When can wild baby rabbits leave their mother

When Do Baby Rabbits Leave the Nest Petsia

Baby rabbits typically leave the nest when they're 3-5 weeks old. It is around this age they leave and are fed once or twice per day by their mother for a few minutes each time. If you spot a rabbit alone, don't move it, because it is not always an orphan The babies are nursed about twice a day, for the first two weeks, usually once in the morning and once in the evening. Baby cottontails leave the nest at 2 to 3 weeks and learn to nibble tender grass shoots. They leave the nest for good when they are about 3 to 4 weeks old. They may remain in the nest area Young rabbits disperse from the nest at 15-20 days old. By three weeks of age, they are on their own in the wild, though are still very small -- they're only about the size of a softball! Rabbits have the best chance of survival when they are cared for by their mothers. If you find a baby rabbit

The whole pregnancy period lasts from 31 to 34 days. A female rabbit makes its own nest and give birth inside them and takes care of them until they are strong enough to live on their own. Baby bunnies after the age of 8 weeks can leave the nest. An 8 weeks old rabbit can move around freely and wants to jump out of the nest From their fragile birth until adolescence a mere 3 weeks later, wild rabbits need the care of their mother (or a trained professional) to survive. If you've found a nest of wild rabbits, and identified them as being less than 3 weeks of age, how can you know whether their mother is still caring for them The average rabbit will leave its nest at three weeks old. Until then, the rabbit is dependent upon its mother. If a rabbit can hop out of a nest, it's old enough to be alone. Signs that a baby rabbit is too young to leave the nest include

If the grid is disturbed after the next dawn or dusk, the mother is still caring for the youngsters. Baby rabbits leave the nest when they're 3 weeks old and about the size of a chipmunk. If you find a chipmunk-sized but fully-furred rabbit with eyes open, ears erect, and the ability to hop, they are meant to be on their own To keep a wild baby rabbit alive, you must determine whether the mother is around. Mother rabbits only return to the nest twice a day to feed their kits. If they are orphaned, you will need to provide a nest, maintain the right temperature, and provide a healthy diet Wild cottontail rabbits, which are most of the species you will find in North America, will leave their young in a nest. They'll come back to feed the babies once or twice a day. What might appear to be an abandoned nest is probably still being looked after by the mother rabbit

Most rabbits, in general, will not move their babies. And with wild rabbits, if the mom thinks a predator (human interferance too) has been touching the nest, she will abandon her babies. So wild nest should be left alone, even if you can't see the mom anywhere, she only tends the babies once or twice a day so not to attract attention from. on their own probably not —- rabbits are not weaned at 20 days of age but still being cared for by the mother —- with nursing care they have a good chance of survival but not on their own 1.6K view Domestic buns with closed eyes should be fed 2-3x/day, (2x/day for wild bunnies), and the number of feedings gradually decreased until they are weaned. (Domestics are weaned about 6 weeks; wild bunnies are weaned about 3-4 weeks for cottontails, and 7-9 weeks for jack rabbits). Bloat is commonly associated with too frequent feedings

The feeding normally occurs at night to help protect the babies. The mother rabbit can be seen away from the nest during the day which is why it is important to leave babies in nests alone unless you are confident that the mother has either abandoned the nest for good or has died. So needing to take care of a wild baby rabbit is rare, very rare Cottontails leave the nest when they're about 3-4 weeks old. The mother is usually still around and continues to feed them. We had quite a few baby rabbits brought into the rehab center thought to have been orphaned. More often than not, they were accidentally kidnapped rather than rescued by well-meaning animal lovers

When should you separate baby rabbits from their mother? According to experts, the best time to separate baby rabbits (also called a kit) from their mother is when they're 6 to 8 weeks old. At the 6 th week mark, most kits have been weaned enough to survive by themselves and feed on adult food. But what does weaning mean A baby cottontail rabbit can sometimes be found alone without its mother in the wild. Mother cottontail rabbits leave the baby rabbits during the day and only return to feed them at night. Baby cottontail rabbits are extremely difficult to raise in captivity without the presence of their mothers. If you find a baby cotton tail rabbit alone. They are constructed of fur, grass, and brush. Mother rabbits will only spend a few minutes a day nursing their young; the rest of the day, the babies are on their own in the nest. Baby rabbits, or kits, have less chance of survival if they are removed from their nest or if you move the nest elsewhere Baby rabbits, also called kittens, can leave their mothers when they are fully weaned, which is about 6 to 8 weeks old. Cottontail rabbit mothers, however, only wean their kittens from 3 to 4 weeks, allowing their young to leave the nest and survive on their own. Baby rabbits are born furless and with their eyes closed The babies burrow to the bottom of the nest where they remain hidden until Mamma Rabbit wakes them up at mealtime. Only rarely does a mother rabbit nurse her young right after giving birth. Most often the first nursing will occur the night after the kindling. The rabbit's rich milk sustains the babies for 24 hours at a time

