Baby bunnies are absolutely adorable and a joy to have as pets.
They offer immense love and companionship to their human owners, making each day so much brighter.
However, if your doe is about to give birth or has already had her kits, you should keep some important things in mind.
You should know when the bunnies will leave the nest so you can be prepared well.
When do Baby Bunnies Leave the Next?
Baby bunnies leave the nest when they turn around 14 days old.
The two-week mark is the best way to determine when your bunnies will leave the nest and take their first steps into the world.
The earliest time when the kits can leave their nest is around 12 days old.
If your baby bunnies try to exit the nest before it, place them back inside as they need the warmth and comfort of the home.
On the other hand, if the baby bunnies are still snuggled inside the nest past 18 days, you should evict them yourself.
It might feel cruel, but you’re doing the best for the bunnies.
Removing them from the nest at two and a half weeks keep them safe from infections and ensures proper body development.
How to Know If the Babies Are Ready to Leave their Nest
If you’re wondering whether your baby bunnies are actually ready to leave the nest, don’t worry; we have the answers right here.
Let’s go over some easy giveaways that’ll tell you that the bunnies are ready to hop about your home and live their best lives.
Check Their Eyes
The best way to tell if the kits are ready to leave the nest is by checking their eyes. Baby bunnies slowly start to open their eye around six to ten days after birth.
Therefore, by the time two weeks have passed, their eyes should be wide open and ready to explore the world.
If you notice your baby bunnies struggling to open their eyes, it could be due to an infection.
Remember, kits are very sensitive creatures and will require you to look after them vigilantly.
As soon as you notice something wrong with the baby bunny’s eyes, seek out a professional vet.
They are in the best position to guide you regarding the cause of the problem.
You will probably be sent home with some eye drops for the baby bunnies. Soon enough, their eyes will be perfectly fine!
Look at the Size
The next thing to consider is their size.
Baby bunnies grow quite rapidly, and you will notice quick development in the first week.
It may even seem like they’re growing overnight because they are!
A great way to tell if the babies are ready to leave their nest is by comparing their size to a chipmunk.
If you think the kits have grown up to the size of a chipmunk, then they’re ready to leave the nest.
P.S. You may notice one or two of the bunnies not growing as rapidly as the other kits. They are probably the runts of the litter and will require some extra TLC from you!
Their Fur Should be Fluffy
Baby bunnies are usually birthed with little to no fur.
The fur slowly develops in the first two weeks as they start to grow bigger and stronger.
Most kits develop a full coat of fur within a week.
Therefore, if you notice your baby bunnies looking furry and adorable, you know it’s time they hop out of the nest and into the world.
Are They Hopping About?
Rabbits love to hop about and get into sneaky little corners; any rabbit owner will confirm this!
That is why you know that your baby bunnies are just as eager to start hopping all over the place.
If you notice that your bunnies appear strong and healthy, and they’re hopping around the nest, it’s time they leave it!
Your bunnies are ready for the sweet taste of freedom from the nest.
They are definitely old enough to start hopping all over your home, chewing on carpets, and making an adorable mess.
Let them explore and live a fulfilling life!
Notice the Ears
Lastly, you can look at the baby bunny’s ears to tell if it’s ready to leave the nest.
If their ears are low on their heads, they are still too young and require the security of the nest to grow well.
However, if their ears are erect and you notice them twitching about, that’s a whole other story!
Erect, active ears are a major sign that your bunny is old enough to leave the nest.
They can now live without their mother’s feed and are ready to live their own, grown-up lives!
When Baby Bunnies Leave The Nest Do They Come Back?
Baby bunnies leave the nest when they’re ready to start living on their own (i.e., usually when they are four to five weeks old).
They may come back to the nest for a little while, but eventually, they’ll move on permanently.
Baby bunnies learn about their territory and how to survive in the world from their parents. Once they leave the nest, they are on their own.
Sometimes, baby bunnies will leave their nest and explore the surrounding area. They may even come back to the nest for a brief period of time, but ultimately they will start living on their own.
Tips to Care for Baby Bunnies
Caring for baby bunnies for the first two weeks of their lives is quite simple.
They will stay inside the nest and have their mother feed them in regular intervals.
Your only job is to keep an eye on to make sure there are no infections or other problems.
You should also keep the nest clean and tidy, so the babies don’t grow up in a compromised environment.
Here are some easy tips to take care of baby bunnies when they’re still in the nest.
1. Check On Them Daily
When you have baby bunnies, it is important to check on them every day to make sure they are healthy and well-fed.
If there are any runts in the litter, they might get pushed aside and not receive enough milk.
It is your job to latch them to the mother for feeding and ensure they are growing at a steady rate.
Also, keep an eye out for infections or development problems. No kits should get isolated inside the nest box.
If the weather is cold, you can also add extra insulation using cozy blankets in the nest.
It will keep the bunnies warm, and no kit will stray away from the nest or end up getting chilled.
2. Make Sure the Mother is Well-Fed
A healthy mother will make sure her kids are fed enough and grow up to be healthy.
That is why it is essential that you make sure the mother is well-fed and kept safe. Her feed shouldn’t run out, and her water crock should be filled at all times.
Since the mother is now eating for herself and her babies, her food intake will increase.
Be sure to offer her as much food as she wishes to eat in order to produce enough milk for her babies.
P.S. The more the baby bunnies, the more important this tip becomes.
3. Keep the Nest Clean
To ensure the baby bunnies are healthy, you will need to keep the nest as clean as possible.
Sure, you can’t give them a completely sterile environment, and they don’t need it either!
Kits actually get gut bacteria from their mother’s feces, which helps their immunity grow and their digestion to work properly.
However, the nest shouldn’t be fouled with urine or round fecal pellets as they can be a source of infection.
You should be careful not to let the nest get too damp with urine or excessively filthy.
The best way to clean it is to get rid of all the dirty spots. But, sometimes, the doe can make the nest exceptionally dirty.
In such cases, you will need to replace the bedding completely.
Try to save as much dry fur as you can and line the new bedding with it, so the kits remain comfortable and feel safe.
4. Evict After They Turn 18 Days Old
Once the baby bunnies are around 18 days old, it’s time they leave the nest. Most kits will be ready to leave by the time they turn two weeks.
But, if they don’t, you can remove them from the nest yourself at two and a half weeks at maximum.
Letting the bunnies stay in the nest for longer than 18 days can cause them to develop nest box eyes.
This type of eye infection can result in blindness for the kits and even prove to be fatal.
Having baby bunnies hopping about your home can be quite a delight. They bring so much happiness and love to our daily routines.
But, just as with any other animal, having baby bunnies come with its own responsibilities.
You will need to be extremely careful about their hygiene and sanitation. Kits are susceptible to developing eye infections and diarrhea, which can become fatal.
You should also do regular checks to see if the babies are growing well. By the time they turn two weeks old, they should be hopping about the next, ready to leave it soon.
If the bunnies are still in the nest after 18 weeks, remove them yourself to prevent nest box eyes.
It is an extremely dangerous condition that can cause your bunnies to go blind.
All the best!
Other articles you may also find useful:
- Why rabbits dig holes?
- Is your Bunny Happy?
- When Can You Separate Baby Rabbits from Mother?
- What Can Rabbits Chew on for their Teeth
- What to Feed Baby Rabbits Without a Mother?
- Can You Adopt A Wild Baby Bunny
- How Many Litters Can a Rabbit Have In a Year?
- Why is My Rabbit Eating her Babies? 9 Possible Reasons!