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It's that time of year when wild bunnies are doing what rabbits do - BREED! And, that means there are plenty of nests in yards for cats, dogs, kids and lawn mowers to disturb.

Frequently, I get frantic requests from students/ neighbors about baby bunnies.  Almost always, the situation can be solved by re-covering a disturbed nest and/or moving the nest out of harms way since the mother will return for her babies even if they have been touched. UPDATE w/ ht to Statusquomustgo: If you touch one, touch them ALL so they smell the same; Mom could treat an odd one out as an outcast.  

But, there are always a few times when the babies have really been orphaned, each year, and we end up with kits like this one.

bunny

This diary is about how to move a disturbed nest to a safer spot, or if you can't find a licensed wildlife rehabber in your area who will take truly orphaned kits, how we successfully raise wild kits.  Oh, and this is Caesar who promptly fell asleep after feeding, this morning, before his big photo moment.  He's about 4-6 days old; Mom and litter mates were killed by a pitt bull, yesterday, and he's the inspiration for this diary.

First, I want to stress that if there is ANY chance that the mother is still alive, and you know where the original nest was, you should just re=cover the nest and/ or move the nest to a close by, safer place, for the mother to find her babies. This is absolutely the kits best chance for survival!

IF you have to move the nest:

  1. Find a "safer place" about 10 - 20 feet away.  For example, just outside your yard fence, just inside a wooded area by your yard, or just "rope off" to not mow a few square yards of your lawn for a couple of weeks.
  1. Scrape out a square foot of earth about 8 inches deep and scoop up the nesting material in the original nest.  It should be a mixture of grass and the mother's fur.  Put that in the new nest and put the babies in the new nest.  
  1.  Ideally, cover them up with sun dried, clean grass clippings.
  1.  To check that the mother has found them and is coming back, put two colored threads forming an X over the top of the nest, so you can see if it has been disturbed by the mother coming back.
  1. Do not check on the nest at dawn or dusk!  Mother rabbits only visit their nests 2 times a day to feed the babies at dawn and dusk.  If you visit at these times, you could scare off Mom and interrupt a crucially needed feeding.
  1.  IF after 36 hours the thread has not been disturbed, then you'll have to begin deciding whether or not to let nature take its course, or try to rescue the kits.

What to do then?

You can try getting a licensed wildlife rehabber to take them.  Call your local vet for a contact or Google for one.  It is illegal in most states for anyone other than a licensed wildlife rehabber to take in wild rabbit orphans ... (yada, yada). Though I strongly recommend that you go this route, first, the problem is that I have yet to find a rehabber within 100 miles of where we live who will take wild kits! I wish you the best of good fortune with finding a rehabber who will take them, since you will see that while definitely NOT impossible, there is a lot of work and finesse involved in raising wild kits for release.

Why don't many rehabbers take kits?  The common idea seems to be that it is practically impossible to rescue wild baby bunnies, they always die, anyway, and that's the way of nature. Yes, it IS very difficult to raise them, but it isn't impossible. And, one could argue that trauma by lawn mower, or a pitt bull for that matter, isn't exactly the way of nature. Each year, we regularly end up with a number of these babies who have been truly orphaned, and all of the babies we take in usually make it, if they haven't been injured in the original trauma.  At 6-8 weeks, they begin to "wild up," and we release them into our side yard woods.

Picture of a recent liter the week before they "wild upped," and we released them.

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So, IF you can't find a rehabber, and IF you decide to take on trying to raise baby buns, here is how we do it successfully.

Supplies:

four 1ml syringes and four 5 ml syringes (You can get these from a vet.)
KMR kitten formula powder (NOT kitten & puppy formula - Just the kitten formula) You can get this at Petsmart or Tractor Supply stores.
sterile, filtered water source
two clean tube socks
package of long grain, white rice
supply of clean hand towels and wash clothes
2 packages of Que tips
Pedialite (clear, non-flavored)
honey
microwave! (You really need one of these for this effort.)

How old are they?

1-14 days old - Eyes shut with tiny ears close to head and little to dark fuzz fur. They will make the transition best if you get them between 7-14 days.
14 days - 3 weeks - Eyes open, ears still laid back but starting to stand up, fits in your palm, white blaze on top of head showing, starting to get longer hair on their sides, but soft dark fur on back.

IMPORTANT: IF they are the size of a man's fist, with ears fully up and regular fur all over, with a cotton tail, then set them free right away!  They have been weaned and should be on their own. They could actually break a bone trying to get away from you.  Put them back where you found them, since they are part of a warren and need the adult bunnies to finish teaching them the tricks for staying alive when you're at the bottom of the food chain.

Infant Box and Immediate Care:

  1. Nest Box - Use a 12x12x12 inch box, if possible.  Do not use a shoe box. The sides are too low. The baby's eyes will open sometimes while you aren't looking, and they will climb out.  
  1.  Fill the tube socks with 2 cups of rice each.  Knot the ends.  Microwave them for 1 minute on high.  This will incubate the box and the kits will snuggle into them. The socks should be warm, but not so hot that they could burn. They will hold the heat for about 2 hours, and you can just re-microwave the same ones for about 3 days.  If they get dirty or you begin to smell cooked rice, replace with clean socks and new rice.
  1. Put a clean towel in the box and put the two socks at each end.
  1. Put the babies in and put a washcloth over them.
  1. DO NOT put any grass or greens or water source in the box!! You do not want the kits nibbling on grass or greens until you have followed the Weaning Steps below. Putting greens in could cause them to nibble on them and die a horrible death, if they have not had a chance to eat some of their mothers's nighttime CT poops which contain special bacteria needed for bunnies to digest greens in their gut! More on weaning, later. Until weaned, they do best with regular changes of clean hand towels and washcloths.

Feeding Infants:  WASH YOUR HANDS, FIRST!! And yes, I'm using caps to yell this.  You must practice extreme cleanliness and rinse your hands free of soap before you ever touch the babies.  Be obsessive about washing well before and after dealing with the babies.

