Should You Remove a Dead Bunny From Its Nest? A Quick Insight

Removing Baby Bunny From Nest

When You are Raising Rabbits, if you find a baby Rabbit Dead in the Nest You Need to Remove it, so the Mother will focus on feeding the rest of her Babies. She can become be Stressed in trying to revive and warm up a cold Dead Baby Rabbit. A Mother Rabbit is not Capable of Carrying a Baby Rabbit

Rabbits are fond of digging holes, rabbit nests are well hidden and you mostly have seen them in your yard, parks, schoolyard, or anywhere else. Rabbits make underground nests with some few exceptions, as Eastern cottontail rabbits, the commonly found species in South Ontario, don’t make nests like that.

The mother rabbit digs a shallow hole, similar to a bowl in the grasses,most preferably in the planter and landscaped area with some wood chips. Then, she lines the nest with dry grass and leaves when babies are inside, she covers it up with more dried grass and fur from their body to save her bunnies from the predators. Bunnies have no scent, and the nest is well hidden, and takes weeks to be discovered.

What to Do if You Find a Nest Accidently

Sometimes, you may accidentally find or uncover a rabbit’s nest anywhere. Be cautious while observing the rabbit’s nest( especially wild rabbits). You should carefully observe the bunnies in the nest.

How to Tell if the Bunny is Injured

If you observe the following sign in a rabbit baby, then it indicates that the bunny is injured and requires medical attention on emergency grounds.

1) The bunny is lying on its side and cannot right itself.

2) There are obvious injuries or wounds on its body.

Pick up the bunny carefully with the help of a stick and put it into the cardboard box in the dark, place it in a peaceful area with energy/heat source nearby to it.

Rabbit mothers are quite possessive about their bunnies and want them back if you touch or pick up them.

Should I Renest if Found in the Wild?

If the nest has been disturbed or disorganized, Recreate the nest as best you can, in the exact same spot it was originally in. Use any remaining nesting material.  If you need extra you can use some dried grass. Tuck the babies back in the nest and make sure they are covered up with nesting material.

What is the String Test?

Mother rabbits don’t want to attract predators to their babies, so they mostly leave them on their own, hidden and camouflaged. Mom will come back a few times a day, usually between dusk and dawn, to feed the babies. Feeding may only take 2-3 minutes, so unless you’re watching 24/7 you will probably miss it!

To see if the mother rabbit is coming back to a recreated nest, you can do the “string test”. Take a few pieces of yarn or light cotton string, and place them over the nest in a tic-tac-toe pattern. It can help to take a photo of this, so you can compare it later. Leave the string overnight, and check in the morning. Was the string moved? That’s great — it means mom came back overnight and fed the babies.

Why Is it Necessary to Remove Dead Bunnies from the Nest

Coming to the point, let’s have some look into why there is a need to remove dead bunnies from the nest. If you find any dead bunny.

It is more  important for those who are doing rabbit farming. During the time of parturition, does(mother rabbit) should be left alone. No disturbance around the disturbance causes the rabbit mothers to become nervous. As a result, she will not give birth to young ones in the nest box.

After she gives birth to young ones, after one day, monitor the nest. If you find a dead bunny there, it should be removed with proper care.

NOTE: Keep in mind that, like other animals, rabbits are not able to move their young ones. So, rabbit mothers will not remove that dead bunny.

Dead Bunnies are a Source of Contamination

The stay of dead bunnies can be harmful for the rest of the rabbits. Dead bunnies become the source of contamination for the nest box and may arise various infections in other nestmates. This is why, it is advised to remove the dead bunnies if you find any.

Dead Rabbit will Attract Flies

Along with causing contamination, many files can be attracted to dead bunnies, which can give rise to various complications. So, their removal ensures the safe and clean environment of the nest.
Dead bunnies can attract many insects and pests such as coyotes due to their putrid decaying smell.

Pets Can eat Dead Rabbits Also

Another major issue that arises, is the eating of dead animals by your beloved pets. It is the habit of the rabbit mother if she makes a nest anywhere, she covers the nest with dry grasses and other material to keep it hidden from the dogs and other pet animals.

If your dog and other pet find any dead bunny they eat it and may get many infections from it.

Therefore, protective removal of dead bunnies becomes essential to deal with such devastated situations.

Pets should be kept inside, when you are renesting( shifting rabbits from one nest to another) or removing the dead bunny from a Wild nest.

Dead Rabbits will Give off Bad Odors

In addition to drawing the attention of many insects and other predators, dead bunnies give off a very bad and putrid odor, that can be obnoxious for you and for the environment. To control this unbearable smell, dead bunnies are recommended to be removed from the nest.

Keeping in mind all, issues related to dead bunnies, let’s have a brief look into how to dispose off if you find the dead bunny.
(There may be various causes of death)

If you are Raising Rabbits – You need to Remove the dead rabbits from the mother’s nest in her Nesting Box. Some of the Reasons are

  • Mother is not able to remove the Dead infant themselves
  • Most Nesting boxes have a small lip to keep baby rabbits from wiggling out of the warmth and safety of the nest.
  • Mother will focus on reviving the dead Baby Rabbit
  • Dead Rabbit will decompose and draw Flies to the Nest

How to Dispose of the Dead Bunny?

