can bunnies eat bird seed

While some people see wild rabbits as pests that they need to keep out of their garden, many of us actually love seeing rabbits in the yard and worry about their well-being. I always get a little sad thinking about wild rabbits in the winter since I know the scarcity of resources available means many won’t make it through to spring. Still, it’s usually best not to feed wild rabbits directly, because it will make them wholly dependent on humans for food.

You can help wild rabbits have food resources by planting shrubs and greenery that will live through the winter. This will make more resources available while also working with a wild rabbit’s natural foraging instincts. You can also grow plants year-round to give wild rabbits more nutritious options.

Those of you who live in areas where the wild species of rabbits are endangered or threatened may be especially concerned about the wild rabbits in your neighborhood. For example, European Rabbits have been the subject of a couple of different very contagious diseases over the past decades, causing their numbers to dwindle. They have recently been categorized as Near Threatened. Other species, such as the New England Cottontail, are also being subject to conservation efforts to help increase the wild rabbit numbers.

Hay or dried grass

Hay can be a nutritious food source for wild rabbits if you choose to buy it from a farmer or pet supply store. Since they typically have enough grass to eat in the spring and summer, they may overlook this type of food offering; however, during the harsh winter months, dried grass or hay can be a good alternative for wild rabbits. For the rabbits to eat, you can cover a portion of your lawn or garden with a layer of hay.

How much do wild rabbits eat?

Numerous studies conducted on domestic rabbits in the 1970s and 1980s found that they will typically consume 65–80 grams of food per kilogram of body weight. A recent Australian study on the diet of wild rabbits discovered remarkably similar amounts of They found that wild rabbits eat 65. 7-68. 3 grams per kilogram of body weight. Therefore, we can presume that these figures are roughly correct for European rabbits in the wild (both the invasive species found in Australia and the domestic variety).

The wild rabbits we see in the Americas are cottontails, a completely different species. Although the precise amount of food that they consume has not been investigated to the same degree as that of European rabbits, it seems reasonable to assume that these closely related species’ diets will be similar.

Therefore, since most adult wild rabbits will weigh about 1. 0-1. 5 kg, we may infer that they will consume 65–120 grams daily. More food will be consumed by growing rabbits as well as those who are pregnant or nursing.

In contrast to a human diet, this is a relatively small quantity. Consider this: a single, 12-gram strawberry (on average) provides one-sixth of a rabbit’s daily nutritional needs. It won’t take much for wild rabbits to maintain their daily calorie intake from you.

Instead, grass and other leafy plants will provide the majority of the food that wild rabbits need to survive. They frequently graze and forage, and when they’ve had enough, they usually stop eating.

What do rabbits eat in the winter?

Because there is less vegetation in the winter, wild rabbits must be much more resourceful to survive. The rabbits must contend with one another for scarce resources, such as evergreen and pine needles from trees and shrubbery that endure the winter, bark, and twigs. For rabbits, this is always the hardest time of year, and many of them perish because they do not have enough food to survive the winter.

FAQ

Can bunnies have bird seed?

Most seeds and nuts are not great for a rabbit’s digestion. There are some exceptions, such as sunflower seeds, but for the most part, you want to avoid setting these out where wild rabbits can eat them. Even though birdseed is not good for rabbits, they will probably try to eat it anyway if they find it available.

What seeds can rabbits eat?

Rabbits do encounter and eat them in the wild (in grasses and berries), and many pet rabbits are commonly fed fruits which contain small seeds (strawberries, kiwi, banana and many types of berries), as well the aforementioned grass seeds in their hay.

What food can I leave out for wild rabbits?

It looks like dark leafy greens(not iceberg lettuce because it has almost no nutrients), hay, rabbit pellets if they can be kept dry,carrot tops, carrots if they’ll eat them,apples and some other fruit and vegetables.

What can I feed a wild baby rabbit?

Safe foods to include in the box are timothy hay, dandelion greens, parsley, carrot tops, carrots, grated very small. If all else fails, here is an article on saving baby wild rabbits that might help.