Baby Rabbit The Wildlife Center of Virgini

By day 30 they will be weaned, independent and their mother will already have mated and be expecting another litter. Wild rabbits do not vary much from each other in body proportions. Their size can range from 8 inches (20cm) to 20 inches (50cm) in length and .9 lbs (.4 kg) to more than 4.4 lbs (2 kg) in weight Pick the wild baby rabbit and place it at a comfortable location, feed the baby rabbit, let him rest for 2-3 days, and then bring him out of the cage. Mother rabbits have no issue in accepting wild baby rabbits even from humans Baby rabbits need to stay with their mother until they are about 8 weeks old. Baby rabbits start nibbling on hay and pellets at about 2 weeks old. However, just because they start eating on their own does not mean they can be taken away from their mother A mother rabbit can produce heavy milk which is rich in protein and full of energy that can fill the baby rabbit's belly for almost 24 hours. Now, let's watch the process the baby rabbits become stronger and when do baby rabbits leave the nest. The process. After birth, they do not move so much and their eyes remain closed till then. They. You see, wild rabbit moms do not remain near their nest and little ones. They follow their instincts to stay away so as not to attract predators to the nest. Rabbit mothers will come to the nest to feed their kits once or twice a day, usually under the cover of darkness, but they will quickly cover up their babies and leave again as soon as.

The baby bunnies stay with their mother until four to five weeks. After three weeks of age, baby bunnies leave their nest and return only to feed or sleep. After five weeks, baby bunnies are independent can survive without going back to the nest. Because baby bunnies only remain with their mother for breastfeeding Orphaned Baby Rabbits Care (Wild and Domestic) Baby rabbits get their mother's companion twice a day. Once in the morning and again in the evening for approximately 5 to 10 minutes. Rabbits' milk is very rich and nutritious. The breastfeeding period of the rabbits is 5 to 6 months. After 2-3 weeks, the baby bunny starts eating solid.

After 3 weeks, the baby bunny starts eating hay around their nest. Both the wild and pet baby rabbits start eating hay around their nesting box for 3 weeks. Actually, the weaning process starts from this age. Their guts start developing and can able to digest the natural feeds. But still, the mother's milk is important to developing their guts A. Baby rabbits need to stay with their mother until they are about 8 weeks old. Baby rabbits start nibbling on hay and pellets at about 2 weeks old. However, just because they start eating on their own does not mean they can be taken away from their mother. They need to continue to feed from their mother until they are about 8 weeks old

But the separation of baby rabbits is a must to ensure the baby's health and survival rate. The age of 5-8 weeks is the right time to separate the babies from their mother. These are because of the reasons, to avoid overpopulation when the rabbits come to age, to help improve the baby's immune system and strengthen digestion Baby Cottontail Information. The source for abandoned or injured wildlife. They can also be reached at (972) 234-WILD. Check by county for wildlife rehabilitators near you. (Cottontails fall under the small mammals specialization.) Mother rabbits only nurse their babies for approximately 5 minutes twice a day The mother will most likely return to feed the baby. Mother rabbits nurse their babies for approximately 5 minutes a day - once early in the morning and again in the evening. The milk is very rich and the babies fill up within minutes. Then they can usually go 24 hours without another feeding

When do Baby Bunnies Leave the Nest? Detailed Answe

My chickens just discovered a nest of 5 wild baby bunnies in the yard. Inspecting things, I realized that the flooding rain we are having has sealed up their den and they were crammed up against the closed entrance. I couldn't leave them there. Our two german shepherds would make short work of them Baby bunnies SHOULD be put back in the nest! We've all heard the myth - if you touch baby bunnies (or any baby wildlife, for that matter) their mother will smell your human-ness and abandon her babies. One touch and they're good as dead! That is total and complete nonsense! I suspect it was started by mothers who wanted their small.

