You really have to know what you are doing with wild baby cottontails.
Goats milk is not a good substitute - anything that is not carefully formulated can actually cause more dehydration than if you were to leave them alone, because it can cause diarrhea. These ones are still very very young, still nursing. Although they may nibble on some food, their digestive systems are not fully developed yet and cannot handle incorrect food sources. Often interference
Please contact your local rehabilitator to at least get some advice.Domestic animal vets often have noclue what they aredoing unless they specialize in wildlife medicine. (Almost as hard as finding a rabbit vet
If you post your location I'd be happy to recommend a reputable one closest to you.At least they'll be able to give you some advice, and the babies will be better off for it.There are some really great rehabbers out there!!! Sounds like Haley knows someone who would be able to at least offer you advice! They great thing about rehabbers is that they are the champions ofnetworking - someone who rehabs cottontails in one state,will know every other cottontail rehabber in the country. The more knowledge you can get, the better chance they will have;especially because wild bunnies are so very different than domestics in this country.
Quick tips, to tide you over until you can contact a local rehabber:
* Keep it as quiet as possible - these little ones are so stressy. You even look at them wrong and they can have a heart attack on the spot. Keep handling to a minimum, and as silent as possible. Chronic stressors of handling and human noises can severly stunt growth, if not kill them outright.
*A small dish of water is fine - as long as it is shallow. As long as they are able to stand, and aren't showing signs of head trauma(i.e. could drown themselves), a shallow dish should be good.
*Keep it dark, with lots of places to hide - cover the container with a sheet, or towel, and put lots of plants and greenery inside to give them places to hide. They will be under constant stress in captivity, so try and give them as much chance to feel like they are getting away from you as possible.
*Lots of fresh greenery - grasses, dandelion etc.
*Don't feed any commercial formulas - they can cause either bloat of diarrhea because of incorrect composition in comparison to mom's milk/Babie digestive tracts are so well stuied to mom's milk - they can't tolerate much else. Much like trying to make us drink seawater 24/7 -things don't match.
You can always reach me via pm. There is a great mammal rehabber in my area (BC, Canada) that I can refer you to if you'd like advice from them.
P.S. We always recommend keeping cats indoors. As much as they may be trained to not catch you small animal, instinct kicks in outside. Cats kill as many small birds each year as the Exxon Valdez did in a one time shot with seabirds. There are some great outdoor enclosure you can build to protect wildlife from you cat and vice versa. Sadly, bells aren't effective because of the techniques cat's use to hunt - ambush.