incubators are essential Some rehabbers are species-specific, and so the statement that incubators are essential does not apply to all rehabbers. It does, however, hold true for many different rehabbers across the board. Some animals, especially the babies, would not survive if not for the necessary warmth provided to them by incubators like our TLC models. Below is more information on why heat is so essential and one of the species that needs it the most.

Baby Bunnies

bunny in incubator

Wildlife rehabbers get a lot of bunny nests that were disturbed by lawn mowers, cats, dogs, etc. When a nest of baby bunnies is brought in it becomes imperative that the babies receive the proper amount of heat. Bunnies are born without fur, so, much like other baby animals, they are unable to regulate their own body temperature. It’s important to carefully monitor the heat on the incubator or heating pad used so that the bunnies don’t become too hot or too cold. 

Bunnies are delicate creatures, and improper care can result in some unfortunate consequences. Feeding, handling, and other rehabilitation methods need to be done in a strict way to ensure the bunnies make the best recovery possible to be released back into the wild.

Heat

A bunny’s body temperature runs between 102° and 103°F, so it’s important to use a heat source to help maintain this. This can be accomplished with an animal intensive care unit or recovery incubator like our TLC models, or with a heating pad.

Careful Handling

Bunnies are easily stressed out, and high levels of stress aren’t good for them. Passing bunnies from one handler to another can cause panic, as wild bunnies aren’t used to humans. To keep them from becoming too panicked, and also to keep them from getting too used to humans, the contact they have with people should be minimized. If possible, one handler should be designated for the bunnies so they only become accustomed to one human. bunnies in TLCfeeding bunny

Hydrate

It may not be possible to tell how long the bunnies have been abandoned, so they may be suffering from dehydration. It is important to hydrate the bunnies as soon as possible and check for any other life-threatening issues. Checking for dehydration can be done by gently pulling on the skin. If the skin stays pulled away from the bunny’s body even after you let it go, the bunny is dehydrated.

Gentle but Secure

Bunnies do not like to be held, so they must be held securely to keep them from escaping. However, as these are very delicate creatures this must be done gently. Over time rehabbers get used to holding bunnies in a way that secures them without injuring them.

Release

It’s important to check the weather forecast for the area planned for the release of the bunnies. It is wise to choose a time when there will not be a lot of bad weather, especially several days in a row. Rehabbers try to find an area with tall grass and underbrush, ideally near a water source like a lake or pond.

The bunnies should be no less than 120 grams, and they should be at least six weeks old. If the bunnies hop around and try to escape when handled that’s a good indicator that they are ready for release. 

Sweet Binks Rescue, Inc.

We reached out to Pamela Hood at Sweet Binks Rescue, Inc to get more information on how our TLC incubators help with wildlife rehabilitation. She gave us a lot of great information!

“I use my Brinsea incubators mostly with critical care intakes with great success. Recently, I had a young bunny found in a swimming pool but was still alive. The finders got to me and I already had an incubator at 98 degrees and kept the bunny in it for a couple hours. The cottontail recovered and was eventually released.

I do not ‘raise’ wildlife long-term in the incubator but use it mostly on intakes or newborns. Because neonate squirrels, bunnies, opossums, skunks, and most mammals thermoregulate with each other for warmth, it is critical for the very young to get rewarmed at a consistent, controlled temperature.

Storm victims, which we just had, are definitely helped by immediate care in a Brinsea incubator. I also use three EcoGlow heat plates for young waterfowl and game birds. Love the adjustable height. These are the tools we need and use to successfully rehabilitate so much wildlife.”

We love hearing success stories from rehabbers who use our incubators! 

Imitating Nature

The end goal for every wildlife rehabbers is to release a healthy animal back into the wild who is capable of fending for itself. This goal is accomplished by imitating nature as closely as possible and by limiting human interaction. In the wild bunnies are given warmth and security from their mothers, which is what our TLC animal intensive care units or recovery incubators offer them. 

If you would like more information on our incubators or Baby Warm, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. You can call us at (888) 667-7009 or send us a message on Facebook or Instagram. We look forward to hearing from you!