A recent study finds out that around 30% of wild rabbits survive a winter. And a 2 out of 225 wild rabbits reached two years old, which is only 4.5% in total. But, the rabbit’s reproduction capacity acts as a compensator for this downfall.
This study sums up pretty clearly that how hard a winter season can be for a wild rabbit. One of the major reasons for their hardship in winter is food. Finding the foods for a rabbit is difficult in this season.
Hence, what do wild rabbits eat in the winter? During winter, the rabbit’s probe for greenery is available to put their teeth on. As the weather gets colder, they settled on tree barks, branches, twigs, buds, and bushes. Rabbits like to have pine needles at this time of year. They also eat their droppings, like a cow chewing on cud.
There are some other questions about wild rabbits in winter, like – Can I feed a wild rabbit? Should I take care of wild rabbits in the winter? Can wild rabbits eat bird food in the winter? What to feed wild rabbits in winter? And a lot more we’re going to discuss today. Let’s hop in asap guys-
Where Do Wild Rabbits Go in the Winter?
Or, you could say – where do wild rabbits live in winter? Do rabbits hibernate in the winter? It seems that you see the wild rabbits less frequently in winter. You may wonder whether the wild rabbits hibernate in their home or migrate to a warmer and safer place.
Well, that’s not what you’re thinking about it. Generally, wild rabbits live within the more or less 5-acre area. They don’t move much from their home unless a necessity arises like – their home has been destroyed, or predators are frequently attacking in their area.
So, the wild rabbit doesn’t migrate during the winter season. Eastern cottontail rabbits and some other types of rabbits crawl inside an empty burrow, which was dug out by another animal. Other than that, nature provides wild rabbits enough resources. They don’t need to migrate for survival in winter.
After that, some common questions come into our mind, like – how the rabbits survive in winter then? How do rabbits stay warm in the winter? Where do wild rabbits sleep? And a few similar to these.
Well, you may forget that rabbits are ground dwellers. The temperature inside the ground stays stable. Furthermore, wild rabbits pack their house with straw and grasses, which acts as an insulator. In addition to those, during the winter, rabbits grow a thicker coat to keep them warm.
Wild rabbits in residential areas, shelter under a car, porch, or in a garage to keep them cozy.
What Do Wild Rabbits Eat in the Wintertime?
There is a very common question about wild rabbits lingering in people’s minds – “what do wild rabbits eat in the winter?”
Among the four seasons, winter is the coldest. And the rabbits are not such an appreciator of it. There are several reasons for this. Among all the reasons they have, finding their regular food is on top of this list.
A wild rabbit’s normal diet based on plant or greenery that comes from a plant they can find on their home turf; some vegetables and fruits are also included. “What do wild rabbits eat” [Details Here] you will find their regular diet and food habit on that article.
During the winter, abundant vegetables withered away; tender young plants clover, vegetables, and berries are past or hard to find to consume for a wild rabbit. Throughout the winter, it’s challenging to find some fresh green plants or anything unwilted from a plant.
So, the rabbit’s face some difficulties to have some fresh bites. Rabbits go further than usual from their home and have to spend additional time to find the foods for them. When they couldn’t have their usual foods, rabbits start to resort to woody plant parts.
Hence the rabbits start eating the bark of trees, twigs, buds, and branches, etc. of trees like birches, white oaks, or willows in the winter. Furthermore, they eat pine needles and branches at this time.
In addition to those, rabbits also eat snail, moths, and other insects available at their dwelling area.
Did you saw a cow chewing a cud? They have nothing in front of them, still the cow chewing on something which they stored for later. Sort of same way, the rabbits, eat their droppings and eat them again to receive the full nutrition from the food.
Not all the droppings of a rabbit went through the same way. Foods that weren’t eaten completely come out differently than their usual droppings.
Where Do Wild Rabbits Get Water in The Winter?
Naturally, wild rabbits eat fresh green plants or plant materials that contain sufficient water that a rabbit need. Hence, they don’t need to drink water separately. However, this fact changes during the winter season. Rabbits eat more dry foods than usual. On this occasion, where they gain the required water?
If it’s snowing during winter, wild rabbits can have plenty of water from it. But, if it isn’t snowing then, they have the extra mile to find the water source, like – ponds, lakes, puddles, and small streams.
