Wild baby bunnies – released June 2019

Just after Easter 3 wild baby rabbits were brought into us by a member of the public after their nest had unfortunately been disturbed.

Once a rabbit nest has been disturbed the mother will not return. Therefore, the bunnies only chance of survival was for us to intervene and hand rear them.


On examination we aged them at 7 days old (eyes shut and dependent on milk). Two of the babies were healthy, good weight and with full tummies. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case for the third baby bunny who unfortunately on welfare grounds we had to humanely euthanase.

Hand rearing baby rabbits is not easy. They have a very sensitive gut and the slightest change in their diet can be detrimental to them. Therefore, the success rate for hand reared baby rabbits is low!


The two baby rabbits were hand reared with baby kitten milk, starting with feeding 3-4 times a day. Included in their milk feeds were probiotics, this helps their sensitive gut tolerate the change from mums milk over to our formula milk. At 12 days old they were slowly introduced to solids; alfafa hay, dandelions etc. to start the weaning process off. Their milk feeds started to reduce down to dawn and dusk and then to just dusk. During this whole process their weight was being monitored to ensure they were putting weight on. At just over three weeks old they were moved into a safe outdoor enclosure so they could get used to the elements and away from human contact as much as possible. At this point they were eating well but still receiving a milk feed at dusk to keep their tummies full. One of them loved to lap the milk, whilst the other still preferred the bottle, each hand rear is different and you have to go with what they like and not force them because that’s the stage they should be at.


A week later after watering down the milk slowly, the milk feeds stopped and they were on their own with solid food!


From then on it was hands off approach so they did not get used to human contact and weighing weekly to keep an eye on their weight.


Last weekend (8th & 9th June) at 6 weeks old and over 400g each, the baby bunnies were successfully released! Despite a bit of a hesitant start from the littlest one they both bounded into the undergrowth and a tear was definitely shed by their carer. Here are some photos and videos of their journey from 7 days old to their release day.

A big thank you to all the staff at the JSPCA who helped get these baby bunnies back into the wild when they were left with no chance of survival, and all the hours outside of work dedicated to them.