Adding Temporary Protection For Wild Rabbit’s Nest

by Texas Homesteader ~

Sometimes mama rabbit makes a nest somewhere that’s not ideal. That’s when I try to protect the baby bunny kits until they’re old enough to be out on their own.

For instance, planting time is almost here & I’ve been in my veggie garden a lot lately. A LOT!

Unfortunately with all my coming & going I accidentally left the garden gate open for a few days. In a golden moment of opportunity, a mama rabbit got into the garden, made a nest and had babies. 

How will I protect these kits in the rabbit's nest from Bailey's instincts until they're old enough to fend for themselves? See this rabbit's nest guard. #TexasHomesteader

(Note: Some links in this post are for further information from earlier posts I’ve written. But links preceded with * are affiliate links. If you click them and buy something (almost anything, not just the item noted) I could receive a tiny commission. But the price you pay will NOT change. It’s an easy way to support this blog without anything coming out of your pocket. So click often! Thank you!)

Mama Rabbit Sneaks Into My Garden

As I was clearing away some mulch I first saw some fur balled up. As I tenderly checked deeper I found a rabbit’s nest. It’s my fault, that’s what I get for leaving the gate open!  

You see, my garden is fenced & typically keeps rabbits out. (my bad on leaving the gate open long enough for mama to nest & birth!)

My hope is that these little ones will grow up & leave both their nest & my garden. Then I can once again lock them out and away from our food.

But I need to protect them from our mini-Schnauzer Bailey in the meantime. She’s a seasoned baby rabbit killer and it just breaks my tender heart!

Finding Something To Protect The Rabbit’s Nest

I knew I needed to cover the nest with something. So I came inside and eyeballed an 18″ plastic stackable bin in our closet. This will be perfect!

It’s got a scooped opening on one side and is semi-solid on the other three sides. But the sides offer some much-needed ventilation while still offering protection. The bottom is solid plastic. My bin is similar to *These at Amazon.

Here’s how I put my protective cover together to let mama rabbit in but keep our dog out.

How will I protect these kits from Bailey's instincts until they're old enough to fend for themselves? See this rabbit's nest guard. #TexasHomesteader

I took the plastic bin outside and turned it upside down so that the open top was on the ground. Then I placed it over the rabbit’s nest.

I tried to put the nest itself as far as I could from the opening to protect the kits as much as possible.

But our dog can still paw inside and remove the babies. I needed a way to keep our dog out but let mama rabbit in to raise her kits.

Making A Mama-Rabbit Entrance

To make an entrance big enough for mama but too small for our Mini-Schnauzer Bailey, I decided to use a concrete cinder block.

I laid the concrete block on its side which results in the two holes in the cinder block to be facing outside, like two little tunnels. Then I slid it in front of the open side of my plastic bin that I’d turned upside down over the rabbit’s nest.

The cinder block measures 8″ x 8″ x 16″. So by having this cinder block in front of the plastic bin opening, it adds another 8″ depth for our dog to have to paw past.

That plus the fact that I placed the actual nest at the very back of this overturned bin means there’s no way our dog can reach the baby kits from the outside.

Plus the little square openings of the concrete block are too small for Bailey to squeeze through. But they’re plenty large enough for mama rabbit to come & go to raise up her babies. 

Finally I placed a heavy stone on top of the plastic bin. That will weigh down so Bailey can’t paw the lightweight bin away to get to the nest. 

Protecting a rabbit's nest. How will I protect these kits from Bailey's instincts until they're old enough to fend for themselves? See this rabbit's nest guard. #TexasHomesteader

Although probably not necessary, sometimes I’ll add some old hay around the enclosure just to disguise it. I’m not sure if it fools any wildlife or not, but hopefully it does. In any event, it makes the little protective cage a little less obvious.

Now all that’s left to do is wait until the kits grow up & leave the nest. Then I’ll lock them all out of the garden again. Thankfully it shouldn’t take long.

About a week or so later as I was in the garden I saw the kits were starting to explore outside the nest and outside their protective enclosure too. It looks like there are three of them and they’re still tiny but growing fast.

