Have you ever wondered if you can touch baby bunnies or if their mother will reject and kill them if you do so?
When you come across a nest of baby bunnies, or kits, your initial instinct may be to reach out and touch these adorable kittens. Even though they look irresistibly cute, touching them might not be the best idea.
In this article, we will discuss why you shouldn’t touch them and what to do if you stumble upon a nest of baby rabbits.
Can You Touch Baby Bunnies?
Generally, you should not touch baby bunnies if you can avoid them.
It’s always best to leave wildlife alone in the wild.
Interfering with them could cause unnecessary stress or potential harm.
If the baby bunny is in your yard, and you’re concerned about it, leave it alone unless it’s in immediate danger.
Mother rabbits typically leave their babies alone for most of the day, returning only to feed them, so just because a nest appears unattended doesn’t mean the mother isn’t coming back.
If you’re caring for pet rabbits and their kits, you should handle them carefully.
Baby bunnies are fragile and can be easily injured. Also, always wash your hands before and after handling them to prevent the spread of diseases.
Why You Shouldn’t Touch Baby Bunnies
Interacting with wildlife is an exhilarating experience, but know that our actions could unintentionally harm these creatures.
There are several vital reasons why touching baby rabbits is typically discouraged.
Rabbits have a highly developed sense of smell, which is vital for survival and well-being.
A mother rabbit identifies her kits primarily through their scent. When humans touch a baby bunny, they inadvertently leave their scent on the kit.
Although it’s a myth that the doe will abandon her babies due to the scent of humans, it may cause unnecessary confusion for both the mother and the baby rabbits.
Kits are incredibly delicate creatures.
They can easily be frightened by human interaction, leading to an increased stress level.
This heightened stress could potentially result in health issues, such as shock or even heart failure.
Also, these fragile kittens could sustain injuries from handling due to their soft bones and tender tissues.
What to Do If You Find a Baby Bunny
Finding a nest of baby bunnies can be quite an exciting discovery. However, you should handle this situation correctly to ensure the kits’ safety.
Here’s a step-by-step guide:
If you come across a nest of baby bunnies, the first step is to observe without disturbing them.
Look out for immediate threats, such as the presence of a predator or an exposed nest that might be vulnerable.
If the kits seem safe and undisturbed, you should let them be.
If you suspect the kits are abandoned, you should confirm this before intervening.
Monitor the nest from a safe distance without disturbing it.
Mother rabbits usually feed their babies only a few times a day — typically early in the morning or late at night — to avoid drawing attention to the nest.
So, even if you don’t see the mother, she’s likely nearby and will return when it’s safe.
3. Contact a Wildlife Rehabilitator
If, after careful observation, you believe the kits are injured or have indeed been abandoned (like in the unfortunate event of the mother being killed), it’s time to reach out to a professional.
Wildlife rehabilitators and animal rescue centers have the necessary skills, knowledge, and resources to care for these baby rabbits appropriately.
4. Keep Your Distance
While waiting for help, you should keep your distance from the nest.
Avoiding human and pet activity around the nest will minimize potential stress for the baby bunnies and reduce the risk of them venturing out of their nest due to fear.
Here are some frequently asked questions.
When Can You Touch Baby Rabbits?
You should avoid handling baby rabbits for the first three weeks of their life unless necessary to minimize stress and disturbance.
After that, you can begin to handle them gently, but always under the supervision of the mother rabbit.
The interaction should be gradual, quiet, and calm.
Can You Touch Baby Bunnies In The Wild?
Avoid touching wild baby rabbits unless they are in immediate danger or distress.
Contact a local wildlife rehabilitation center for advice if you believe a wild baby rabbit is abandoned or injured.
Can You Touch a Baby Bunny With Your Bare Hands?
Yes, you can touch a baby bunny with your bare hands, but this should be kept to a minimum, especially in the first few weeks.
You should have clean hands to prevent the transmission of diseases or bacteria.
Will a Mother Rabbit Kill Her Babies If You Touch Them?
Hahaha, it’s a common myth; mother rabbits do not typically harm their babies if humans touch them.
However, handling the babies can cause stress to both the mother and the babies, so minimize handling, particularly in the first few weeks.
Do Rabbits Reject Babies Touched By Humans?
Rabbits generally do not reject their babies if humans have touched them. However, as stated above, unnecessary handling should be avoided to minimize stress.
When Do Baby Rabbits Get Fur?
Baby rabbits are born hairless but start to grow fur within a week. They should be fully covered in fur when they’re about two weeks old.
My Rabbit Had Babies What Do I Do?
If your rabbit had babies, here are some steps to follow:
- Provide a safe, warm, and quiet environment for the mother and her babies. The mother rabbit will need a nesting box if she doesn’t already have one.
- Ensure the mother rabbit can access plenty of fresh water and nutritious food. She will need more food than usual to produce enough milk for her babies.
- Try to minimize handling of the babies, especially in the first week.
- Monitor the babies to ensure they are warm and fed (they should have round bellies).
- If you notice any issues, such as the mother neglecting her babies, any babies seeming unwell or not feeding, or the mother rabbit becoming aggressive or unwell, seek advice from a vet.
As cute as baby bunnies are, you should resist the temptation to touch them.
While human interaction may seem harmless, it can inadvertently cause stress and potentially harm them.
If you find a nest of baby bunnies, observe from a distance, assess the situation, and contact a wildlife professional if required.
We hope this article helped you know if you can touch baby bunnies. If you have further questions, comment below, and we will answer them.