The increase in human population has worsened the condition of wild animals. With more deforestation, life is becoming more and more challenging for wild animals. The same goes with what to feed wild rabbits in winter.
In general, wild rabbits are good at finding food for themselves. Generally, they love eating grasses, hay, vegetables, and grains. But in absence of their favourite food, they can thrive well on barks, twigs, and leaves. These low-nutrient foodstuffs can lower their hunger but cannot provide them with the nutrient they require to survive. It is not possible for the wild rabbits to survive their entire life on twigs, barks, leaves, and other low-nutrient food.
The food searching conditions become worsen more in winters. In search of food, wild rabbits are often seen in backyards, and gardens in human residential areas.
Most of us consider wild rabbit pests destroying the vegetables of our gardens and backyards. Yes, they do destroy your backyards but in search of food only. They are having a tough time getting food in the wild. As a human, we should feed them instead of starving them die.
Should we Feed Wild Rabbits?
Seeing wild rabbits nesting in the backyards and gardens is a common sight for several people. Most people consider then pest destroying the vegetables and grains in the garden and backyard.
The wild rabbits in winters are having a really tough time finding food for them. Without your help, they may die out of hunger. So being a human, you should feed and help your wild bunny.
With your little help, this wild bunny can survive. They will thank you by visiting your yard again and again providing you with the beautiful sight of cute bunnies playing here and there, enjoying the meal provided by you.
What to Feed Wild Rabbits in Winter?
The feeding habit of wild rabbits and domestic rabbits are almost similar. The domestic pet rabbit gets much feeding option which is generally not available in the wild condition. But the wild rabbit can also thrive well on the food pellets meant for pet rabbits.
Not only rabbit food, but it is also possible to feed the wild rabbit with the common foodstuff easily available in your kitchen. Here in this guide, we present you different food options that you can feed the wild rabbit in your backyard.
The first thing you should offer this cute guest from the forest is water. In winter, when everything freezes, it is really hard for the wild bunny to get water. Providing them with water can save their life.
Pallets for Pet Rabbits
As mentioned, the feeding habits of the pet, as well as wild rabbits, are the same. Though the pet pellets are not readily available in wild conditions, still they can digest these nutrient-rich foodstuff meant for pet rabbits.
In the case when you are already having a pet rabbit in your house, you must be having a good stock of pet rabbit food. With this high-nutrient pet rabbit food, it will be easy for you to provide the little cute bunny guest from the wild with a good nutritious diet.
The pet rabbit foods are easily available online and offline on pet stores and these are specially formulated to meet the nutritious and calorie requirement of a rabbit whether wild or domestic.
The manufactured pet rabbit food is safe for wild rabbits also and a small amount of rabbit pellet will be sufficient for the wild bunny to survive throughout the winter.
Hay/Grasses for Wild Rabbits
Hay and grasses are considered the best food option for wild rabbits They are nutritious and rabbits in the wild love eating grasses and hays. Since, they are easily available in a wild condition also, so they will not cause any digestion issues in rabbits.
Good quality hay is helpful in making the base of the rabbit’s diet and is essential to provide the fiber requirement to the wild bunny. Along with making up the bulk of the rabbit’s diet, the fiber content in the hay grass helps in keeping the rabbit’s gut moving.
Timothy hay, meadow hay, orchard hay, etc are some great options of hay you can feed the wild bunny. Even you can pick up some fresh grasses for your cute wild guest. While offering the hay, make sure you are providing only the freshly prepared hay as the old hay is more susceptible to the growth of molds.
The hay and pellet option for a wild rabbit is only available in the house having a pet rabbit already. In the case when you are not having any pet rabbit, no need to buy hays and pellets. You can simply host your guest with vegetables.
Wild rabbits are obligate herbivores and can feed on a wide range of vegetables. Even the iconic image of the bunny is having a carrot in his paws.
Not only carrots, but you can also offer a wild bunny with a variety of vegetables. They are rich in essential nutrients along with the required fiber content for rabbits.
While offering the vegetable and fruit to the wild bunny, make sure the stuff you are giving is not rich in sugar, oxalic acid, and calcium content.
The best and safest option of the vegetables you can feed the bunny from the wild condition includes carrot tops, arugula, cucumber leaves, escarole, endive, kale, frisee lettuce, red and green lettuce, mache, romaine lettuce, spring greens, dandelion greens, turnip greens, basil, mint, wheatgrass, watercress, chicory, cilantro, raspberry leaves, radicchio, fennel, Bok Choy, carrots, celery, bell peppers, Chinese pea pods, Edible flowers, broccoli, Dill Leaves, cabbage, guard, summer squash, etc, and many more.
You can also offer a mix of vegetables to the wild bunny. That will be even better to support the nutrient requirement of the wild bunny throughout the winter. Before giving the vegetables, make sure it is fresh and not having a high amount of sodium which is not suitable for bunnies.
Fruits because of their high sugar content are not recommended for rabbits. Still, some fruits with less sugar can be provided to wild bunnies. These fruits even in small quantity are helpful for the wild bunny to get the required amount of calories to live through times of scarcity.
Fruits like Apple, pear, cherries, peach, plum, kiwi, mango, papaya, berries, pineapple, banana, star-fruits, melons, apricot, nectarine, currants, plum, etc are some fruit options that you can offer in a small amount to the wild rabbit.
The Food Stuff you Should Avoid Feeding the Wild Rabbit
Because of their unique digestive system, it is not possible for this cute creature to digest everything from your kitchen. There are some foodstuffs that are very common in the human’s diet but may prove toxic for this poor bunny.
Common kitchen ingredients like bread, yogurt, cookies, pasta, biscuits, avocado, cereals, crackers, iceberg lettuce, silverbeet, nuts, hamster feed, chocolate, oatmeal, eggs, potatoes, fish, and other meat products are not recommended for the wild bunny.
The bottom line
Helping the poor wild bunny with little food will cost you very little but will help the wild rabbit to survive easily in the winters. We advise you to do proper research before feeding the wild bunny as there are several kitchen stuff not good for rabbits.
In this guide, we mentioned to you the complete list of the foodstuffs you can feed the what to feed wild rabbits in winter.