OHIO – It’s fast approaching baby animal season and some babies are being cared for as close as your lawn.
Eastern Cottontail Rabbit is one of the most common wildlife species in Ohio, commonly found everywhere. You see these rabbits in fields and wood areas, but you also see them in neighborhoods and backyards. This species of rabbit is indigenous to Ohio and are prolific breeders. One pair of rabbits could produce 350,000 offspring in five years! This is mostly because rabbits usually only live a year simply because they are a common food source for a lot of predators.
Breeding season has already started and young are born in early March to late September, usually momma has about 2-7 baby bunnies that sometimes she nests in your lawn. Usually mom will dig a small shallow nest of about four inches deep just about anywhere so you have to look out when you are mowing. As long as mom has a good food source around she will nest. Babies start off with our fur and blind and slowly grow hair and start to see in a week or two. Mom doesnt stay with the nest though she’s busy finding food and only comes back to feed, so its easy to walk up on a nest of babies.
So if you come across a small hole on the ground in the middle of your yard with some dead vegetation around it, it could contain some baby bunnies but dont worry mom will come back to them so dont move them. If your dog has possibly got into the nest and removed a baby or two check the status of the babies and if they are ok return them to the nest. Mom won’t return to the nest when you and other predators are gone. Mark the nest with a flag so you avoid it with the lawn mower it won’t take long before the little ones are grown and gone and you can have your yard back.