How to Tell the Age of a Wild Rabbit (With Pictures) Pet

  1. With rabbits, a common myth is that if you touch a baby rabbit the mother will no longer care for it. 9 times out of 10, the mother will return to care for the babies after they have been handled. Another misconception is if you don't see the mother on the nest, she has abandoned it
  2. In the wild, 4- to 5-week-old rabbits begin to leave the nest and explore their surroundings, though they return to their mother to sleep. At this age, you should start bunny-proofing your home to protect your belongings from your curious rabbit. This is also important because by about 3 months old, young rabbits have entered their adolescence
  3. With the wild rabbit population increasing in urban areas, the probability of discovering a nest of baby rabbits is higher than ever these days. Unfortunately, nests that appear abandoned are often not, and wild baby rabbits removed from their nests by humans are unlikely to survive without the care.
  4. Any care you think you're giving could, and probably will, kill the rabbit. In fact, it is illegal to take in a young wild rabbit in most states. This will also cause the mother and captive baby to become frantic. This often results in the baby injuring itself. . Gently pick up the young rabbit. If you can, wrap it in a small towel
  5. They can eat leafy vegetables and fruits or pellets. Weaning- You can wean the baby rabbits from their mother at 8 weeks. They should not be weaned earlier, because they benefit from the gut flora and antibodies they get from their mother up until then. Separate males and females- You must separate the male and female baby rabbits at 8 weeks.
  6. That's a lot of baby bunnies. The babies' eyes open at about seven days old, and by three weeks of age the baby bunnies—now about four inches long—are weaned and on their own. Baby bunnies that are covered in fur and have their eyes open are old enough to fend for themselves, says Dr. Whittington. If you find a nest of baby.

Mother rabbits leave newborns in their nests, visiting them only at dusk and at dawn to avoid drawing the attention of predators. If you find a nest of baby rabbits unattended and want to make sure that the animals have not been abandoned or orphaned, drape a thin string across the entryway to the nest or burrow and leave the area. Return at 12. This is ethically good to remove dead baby rabbits from the nest as it will cause emotional disturbances in the mother rabbit. In addition to that, dead bunnies can cause a number of health complications. All along with that, they can invite a number of predators putting the rest of the rabbits in danger. If the Nest is in The Wild 1. Wait until the baby's eyes are open. Baby rabbits may begin eating solid foods when their eyes open, at about 10 days after birth. You can slowly add solid foods to their formula diet until they are weaned at about 6 weeks old. Don't feed baby rabbits solid foods before their eyes open

Will Rabbits Come Back to a Disturbed Nest? — Rabbit Care Tip

  1. Baby animals in the wild: If you care, leave them there The one exception to this rule is baby rabbits. Mother rabbits know instinctively when the youngsters can fend for themselves (various.
  2. Baby wild rabbits. Those of us who are privileged to have a one on one encounter with a wild rabbit may have either found one that has had to flee from a disturbed nest or much more likely is that its a rabbit that has already begun leaving the nest to explore. In the wild rabbit mothers will hide their nests in plain sight (for example in the.
  3. All baby wildlife are best raised by their own mothers, and we should do our best to ensure this bond is not broken. Alberta Wildlife Rehabilitators: Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society 403-214-1312 calgarywildlife.org. Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation 403-946-2361 aiwc.ca. Cochrane Ecological Institute 403-932-5632 ceinst.org

What to do about wild rabbits The Humane Society of the

Baby rabbits should stay with their mothers until they are 6 - 8 weeks old. When does a baby rabbit open its eyes? A baby rabbit is born with its eyes firmly closed. At about 1 week to 10 days old, they start to open their eyes. When do rabbit babies leave the nest? Around the time their eyes open, the babies start venturing out of the nest Rabbits (Orytolagus cuniculus) originated from Spain and South-West France. The rabbit was brought to England in the 12th century AD by the Normans and kept in captivity in warrens as a source of meat and fur. Many escaped into the wild and eventually become so common that farming them was no longer economic. Because of [ Cover the nest and leave the babies alone. Well-meaning people may assume a nest has been abandoned because the mother rabbit isn't there, but that's probably not the case. Mama rabbits are smart and visit their nests only when absolutely necessary to avoid drawing attention to it, Comer says The best way to protect young rabbits in your yard is to leave them in their nest. Keep cats and dogs away from the area, and be careful when mowing overgrown lawns. To encourage rabbits to leave your yard: Habitat modification - remove brush piles, weed patches, stone piles, and other debris and keep the grass cut short Keep your dogs and cats away from the nesting area. Cottontails are ready to leave the nest at 3-4 weeks of age. If the nest has been disturbed, even by a lawnmower, put all the babies and bedding back in place. The mother won't mind at all. If you find a small rabbit hopping around that appears to be too young to be on its own, remember: if.

