You see a lost hare? You want to keep it as a pet in the garden but don’t know what to feed wild rabbits?
Mature hares prefer weeds, wildflowers, shrubs, and parts of plants. Meanwhile, baby bunnies can consume goat milk.
This article also talks about unhealthy wild rabbits’ food and tells you how to feed the baby hares.
What To Feed Wild Rabbits?
Rabbit’s eating habits will vary from season to season. Food for the autumn-winter months will not be the same as spring-summer time.
From early spring to summer, hares mainly eat clover, wildflowers, weeds, and various plants. You can set up a rabbit-friendly area in your yard or garden.
The climate of this period is also suitable for growing certain types of green plants. In case the grass has not yet sprouted, you can leave the grass box in the area where you’ve seen hares congregate.
In late fall to spring, you need to change the rabbit’s diet. They are beginning to adapt to eating twigs, bark, shrubbery, and evergreen conifers.
Sumac, dogwood, and oak are also good choices for rabbits, especially young trees. Young plants have softer bark, which makes rabbits more palatable.
The plant is scarce in the winter. Therefore, you should add some fresh vegetables and fruits in a styrofoam container to stay out in the winter if you want to raise hares during this time.
It’s a better solution to plant bushes or winter trees before winter starts. This activity will help you provide wild rabbits with a natural food source to maintain their wild habits during food shortages.
What Do Wild Rabbits Like To Eat In The Winter?
Hay is a favorite food for the hare during the winter.
You can find many types of bitter grass available in rural environments. If you live in an urban area, you can use grass clippings from your yard as rabbit food after drying it for easy storage.
As a caveat, you need to feed adult rabbits and young rabbits with different types of hay. The orchard, timothy, and Oat hays are good for the adult rabbit, while the baby can eat only Alfalfa hay.
Provide Fresh Greens Every Day
Each serving should include at least 3 different types of leafy vegetables. Of these, at least one of the Romaine Lettuce, Collard greens, or Beet greens must have each serving because they are rich in vitamin A.
This vitamin aids in the maintenance and formation of rabbits’ bone and healthy teeth soft tissues.
You can change the other ingredients each day. You can check out some of the menus below.
- Lettuce – Mint – Spinach;
- Lettuce – Parsley – Bok Choy;
- Lettuce – Basil – Mustard greens;
- Collard greens – Brussels sprouts – Swiss chard;
- Collard greens – Dandelion leaves – Pea pods;
- Collard greens – Mint – Cilantro;
- Beet greens – Dill – The green part of carrots;
- Beet greens – Celery leaves – Watercress;
Find out what rabbits should eat to stay healthy and happy:
Add The Small Amount Of Fruits Every A Couple Of Days
Sometimes wild rabbits will want to eat some berries. You can provide each with a few blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries.
The only thing you need to feed them together is plant stems and leaves to balance the amount of sugar from the above fruits.
You might also consider feeding them bananas, papaya, plums, honeydew melon, or dried fruit.
However, each animal is only allowed to eat 1-2 pieces at a time because the amount of sugar in these types of foods is quite high compared to their ability to absorb.
Substitute Natural Food With Pellets
You can have a few bags of pellets ready in the warehouse for the rainy days when fresh food is not available. There are a wide variety of products available at local pet stores or on e-commerce sites.
Each serving should be limited because pellets are formulated with many nutrients. You should avoid overfeeding your rabbit to prevent digestive problems.
Of all the products, the one that contains tree nuts is the best product for these little animals. When feeding, you can mix this commercial feed with hay to whet their appetite because some animals will refuse to eat pellets the first time.
What Do Wild Baby Rabbits Eat?
The survival rate of orphaned wild rabbits does not exceed 1%. Therefore, you cannot take them out of the nest of babies if you cannot determine whether rabbit parents abandoned them.
If you are confident that the mother rabbit has gone, contact animal control officers or veterinarian immediately. Your inexperienced treatment can kill these fragile babies.
Goat, puppy, and kitten milk is recommended for baby rabbits. Your baby can’t feed himself yet, so he needs the help of a bottle or syringe. Before feeding, you need to warm the milk in the microwave to remove harmful bacteria.
What Not To Feed Wild Rabbits?
Cooked Foods, Seeds, And Grains
Never give your rabbit cooked food, seeds, and grains. These foods will cause severe intestinal upset and can kill the rabbit.
Do Wild Rabbits Eat Carrots?
Many people mistakenly believe that carrots are a type of popular food for rabbits. But in fact, eating a lot of carrots is not good for the health of the hares. Because carrots contain a lot of sugar and oxalates, causing a risk of bladder stone formation.
The hare should only eat a few slices of carrot at a time. Better yet, you can replace the carrot with its green top.
Some Vegetables Cause Flatulence
Cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage are vegetables that produce gas in the digestive system of animals. But rabbits are not capable of exhaling gas to the outside. Long-term vapor accumulation will cause disease in rabbits.
Certain vegetables can be harmful if your rabbit overeats in a short time or if certain nutrients build up in the rabbit’s body. Do not feed your rabbit a lot of kale, parsley, collard greens, and spinach because these vegetables are high in oxalates and goitrogen.
Eggplant, potatoes, and tomato leaves are also very toxic to rabbits. So under any circumstances, you should not give these vegetables to your rabbit.
Plants Contaminated With Pesticides
Plants containing pesticides are harmful to all animals. The chemical components act as a poison that affects the animal’s digestive system or even releases other organs through the bloodstream.
Cow’s Milk Is Not Good For Wild Baby Rabbits
Cow’s milk and human baby formula are not recommended for feeding baby wild rabbits.
How To Feed Wild Rabbits?
Raising Adult Hares
You will need a separate area to feed the hares. They tend to destroy trees and gardens.
It will be a small area surrounded by a fence. Shrubs, tree bark, and vegetables will be grown without spraying pesticides.
You can also order a few crates with hay, or some fresh fruit from time to time, to give the hare a change of taste.
Feed your rabbit a serving of vegetables each day based on its body weight. The standard recipe is at least one bowl of vegetables per day for every 2 kg of body weight.
Determine the rabbit’s weight first, then use the above formula to determine the number of vegetables you should give to the rabbit.
It is necessary to wash all vegetables before feeding your rabbit. This action helps to remove dirt, pesticides, or harmful chemicals from the surface of the vegetables. If possible, choose organic food to prevent rabbits from ingesting toxic pesticides.
You can plant shrubs and trees year-round to help the wild animal have a food source during the winter. This will provide more resources and help hare to maintain their natural foraging instincts instead of direct feeding.
Caring For Baby Wild Bunnies
You need to warm the newborn wild bunnies before feeding them with milk. A soft, dry towel will make them comfortable not to refuse your food.
Since the orphaned rabbit is not yet able to feed itself, it needs the help of a feeding bottle and syringe. You need to hold the baby in your hands so that its head is in a higher position than the rest of its body.
You should place the baby’s nipple or the tip of the syringe at the root of the tongue to ensure that the baby does not have tracheal asphyxia due to milk. When its belly is slightly rounded, it is time to stop feeding.
Overfeeding for one serving is never a good practice. Instead, you should divide the feeding into several times a day.
In short, hares prefer areas with dense trees and shrubs because they feel safe when they can hide from predators. The best way to feed them is to plant trees and grass in the garden to maintain their natural foraging instincts.
You can add hay, leafy greens, fruits, and pellets. But it is needed to follow our share to prepare a nutritionally balanced menu for hares.