What Do Wild Rabbits Eat?

Ok, so we know the range of foods that pet rabbits eat but what is there available for wild rabbits to eat? After all, unless we put out food for them, these wild rabbits will have to do all the foraging for themselves, so do they get a choice of what to eat?

Grass is probably the biggest food option available to rabbits, and they are designed to eat it. Rabbits are grazing animals and are 100% vegetarian so they have evolved and adapted to get as much nutrients out of grass as possible. They have many teeth (molars) especially for chewing the grass and a lack of canine teeth. Wild rabbits are likely to be eating grass or similar vegetation for most of the day (and night).

Fibre is one of the main nutrients that is in grass and is very important for rabbits as it helps to maintain a healthy bowel.

Dandelion leaves are a popular favourite for wild rabbits and I believe are a delicasy to them, my pet rabbits have always liked them too. The flowers of dandelion plants are poisonous.

There are a variety of wild crops, fruit and vegetables that many wild rabbits will also eat if they come accross them. I’ve seen wild rabbits at the farm where I live eating fallen apples in the ‘orchard’ (which consists of two trees), and gnawing at apple tree twigs – this is good to keep their teeth down.

The fruit of wild backberries, strawberries and plums will also sometimes be eaten by wild rabbits as a tasty snack. I also believe that wild rabbits will eat herbs: cilantro and parsley I think, if these plants are available for the rabbit.

Wild rabbits may also eat brambles, chickweed, nettles and sunflowers.

I read somewhere that rabbits have a built-in mechanism for smelling if a plant would be poisonous to them – I don’t know if this is true.

August 9, 2010 · Maddia (Admin) · Comments Closed
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