Kit Care: How Long Do Baby Rabbits Stay In The Nest?

If you think rabbits are the cutest, you clearly haven’t seen them as new born kits. Kits are so cute; it should be illegal. Even though they are born without fur, blind and deaf, they still somehow make it work.

Kits are born through a process called “kindling”. They are born in litters. One litter can have five to twelve kits in it. Before they are, their mothers dig burrows and make nests for them. They even pull out their fur to make a comfortable nesting place for unborn kits.

The time kits stay in their nest is between ten to twenty days. During this time, they develop their natural senses; their sight; hearing, and they even grow fur. Between two to three weeks, they move about and explore their environment. As soon as they can move about, you as a pet owner can start handling them. You can subtly introduce them to stroking and cuddling and hay. Baby rabbits should eat a lot of alfalfa hay once they are up to a month old.

Baby Rabbits in their Nest

During the period that kits are in their nest, try not to engage them in physical contact. This is because the new mom might smell your human scent on the child and it might lead her to ignore the kit to death. Immediately after childbirth, the doe might be restless and paranoid.


What Rabbits Behaviours Means


Pay close attention to your bunny, so she doesn’t harm or eat her kits. This can happen if she becomes too territorial and anxious or lacks protein, that’s why you should feed her more alfalfa hay before birth. It is normal for the doe to eat her placenta, and still born kits or kits with unusual scents.

The survival of her kits depends on her and if they are too much, she might be overwhelmed. Does may not allow cuddling and interactions with you during this period. The best way to show your support is to provide her with enough food and water. Immediately your rabbit gives birth, help clean it up.

At birth, these kits are delicate and even the slightest physical contact might be harmful to them and not just because they are hairless, blind, and deaf at this point. If you must touch them, do it with gloves so the doe doesn’t scent your smell on the kits.

Once they are a few weeks old, you can engage more physically with them.

What to Check for

Check constantly that the kits are breathing and feeding from their mother’s milk well. If you notice that a kit is dead, carefully remove them in the presence of their mother, so you don’t pose a threat to the other kits. The rabbit’s abode should always be neat and dry. Rabbits don’t do well with water, startling a new mom with water can cause an aggressive response.


Kit Care: How Long Do Baby Rabbits Stay In The Nest?


If you notice urine or faecal pellets around her nestling place, be sure to clean it up. You have to constantly clean it up for the two to three weeks the kits will be there. This is not the time to discipline your doe for urinating in the nest, she is probably very hormonal at this point.

The kits don’t share the nest with their mother. The doe only comes to the nest to feed her babies. She can get too protective of her pets or neglectful, so you have to observe her as much as you can.

Keep the male rabbits as far away from the doe as possible. This is because the doe, even after immediately giving birth, can become pregnant again within twenty-four to forty-eight hours and honestly, the doe will be too hormonally imbalanced to go through that, that quickly.

You should know the time of year affects the kits ability to move out on their own. They may stay longer in the nest if its winter. They haven’t properly developed their own body resistance to varying weather conditions, so they will stay in their shelter for as long as they need to get stronger and ready for the life.


What do Rabbits Eat and Drink, A Complete Guide


The size of the litter might affect the length of time the kits stay in their nest. If the litter contains many kits, they will venture out on their own sooner than later because the nest will be too small to hold them all.

Sometimes the doe might get too paranoid and territorial, and might prevent her kits from moving out of the nest. You might have to intercede and trick the mother rabbit into letting them go. If you’re very observant, you’ll seize up opportunities to set the kits free.

Furthermore, it might depend on the breed of rabbit. Some breeds of rabbit are more inquisitive about their environment and might flee from their nest the moment they are developed enough to do so.

Caring for baby rabbits can be a strenuous time for both you and your rabbits. You might get too nervous and confused, especially if it’s your first time caring for them. When your kits leave their nest, you can decide your nest course of action; train or give out.