Eastern 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!


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Kentucky Wildlife Center
5423 Leestown Rd
Lexington, KY 40511
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