1. Timing - Every 2 to 3 hours!  Ignore website directions to only feed at dawn and dusk like mother rabbits do.  Mother rabbit milk is so concentrated that this works for them.  Replacement formula is not nearly as nutritious and the infants will need feeding every 2-3 hours.  You may be able to make through 6 hours at night, but we usually do round the clock for the first 3 days, at least.
2.Formula - Mix 1 1/2 parts sterile, hot water with 1 part dry KMR kitten mix.  For the first few feedings, we add a drop of honey.  Do not over do the honey.  Too much sugar content will give them diarrhea.  The honey seems to do 2 things: 1) they like the sweetness and tend to accept the formula better; 2) honey has some antibiotic factors so it can help if cat/ dog/ mud from the orphaning event has introduced some infection. TEST formula temp on your wrist just like you would for any baby.
3. Feeding - Begin with the 1ml syringes.  Expect them to eat 1-2ml of formula with each feeding.  IMPORTANT! Feed very slowly.  Let them begin by licking it off the end of the syringe.  DO NOT force feed or the formula will go in their little noses and into their lungs. They will catch pnuemonia and die. Have a Que-tip ready if a drop gets on their nose.

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You can hold them GENTLY in your hand and sometimes they will lick the formula off your fingers, at first.  Or you can use the rice socky as a support and mimic a mother rabbit squatting over the nest.  DO NOT TURN THEM on their BACK or let them drink this way.  The formula could go into their lungs.  Only let them eat in a walking/ hopping position.

Emergency Substitute for no KMR formula:  You can use plain evaporated milk in the little cans to make sure you are always using fresh.  Do NOT use regular cow milk or sweetened condensed milk.

4.Clean-up and Stimulating Peeing and Pooping - Yep. No kidding.  You have to help them pee and poop. Dip Que-tips in sterile water and clean up chin, paws, and where ever else they have formula on them.  Then, turn them over and use a clean, moistened cue tip on their genitals to stimulate them to pee and poop.  They may not do this every time, but make sure you regularly do this after every feeding.
5.Handling - Go ahead and pet them using a dry Que-tip!  It makes them happy, and it will make it easier to handle them when their eyes open.  

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Singing to Them!  I have found that by singing a lullaby to them as they are fed and pet classically conditions the song to eating and relaxing.  Just before I feed them, I begin singing, and they learn to be ready to eat.  Also, if something startles them when they get older, I can sing to them and they calm down instead of hopping frantically against the side of their cage, which is how they could break something. So, I strongly encourage you to choose a song and sing to any kits you try to rescue.

Diarrhea!!  This is a real life threatening situation for kits.  IF this happens, we go to a 1 1/2 hour feeding schedule with smaller feedings and on-going fur clean-ups.  We also add .1 - .3 ml of Pedialyte to each feeding schedule and add the drop of honey to the formula mix.  We've had very good luck with coming through what is often called "dirty butt," and rarely ever lose a baby to this.   This happens about 1/2 the time we get the little ones as they transition to formula from mother's milk. Don't give up.  They may get lethargic while they eat, so just let them lick the formula and go slow.  Watch carefully that they don't get it up their little noses. Have that Que-tip ready to wipe the little nose, and we usually do this as a two person exercise.  One feeds and the other mops up errant drips of formula.

Eyes open and they are 3 - 4 Weeks Old - WEANING!

This is where many people suddenly lose babies.  At weaning, rabbits undergo a dramatic GI switchover to be able to digest greens.  In the wild, the mother poops in the nest a special night dropping called CT's that are rich in the bacteria needed to digest greens.  The wild kits find these very stinky droppings in the nest and nibble on them to innoculate their guts.  If you feed baby rabbits greens before their intestinal tract are properly filled with the right flora, they will die a terrible death.  So, do not put greens in with the baby buns until you follow these weaning directions.

  1. BEST!  Get CT's from someone who has a domestic rabbit.  Tell them you need some stinky, night droppings.  They should know what you mean.  These can be put in a baggie and refrigerated for 3-5 days.  We have a wonderful house bunny who regularly provides us with the CT's we need.
  1. Benebac.  You can order on-line or get Benebac at some pet supply stores.  

Bene Bac

  1. Mix a tiny bit of the CT's, or follow the Bene-bac directions, into the kits formula for 3 days.  If you have CT's, you can also put the stinky stuff on your finger, and they will lick it off!  They seem to like the taste.  You can also put a bit in their next box and they will find it.
  1. On day 4, you can safely begin weaning by putting them in a cage with some safe greens: washed dandelion greens or clover leaves and flowers.  NO GRASS.  You can also put some commercial hays in the cage. Do not feed carrots or other things that they will not find naturally when they have to go wild.  You want them to be very used to the food they will need to find on their own.
  1. Weaning Cage Time - The cage bars should be less than 1/2 inch spaces since baby kits can get through extremely small spaces.  

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  1. Put a small box inside for them to jump up on and hide in. Use Aspen shavings (not Pine) or the shredded paper type beddings you can get at pet stores.  Cover the cage on three sides with a towel to prevent drafts and keep them from feeling at risk on all sides.  Daytime: We put ours out on our screened in porch for them to hear natural sounds and get the smells of the outdoors.  BUT don't do this without a screened in place.  We have heard stories of snakes and birds of prey trying to attack baby bunnies in cages. Night time:  We put a warm rice socky in their box.  They usually snuggle in there to sleep.
  1. Continue formula!  You should continue to offer them formula using the 5 ml syringes through the cage bars. Timing?  Dawn, noon and dusk. Ours usually just come over, nosing each other out of the way to get at the formula syringes.  After about 6 weeks, they are usually at 100% eating the greens and hay.

They will grow much bigger with their ears straight up.

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Going Wild!

You will know when it's time to say goodbye.  The previously snuggly babies who came to your lullaby and for pets behind their ears begin to "wild up."  They begin to spook away from you and "human sounds."  

And, they begin to look longingly outside their cage.  

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RELEASE!

