What do Rabbits Eat?

Rabbits consume small amounts of food throughout the day.

There are two types of rabbits to be found: wild and domesticated. Wild rabbits roam the countryside freely, whereas domesticated rabbits are typically kept as pets. Both are herbivores who prefer to eat in small amounts throughout the day. However, due to their different living circumstances, the two have very different diets.

Rabbit Eating Grass
Rabbit Eating Grass

Most domestic rabbit owners always provide hay for their pets, but bunnies also enjoy fresh vegetables as treats. Instead of throwing away unwanted produce such as carrot tops, leftover salad fixings, or cabbage, give it to your grateful bunny! Many rabbit owners also grow their own rabbit food. Lettuce and carrots are both high-yielding plants that bunnies adore. However, don’t feed too much of a new veggie too soon, as rabbits require time to adjust to any changes in their diets. You should also avoid sweet fruits and other sugary foods, which are not natural to rabbits. If you’ve found a baby rabbit or want to know what wild rabbits eat, keep reading to find out.

What Food Do Wild Rabbits Eat?

Because wild rabbits do not have an owner to feed them, they must fend for themselves. They sleep in large communal burrows and begin grazing at dawn, when predators are less likely to attack. Wild rabbits eat grass all day if they feel safe, and they may also eat leafy ground plants and flowers. Because rabbits may be scared away from their food, the first few minutes of grazing are critical. They quickly consume whatever is available, which is usually grass. Once their basic hunger has been satisfied, they can afford to be a little more picky about what they eat. So, what exactly do rabbits eat? Clover is a favorite, as is anything they can scrounge from a nearby garden. Almost every gardener knows what it’s like to wake up in the morning and discover that their prized plants have been devoured by the neighborhood rabbit warren.

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Eastern Cottontail Rabbit In Grass
Eastern Cottontail Rabbit

Because of all the grass, a rabbit’s diet is very high in fiber. As a result, they have a difficult time digesting everything. Rabbits have developed a rather disgusting method of reclaiming the nutrients they excrete too quickly in response: they eat their own droppings! Rabbits excrete a special type of dropping that is soft and full of plant material, similar to how cows chew cud. The food is then processed a second time, resulting in the hard pellets that you see on lawns.

What do Baby Rabbits Eat?

If you find an abandoned baby bunny in the wild, it’s best to return it to where you found it. Rabbit nests are frequently found in open areas such as lawns or lightly overgrown areas. The mother returns to the nest twice a day to nurse and care for her young. Unless you know the mother is dead, she will most likely return for her children later that night. If returning the kit is not an option, contact a local wildlife shelter, rescue organization, or veterinarian. They will be able to take in the rabbit and provide it with the necessary care. This is especially important if the bunnies’ eyes are still closed, as they are extremely fragile and require professional care. Raising a wild rabbit is a difficult task, and it may be better to avoid the heartbreak of losing a baby bunny.

If you have an orphaned domestic bunny, it will require intensive care to survive. It must be kept warm and hydrated, and it will almost certainly require a milk substitute. You may be able to find dried rabbit milk at a local tack store or vet, but you will most likely need to purchase goat’s milk instead. Even store-bought goat’s milk is suitable for use with rabbits. Feed the baby only twice a day, and sit it upright before feeding. This is the same schedule that a mother rabbit would follow, so resist the urge to overfeed the kitten. To administer the milk, use a syringe and take care not to suffocate the kit with too much at once. Caring for an orphaned bunny may be one of the most difficult things you will ever do, but the rewards of saving a life can be well worth the effort.

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