It’s Spring. But it isn’t always gorgeous sunny blue-sky days. Spring storms are upon us and when that happens baby wildlife suffer. Look up, look down, look all around. If you know where a cottontail nest is - don’t hesitate! Get those babies inside and out of danger of being drowned in their nests or dying from exposure. Here’s your To Do List!
Get your supplies ready!
1. Heating pad (non-auto shut-off) - purchase through www.drugstore.com. Put on surface in extra bathroom or room away from the family/pets. You can also use HotHands - just put a few on the inside bottom of the box and put the cloth over them. They will stall warm for 8 hrs.
2. Shoebox lined with a clean soft tshirt or nice piece of fleece;
3. Tiny bit of the nesting material to help the babies adjust to their “other” nest;
4. Place babies in box and put box half on/half off the heating pad set on medium;
King-sized heating pad set on medium under a soft-side carrier lined with a clean piece of soft fleece. Happy babies!
5. Place something over the nest outside so that it can’t fill with water (although it still might);
6. Ride out the storm with the babies safe and sound inside!!
7. Let’s check and see if the nest is dry! Get those Hot Hands ready! Line the nest with a few Hot Hands. This will help dry out the nest. You can dry out the nesting material by placing it on a cookie sheet and putting in your oven on “warm” for a short time. Replace the nesting material back in the nest and add the babies (if the nest is dry and warm);
8. Mom usually comes to feed the babies between 6-10 p.m. The babies are vulnerable and easy prey for nighttime nest invaders. I highly recommend that you bring the babies back inside after they have been fed.
A well fed neonate cottontail. Note the large "white" stomach area - that's mom's milk!
9. Warmth is vital. If they are using their own body heat to keep warm then they are burning vital kcals. Providing them with an ambient warmth will go far in saving their lives.
Please do not hesitate to contact me at 940-442-8289 if you have any questions! Be safe babies!!!!