They’re so adorable! It won’t be long until they’re old enough to be on their own.

The Baby Rabbits Out On Their Own

I kept an eye on the nest every day as I was in the garden. Little by little the baby rabbits grew. Then a few days later I looked and saw no rabbits.

So I removed the plastic bin and peeked into the rabbit’s nest. It was empty. I checked all around the garden and was pleased to see they were all gone, not only from the nest, but from my garden. Yippee!

So I washed out & once again stored away the plastic bin. The concrete block went back to RancherMan’s shed and I cleaned up the garden area where they’d nested.

Now, back to my gardening chores. I’ll be sure to keep that garden gate CLOSED from now on!

How will I protect these kits from Bailey's instincts until they're old enough to fend for themselves? See this rabbit's nest guard I came up with using things I already had #TexasHomesteader

I’ve used this same enclosure setup to protect various bunny families over the years. It’s easy to set up and has been successful in protecting the baby rabbits.

~TxH~

Other Wildlife Posts

See All Our Native Plants & Wildlife Posts

Other ‘Use Whatcha Got’ Ideas

C’mon by & sit a spell!  Come hang out at our Facebook Page . It’s like sitting in a front porch rocker with a glass of cold iced tea.  There are lots of good folks sharing!  And you can also follow along on Pinterest, Twitter or Instagram

If you’d like to receive an email when a new blog post goes live,
subscribe to our Blog!

Save

Spread the love

18 thoughts on “Adding Temporary Protection For Wild Rabbit’s Nest

  1. Jeanie

    Thank you for the great idea! We used to have a mini schnauzer. Our current indoor/outdoor cat was raised with him as her big brother. She found a rabbit nest this week. It’s under a bushy evergreen tree. We are building a “catio” for this cat, but wondering how to cat-proof the nest in the mean time. The poor cat is tortured being kept indoors. I took her on a leash walk yesterday. If I leave her unattended for a minute she will go right to the nest! Trying to figure out something the mama rabbit can fit through the my cat, or her paw can fit through! Maybe two cinder blocks?

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Well, our mini Schnauzer is about 13 lbs and she’s typically not able to get to the rabbit’s nest through the openings of the cinderblock. But cats seem to be more nimble and able to squeeze into smaller spaces. I’m not sure how big your cat is, but as you mentioned the challenge will be to find something small enough that she can’t squeeze through but large enough for the mama rabbit. The last time I set this up I was limited by the bush that mama bunny had nested beneath and couldn’t get the nest far enough for my comfort from the cinderblock opening. I was worried our pup would reach a paw through the cinderblocks and paw out the babies. So I took metal rods – in my case it was portable push-in fence posts – and pushed a couple into the ground in front of the holes in the cinderblocks to reduce the size of the opening (I sure hope that makes sense) Maybe you can try something like that? Put the actual nest as far back from the opening as you can and reduce the size of the opening if necessary. Just make sure you don’t make it too small for mama too! Good luck! ~TxH~

      Reply
  2. Christina Ritchey

    Please help! Do you have any ideas on how to protect babies from cats?! Your idea of a cinder block and basket looks great for dogs but how can I keep neighborhood cats from getting in? Thank you

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Oh Christina, I’d think any opening large enough for a mama rabbit would be large enough for a cat also. It’s best not to disturb the nest if possible. Baby rabbits have almost no natural odor to best protect them from predators. And mama rabbit only comes to the nest to tend to them once in the early morning and once late evening to keep the trail to her nest as secret as possible. Although sadly some times their nest is victim to predators (it’s just nature), most of the time mama knows best and those babies are raised quickly until they’re old enough to be on their own! 🙂 ~TxH~

      Reply
  3. Becky

    Exactly how did you place the plastic tub I have a nest in my back yard and my dog already took one out but didn’t kill it cause I was standing there when she did it . Mom has came back after I put dog in but I want the babies protected and her to be able to come and go