All safety precautions must be taken to remove and dispose of the dead bunny. You should cover your hands with plastic gloves while disposing of a rabbit. You should use a pet box, place the rabbit dead body in it, bury it deep in your yard and cover that place with soil to dispose of a rabbit

Increasing rules and regulations mean that burial may not be legal in your town or state. If burial is allowed, there may be strict rules governing just how you may bury your rabbit. Because the rules vary according to location, you will need to find out what is legal in your area.

In case home burial is permitted in your home, then it is recommended to dig a 3 feet deep hole to bury the dead bunny to save it from dogs, cats, coyotes and other animals., from digging it up.

We had 3 Acres out in the country, and one of our Older Dogs Passed away.. I took him out back and buried her. I buried her about 1′ Deep, a year later I was back on the property where I had buried her, she had been dug up by other creatures looking for food. She was not deep enough

The Burying process starts with proper planning along with a selection of the well-suited place.

Precautions for Removing Dead Rabbit

1) Wear plastic gloves as gloves are the best thing to protect your hands and skin from getting dirt or any kind of infection. So, wear gloves first of all, if you find any dead bunny, before touching it.

2) Another thing is to wear a face mask. Don’t go near the dead rabbit unless your face is covered. You can use a mask or any piece of cloth to cover your face easily. This will help to prevent you from inhaling deadly air that is left by the rabbit.

What Tools do you Need to Dispose of a Dead Rabbit

If you find a dead bunny in a nest, or in your yard, don’t touch it with your hands. Use a long-handled shovel to pick up the dead bunny, or similar Tool, especially if the rabbit is decomposed.

Use a plastic bag to wrap the dead bunny inside it. Alternatively, you can use zipper bags that must be made up of hard plastic and make sure that the dead bunny must not be exposed to outer conditions.If you don’t find any of these you can use, pet coffin to keep the dead bunny.

Care of Pregnant Rabbits and Caring For Kits


This is ethically good to remove the dead bunny from the nest as it will cause emotional disturbances in the mother rabbit. In addition to that, dead bunnies can cause a number of health complications. All along with that, they can invite a number of predators putting the rest of the rabbits in danger. If the Nest is in The Wild.

Well, designed strategies should be brought into consideration for the safe removal of dead bunnies. Timely suspicion of the dead bunny is very much crucial for further proceedings.

Author: Dr. John Abbass
DVM  M.Phil( Animal production & Welfare)

Michael F. Sorensen, John P. Rogers, Thomas S. Baskett, Parental Behavior in Swamp Rabbits, Journal of Mammalogy, Volume 53, Issue 4, 30 November 1972, Pages 840–849,

Warming a Cold Rabbit
Comforting a Dying Bunny

What Do you Do with a Dead Baby Bunny

You need to dispose of the Bunny in proper methods, that might be regulated by where you live. If You are allowed, you can Bury them, Your Vet also has options and you can make arrangements through the services they have access to.

They Need as quickly as possible be removed from Rabbit Nest, Rabbit Box to avoid drawing other critters and insects following their noses looking for a meal.

Do Baby Bunnies Die Easily

Generally Rabbits are very Healthy and Hearty Animals. Baby Bunnies can die from various reasons.
Sickness, Disease, Not enough Food, If they get Cold.
If you are raising rabbits it is wise to check them daily, to check on their progress. Make sure they are warm and not stiff, gaining weight each day. A good sign they are getting proper nourishment from their mothers.

How Do You Revive a Dead Rabbit

There are several things you can try, but most of them need you to be able to administer quickly after the baby bunny dies
1) Warm the Bunny up
2) Gently give CPR
3) Hold bunny upside down and see if you can get any fluid that might be in his lungs to come out. Be Gently they are Fragile

Will a Mother Rabbit Return to a Disturbed Nest

Yes, a Wild Rabbit will return to her nest. If you have disturbed it put it back as original as possible. Try not to do it in a manner that leaves a lot of Human Scent
It is Normal for a mother Rabbit to leave her nest to eat.
She will return several times a day to nurse her babies.

Why are Baby Bunnies Dying

If you have more than one baby Bunny, Rabbit that is dying. I would check several things.
See if you can determine if she is giving milk, If not you could lose all the babies. If she is not producing Milk – Make sure she has plenty of Food and Water. Milk is over 20% water
If you need see if you can introduce babies to a surrogate mother to nurse them. She might, or might not accept them. But if not You may lose them all
Check for Drafts, Box lining so that babies are not getting cold. You need at a minimum of 4 baby bunnies to keep the others war.

Rabbit Breeder Associations

Rabbit AssociationLocationLink
American Breeders AssociationUnited StatesARBA
House Rabbit SocietyCaliforniaHRS
Ohio States Rabbit Breeders AssociationOhioOSRBA
Livestock Conservancy North CarolinaLC
Rabbit Welfare Association and FundUnited KingdomRWA
British Rabbit CouncilUnited KingdomBRC
European Association of Rabbits....EuropeEAP
Australian National Rabbit CouncilAustraliaANRC
Australian Rabbit House SocietyAustraliaARHS
ARBA - Rabbit ShowsUnited StatesARBA - Shows
Resource List of Rabbit Breeder Associations

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