You’re probably wondering what kind of cute surprise would be in our compost pile. Normally if there’s any type of surprise in the compost pile, it’s most likely something that doesn’t smell too good, or something unrecognizable… or even something you really don’t even really want to know what it is. Finding a cute surprise in the compost very rarely ever happens… but last weekend was an exception. When we were adding compost to the garden, Michael scooped up some compost and out tumbled 3 cute little baby cottontail bunnies… poor things! We picked them up and put them in a box to keep them safe from the cats and dog, and also so we wouldn’t run over them with the tractor.
After doing some research, we decided to put them back out after dark so their mamma could find them. The problem was, we scooped up most of the compost pile so their home was gone. I dug a small hole close to the spot where we found them and put them in it. We saw their mamma wandering around the area that night so we were pretty sure she’d take them back since she was hanging around. The next day we went out to work on the garden and they were still there. They had managed to crawl out of the nest I made and were scooting around on the ground. We left them alone but by the evening they were looking thin and acting weak, so we decided we better bring them in and feed them.
I did some more research on how to care for wild baby bunnies and found that their mammas only feed them morning and night. Since we have raw goat milk available, and I’ve read that it’s a really good replacement milk to raise baby animals on, I decided to use it. I started out trying to feed them by syringe but it just wasn’t working out good at all. So then I tried pouring a little milk in a small lid so I could train them to drink that way. It works great except I have to hold their head steady so that their mouth is in the milk, otherwise they get too excited and snort milk up their nose.
They get all relaxed, mellow, and fall asleep while drinking… it’s so adorable!
Of course, their little chins get covered with milk and they’re a mess, so they have to have a bath after each meal…
Now that their eyes are open, we’re feeding them some grass, dandelion leaves and other plants naturally growing outside, rather than veggies, that way they will be used to eating those things once we turn them loose.
As I was researching how to take care of these bunnies, I found out that it’s illegal to keep and/or rehabilitate wild animals without a permit. I did find a wildlife rehabilitator and asked them if we should turn them over to them. They said it sounded like we are doing everything right and since the bunnies are healthy and growing well, we could continue to raise them if we wanted to. If you happen to find wild baby animals, the best thing to do is leave them alone until you know for sure they’re abandoned, and then get with a licensed wildlife rehabilitator to find out what you should do next.
Finding cuteness in the compost pile was a nice surprise…
especially baby bunny cuteness right before Easter.