Oh No, I dug up Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail and Peter

mrtulinApril 20, 2013

I was cleaning up a raised bed, and picked up some debris in the center that had collected in a shallow spot. It was filled with animal fur and grass. Then the contents started moving! Four baby rabbits huddled together; all five of us were upset. I wish I had the heart to drown them like old Mr. McGregor but I put them by the stone wall with the contents of the nest and some extra dried grass. Maybe if mama smells the nest she can find her babies. I wasn't going to go so far as to leave them in the middle of my daughter's flower bed.
Are rabbits born naked or with fur? They might have been a few weeks old; they had fur and their eyes were open.

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diggerdee zone 6 CT

Oh my goodness! That's exactly what happened to me two years ago! I had no idea rabbits made nests in the ground (or in raised beds), and when we poked at the fur and it poked back, we weren't even sure what kind of animal it was, they were so teeny.

I didn't dare move them. I just worked around the area, and fervently hoped they would not take up residence, as they were smack dab in the middle of my vegetable garden.

Luckily for me, they did not stick around. A few weeks of adorable unbelieveable cuteness, and they were gone. Phew!

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 11:53PM
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molie(z6 CT)

Idabean, I sure hope you don't have a cat because when ours was still alive, she used to LOVE to hunt for baby rabbits and leave her "finds" on the back step. Even though rabbits can be so destructive to a garden, it was very sad to see those poor little babies.

Dee, that certainly is a cute bunny--- but luckily he/she and the rest of the family took off. Adorable, yes, but they have quite an appetite for all sorts of garden things.

Molie

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 4:30PM
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wispfox(6a)

oddly, the rabbits that hang out in our yard are pretty well behaved. i do put alums in my veggie garden, as i heard they don't like them. seems to work!

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 8:23AM
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terrene(5b MA)

Hi Idabean, I have no idea if the mother will find the baby rabbits or not. Your daughter may have liked having the rabbit nest there?

My cat LOVES baby rabbits. They are the only prey that she eats, and truly, I can't imagine there is much better eating for for a predator than fresh tender baby rabbit. It is hard to watch her catch and eat them, because they are the cutest little things, but despite her annual "culling", there is always a rabbit or two in the yard, or the neighbor's.

They also never fail to find a few choice seedlings in my gardens, especially the Liatris seedlings. Between the rabbits and voles, I have a very hard time growing Liatris!

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 10:23AM
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girlcat36(6 ish)

I always get a nest smack dab in the middle of my lawn. Hide in plain sight, I guess. My husband can't stand them, but I love to see them...for some reason, I don't get a lot of bunny damage to my gardens. I always tell my husband it's because we don't use anything chemical on the lawn, so they have plenty of organic weeds to eat instead of my garden stuff. Not sure how true that is!
Oh watch...now that I've said that they'll mow down everything I plant this year!
The bunnies mature quickly...3 weeks, maybe 4, and they leave the nest. Momma only visits for a few minutes a day, and in the dark, to nurse them. I happened to catch them one year on 'nest leaving' day....so cute! There was an itty bitty runt that just didn't want to go, but eventually he did.

Teresa

Teresa

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 7:55PM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

Teresa, it's funny what you say about hiding in plain sight. A few times, while the babies were growing, I would see Mama running across the lawn toward the garden. I would walk over because I wanted to see her interact with the babies, and she would suddenly stand absolutely stock still. I would get a little closer and she didn't move a whisker. I didn't get too close - I didn't want to scare her (I actually wanted her to continue on toward the nest so I could watch!) so I backed off. I got the feeling she could and would definitely outwait me, lol, and so I never really got to see her with the babies. She never got closer than about 20, 25 feet away from the nest when she stopped. But I thought it was kind of funny that she just stood still right there in plain sight. Did she think she was invisible, lol? My daughter joked that maybe she thought she had an invisibility cloak like Harry Potter!

Dee

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 10:59PM
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capecodder(z6 MA)

Just a note about cats eating rabbits...they are big carriers of worms. My dog got a nasty case of worms last year after eating a dead rabbit. Ugh. And in the past, when my cat had tape worms, the vet asked if she'd been eating rabbits.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 10:22AM
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spedigrees z4VT

Dogs and cats can pick up worms from prey that they kill, and from contact with other cats and dogs. They can spread to humans as well. I de-worm my animals periodically with a praziquantel/oxibendazole combo and myself occasionally too! It's the only effective way to control internal parasites and prevent the health problems they cause.

That baby bunny is a cutie, Diggerdee! My area is overrun with rabbits, but they don't do any discernible damage to my garden plants and I like to watch them too. I think because they have acres of pasture with a lot of clover, dandelions, and other delectables, they don't bother with my flowers or veggies. My cat is too old to hunt anymore, but other cats in the neighborhood, and probably foxes too, are on patrol. They don't make a dent in the rabbit population though.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 11:29AM
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