Breeding and juvenile season
From about mid-March to the beginning of July, the wild animals give birth to their young. Here you can find out what to watch out for during this breeding season and how to react best.
Is your pet a danger to the wild animal babies?
Yes, even if your pet has only a weak hunting instinct, caution is always better than indulgence. Because pregnant animals can no longer run as fast as they used to, they can be injured more easily and suffer miscarriages due to the shock. The young animals themselves are not yet safe on their little legs and therefore cannot flee fast enough.
Just by sniffing at a young animal, it is possible that it is no longer accepted by its mother and starves to death. Therefore you should never touch wild animals!
What am I supposed to look out for?
Dogs must be kept on a leash during breeding season. In the protected areas you will often find signs indicating the exact time period. Are you unsure? Ask your local authority. The best thing to do is to get a long leash, let your pet run only in fenced areas and offer him or her great activities such as retrieving, search games or mantrailing in order to redirect hunting behaviour. Some wild animals can also become a danger for your dog. Wild boars, for example, are not afraid to attack when their young are threatened.
Make sure to clean up the excrement, otherwise the feeding meadows can be contaminated with parasites. Cats should also be under observation outdoors. Because small birds or rabbits are a quick snack. If you have a garden you can help the wild animals by taking a few precautions. By using various tricks to block the way for your playful darling to nesting places, food dispensers, ponds and birdhouses and by creating small safety zones. Bird nests on trees, for example, can be protected by wide cuffs underneath the nesting places.
Where are young wild animals?
Depending on the species, the babies are born in high meadows, fields, buildings, caves, nests or other hiding places. Always with the aim of being as well hidden and safe as possible.
What you can do when you discover a young animal?
Have you found a baby wild animal and cannot see its mother? Don’t worry, most wild animals leave the “nest” during the day to search for food and only come to the cub when there is no danger in sight. If you are close by, the chance of seeing the parents is low, as they don’t want to draw attention to their hiding place and prefer to run away. Keep your distance and do not approach the young animal any further.
Saving wild animals?
First of all: Not every young bird has fallen out of the nest. Blackbirds, for example, are cared for by their family on the ground until they can fly.
If you can detect obvious injuries (blood, fractures, deformations, …), put the animal in a box with air holes with a towel and take it to a wild animal aid or a vet. Never touch wild animal offspring with bare hands, because the parents recognize their young by their smell and would not accept it after a contact and would not continue to care for it. There is also a risk of infection for you. Also if you find the mother animal in an accident, the little ones need help.
In all other cases hands off! Because well-intentioned rescue attempts mean a lot of stress for the animals and usually cause more damage. Most animals are well cared for and do not need human help!
What else you can do
- Don’t trim or cut down bushes and trees until after the breeding season.
- Use natural fertilizers and avoid chemicals.
- Leave a strip of natural meadow. In the flowers and wild grass insects and co. find a home, which in turn serve as food for wild animals.
- Piles of leaves, woods and co. serve as shelter for wild animals.
- Aviaries and insect houses can also make the lives of wild animals easier.
With a little consideration the wild animals can raise their offspring in peace. In this way nature and our animals remain unharmed. So keep your eyes open during the breeding and settling period. Stay out of the way of the babies and only intervene in an extreme emergency.