Lakeside Nature Center

Barricade / Protect Cottontail Nest

Ways to Protect or Barricade Nest:

Here are some suggestions on how you can protect baby cottontails from your pets.

  • Keep dog tied up in yard away from nest
  • Take dog on leashed walks
  • Do not leave dog unattended in yard
  • Use wire fencing to wrap around the nest. If you are leaving the fencing up, make sure the gaps are big enough for mom to get in and out of.
  • Cover with a milk crate or laundry basket during the day. Weigh this down with bricks or rocks. Remove before nightfall after the dog is in for the evening. Place over nest again in the morning before you let the dog out.
  • Place a wheel barrel, kayak, fire pit cover or some similar object over the top. Make sure there is a space big enough to allow the mother to come and go.
  • A cinder block border around the nest will allow for mom to move in and out. You can place a wire or mesh covering over the top to keep dogs/cats out. A board can also be used but is best to be removed once pets are back inside.
  • Place a board on top only for short durations (less than 30 minutes) while dogs are outside. Make sure you remove this after only a short period as it does not provide enough ventilation for them to get sufficient air if left too long.
  • Keep your cats inside.

Bunnies open their eyes after 1 week and are completely out of the nest after 3 weeks (tennis ball sized). Mom only feeds at dusk and dawn so make sure the babies are accessible and you stay away at these times.

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