  1. Rabbits are social animals, and released babies will need adult wild bunnies to learn all they need to know to survive predators and dig burrows, etc.  Rule:  If there are big bunnies, that's probably a good place to let them go.
  1. We put a number of 2 foot PVC pipes filled with greens near the release location for easy hiding and initial feeding.
  1. Put the cage at the release point.  Open the door.  Say goodbye.  Just leave the cage with open door for a few days.  They will find their way from there.

We release in our yard since we have a partially wooded lot, and we have an established warren on-site from wild bunnies and our regular releases of small rabbits.  At dusk, I sometimes sing to "our" bunnies who are out feeding on the hill on our lawn.  Sometimes, some of them hop closer and look up to our screened-in porch, groom themselves in response, and we wiggle our noses to say hello to our former guests.

In Summary:

The BEST thing you can and should do if you run across baby bunnies is to re-cover or move a disturbed nest to a close by, safer spot. That's how you can BEST care for them.  

If you have true orphans, you can try a rehabber, but first, ask them if they use CT's or benebac for weaning.  If they say they just let them go as soon as they open their eyes, I wouldn't leave them with them.  Yes, this takes A LOT of work, per se, but it is far from impossible. And, they really are cute visitors who can grow up and become a wonderful part of your backyard wildlife.

Originally posted to bkamr on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 09:50 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I am not even a rabbit fan... (16+ / 0-)

    ...but how can one fail to tip and rec little baby bunnies and a diary about them?  There are few hearts so hard...

    ...j'ai découvert que tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre.

    by jessical on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 09:54:49 AM PDT

    •  Thank you. I know that so many run into a (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lurks a lot

      "What should we do? They are sooooo cute," and then, they inadvertently actually kill them trying to be kind.

      I thought some of the folks, here, might search here if they run into the situation, and I wanted to provide the best information I could.

      A sort of Progressives for bottom-of-the-food-chain bunnies! kind of thing.

      Grins for bunnies.

      "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." And they were amazed at Him. Mark 12:17

      by bkamr on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 04:37:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I always have rabbits on the place, but (9+ / 0-)

    this year I've got zillions! I guess the increase is due to the aging cat population:  either they've died of old age or are no longer fast enough to catch the rabbits.  My grandaughter loves to watch them play and eat clover, and we can walk up to within 2-3 feet of them they are so tame.

    Anybody got a good rabbit stew recipe?  :-)  (Not really.)

    •  Thank you for adding the snark note. And NO! (7+ / 0-)

      Please folks, don't start posting rabbit recipes. Please, no.  See, I'm asking very nicely? Pretty, please, all you wonderfully nice, incredibly intelligent caring progressives?

      "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." And they were amazed at Him. Mark 12:17

      by bkamr on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 10:01:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  "COOK! WHERE'S MY HASENPFEFFER?!" (6+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kelaguys, Treg, Rogneid, greenearth, jessical, bkamr

        Ah, Bugs Bunny. What memories!

        "They're telling us something we don't understand"
        General Charles de Gaulle, Mai '68

        by subtropolis on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 10:15:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  We had an exchange student from Belgium (5+ / 0-)

        live with us for a year and she missed rabbit meat terribly. Her grandmother raised rabbits just for eating. When people asked her what her favorite food was, she would tell Americans that it was rabbit stew w/ prunes. They would look at her as if she had just killed the Easter Bunny.

        •  All for cultural sharing, but YEAH! My son and I (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lurks a lot, phrogge prince

          get a bit queasy with the rabbit recipes.  We have 2 domesticated house bunnies (you can NEVER keep a wild kit as a pet) and one of our house bunnies lives free range in my son's room.  He normally hops into bed with him and snuggles into his pillow and neck to sleep.

          People sometimes think that rabbits are dumb, insensitive animals.  They are FAR from that!  

          First, they are HIGHLY social animals, and can bond so closely with a human or other bun that will grieve themselves to death if they lose their companion.  Secondly, they are also sensitive enough and smart enough to take perceived offense and exact revenge.

          Yeah, I'm kidding, right? Nope.  When, I used to travel, when I came home, our other house bun would shun me by turning his butt to me, and then, hop on up to our bed and pee on MY pillow! Not my husband's pillow, and he'd wait until I got home! Literally, piss on you, Mom.  We then took to proactively closing the bedroom door, so what did he do?  As soon as I took my shoes off, he pissed in my shoe. Message recieved.

          Anyone who lives with bunnies can tell you similar stories about them being as smart, interactive and affectionate (or vindictive) as cats and dogs. PS  They also quickly learn to use a litter box on their own just like a cat!  

          Plus, they learn tricks much better than cats. Bunny tricks?!? Sure.  They will do tricks on command.  Our downstairs rabbit actually comes better when called than our dog (It's a little embarassing.) Plus, the rabbit fetches paper balls - the dog doesn't do fetch, at all.  They both do sit up and beg and jump on command, though.

          Sooooo, yeah.  We get it that people like to eat rabbits and most people think they are "just dumb rodent-like" animals, or something.  

          But, they aren't.  Not at all.

           

          "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." And they were amazed at Him. Mark 12:17

          by bkamr on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 05:02:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I can confirm every word you've said: we had a (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bkamr

            big blue Belgian hare as an inside pet when I was growing up.  She was house broke, loved to hop into and out of bed with the kids.  When she heard the 'fridge open, she'd come running like a bullet and she knew where her food came from.

            Unfortunately, she nibbled around the rubber end caps on an expensive croquet set dad had just bought, and she disappeared one day when the kids were at school.  We were told that she'd been given to someone who raised rabbits, but I know for a fact that the old man across the street LOVED a good rabbit stew.

            •  Ah, yuck. Pets as food just give us the creeps. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              phrogge prince

              Sigh.  But in general, people don't really think of rabbits as sensitive, smart, capable of love animals, do they?

              I guess that makes enjoying dinner a bit more difficult, huh?  But for many of us who have known rabbits as pets it's like talking about eating kitten or puppy stew.

