Contrary to popular belief, when it comes to what do wild rabbits eat, they aren’t in the farmer’s fields stealing vegetables and the like. In fact, the average wild rabbit won’t eat root vegetables at all.
Their diet in the wild is probably going to be a bit different from what your average domestic rabbit is munching down on. Let’s take a little look, shall we?
What Do Rabbit Eat In The Wild?
It really depends on the season. For the most part, a rabbit is going to be eating plants, some grass, and weeds. It is a herbivore, and it is going to eat just about any flower or plant it comes across.
Although, because rabbits breed quite rapidly, it is not uncommon for areas to be completely devoid of plants and flowers simply because a high population of rabbits lives there. This means that they may struggle to find a bit of food on occasion.
Food availability actually helps to control the rabbit population in the wild. The survival rate of wild rabbits will often be based upon the amount of food that is available.
Sure, there is probably going to be a lot of grass that the wild rabbit can eat, but this is not going to provide them with all the nutrition that they need. They need flowers and plants.
As mentioned previously; rabbits do not eat root vegetables. Yes. You can feed them to your pet rabbit as a treat, but a wild rabbit is not going to touch them unless they are absolutely starving. After all, to eat root vegetables, they are going to need to dig them up.
Rabbits will not do this. They may munch on vegetables that have been dug up, but this is very, very rare. What they will do, however, is eat the plants that these root vegetables go from i.e. the leaves.
This can kill the root vegetables below, hence why farmers do not really love having rabbits anywhere near their fields.
What Do Wild Rabbits Eat In The Winter?
When the colder months start to roll in, a rabbit will need to change up its diet a little bit. The flowers and the plants will have started to die off. This means that the rabbit will need to get their food fix from elsewhere.
Yes, they will eat a little of the plants that are leftover, but this is unlikely to be enough to sustain them. Instead, they will start to eat twigs, bark, and pine cones.
They will also eat a little bit of grass too. Obviously, when the cold starts to set in, there may not be enough food to sustain rabbit populations.
This is the time when they will start to migrate a little bit in search of food. If there are fields growing crops, you may start to see them pop up quite a bit in them.
Although, once again, they probably won’t be eating any root vegetables. It will just be the leaves of the plants that grow the root vegetables.
What To Feed A Wild Rabbit?
You shouldn’t really be feeding wild rabbits in the same way that you feed domesticated rabbits. It is unlikely that they will touch any formulated food that you put out. You can attempt it, but it is likely that the rabbits will leave it alone.
That being said, you can give them some hay, and you may be able to find specific wild rabbit pellets which can you can feed them.
You will want to make small piles of food that line up with the season. One thing many people do will be to leave a shaded area of their lawn uncut.
This will allow the grass and weeds to grow. The rabbits will love this. During the winter, you can leave a pile of twigs and the like in roughly the same area. It is likely that the animals will eat these too.
Do not give them broccoli or cauliflower. This will make the wild rabbit severely ill.
Remember; if you want wild rabbits to keep coming into your garden to eat food, then you will want to ensure that you do not scare them. As soon as a rabbit gets the slightest hint they are in danger in your garden, they won’t come back.