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Take the basket off in the evening so the mother can return to feed the babies. Baby cottontails are born hairless and blind, but grow quickly. After a week, they open their eyes. By two weeks old, they start leaving the nest for short periods to feed on nearby grasses and plants, according to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. By. Nature News: Leave baby rabbits and their nests alone . By Susan Pike Saturday Kristen explained that the mother rabbit might return to the nest to nurse just two times a day, often at dawn. The mother is dead. (Mother rabbits rarely abandon their nests. They hide nearby and only visit the nestlings when it is time to feed them - usually at dusk, during the night and at dawn.) Place string or yarn over the nest in a tic tac toe pattern. Check the pattern, if disturbed the mother rabbit is returning to the nest

Then grass, hay, carrots, green leafy vegetables can be given to the baby rabbits. Before feeding a baby rabbit, think about their natural diet and growing up process. In the wild, a baby rabbit starts its meal only with its mother's milk. So feeding mamma's breast milk is very important to them. First, the milk and then all other foods. It might be inconvenient, but keeping your dog leashed for those 3 short weeks is the best thing you can do to keep baby rabbits safe and with their mother. You can use temporary fencing to cordon off the area with the nest - just make sure there is a hole at ground level big enough for the mother rabbit to get through It might be inconvenient, but keeping your dog leashed for those 3 short weeks is the best thing you can do to keep baby rabbits safe and with their mother. You can use temporary fencing to cordon off the area with the nest - just make sure there is hole at ground level big enough for the mother rabbit to get through. Cats can also be a. Animals in action - Welcome to my Wildlife Encounters! Subscribe for more videos: https://www.youtube.com/c/sarahswildlifeencounters?sub_confirmation=1 Bec.. Mother rabbits instinctively leave their young alone for long periods of time so her presence doesn't attract predators to the nest. As long as she is feeding them twice a day, you shouldn't worry. Simply make sure they are not in direct sunlight and that they are warm. Provide the mother rabbit with plenty of fresh food and water so she can.

How To Keep A Wild Baby Rabbit Alive — Rabbit Care Tip

  1. utes once or twice a day
  2. Feeding baby rabbits that need their mother's milk, but that do not have a mother to nurse from or which are unable to nurse can be a bit of an endeavor to take on. This can happen if a baby bunny is too sick or weak to nurse, has an issue with suckling, or simply hasn't been able to make it to a teat during one of the two brief feedings
  3. utes a day. The babies grow quickly, leaving the nest within a few weeks.
  4. Eastern cottontail rabbits leave their mothers only two weeks after birth. Commercial breeders of domestic rabbits usually remove the babies from their mothers about four weeks after birth, but the baby rabbits leave the nest by three weeks after birth. Eastern cottontail rabbits start breeding at around 1 year of age and can have five litters.
  5. utes a day. The babies grow quickly.
  6. Must see! A wild rabbit mother was eating a dandelion snack. Not long after, two baby bunnies hopped out wanting a snack too! ~ chibudgielv

Feeding Wild Rabbits, the Do's and Don't

People often mistakenly assume that a fawn (baby deer) found alone is orphaned. If the fawn is lying down calmly and quietly, their mother is nearby and they are OK. A doe only visits and nurses their fawn a few times a day to avoid attracting predators. Unless you know that the mother is dead, leave the fawn alone Although the incidence of cannibalism among rabbits is low, there are several reasons why a rabbit can eat its young. Survival Instincts As we have seen, in the wild, rabbits are animals of prey, and as such, they need to do whatever is in their power to survive, even if this means that they have to kill their kits What You Should Do If You Find Baby Rabbits Without Their Mother. If you ever come across a nest of baby rabbits without a mother, your first instinct should not be to pick them up or take them home. In many cases, the little bunnies are not orphaned. Their mothers leave them in the nest as a way to protect them Often, wild animal parents stay away from their young when people are near. Because of their behavior, the most common species to be mistakenly kidnapped by humans are young fawns , cottontail rabbits , and fledgling birds

