Rabbit Focus

How Do Rabbits Move Their Babies?

Baby rabbits are cute and fluffy furballs that are just so adorable to look at. But just like in other animals, you might be wondering if rabbits also move their babies. If they do, how do rabbits move their babies, then?

How Do Rabbits Move Their Babies?

Here’s the thing. Rabbits don’t move their babies at all. Mother bunnies may nudge their kits a bit back to the nest if they wiggle away but that’s just about it.

Do Rabbits Use Their Mouth to Move and Carry Their Babies?

Not usually. Bunnies don’t carry their kits by using their mouths to pick them up to move them from one spot to another or to prevent them from wiggling away outside the nest. Sadly, if a baby rabbit crawls away from the nest and its siblings, that kit may just become a lost cause.

The best thing that a mother rabbit might do to move the kit is to nudge it back to its siblings or prod it to place when it is already feeding time. This is the reason why you might have never seen a rabbit that carries its baby bunny in its mouth.

Although it is a familiar scenario to see a cat carrying its kitten by the scruff of its neck, rabbits are completely different in terms of the way they treat and care for their young. Even if it seems like a logical way for mother rabbits to carry their babies in the mouth to relocate them, moving the kits isn’t often a problem at all.

Why Don’t Rabbits Use Their Mouth to Move and Carry Their Babies?

You will seldom, if ever, see a rabbit that carries its young in its mouth mainly because the mouths of rabbits are not that big in the first place. Even though it is still possible, it would not be easy for mother bunnies to grasp onto a kit and pack it around.

Aside from this, mother rabbits would never do so by the scruff of the kit’s neck. This particular method will only cause pain since, unlike kittens or puppies, the skin of baby rabbits is connected to the muscles under it.

Regardless of age, picking up a bunny by the scruff of the neck would tear the neck’s skin loose from the muscles which can then cause pain and discomfort.

Are There Rabbits That Move Their Babies?

Just like anything else in this world, there is always an exception to the rule. As far as the world of rabbits is concerned, the wild European rabbits often have the honor of occasionally ditching the no carry and no moving rule.

Experts have reported that there are rare occasions when these wild European rabbits actually move their babies. Even if the exact way how they do it is not revealed, the baby kits would have to be moved and carried in the mother’s mouth.

How Do Rabbits Protect Their Babies?

If rabbits don’t ensure the safety of their babies by moving their nests to other locations now and then, it might leave you wondering how they protect their young in the first place.

The mother rabbits keep the site of the nest a top secret by making sure that they stay away from it at all times. They just visit their kits once a day, mostly earning in the morning. Mother rabbits use this daily visit to clean and feed the babies and then leave them to sleep until the next morning.

How Old are Kits When They Leave the Nest?

Kits often leave the nest when they reach the age of 3 to 5 weeks. The baby rabbits are not totally all by themselves since their mother still comes once or twice a day to feed them. This means that just because you saw a baby rabbit by itself doesn’t necessarily mean that it is already an orphan.

The babies may look tiny and helpless but in reality, they are ready to live in the wild on their own even at a young age. The mother rabbits do return during dusk and dawn to feed the little ones. The bunnies choose this time because this is when they can successfully avoid predators.

An easy way to know if a kit is mature enough to be by itself is when you spot it with some physical features. Baby rabbits that are prepared to leave the nest when it is 3 to 5 weeks old can hop efficiently, have open eyes, fur, erect ears, and good motor abilities.

But again, they are not totally independent yet because their mother rabbit feeds them once or twice daily.

Do All Baby Rabbits Leave the Nest Simultaneously?

Since all baby rabbits are born together, they also stay together for a minimum of three weeks in the nest. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they also leave the nest together. Mother rabbits leave the kits alone after they bring them to the world to ensure that they don’t attract predators. But the mother still keeps in touch with her babies and returns to the nest to feed them.

The moment the baby rabbits are born, they burrow to the bottom part of the nest, staying there until feeding time comes. Mother rabbits don’t nurse their babies. A kit’s eyes open up in a matter of 10 days, which is on the second week following their birth.

They will then wean in the 3rd or 4th week. It is also the same week when they venture outside by themselves although they still return to sleep in the nest. They live with their family until they reach the age of 4 or 5 weeks.

What to Do If You Find an Injured Baby Rabbit in the Wild?

Make sure you contact a vet or wildlife rehabilitator right away if you find a baby rabbit that needs medical care. The rabbit might be injured if it has visible wounds or there is blood on it because of potential close contact with a pet cat. Call a wildlife rehabilitator if the rabbit is simply lying on the ground and cannot pick itself up.

And with that, we officially end this blog post. But before you go, can you do us a solid and spread the love (or laughter) by sharing this on your social media? Who knows, maybe we might even find someone who can relate to our content and benefit from it... Wink