Do Rabbits Bury Their Babies? And Why?

  • By: Kind Of Pets
  • Date: September 24, 2021
  • Time to read: 7 min.

Do Rabbits Bury Their Babies? When you think of a cute bunny, the last thing that comes to mind is them burying their babies. But in reality, most rabbits do bury their young. But why do they do this?

Rabbits will usually bury their babies in shallow nests to protect them from predators or other hazards in their environment. If you stumble among a nest buried in the ground don’t touch or move the babies as this is completely normal behavior and there is a good chance the mother is close by looking for food.

Rabbits will always focus on protecting their vulnerable offspring which is why they don’t leave their babies out in the open. However, not all rabbits choose to take such measures when it comes to caring for their young with some preferring to keep them close by in their warrens.

Some rabbits will even choose to build nests in elevated areas such as tree stumps or logs. Unlike other animals, there is no known correlation between the time of day and burying their offspring with it being done both during the evening and morning hours.

As before, if you’re out walking your dog and you come across a rabbit nest, it’s very important that you leave them be and do not take the babies away as this can cause serious stress for both mother and their young.

If at any point these animals are in danger, however, such as from wildfires or storms then steps should be taken to ensure their safety but otherwise just monitor from afar without disrupting their habitat.

How Deep Do Rabbits Bury Their Babies?

When it comes to burying their youngsters, the length of time can vary depending on factors such as if they have been fed or how hot and dry out conditions are. In most cases, a mother rabbit will decide this for herself with some burying them up to three feet while others may only to a depth of one to two feet.

However, this number changes depending on the type of soil in the area. For example, if the soil is hard and dry the mother rabbit will opt to dig a hole just big enough for her young to have enough protection.

Loose soil on the other hand will be much easier for the rabbit to dig up so they may go slightly deeper so there is plenty of room for her and her babies to move around.

Where Do Rabbits Bury Their Babies?

Rabbits will always try to find the most secluded spot when it comes time to bury their babies. This makes sense as they do not want others coming across and disturbing them while she is away searching for food or water sources, however, this behavior can depend on which species of rabbit you are dealing with.

For instance, cottontail rabbits tend to look in wooded areas such as underbrush piles whereas hares prefer flat open ground where they have a clear view around them.

The mother rabbit will also choose her nesting site depending on how many young she has so if there are only two babies then the nest may be closer together than one that contains more than two.

What Do Rabbits Bury Their Babies In? 

When a rabbit berries her babies it will usually be in long grass or staw not only does this provide cover for her young but also acts as an installation to keep them warm and safe from predators.

However, there are some rabbits that will use whatever material is around such as leaves fallen twigs, bark strips, etc but this can vary depending on what the area looks like where she has chosen to give birth.

Some species prefer areas with more trees while others are more open plains therefore their nests look different based upon that choice.  

Related Article:

Is It Safe To Touch The Nest?

If you happen upon an area where there is a rabbit nest, it is important that you do not touch or move the babies as this could cause serious stress for both mother and young. Rabbits in general are known to be very solitary animals so they spend much of their time alone.

This means if she comes back from her daily search for food and water only to find her babies missing then this will have a massive impact on them psychologically which can even lead to all kinds of problems depending on how long they are separated.

The best thing you can do when coming across a rabbit’s nest is to leave them alone unless the babies are visibly injured or their are any theats of fire or stomes!

If the nest is close to where you live keep an eye on it! If they have set up camp in your back garden then you should place a portable camera by the nest this way you will be able to see if the mother is caring for her babies.

How Long Will The Babies Rabbits Stay There?

Once the mother has dug her nest and buried her young they will typically stay there until they are at least 3 weeks old. Usually, at this point, the babies are able to explore and feed on their own.

However, rabbits are very territorial creatures so if she feels that another rabbit or even a human is getting too close then she may move them somewhere else out of harm’s way.

The good thing about this behavior though is once you have seen where their babies are, just leave them well alone! As before, the only time you should go near such an area would be when their safety could potentially be compromised by fire or storms.

What If The Mother Doesn’t Return?

If you have found a nest of rabbits and the mother has not returned after her normal time span then this could be for several reasons.

Reasons Why The Mother Hasnt Return To The Nest:

  • Mother Rabbit Has Unfortantly Died
  • The Rabbit Has Found Another Mate
  • The Mother Senses The Nest Has Been Disturb
  • The Mother Feels Threatened By Predators

If you have noticed that the mother is absent don’t panic it may be taking longer than usual to find food! But if it’s been longer than 24 hours and she still hasn’t returned to the nest then it’s time to take action.

What Actions Should You Take?

If it’s been longer than 24 hours and you think the mother won’t return then the best thing you can do is go ahead and move them to a new and safe location. This means finding an area that looks very similar to where they were originally found but as far away as possible in terms of distance so it’s not too disruptive on their life.

If The Mother Doesn’t Return You Have One Of Three Options:

  • Move Them To A Safe Location
  • Contact Your Local Vet For Advice
  • Raise Them Yourself

You could also choose to raise them yourself which would be great for domestic breeds such as your own pet bunny however, wild rabbits are different meaning raising them by hand isn’t easy!

So think carefully before making this decision because it’s not one that should be taken lightly especially if there are only two or three babies involved.  

If relocating them doesn’t work or you are unable to care for them yourself then you should contact your local vet as they can advise you further on this matter

Do Rabbits Bury Their Dead?

When a rabbit dies, it’s not usual for other rabbits to come up and bury the body. This is because most rabbits are very solitary creatures so when they die there isn’t much of an impact on other members of their species apart from those who were closely related to them or formed friendships with them.

That being said if you find that the mother has passed away then she may well be buried by her young however this would happen more as an act of instinct rather than any real kind gesture towards her dead carcass!    

Related Article:

Conclusion

It’s good to note that rabbits are very territorial creatures when going about their daily lives. This is why you should never approach a nest of young rabbits because they will not only be in danger but also those who have raised them until this point.

If the mother feels threatened by predators or even humans then she may move her young elsewhere meaning your best bet would be to call on a professional for advice if you are worried or if anything were to happen.

While it isn’t likely, sometimes death can strike, and taking care of wild rabbit babies yourself could work out well as long as you do so responsibly and with a lot of consideration towards where these baby bunnies came from – which was nature!