What Do Rabbits Eat In The Wild

Most people are curious to know what rabbits eat in the wild. It is worth noting that, rabbits are herbivorous animals, and so they majorly feed on plants. Wild rabbits eat different plants, with their food depending on their habitat and the season of the year.

During summer, wild rabbits feed on flowers, clovers, shrubs, grasses, and leaves, as these foods are widely available then. Green, in particular, is excellent for a wild rabbit’s digestive system as it acts as roughage. Wild rabbits also eat leaves, but then, the leaves have to be tender; otherwise, the rabbit would not eat it.


Because they are herbivores, wild rabbits would not consume animals, and so, meat is not a part of their diet. The only time they eat flesh is to consume their young ones, probably due to stress, or if the young one is defective.

How About During Winter?

During winter, however, the food supply will diminish or will be absent altogether. In the wintertime, plants are usually not available, so the rabbit’s diet will have to change. Depending on the severity of the winter, green grass may still be available, although limited.

In this kind of situation, wild rabbits would usually eat dead and dry plants, together with any green foliage that they can access. If the winter is severe and conditions are harsh, there will be no green plants for wild rabbits to eat. In this situation, they would have no choice but to make do with what is available.

Therefore, wild rabbits will eat things like fir, peach, spruces, tree barks, twigs, etc. They will eat these only because there is no foliage, as they prefer to eat grass.

 

Do Wild Baby Rabbits Eat The Same Food As Adult Ones?

Young wild rabbits develop at a faster rate than their domestic counterparts. In the first few weeks of their lives, they will usually depend on their mother’s milk. Before long, however, they will learn to be independent and begin searching for food with their mothers, eating the same food as them.

Should I Feed A Wild Rabbit?

Veterinarians do not generally recommend that people should feed wild rabbits. However, during winter, when food is scarce, you may find some wild rabbits scavenging for food in your backyard or around your house.

Besides, a wild rabbit might need your care if it is injured or has other related problems. In these cases, you may feed the rabbit, but you should be mindful of the kind of food that you feed to it.

The best things you should give a wild rabbit include Timothy hay, oat hay, or grass that is free of chemicals. If you want to feed domestic rabbit foods like pellet food [1] to the animal, you should give it only a small quantity. This is because the pellets are very rich in nutrients, and so, they may cause some problems for the rabbit since it is not used to such food.

You can also feed vegetables like carrots, celery, spinach, dills, etc., to the rabbit. You should avoid vegetables that cause gas, though, as they can cause digestive problems like bloating for the animal. Fruits are also an option; therefore, you may give it fruits like strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and raspberries. Do not feed fruits that are high in sugar to it, though.



Should I Feed Wild Baby Rabbits?

Sometimes, you may stumble upon wild baby rabbits whose mother is not with them. It could be that their mother left them to go and forage, or she has been killed, and so, the kits are orphaned.

You should not take away the baby bunnies, except you are sure that they are orphaned. It is difficult for wild baby rabbits to survive without their mother, and so, if there is a chance that their mother will come back, you should leave them alone.

However, if you are sure that the rabbits are orphaned, the best thing is for you to take them to a wildlife rehabilitation center. It is not advised for a human to raise a wild baby bunny as most of them do not survive.

Conclusion

Wild rabbits are a hardy bunch, and so, they can survive adverse conditions far more than their domestic counterparts. During summer, they will gladly feed on fresh grass and leaves. However, when it is winter, and foliage is not plentiful, they will make do with other things like tree bark and some fruits.

If you notice some wild rabbits around your home during winter, you can feed them with the foods mentioned above, but you should be careful to avoid foods that will cause them problems.

Glossary

  1. Hay And Pellets [Link]