              Can you imagine the cat diaries if someone posted a cat recipe?

              "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." And they were amazed at Him. Mark 12:17

              by bkamr on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 06:37:53 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  We have them too (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bkamr, phrogge prince

      and I'm keeping my fingers crossed for my garden and fencing.

      I'm not a vegetarian, bkamr, but I won't post the backup plans we have should the fence fail!  

      Rabbits are cyclic in their population levels, and predator populations for animals like lynx, fox, owls etc. are also cyclic as a result.

  •  Thanks. I figured with the number of (6+ / 0-)

    inquiries we get, it's probably a pretty common experience all over and that people might like some details on what they could do.

    There is also A LOT of really crappy, certain to KILL, baby bunny information out there on the net ...even on sites that should be providing better information.

    "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." And they were amazed at Him. Mark 12:17

    by bkamr on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 09:57:56 AM PDT

    •  Don't you mean (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rogneid, greenearth, jessical, bkamr

      Que-tips?  I think you wrote "cut tips" in your list of supplies.

      Nice diary!

      •  LOL You're right. I may go through and (5+ / 0-)

        repair that.  Thanks.

        PS - Do not try to use the ends of billiard sticks on your baby bunnies.

        "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." And they were amazed at Him. Mark 12:17

        by bkamr on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 10:10:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Actually, it's "Q-Tips" if you go for brand names (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bkamr

          "cotton swabs" for us more generic types.  :)

          Great diary.  I read it today at work where they block most pix and had to check it out here again at home so I could see the young 'uns.  Years ago when I was just out of college I had a dwarf albino bun who was the best.  He would sit on my shoulder while I made dinner or washed the dishes, and then would sprawl out on the living room floor in the evening and watch TV.  Then my dumbass boyfriend decided that bun needed a girlfriend.  She had as nasty a disposition as the male was sweet and mellow.  
          So then there were two.  And not long after that, there were five.  The babies were adorable and it was fun to watch them grow, but after a few months I had to give them away - way too many buns in a 1BR apt, even though I had built a good sized cage for them.  :(

          We don't have many wild buns in my neighborhood, maybe because there are a good number of cats, but I see them frequently elsewhere around town and they always brighten my day.

          "Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out." ~Robert Graves, "I, Claudius"

          by lurks a lot on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 06:54:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Ahhhh, for the sweet dwarf albino male who could (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            lurks a lot

            watch TV, and even for the spawn from hell female.  It there anything worse than an evil bunny?

            Yeah, I actually believe that your rabbit was engaged with a TV.  Why is it that so many people think that rabbits are well, silly rabbits? My mini-lop does seem to pay attention to the boob tube.  We ha ve one who regularly, and ONLY flops down to "watch" the Travel Channel.  He ignores all other shows, but if I turn on a tavelogue, he's all there for it, parked and seemingly watching.

            Of course, he's not really watching, but it's weird that he ONLY parks his butt and "watches" that one channel about travel shows.

            Bugs Bunny make very sense to me, having rabbits and having raised so many, I think the person who wrtoe the characgter must have know real one.  They are really SMART and have very distinctive personalities, don't they?

            Odd that such a quiet, smart, clean, affectionate pet who is easy to house break to a litter box has such a small following.

            Hmmmmm, I smell cat in this!  Oooops, does that make me guilty of "CT?"  (cat conspracy theory)  

            "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." And they were amazed at Him. Mark 12:17

            by bkamr on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 09:31:47 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Oh, and you can tell we started buying (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              lurks a lot

              generc long ago.  I actually "fixed it" to Que-tip.  What a hoot!  You gotta love some self laughter and the joke is all on me!

              Bwahhahahahaha

              "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." And they were amazed at Him. Mark 12:17

              by bkamr on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 09:39:37 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I try not to be a spelling nazi on teh blogs (0+ / 0-)

                but sometimes I just can't help myself. :-\  Sometimes I think that in 50 years we'll all be speaking the same English but thanks to teh blogs our spelling will have reverted to something like Chaucer.  Which will, of course, make reading The Canterbury Tales much easier.  lol

                "Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out." ~Robert Graves, "I, Claudius"

                by lurks a lot on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 10:00:26 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Want an even better laugh? I am certified to (0+ / 0-)

                  teach English, too!  I'm still laughing at myself. I had to Google Q-tips to refresh my mental image of the box and brand.  It's been that long since I've bought actual, not generic, swabs.

                  Please, do keep up the spelling checks and grammar tweaks too, as the inspiration or irritation hits you.  We are indeed getting far too sloppy regarding our communications.  Lord forbid we should ever fall into the same incoherency that can be regularly seen on Redstate or in Freeperville.  No, I like the spelling task masters on this site.  They keep all of us on our toes to pay attention to our responsibilities as communicators.

                  "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." And they were amazed at Him. Mark 12:17

                  by bkamr on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 10:23:15 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  The doe was named "Jezebel". (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              bkamr

              It really was fitting.  She was quite nasty, but she was a very good mom.  The only person she was nice to was a friend of mine who spoke to her in Spanish.  Go figure.

              But Huns (short for Honey) was a total love.  He never mastered the housebreaking thing 100%, probably because I didn't start soon enough, but hey, I was renting, so who cared?  ;)  He also LOVED to chew on stuff.  Like my boots.  :(  But when it came to chewing on papers and magazines he was incredibly picky.  By far his favorite was old copies of my Sporty's Pilot Shop catalogs.  Nothing else would do.  Weird.

              My cousin and aunt both have a lot of allergies, so when she was young, my cousin had a pet rabbit named Susan.  That thing was HUGE, so big that they would put her outside on a leash attached to the clothesline like a dog run with no fear that she would fall prey to the neighborhood cats.

              So yeah, buns are great, and definitely underrated as pets.  But you know, maybe that's a good thing - keep it on the Q-T so that the people who have them are the ones who will really appreciate and care for them.

