Archive for the 'April 2012' Category

That Time of Year

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

Well it is spring…flowers are bloom­ing, birds are chirp­ing. Hol­i­days are around the cor­ner. This is the time of year that many peo­ple start to see baby bun­nies. In the stores and in the wild. So here are some sug­ges­tions when you see a baby bunny and want to take it home…

1) If it is a wild bunny that you have found, DO NOT TAKE IT. Wild bunny par­ents only come to the nest 2 times and at usu­ally at dusk and dawn. Often, the babies are left in the nest alone dur­ing the day–but momma is watch­ing. If you con­tin­u­ally check on a nest the momma will aban­don it. So if you see a baby by iteself, let it be. A good sug­ges­tion by the Wildlife Res­cule League of  Vir­ginia is to place a ring of flour around the nest before dusk. If you do not see  large rab­bitt imprints in the flour by the next morn­ing, then call the wildlife experts.  A per­son that takes a baby in and has no expe­ri­ence or train­ing in feed­ing and car­ing for the rab­bit young, is in for a tough expe­ri­ence. Most will  not sur­vive. Besides, it is not legal to remove wildlife from the wild! For more infor­ma­tion:

2) If you see a cute baby bunny at the pet store, friend’s house, farmer’s mar­ket, breeder, or other bunny friendly local, you can take it home. How­ever, it should not be an impulse buy. A bunny is a com­mit­ment, sim­i­lar to buy­ing a cat or dog and can live for 7–15 years. They have lots of spe­cific needs and requirments includ­ing vet­eri­nary care.When you pur­chase a juve­nile rab­bit, there is a good chance they are car­ry­ing par­a­sites and this with the stress of a new home can lead to life-threatening diar­rhea. I can­not stress enough the impor­tance of hav­ing an exam and a fecal per­formed on any new bun­nies to your house. Hus­bandry train­ing and par­a­site testing/prevention can make the dif­fer­ence between life and death. Bun­nies make great pets as long as you are pre­pared for this new addi­tion to the house.

Although I am focus­ing today’s blog on bun­nies, the same infor­ma­tion goes for all other wildlife, includ­ing baby chicks and ducks, and rep­tiles. If it is wild, do not take the babies—this is ille­gal and the ani­mal is less likely to remain healthy with you than in the wild. If it is a injured or sick, con­tact your vet or wildlife con­ser­va­tion league. If you decide to pur­chase a baby duck or chick for the hol­i­days, please con­sider the long term life of this ani­mal. If you do not have a farm or a facil­ity to keep it for the rest of it’s life with the proper care, do not pur­chase them. It is unfair to keep them as babies and then try to find a shel­ter or farm to take them when you no longer want them. If you want to adopt a rep­tile or bird, please con­tact your vet for proper hus­bandry rec­om­men­da­tions to keep the pet healthy and happy. Rab­bits, birds, and rep­tiles can be fan­tas­tic addi­tions to your house­hold. You just want to make sure you have all of your ducks in a row (pun intended) before you bring them home. Happy Holidays!