Safely Moving Baby Bunnies

by Rob kelley
(Kingsville, ON)

Our doe had babies almost 2 weeks ago, 3 of the 5 have survived and seem to be growing well. We noticed they have left the nest (which the doe made in the litter box) and are following, almost chasing the mom around to get milk. I'm afraid they won't find their way back into the nest to stay warm or that the mom won't put them back in there.

Can I safely put them in the nest without mom getting upset? We have only owned the doe for a month before she gave birth but she was handled daily by us until the birth giving.

***** Karen Sez *****
Yes, you can put the kits back into the nest. The doe will be fine. The doe certainly won't put her kits in the nest, so it's up to you or the kits. But they aren't completely clueless. If they can get back into the nest, they will. Still, it's a big question - CAN they get back into their nest?

At the age you describe - almost 2 weeks old - you can remove the nest box and give the kits a short-sided cardboard box piled with a bit of shavings and a lot of hay. Or in your case since the nest is in the litter box, you can supply the kits with the new cardboard box and hay etc. Perhaps take the cleanest portion of the nest and place it in the new flat box.

(Nest box users can lay the nest box on its side and provide fresh nesting materials if the temperatures are still quite cold.)

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