              BTW, speaking of CT, what does the CT stand for in "CT poop"?  I had never heard of that before.  It makes sense that their little systems would have to transition, but the poop-eating thing was a new one on me.  It seemed from some of your posts that they can get it from any rabbit, or is it just from the mom or a female?

              "Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out." ~Robert Graves, "I, Claudius"

              by lurks a lot on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 09:55:15 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Sporty's?!!! That's where we hanger our plane! (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                lurks a lot

                Wow! I've never heard anyone on this site even mention the place. Sporty's is right across the runway from our hanger.  Are you a pilot and/ or own your own plane?

                CT's stand for cecotropes.  CT's..

                You may not have noticed them since rabbits eliminate them at night, and then, most promptly eat them. But, not always.  Didn't you ever run into some odd, VERY stinky, grape-like clusters of soft poops?  Those were CT's.

                "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." And they were amazed at Him. Mark 12:17

                by bkamr on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 10:11:18 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  OMG. Batavia, OH, iirc? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  bkamr

                  (And please don't ask me how I pulled that nugget out of my brain after so long.  The mind is a fascinating place!)

                  I haven't flown in several years, but yes, commercial, instrument, multi, CFI for a year after I graduated from college.  I'm still in aviation but on the engineering side of things for the last 20+ years.  My last part-time "paying" (heh) gig was "dumping jumpers" for a parachute club nearby.  At one point I was thinking of going back to instruction full time but then 9/11 happened and aviation went into the toilet for a while, plus I couldn't swing a mortgage on a CFI's salary without winning the lottery or having a sugar daddy or some such.  And since I don't buy lottery tickets and the sugar daddy (such as he was) departed the scene...

                  I have a friend who also flies and was getting current again a few years ago after several years off.  We flew over to Albany, NY, and it was VERY difficult to sit in the right seat and not lapse right back into "instructor mode", even after not doing it for years!  It's what I went to school for, and the engineering stuff has always really been a compromise.  What I wanted to do was fly.  But sometimes things just don't work out.  During one of my get-current-and-fly-often-for-a-while spurts I had an instructor for my BFR and instrument currency who was living with his wife in his in-laws' basement.  I just couldn't hang with that sort of lifestyle at this point in my life.

                  For a while after 9/11 I sort of fell out of love with airplanes after the hideous way they were misused on that day.  There were a couple times shortly after that when being near an airport when a 767 was on final approach nearly made me hyperventilate.  It was physically sickening.  But I've gotten past that now, which is good, because my current job is directly adjacent to the airport, and once again I stop in the parking lot to watch the planes take off and land.

                  Never owned a plane, although when I was young, ambitious, and instructing, there was a decrepit Bellanca Viking at our airport that I would have loved to have gotten my hands on to restore.

                  What kind of plane do you have?  Do you get to use it often?  You know, if we start hangar flying here, this thread could go on for DAYS.....   :)  It's late here but I will check in tomorrow.

                  "Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out." ~Robert Graves, "I, Claudius"

                  by lurks a lot on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 11:00:15 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Turbo Arrow. I'm not the pilot, my husband is. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    lurks a lot

                    I just own the plane.  I did go to the second seat class to learn what to do in an emergency.  They asked us our goals when the class started, and I said that I didn't want to learn to fly the plane - just LAND IT!

                    My husband has been flying since he was 17, and he's 60, now. When I was making big bucks in corporate America -- instead of being a teacher which is how I reacted to 9/11 ... went back to school to become a teacher to make a contribution to our country instead of just making money -- I bought my hubby the plane.  Hey, some people have boats; we have a plane.  Guess I'm the sugar mama. :)

                    Yes, we do fly it quite a bit.  I teach history, so my husband takes my son and I all over the country visiting historical sites.  It is especially useful for military sites since seeing the geography from the sky really helps to understand battle scenarios.

                    "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." And they were amazed at Him. Mark 12:17

                    by bkamr on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 11:13:08 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Cool. And what a neat idea for getting (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      bkamr

                      a bird's-eye view of the lay of the land!  When I was teaching we would occasionally get scheduled for non-instructional flights.  One time I took a pair of geologists up to do some aerial surveying.  I had thought it would be totally boring, but once we got out to the survey area they were excited as hell for what they could see from the air vs. on the ground, which made it a quite interesting and enjoyable flight.  I guess when the view has become routine, you can forget that not everyone gets to experience it.

                      If you ever scope out the Battle of Brandywine in SE PA, be sure to stop at Brandywine Airport.  There's a neat helicopter museum there.  It's also where I soloed many moons ago during a summer home from school - back then it was a little dink strip that had just been hard-surfaced.  Much different now.

                      I never got a chance to fly an Arrow.  The FBO where I did most of my training used Cessnas pretty much exclusively for their single-engine training, although I got my multi in a Seminole and a Seneca.  The FBO where I taught had an Arrow on the flight line, but one of our renters had to do an emergency landing in it when one of the main gear failed to lock.  He executed it perfectly (I watched it from the taxiway), but the right gear did indeed collapse, and after that the Arrow went away and never came back.

                      And cool on you, both for buying hubby the plane and for your post-9/11 career switch!  

                      "Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out." ~Robert Graves, "I, Claudius"

                      by lurks a lot on Sat Jul 11, 2009 at 04:49:50 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Thanks for the tip about Brandywine. We will (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        lurks a lot

                        be heading out to the Jersey shore for a weekend in a couple of weeks and Brandywine would be a good place to visit on the way.

                        "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." And they were amazed at Him. Mark 12:17

                        by bkamr on Sat Jul 11, 2009 at 06:09:21 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Ooooh - "downna shore", as they say in Philly. (0+ / 0-)

                          I love the South Jersey shore.  One of my grandmothers lived in Ocean City.  It remains the definitive "the beach" for me.  :)

                          "Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out." ~Robert Graves, "I, Claudius"

                          by lurks a lot on Sat Jul 11, 2009 at 06:45:35 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Absolutely! We want to show our son Lucy. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            lurks a lot

                            And take him on the boardwalk.  Do you remember it back in the day?  Salt water taffy, grilled Taylor Pork Roll sandwiches, fudge, Mr. Peanut .... oooh the smells were so wonderful after a full day on the beach.