Can I Feed a Wild Rabbit in the Winter?
This part of this article will also answer the questions, like – should I take care of wild rabbits in the winter? Is it ok to feed a wild rabbit? What can I feed wild rabbits in winter, or what to feed wild rabbits? And some homogenous to these.
Usually, wild rabbits don’t need outside help from outside to survive in the winter. They are spacious on their own in nature. Nature provides enough resources to live their own.
Even professional vets don’t suggest feeding or taking care of the wild rabbits. Sometimes, it may cause more harm to a wild one than you could think. So, it’s better to leave them be as they are.
However, if you still insist on doing something for them. Then, you could provide some fresh vegetables and hay to the wild rabbits. For details – “What Do Rabbits Eat in the Wild?” [Details Here] and “Do wild rabbits eat carrots?” [Details Here] Check these articles for a complete understanding of the food habit of a wild or domestic rabbit.
Oh yes, you can provide some freshwater beside the wild rabbit’s eating areas. This could help them a little.
After reading those mentioned articles, you will know “what do wild rabbits eat in the winter,” or what you can feed to a wild one.
Do Wild Rabbits Eat Bird Food in The Winter?
Or you could say – do wild rabbits eat birdseed? Whether it is winter or summer or any other time of the year, both wild and domestic rabbits enjoy eating bird food or seed. They also like dried corn.
Buying a good quality bird seed or food for wild animals is a good option. Lay the seed around the wild rabbits eating area, while rabbits are not around. They may not feed on these if they find fresh forage on their own. During the winter, the chance of eating your birdseed by wild rabbits will increase.
So. It’s better to use the winter season to feed them.
What Do You Feed a Wild Baby Rabbit?
Feeding to an adult wild rabbit is not recommended by the professionals. Then, feeding a wild baby rabbit is not a good idea. Even if you found some wild bunnies alone in their home, it doesn’t mean they are abandoned or orphaned. Adult rabbits stay outside the whole day for searching and eating foods.
So, the adult rabbits leave their newborns or baby bunny in their homes. Mom rabbits feed her child only in the early and dawn of a day. Though you found an orphaned or abandoned bunny, you better contact the nearest animal rescue group. And, let the professionals do their job.
You shouldn’t get rid of the wild baby bunnies from their home.
There are no perfect guidelines for feeding a wild baby rabbit. If an emergency arises, you could feed KMR (Kitten Milk Replacer) to a newborn bunny. Feed them twice a day with a syringe.
P.S.: Please contact a professional vet before doing this.
F. A. Q (Frequently Asked Questions)
01. What are the rabbit’s favorite foods?
You may wonder that there are lots to feed a rabbit. But which is their most favorite! Well, vegetables counted as their favorite food.
Whether it is wild o domestic one, rabbits love fresh grasses, young plant parts, and hay. But they prefer vegetables above all the others. You can choose any mentioned vegetables “what veggies rabbits eat” [full blog here] and give it to a rabbit. They will love it.
Remember, some vegetables are high in sugar. So, it’s better to give them in a short amount.
02. Do wild rabbits have diseases? Or, can they transmit one to a human?
Any wild animals can carry one or two diseases. Therefore, it is best for both parties not to touch them.
So, Yes, some of the wild rabbits may carry some diseases with them, which can cause serious problems for human health. Hence, you shouldn’t touch them.
To look more details in this matter- Diseases that are associated with a rabbit
03. Do wild rabbits eat lettuce and carrots?
Yes, they do eat lettuce and carrots. But give them as a treat only because these types of foods are like giving the chocolates to a child. For further query, check the following article “do wild rabbits eat carrots?” [Link]
Rabbits are sensitive animals. It doesn’t matter if it is a wild or domestic one. Therefore, wild rabbits more sensitive to change their living arrangements. Leaving them as they are is the best option to do.
But if the wild ones required some care, consult with the vets before doing anything. Then, do exactly what they instruct you. A little change can create a problem for the rabbit’s health.
You can always help a wild rabbit by providing some vegetables, hay in winter when it’s hard for them to locate some fresh foods.
Well, this should be all for here. Leave a comment on what do you think about this article. Also, let’s know – when or how did you ever feed a wild rabbit?