If you find orphaned or abandoned wild baby rabbits, our best advice is to look around to see if you can find their nest. Rescuing them may sound a good idea. However, the best chance for survival of a wild baby rabbit is to leave it in its nest. [ 2 You can call your vet or local animal shelter for the information. Please note that hand-raising wild rabbits can be difficult. Also Know - Rabbits will not reject their young if you touch them. Remember, a mother rabbit will only nurse their babies a few minutes at night Wild baby rabbits do not have a scent If you find a baby wild rabbit that is not injured, leave it alone. It is most likely not abandoned unless you know for a fact that you killed their mother. Rabbits return to feed their young only once or twice a day for a few minutes, usually at night

Can I Move Wild Baby Rabbits? - For Fox Sake Wildlife Rescu

Mother rabbits leave their young and forage for food for short periods in the wild. If you are absolutely certain a baby rabbit(s) has been abandoned or its mother has died, call a veterinarian. Mother rabbits do not stay close to their nest's day and night. They usually only go to their nests twice a day, typically in the mornings and evenings, to check on their babies and feed them. The rest of the time the mother rabbit will be out and about foraging and making sure that she does not reveal her nest to any potential predators Baby rabbits leave the nest at approximately 3-4 weeks of age (sometimes older). If the rabbit is as big as a tennis ball (or fully fills your hand), then it is able to survive in the wild. If it fits within your hand or is obviously small or injured, then it needs to be re-nested or taken to a wildlife rehabilitator as soon as possible.At 3-4. Besides that, the mother rabbit can always go to her baby rabbits. During a downpour or even a hurricane, the babies might suffer from drowning, trauma, and other dangers. You can avoid this situation by keeping a protective layer on the top of their nest if there is a storm or snow

Will a mother wild cottontail rabbit move her babies to

  1. Adding Temporary Protection For Wild Rabbit's Nest. 18 Replies. My hope is that these little ones will grow up & leave both their nest & my garden. Then I can once again lock them out and away from our food. The Baby Rabbits Out On Their Own
  2. When I located the nest, I remembered that I bookmarked a discussion on finding a baby squirrel, and Joy posted about a wildlife re-habber. She sent me her number in a whisper. So I called, and this is what she told me 1. If at all possible, leave the nest alone---protect it if you must,but just wait, it only takes about 2 weeks for them to hop.
  3. Mother rabbits only feed their young once a day, and usually at night. They do not stay with their young. If, however, you have observed that one is alone or if the babies' stomachs look like they haven't been fed (a full baby has a nice fat tummy), then you might want to intervene
  4. Domestic Rabbits. The second situation is a domestic rabbit. With domestic rabbits you should touch, handle, carry and every other thing you can think of to get the baby used to being handled by people. We start the very day the rabbit is born. By the way, they are a lot of fun to hold in your hand
  5. In between feeds, mother rabbits kick grass, leaves and vegetation over their kittens to bury them, and leave to graze. In cool or windy weather, the extra layer of insulation keeps them warm. On hot, sunny days, it protects them from the heat of the sun. As the babies get bigger and more mobile, it keeps them all in one place until mom returns
  6. Believe me, if a baby rabbit got picked up and then dropped by a dog, the mother would still take care of it. josie ( 30931 ) Great Answer ( 1 ) Flag as ¶ Here in Northern California where I live, the local wildlife rehabbers take in scads of baby bunnies and adult injuries
  7. Unless the mother rabbit is known to be dead, she is probably feeding her babies, even if you think she is ignoring them. Rabbit does feed their babies only twice per day, and then leave them alone. This is normal and natural: in the wild, a mother rabbit not in the process of feeding her offspring stays as far away from the nest as possible to.