                            "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." And they were amazed at Him. Mark 12:17

                            by bkamr on Sat Jul 11, 2009 at 08:08:05 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Oh do I!! (0+ / 0-)

                            I can still remember one winter being a little tyker and going up to Atlantic City (LONG before casinos) with my dad and mom-mom to Steel Pier.  We went to the movies - "Geisha Boy" with Jerry Lewis - and afterward drove past old Lucy.  She was in pretty sorry shape back then, and sort of haunted-house scary.  I saw her again some years back, now that she's been restored and moved to her current home.  When we went to the beach my favorite treat was a frozen Milkshake bar from the food stand.  And you know what's kind of weird (well, at least my mom thought so)?  One of the things I most associate with the beach is the smell of the creosote they used on the telephone poles, baking in the hot summer sun.  When we got back from the beach to mom-mom's house my mom would bathe us in the laundry tub in the utility room.  With Sweetheart soap.  Fun stuff.

                            "Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out." ~Robert Graves, "I, Claudius"

                            by lurks a lot on Sat Jul 11, 2009 at 08:50:26 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

  •  BUNNIES! (15+ / 0-)

    bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies bunnies

    "The joy of activity is the activity itself, not some arbitrary goal which, if not achieved, steals the joy." ~John "the Penguin" Bingham

    by sheddhead on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 09:58:24 AM PDT

  •  Beautifully written. (12+ / 0-)

    We have had to move nests before as well as care for a couple of kits for a few days after the mother rabbit was killed.  Since we are used to feeding kittens KMR, the feeding part was easy, but we then turned them over to a person in the area that was far more familiar with rabbits than we cat types.

    Thanks for the diary.

    If God had been a Liberal, we wouldn't have had the ten commandments. We'd have had the ten suggestions.

    by funluvn1 on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 09:58:27 AM PDT

    •  The weaning shift requirements are what make (7+ / 0-)

      caring for baby kits so difficult.  I'm glad you found someone in your area who could help your babies.

      "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." And they were amazed at Him. Mark 12:17

      by bkamr on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 10:03:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We had a female cat that gave birth (5+ / 0-)

        to 5 kittens and her milk never came in.  Feed 5 kittens every two hours and you find that the two hours are up and you get to start over again.  ;-)

        We went to the vet and learned how to tube feed real quick like!  

        If God had been a Liberal, we wouldn't have had the ten commandments. We'd have had the ten suggestions.

        by funluvn1 on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 10:25:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  OMG! The litter of 4 buns nearly killed me. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lurks a lot

          I can't imagine 5 babies.  You must be super-human.

          I was still teaching with that 4 kit litter, so my kids in every class got used to the routine and got DRAFTED into helping.

          LOL I'd lecture, and show videos, and supervise hands-on activities and tutor and do all the regular teaching stuff as I was feeding and caring for them. I took to wearing my lab coat all the times, so I could carry one in my pocket while I fed another and then switch to the first one another chance to fill up his belly.  

          The kids learned so much about aseptic techniques, team work, nutrition, mammals, and just plain CARING about something that needed them and seeing an adult going to the wall with them for wildlife. LOL I bet quite a few will remember the baby buns more than a heck of a lot of the content we tried so hard to teach them over the year.

          "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." And they were amazed at Him. Mark 12:17

          by bkamr on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 06:00:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  My sister (6+ / 0-)

    just called the other day wondering what to do with two baby bunnies she found in her yard. She said the mom wasn't around. From what you said a) since she hadn't checked at dawn or dusk, that's not really clear but b) they looked like they fit your "weaned" category. I feel a bit better about them.

    Thanks for this, it's very informative!

  •  Could you edit so the photos appear larger? (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eru, greenearth, jessical, bkamr, CaCowGal

    When they're that small, it's hard to see details in the instructional ones.  And - more important - it's hard for teh cute to come through to its full potential in the other ones!  

    Great diary, very informative and very bunny-full.  Thank you.

    They only call it Class War when we fight back.

    by lineatus on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 10:05:12 AM PDT

    •  Yeah I wanted bigger bunnies too! (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenearth, lurks a lot, bkamr, lineatus

      though given the sheer effort in this diary, i won't be disappointed if the diarist declines :}  

      Living in the city, this is as close to wild rabbit kits as I'm going to get.  And this diary is anodyne to any number of grim rants on our shared and dismal prospects.  Bigger bunnies!!!

      ...j'ai découvert que tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre.

      by jessical on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 10:08:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'd like to, but Photobucket won't let me. Do (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenearth, jessical, lineatus

      you know how this works?

      "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." And they were amazed at Him. Mark 12:17

      by bkamr on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 10:09:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I just checked... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        greenearth, bkamr, lineatus

        it looks to me like your images were uploaded to photobucket as size small.  A big pain in the butt to upload them all again with 500 pixel width...never mind :}

        But if you want the images to be larger in the future, use your editor (I use gimp, it's free) to save an appropriately shaved (96 or 97 percent fidelity) jpg, at the desired posting width.  Then you can just toss them on photobucket and don't have to do any resizing in the html (or worry the user is downloading more than they are seeing)...

        ...j'ai découvert que tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre.

        by jessical on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 10:19:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Be prepared for open warfare with us (4+ / 0-)

    gardeners!

    /used to think rabbits were cute
    //that was before the garden

    •  Smile. We have 2 gardens. One for buns (6+ / 0-)

      and one for us.  Their garden is near the woods and is filled with parsley, cilantro, and kale.  Ours is nearer the house, in direct sun, surrounded by marigolds.  We have very little bunny damage, each year, but I'll be honest.  We don't mind sharing some veggies with them.

      "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." And they were amazed at Him. Mark 12:17

      by bkamr on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 10:14:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Marigolds repelling rabbits is a myth (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        greenearth, bkamr

        Ours love to hide from us in the marigolds.