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      The plastic ‘bin’ I used was taller on 3 sides with a lower scoop opening in front. I simply turned it upside down over the nest. The 3 sides touch the ground, but now the lower scoop section is like a small doorway. Our mini-schnauzer is small enough to reach in & paw the nest through that opening, so I placed a cinder block in front of the opening, allowing access for mama but denying access to Bailey. This method has had to be incorporated several times over the years, but always successfully. I’ll leave the protection up until the babies grow enough to move away and then I remove the protective cover & put it away until next time. Good luck and bless you for protecting the babies! ~TxH~

      Reply
  4. Brianne Rodgers

    I just found a nest in the middle of my yard and I am not sure what to do to protect it from my puppy! Our grass is not tall and it is in a very open area. What should I do to protect them?

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      You can do the same thing I did in this post Brianne. I covered them to protect them from our Mini-Schnauzer. I’ve done this several times now when I find a young nest and they always grow up & move out just fine, then I remove the cover. ~TxH~

      Reply
  5. Stacey B

    Hi Taylor,

    A wild cat has discovered a rabbit nest in my yard and I’ve basically done what you’ve done here to protect the surviving babies.

    Approximately how big is the cinder block you used? Thanks in advance!

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Awwww… Good for you for protecting them! I just used a standard cinderblock, about 8x8x16 with the two holes in it. For us it worked great since the holes were large enough for mama to come & go but too small for Bailey to squeeze through. Not sure how big the cat is but you might have to amend the size of the holes somehow if they’re too big to restrict the cat’s access. Good luck! ~TxH~

      Reply
  6. Adrienne - Pest Control Experts

    Good on you for protecting the bunnies and helping them thrive! I’m glad they made out ok and also seem to have left your garden alone. The are so adorable, but can be so destructive to our plants.

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      You’re right of course Adrienne. I have a fence to keep them out of my garden. (thumps forehead) It doesn’t help if I leave it open! LOL But I’ve not had any noticeable damage from rabbits in our yard. Of course our little mini Schnauzer Bailey helps keep them away too. ~TxH~

      Reply
  7. Katy SkipTheBag

    Oh I would be so shocked to see baby rabbits! Especially since that means they made it past the dogs and fence. I’m glad to hear they made it out just fine. Thanks for sharing on the Waste Less Wednesday Blog Hop.

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Bailey is an accomplished baby-rabbit killer, Katy. It just breaks my heart, but I understand it’s just her instincts. So this set-up helps save my tender heart! ~TxH~

      Reply
  8. Shelley

    I had a rabbit nests in my strawberry pyramid garden, my perennial bed, and my asparagus bed which I left alone until the babies were gone, but last year one started making a nest in my fenced veggie garden (mama got in through a tiny opening where the fence wasn’t tight enough). I caught it early enough to secure the garden and force her to look for another spot. We have 4 adults living in the wood pile this year so there’s going to probably be lots of babies hopping about! How nice of you to protect those baby bunnies.

    Reply
  9. Pam Kaufman

    Two days ago I looked out my window and saw a bunny looking in the window at me. It was on the deck in my built in planter. It slept there all night. I had put some straw around my sage to protect it from Michigan’s winter weather. We never even thought it might be looking for a place to nest and have babies! The bunny just peaked at me again but there are no babies yet. I told my husband I am removing the straw today. I love seeing baby bunnies but my deck is not a good place for me or them lol!

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      If you’ve seen her 2 days in a row she may have already nested. Mama returns to her nest in the morning & evening to tend to the babies. I’ve learned (by accident) that they love to look for places where hay is thick on the ground, perfect nesting material. Both times that I’ve had to incorporate this protective cover the mamas had sought shelter for her nest in hay mulch. But thankfully the babies grow super fast. So both times I used this upside-down-plastic bin and within a 2-3 weeks they were grown & gone. Then I just removed my protective items and carried on. Our mini-schnauzer Bailey delights in finding the nests & killing the babies. It’s just her instincts, but my tender heart just can’t take that. WHEW! ~TxH~

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Please enter the Biggest Number

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.