Please contact a Wildlife Rehabilitator or rabbit vet immediately. Older baby bunnies who are found outside of the nest may not be orphaned or in need of assistance. Baby cottontails are born without fur but develop a full coat in a week. Their eyes open in 10 days, and in three to four weeks they are weaned Uninjured baby rabbits in an intact nest should also be left alone. Although they might look abandoned because mom isn't around, mother rabbits visit their dependent young only a few times a day to avoid attracting predators I know that rabbit gestation is 28 - 31 days, and that the mother can get pregnant immediately after birth. Does that mean baby rabbits can be weaned when they are 4 weeks old? Assuming the mother is not having another litter at the 4 week point, when is the best ( mean/median ) time to wean the kits A baby wild animal's best chance for survival is with its mother. Rabbits can have their litters any time from early March to late September, but most litters are born in April and May. Litter sizes can range from 2-7 young (5 on average), but rabbits can have 2-5 litters each year. Kits leave their mother about three weeks after they. FYI, (copied from post by Dr. Lee Pickett, June 2020). Wild rabbits stay away from their nests most of the day to avoid attracting predators. They return for only a few minutes at dawn and dusk when no one is around. Mother rabbits use grass and fur to make nests, They do not need to sit on them all day as other species do

Can my baby rabbits survive without their mother at 20

  1. ute or so for a baby's stomach to be filled and the feeding complete
  2. Wild Baby Bunny. I recently was caring for a baby bunny (Eastern Cottontail) who's mother had been killed. The baby was also injured by the dog (small swelling on tummy area), the eyes were just beginning to open. The baby rabbit could only lay on it's right side, if you tried to put it on it's left side it would flop over
  3. Leave those wild baby animals be: Morgan Paskert (Lake Erie Nature & Science Center) Updated Mar 28, 2021; Posted Mar 28, 2021 Eastern cottontail rabbits often build their nests in yards and open.
  4. g back to feed them a few times, mostly at dawn and dusk. If you find a bunny that you think is in need of help, try to locate its nest. If the nest is intact, put the bunny back
Baby Rabbit | The Wildlife Center of Virginia

Wild Rabbits - Rabbit Nests - House Rabbit Societ

Can you see those cute little baby rabbits? Their camouflage is pretty good! These guys are almost old enough to be weaned. Our best guess for their age was 5-6 weeks old. Wild rabbits are a lot smaller than most domestic rabbits! Here is a picture of one of our hungry baby rabbits before feeding: Here is a picture after feeding the baby rabbits Mostly mothers rabbit nurse their child in the early morning and night only. So most of the time, baby bunnies stay without their mother. So most of the time, baby bunnies stay without their mother. In the case when you see a baby bunny hopping around on their own, first make sure if they are actually orphans

Can I Move Wild Baby Rabbits? – For Fox Sake Wildlife RescueWhen do baby cottontails leave the nest? - QuoraWild Bunnies - Gainesville Rabbit RescueThey're cute, but leave them alone | WTVCbaby rabbits For Sale in Shipley, Bradford | PrelovedFound an Animal? – Think Wild – Wildlife Hospital andDesert Cottontail - Sylvilagus audubonii - NatureWorks

Dwarf rabbits are like all pet rabbits in most ways, including when they can safely wean. Rabbits begin to wean around 4 weeks of age. By 6 weeks of age, they should be fully weaned. By 7 weeks of. As James and Xiaohouzi pointed out in their excellent answers wild rabbits are exposed to parasites and diseases that domestic rabbits are not. A baby rabbits immune system has been boosted by drinking its mothers milk so it has transferred resistance to some of them that a domestic rabbit does not have Newborn rabbits spend their first few weeks hiding in plain sight — in shallow, dirt nests among clumps of thick grass, under shrubs or in the middle of open lawns. Nests can be hard to spot. Baby Eastern Cottontail Rabbits Welcome to the world! Eastern cottontail rabbit babies are called kits. Mother rabbits can have three to eight kits in a litter, and have three to four litters a year. In Wisconsin, kits may be born anytime from the beginning of March through October. There's nothing better than the care of a mother Rabbits. A mother rabbit closes her kittens into a burrow, returning to nurse about once a day. Kittens will start to emerge from the burrow at about 18 days when they will look like miniature adults. If they're found above ground with their eyes closed then something has dug them out of the burrow - in which case they'll be too young to survive • Baby rabbits are routinely left unattended through much of the day and night. Mother cottontails do this to prevent drawing predators to the nest. If you see the rabbits, leave them alone