        •  Shhhh. Don't tell my husband. They look (0+ / 0-)

          pretty and he thinks it's working. LOL

          "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." And they were amazed at Him. Mark 12:17

          by bkamr on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 10:42:16 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  *grin* Hey, can't argue with that one ;) (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bkamr
            •  He's actually an angel about this crazy (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              lurks a lot

              "hobby" I've just kind of fallen into.  I teach at a middle school and kids bring in boxes with baby wildlife!  It gives me a good, broad platform to educate about putting them back safely, but it also means WE get the true orphans.

              One brought in two baby robins after a freaky awful wind storm on the bus!

              Sigh.  It actually turned into a great learning experience school-wide.  We couldn't get those babies back since the nest was out of the tree, but we did succeed in raising both to release.  As I was going through the release procedures in the courtyard outside the lunchroom windows, we had standing room only for the fledglings coming when whistled and LOTS of biology got taught while students munched on lunch with rapt attention.  

              I did find an actual rehabber for the baby skunks, last month, after our neighbor actually killed the mother with a baseball bat in front of my son and other neighborhood kids.  No, she did NOT spray him - rats!  I think she was too close to her nest and was trying to draw his attention away.

              Ah, but what can you expect from a bleeding heart liberal site like this?

              Grins for bunnies! :)

              "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." And they were amazed at Him. Mark 12:17

              by bkamr on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 05:38:24 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  If that were my neighbor (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                bkamr

                I think I'd go after him with a bat.  Ugh.  Maybe I'm just an old softie, but I just can't imagine doing that to a critter.  Well, maybe the obnoxious terrier thing a couple doors down, but that's another story.

                We had a momma skunk with three surviving babies a couple of years ago.  It was great to watch them come trundling into the yard behind mom, tripping over their front paws as they got the hang of being out and about.  My neighbor in back has two young boys and was all freaking about the skunks and said he was going to try to trap them and take them - in the trunk of his car (!?!?) - and release them somewhere else.  I thought, "Good luck with THAT, buddy."  I don't have kids, but I thought, what a great opportunity for a teaching moment for those boys, in either of two ways: (1) go get some books and learn about skunks, and watch them at a distance from the deck, or (2) "And THIS is why I told you NOT to bother the skunks!"

                I also have a resident woodchuck who lives under my wood pile.  I didn't know until last year that she was a "she", but she had a litter of four last year and either five or six this year.  Cute as buttons, they are, although I think the cats may have gotten a few this year.  The really unusual thing about them, though, (at least as far as I've been able to find out via teh Google) is that mom has discovered that the leaves of the mulberry tree in my back yard are Good Eats.  I had no idea that woodchucks even climbed trees.  Teh Google sez that they will do it if cornered by a predator, but nothing about doing it for food.  And both years, one of the babies has learned how to do it too.  Being smaller, "Crazy Baby" can go higher than mom.  I've seen the little bugger as high as 15 to 20 feet up and way out on the limbs, steadily chowing away for the better part of a half hour.  Fascinating stuff what you can find in your own back yard.

                "Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out." ~Robert Graves, "I, Claudius"

                by lurks a lot on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 07:28:11 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Rec'd for "trundling" alone on the description of (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  lurks a lot

                  how a skunk moves and then the rest made me really smile.

                  Yeah, what IS it with a father who does that sort of thing?  My son had to sleep on the end of our big couch in the family room with me at the other end for 3 nights afterwards! He kept waking up with nightmares, screaming.

                  Smile.  I turned the skunk killer into animal cruelty, and though he'll probably end up getting off, it is still costing him time and lawyer's costs. Plus, the rest of the neighbors were pissed too since their kids were horrified, scared and freaked out too.

                  I LOVED the story about the woodchucks.  How cool is that?  Climbing chucks.  I love it.

                  "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." And they were amazed at Him. Mark 12:17

                  by bkamr on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 08:34:17 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Good on you for turning him in. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    bkamr

                    And WAY too bad that he didn't get sprayed to boot.  Honestly, I don't know what possesses people like that.  Bastids.  At least it will cost him $$, which is a small consolation.

                    I tend to get a little possessive/protective of "my" babies.  There was one day last summer when the aforementioned "terrier thing" (which I first thought was a Jack Russell but seems on closer look to be something smaller and rattier) was barking up a storm.  Not unusual, but I looked out the back window and there it was in my yard, barking its damn fool head off.  Turned out it had corralled one of the woodchuck babies away from the den.  It wasn't attacking it, but it wouldn't let it get away.  I was out of the house like a flash, screeching "GET OUT OF MY YARD!" like a banshee.  One of the kids came over and eventually got the dog away, but boy was I pissed.  And good thing for that neurotic yapper that there wasn't a shovel or a broom handy on my way out.

                    Funny thing, though, when you take the time to watch these little guys.  Both the baby woodchuck in this instance - and one of the little skunks another time when being stalked by one of the neighborhood cats - will instinctively turn and face the predator and do a kind of "mock charge" at it and stamp its front feet to try and ward it off.  Granted, the skunk was in the better defensive position (and its tail was up, so the cat was this close to getting a snoot-full), but how utterly fascinating to watch the natural world go about its business.

                    I have a solo skunk who wanders through the yard this year, and they really do "trundle", don't they?  :)

                    "Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out." ~Robert Graves, "I, Claudius"

                    by lurks a lot on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 09:25:29 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Good for you, you Chuck Hero, you LOL you should (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      lurks a lot

                      see my son and I go running out at dusk yelling and flapping to make hawks go away when "our babies," the bunnies are feeding on the hill.  The bunnies don't even stop feeding as we are literally "yelling and shaking fists at clouds," anymore.  They know! we are are on their side and just look up every once in awhile as we run in and out between them scaring off the hawks.  

                      LOL Yeah, that neighbor isn't speaking to me anymore, so I hear.  Like I'd like to talk to that SOB, ever, except to tell him he's a SOB.  He's the same idiot who actually butchered a deer that he'd hunted on his front lawn and freaked the kids in the neighborhood out by dismembering "Bambi."

