Adding Temporary Protection For Wild Rabbit’s Nest

by Texas Homesteader ~

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. 

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!  

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

You see, my garden is fenced & typically keeps rabbits out (my bad on leaving the gate open long enough for mama to 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 Cover The Rabbit’s Nest

I knew I needed to cover the nest with something. So I came inside and eyeballed an 18″ plastic bin in our closet. It’s got an opening on one side and plastic grid on the other three sides. The bottom is solid plastic. Hummm… I think I can use this. 

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 it outside and turned it upside down and placed it over the rabbit’s nest. Then I took a concrete cinder block and placed it in front of the open side.

The openings of the concrete block are too small for Bailey, but large enough for mama rabbit to come & go to raise up her babies. 

Then I placed a heavy stone on top of the plastic bin. That will weigh down so Bailey can’t paw it 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

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 doesn’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. 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

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.

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


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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?

    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~

  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

    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~

  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

    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~

  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?

    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~

  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!

    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~

    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~

  6. 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.

    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~

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

    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~


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