunny seems healthy and injured, it’s best not to disturb them.
More often than not, wild mother rabbits tend to set up their nests in plain sight.
So, if you have found a wild bunny, do your best to restore the nests and leave them there. This is because the mama bunny will likely return.
You do not necessarily have to adopt a wild baby bunny that you have found. Not only will it be harmful to the bunny, but it is also illegal.
The best chance of a wild baby bunny’s survival is to leave them in its nest.
Yet, there are cases when adopting a wild baby bunny is recommended.
In this article, we will discuss them and what you should do in order to care for a wild baby bunny. We will also talk about how to domesticate a wild baby bunny.
When Can You Adopt a Wild Baby Bunny?
However, there are instances when you can adopt a wild baby bunny. That is when they have been orphaned.
Such bunnies have a less than 10% chance of surviving for longer than a week in the wild.
Therefore, if you have found a wild baby bunny, assess the information around you and then make a decision on whether to adopt it or not.
If you find that the bunny is an orphan, you will need to take swift action to care for it properly.
When you find an injured kit or an animal brings one to you, it is highly recommended to take them to the nearest rabbit vet or a wildlife rehabilitator.
Do not attempt to care for the wild bunny yourself since you might do more harm than good.
The professional will know how to care for the wild baby bunny.
Also read: Questions to Ask When Adopting a Rabbit
Is It Legal to Keep a Wild Baby Bunny?
It is actually illegal to keep a baby bunny you have found in the wild in some states in the US.
If caught, you might have to face severe fines. Not to mention, the kit will also be confiscated, and you won’t be seeing them again.
Therefore, you must look up the laws in your local area before picking up a wild baby bunny and adopting it.
When to Leave a Wild Baby Bunny in the Nest
Suppose you or an animal has found a wild baby bunny. In that case, you must assess the area and situation and then decide whether to leave the baby bunny in the nest.
In most cases, when the kit seems to be completely healthy, it is best to leave them in the nest.
If they are injured, seek professional medical care for them. However, if they seem to be orphaned, you can consider adopting the little one.
How to Know If a Wild Baby Bunny is Orphaned
The only way to tell that is to search for the mother.
Mother rabbits tend to stay with her kits during dusk and dawn when she has to feed them. During other times, she stays away from the nest.
This is because mother rabbits have a scent that predators can track, but the baby rabbits don’t.
They develop the scent a few weeks after being born. Hence, mother rabbits stay near the nest for their safety, but not in it.
Therefore, you must assume that the baby rabbits are not orphaned unless you find the dead mother. If you find her and she is dead, you may adopt the bunny.
How to Domesticate an Adopted Wild Baby Bunny
Wild bunnies are designed to live out in the open, where they have plenty of space.
It is not recommended to keep a wild bunny unless they have absolutely no chance of survival out in the wild.
This is why domesticated wild baby bunnies require you to follow certain precautions.
Wild baby bunnies will be extremely shy and scared of you, especially when you initially get them.
The process of domesticating wild bunnies will require a lot of patience. These animals will consider you a threat and a predator.
The entire process of domesticating wild baby bunnies is about encouraging them to be comfortable with you. This will take time and patience, and you will need to follow certain methods.
If you have to domesticate a wild baby bunny, here are some tips and precautions you must keep in mind:
Get the Wild Baby Rabbit Acquainted With You
The best thing you can do to help the baby rabbit calm down is by helping it get used to you.
This does not mean that you pick up and cuddle the rabbit, which may stress it out more.
Instead, you should remain calm and slightly distant, but still within reach of the animal. They should essentially see you as their primary caretaker.
Allow the Kit to Run
It is natural for a wild baby bunny to run away from you when trying to domesticate it. They will be initially scared of you and want to hide from you, which is natural.
If you prevent them from running away from you, they might get sicker. In fact, in a worst-case scenario, they might even get a heart attack from the fear.
Therefore, make sure you have a safe space where they can hide from you. Such as under the bed or in a box.
Avoid Picking up the Baby Rabbit
Rabbits are ground dwellers and so don’t like to get picked up.
This is why you should avoid doing so, especially when you have first gotten them. As wild baby rabbits, they might feel too uncomfortable and fearful.
Picking the kits will frighten and stress the baby rabbit and cause them to scratch you.
They might even leap to the ground to get free, which could injure them.
Lie Down with the Wild Baby Rabbit
One of the most significant aspects of domesticating a wild baby rabbit is to make them comfortable with your presence. You can do this by frequently staying close by.
However, you should lie down or kneel so that you don’t seem too big to them.
You must also be still and not move too much because that would scare them as well.
Simply remain still and let the wild baby rabbit move around you, sniff you, and get comfortable with your scent.
Avoid Wearing Clothes That Have another Animal’s Scent
Don’t wear any clothes that might carry the smell of another pet or animal.
The wild baby rabbits might smell it and think it comes from a predator. This will instantly frighten them and avoid you.
Therefore, whenever possible, you should wear clothes that don’t carry the scent of another animal.
Moreover, always wash your hands before petting, touching, or holding the wild baby rabbit.
Leave a Trail of Food
Even after a few days, if the wild baby rabbit is avoiding you and not coming out of their hiding spot, use this tip.
You will encourage the baby rabbits to come to you by leaving a trail of food.
Don’t touch the wild rabbit or make sudden movements when they come near you. They need to get comfortable with your scent and presence first.
There are chances that the wild rabbit will run away from you, but you must repeat this process constantly.
After doing this a few times, the animal will come near you.
Do Not Keep Them in Closures 24/7
You must not keep wild baby bunnies in small enclosures or cages.
They need space to move around, which is why keeping them confined will not be good for their health.
Captivity can have negative side effects on a kit’s health due to its stress.
Even their lifespan will be reduced. It would be best to keep the kits outside their cages for most of the day.
All in all, adopting a wild baby bunny is not recommended if they are not orphaned.
Their best chance of survival and a healthy upbringing is in a natural habitat with their mothers.
However, if you have come across orphaned wild baby bunnies, you should take them to the vet and have them checked and treated for injuries.
Then, follow the aforementioned tips to successfully domesticate them.
If you have adopted your baby bunny, you must take necessary precautions to domesticate them and make them feel comfortable.
This is how you can have a healthy and happy baby bunny.
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