                      I couldn't do anything about him that time for being cruel to a dead animal in his own yard.  This time, it turns out that there is actually an ordinance against beating "non-threatening wildlife" to death.  

                      He was also a big time Bush supporter,too, but guess who I saw at an Obama speech in town? Yep, you guessed it. His wife AND his daughter.  I gave them a yard sign, and damn if that sign didn't go up and stay up next to his McCain sign. I always got a laugh seeing that through the election time.

                      "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." And they were amazed at Him. Mark 12:17

                      by bkamr on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 09:58:39 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

  •  Still trying to keep those pesky rabbits (7+ / 0-)

    from getting into my garden.  They dug a hole in this year, and I'm having trouble chasing them out!  They've done some real damage to my brassicas and eggplants.  And earlier this year they trashed my strawberry patch.  Really maddening.

    Of course, they haven't yet driven me so mad with them that I tried to seal off the area under my shed that they can't use it as a warren.  They're just too cute for me to do that to them.   ;)

    Of course, that cuteness isn't stopping me from smearing red pepper oil on the undersides of my brassicas and eggplants'  leaves.  Hopefully they'll associate them with too-spicy and nibble on something else.  Like weeds.  They can eat all the weeds they want.

  •  What a fabulous diary! (8+ / 0-)

    I never knew any of this (city girl).  Thank you for the clear instructions, for your work, and for providing a window to a world I never imagined!

  •  I've had rabbits as housepets (4+ / 0-)

    I had no idea the wild ones were so high maintanence. They sound as helpless as human babies.

  •  Beautiful and informative!! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Statusquomustgo, lurks a lot, bkamr

    Thank you for the detailed instructions about caring for baby wild rabbits and for giving lots of encourgement.  Your love for them shines through.  You have put a lot of thought into this.  I love the photos!

  •  Human smell won't scare the mother away, but if (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lurks a lot, bkamr

    you touch one, touch them all.  The mother will
    treat the one that smells different as an outcast.

    Almost always, the situation can be resolved by recovering a disturbed nest or moving the nest out of harms way since the mother will return, look for, and find her babies.  No, human smell on the babies will NOT cause her to reject them.  

    It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment. Ansel Adams -6.5 -6.75

    by Statusquomustgo on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 11:09:53 AM PDT

  •  We have bunnies! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hummingbird, lurks a lot, bkamr

    on our property.  They have grown fairly accustomed to us, but unfortunately, every year several decide to play in traffic.  :(  

    My wife and I refer to the babies that we see each spring as "pocket bunnies" - since you could put them in your pocket.  

    The only real downside is that I no longer can grow basil for our own consumption as it turns out that bunnies love basil.  

    Great and useful diary.  

    "What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them..." Amen.

    by nsfbr on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 11:18:28 AM PDT

    •  Thanks for the basil tip. I'll add that to the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nsfbr

      bunny garden we plant for our yard rabbits.

      "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." And they were amazed at Him. Mark 12:17

      by bkamr on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 12:00:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Lol (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bkamr

        It wouldn't be so bad, but they ate them down to the ground.  There was nothing left after a week.  If they shared, I'd be happy.  

        "What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them..." Amen.

        by nsfbr on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 06:23:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Mea culpa on the part of the entire bunny (0+ / 0-)

          world!  I can tell you have a HUGE heart and nearly as large a sense of humor.  

          "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." And they were amazed at Him. Mark 12:17

          by bkamr on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 06:40:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Every evening when I go out for dinner... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lurks a lot, bkamr

    ...there's a bunny sitting near by. As it crouches in the grass, ready to sprint if it looks like I'm coming towards it, I studiously ignore it as I get in the car, start up, and drive away. Most times it'll relax and stay put, other times it'll run.

    I have someone who cuts my grass, but I'm hoping that this and other bunnies are living in the part of my yard that's neglected (there's cut wood hidden there) and overgrown for safety.

    •  Wood piles are often places where smart (0+ / 0-)

      mama bunnies put their nests.  Here's hoping you get some cute little hoppers in your yard!

      "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." And they were amazed at Him. Mark 12:17

      by bkamr on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 11:15:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Rabbits are cute, prolific, and delicious (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bkamr

    when cooked with bacon.

    I've raised several, since we had a cat that liked to hunt out nests when I was growing up. The "wilding out" is accurate...yep, we'd feed them before school and when we came home have to let them out because they had gone wild over that eight hour period.

    •  Getting past the bacon bits ... The going wild (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      1864 House, lurks a lot

      aspect IS fascinating, isn't it?  They can be so incredibly cuddly, snuggly and tame before it happens.  They NEVER bite.  

      I was just laughing at Caesar a few minutes, ago.  I'd just fed him and was cleaning him with a Que-tip, tickling his toes, rubbing him behind his ears and rolled him on his back to massage his tummy.  

      There he was, stretched out on the palm of my hand, and he wiggles his back a little more into my palm like he's getting a little more comfortable, puts both his front paws back to stretch and YAWNS!

      I had to laugh at the pint-size, nutty bravado ... and the sheer lunacy of the situation!  Here was a human, the uber-predator on the top-of-the food chain, holding a bottom-of-the-food chain appetizer (okay, THAT's an exaggeration - he's not even that big) AND, not only is the potential hord'nerve NOT nervous, he's blissfully happy.  And he was right to be - I was the one rubbing HIS tummy to aid his digestion!

      And yet, for all the bonding that will occur over the next few weeks, sometime between feedings, in a matter of hours ... I will suddenly and mysteriously become a predator to him; he will simply "become wild."  

      As a child when this would happen, it made me sad, but as an adult, it fills me with wonder and joy. It's like they suddenly recognize their destiny and become it.

      PS  I'm always looking to learn more about taking care of these little ones.  You said you were successful with some.  What do you attribute your success to?  Any additional tips you'd like to share?

      "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." And they were amazed at Him. Mark 12:17

      by bkamr on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 04:11:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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