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Rabbit Nest/Lawn Mowing

Discussion in 'Everything Else Rabbits' started by mppsu2003, May 17, 2017.

  1. May 17, 2017
    mppsu2003

    mppsu2003 Herd lurker

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    Hello,

    I (or more accurately our dog) discovered a bunny nest on Sunday. She didn't harm any of the bunnies and everything is okay with the nest. A couple got out but I was able to put them back in and re-cover. The mother of the bunnies has definitely been back. The bunnies are tiny (still have dark fur and their eyes aren't open yet). We've kept the dog away and all seems well.

    However, the time is coming where I'm going to have to mow the lawn. Obviously, I don't want to mow over the nest. Of course, i'm not crazy about letting grass grow wildly for the next few weeks in that area during this time of year.

    What's the best way to go about handling this? If the bunnies are all under and the nest is covered, could I weedwhack the grass around them without disturbing them? How much of a radius around the nest should I leave as lawnmower distance? If the bunnies don't pop out, is it safe to assume the noise didn't really bother them?

    I know to be vigilant in case they do come out during the lawnmowing so I don't hurt them, but I'm not sure of what other precautions I can take.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. May 17, 2017
    Bunnylady

    Bunnylady True BYH Addict

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    Wild rabbits grow up very fast. They have their eyes open at about 10 days and leave the nest for good at about 3 or 4 weeks. If these bunnies crawled out of the nest when it was disturbed, they probably aren't that far from the eye-opening stage; I doubt the grass is going to grow all that much in the next couple of weeks.:idunno
     
  3. May 17, 2017
    mppsu2003

    mppsu2003 Herd lurker

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    Thanks for the input. However, in our area the grass grows rapidly this time of year and I'm concerned about high grass yielding some animals we don't want around (namely ticks and snakes)
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2017
  4. May 17, 2017
    CntryBoy777

    CntryBoy777 Herd Master

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    I really know very little about rabbits, and wild ones are probably different than the tame ones. Something to think about is that rabbits develope fairly rapidly and become much more active as they grow, so I will tag a few of the rabbit people here, and hope they can give ya better advice.
    @Pastor Dave @Hens and Roos @Bunnylady @AClark
     
  5. May 17, 2017
    LocoYokel

    LocoYokel Loving the herd life

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    Hi There!
    I have never had to deal with an outside nest myself but I bet somebody here has... Maybe @Bunnylady, @Marie28, @DutchBunny03, or @HaloRabbits can help you. Those members I just tagged know a lot more than I do and now they will be sure to see your post.
    Good luck with your nest and a big Hello to BYH! :welcome
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2017
  6. May 17, 2017
    Bunnylady

    Bunnylady True BYH Addict

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    Well, I'd be worried about using a string trimmer and having baby rabbits come flying through it, myself. They sort of take off in all directions when you disturb the nest.:idunno

    But I think staying 20 feet away while you are mowing should be enough; for the couple of weeks it will take for these guys to get big enough to leave on their own.
     
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  7. May 17, 2017
    Pastor Dave

    Pastor Dave True BYH Addict

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    I have this same problem most Springs. I usually mow up to abt 3 or 4 feet around the nest. Not to try to contradict bunny lady, but I realize how the mowing can get away from ya, and twenty feet is a bunch of grass area. They could even be gone or just visiting the nest off and on by the next time you mow.

    My meat rabbits will scrunch their eyes shut when I pick them up at around 10 days or so and it makes it seem they have em shut, but they are seeing fine and beginning to explore. That could be your case too.

    They should be gone pretty soon, but Mama may come back and have another litter there yet this summer, so be aware.
     
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  8. May 17, 2017
    AClark

    AClark Loving the herd life

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    If I don't mow weekly, it's out of control so I get where you're coming from with not being able to mow it. I'd probably just mark it off and mow around it, it's a good bet if they're out and about they'll hide if you get near with a mower and you won't run them over, as long as you don't mow over their nest.
     
  9. May 17, 2017
    Bunnylady

    Bunnylady True BYH Addict

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    Ummmm - no. Y'see, a rabbit has two responses to something that it considers a threat. First, it freezes, and crouches totally motionless, hoping that the threat will go away without detecting it. If the threat comes on it suddenly, or close enough that it thinks it's going to die, it explodes into action, and runs in a blind panic.

    That is true, whether you are talking about domestic rabbits or wild ones. I have seen my caged rabbits go off like popcorn when someone walks through the rabbitry door without making some sound outside first, to let the rabbits know they are there. I have been working on the rabbitry roof, and felt the whole building shake when a piece of roofing felt got caught in the breeze and flapped over the edge, scaring the rabbits (I guess they thought it was a predatory bird?) I have had rabbits break their own necks or backs jumping across the cage when something (possibly a snake) startled them.

    My son had a go cart, which he used to ride in the yard. I can remember being in the rabbitry and watching the rabbits tense up and hunker down as he approached, and he was a lot more than 20 feet away from them at his nearest passes. If what my tame rabbits exhibit is anything to go by, I feel pretty safe saying that the wild rabbits in the nests that Pastor Dave is mowing around are sitting, eyes wide and hearts pounding, the entire time he is mowing around them, they just haven't quite reached the state of terror where they lose all self-control and run.

    So yeah, I'd say it bothers them. It bothers them a lot, even 20 feet away. But 20 feet is about the distance I am from my horse when I see her body language change to what I think of as "I am no longer in charge here, you are." 20 feet also gives a fairly good sized area of cover for the bunnies to move into, before they have to expose themselves to whatever predators may be out there, just waiting to pounce on them when they get out in the open. I know the odds are stacked against them any way you look at it, but I'm thinking to give them some chance. But if you really don't want to risk having to leave that area unmowed for any length of time, as soon as you are sure they are gone, I'd mow it, and keep it mowed every week, so the doe will go somewhere else.
     
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  10. Aug 14, 2017
    annageckos

    annageckos Chillin' with the herd

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    I know this is a few months old but just wanted to add something for anyone else that has this issue in the future. You could always put a cage or tub over the bunny nest and then mow around it. That way if they do try to run they don't run right into the mower. I've marked around bunny nest in the past, about five feet all around. That worked here, but I'm sure they got use to hearing people, dogs and mowers/cars in this area.
     
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