Cottontail rabbits are common in Kentucky. Females may have up to 3-7
litters of 3-6 babies per year. The babies are born blind and
completely helpless. To protect her young, the mother does not stay
with her babies and only comes a couple of times a day to nurse them.
This behavior leads many well-meaning finders to accidently kidnapping
baby bunnies. Rehabilitators are poor surrogates for the real mothers
and because they are prey animals, rabbits do not handle stress well.
Therefore, we only want to bring babies into care that actually need to
be rescued. Often babies are found in a yard or garden alone. The nest
may simply be a slight depression in an open area that the mother has
lined with fur and covered with grass or leaves. It is best to leave
the babies and not disturb the nest if at all possible. If there is
concern that the babies may be orphaned, try placing two twigs in the
form of an "X" on top of the nest. Leave the nest alone and check back
in 24 hours to see if the "X" has been disturbed indicating the mother
has been back. Baby rabbits mature quickly, wean and leave the nest
in about 3 weeks. So, if there is a nest of rabbits in your yard, just
be patient...they will be gone before you know it!