What Do Wild Rabbits Eat in the Winter?


When we talk about bunnies in general, what is the first thing that comes to your mind?  For most of us it will be a picture of an adorable rabbit. In fact, if we dig deeper in our childhood there was an iconic cartoon character as well called Bugs from the Bugs Bunny Show which still is fresh in our minds. 

wild rabbit in winter

If we observe there are a lot of differences to pick out when it comes to domestic and wild rabbit, let’s have a look at some- 

  • Domestic rabbits have a lifespan of 8-12 years because they are active if treated with proper care. On the other hand, wild rabbits have a lifespan of 9-10 years in general but as pets they won’t live for that long because of their habitat, and instincts of fear from humans. 
  • Most commonly rabbits diet is full of greens but there’s a huge difference between the diet of domestic and wild rabbits. Domestic Rabbits are treated with proper care so for their long health they are feeded timothy hay, water and even pellets at a scheduled time. Whereas, Wild Rabbits like to be on their own for food and water but they mostly prefer to eat wildflowers, clovers, watercress, and seedlings of young plants.

Can You Feed Wild Rabbits?

The answer to the above question is a big YES but from a distance, as wild rabbits like to be on their own for food and water but what if you want to feed one, here’s what you should take care of: –  

  • If you want to feed a wild rabbit you can find a place where the rabbit is normally hopping around or you can grow nutritious plants so they can come and graze on it for the coming period.
  • Usually, Rabbit’s diet is full of greens but sometimes not all the vegetables are eaten by the wild rabbits. You can always feed them in your yard by growing veggies such as spinach, parsley, etc.
  • If you are too scared or don’t have the resources to feed a wild rabbit it’s totally fine to buy them hay or pellets online. But remember to give it indirectly in a place where he hops around normally and in small amounts because it can easily catch their health.

What Do Wild Rabbits Eat?

Someone has said, “Once you develop a habit it never leaves the skin or soul”. Since, almost all the rabbits on this planet are natural food foragers, especially the wild ones because their way of survival begins from searching for their food and ends in taking care of their children 

wild rabbit

Speaking of their preferences, as per different times of the year they tend to change their food. So, now you might be wondering, what do wild rabbits eat? For instance in summer, fall, and spring they prefer plants that are nutritious to them. A lot of times people believe the attractively packaged foods from the pet store is what is best for them but it is not because it has high amounts of sugar, carbohydrates, and other nutrients which all at once can take a toll on the bunny’s health.

Since rabbits are herbivores they depend on seedlings, herbs, and branches of a young variety of plants. Also, remember that large vegetables like lettuce, cabbage, and cauliflower cause gas in their stomachs. Infact, ‘WHAT’S THE RUSH?’  

What to Feed Wild Rabbits in the Winter?

Apart from summer, fall, and spring when the weather reaches minus degrees these bunnies have to be extra careful while they search for food and water because all the natural food plants die during winters. In addition to that, Wild Rabbits prefer to eat the barks, twigs, and pine needles of the plants already available. They also enjoy the woods of plants such as oak, sumac, and pine.

Rabbits also prefer to have cecotropes which are nothing but food that is consumed partially and ferments in the rabbit’s digestive tract. These seem to have a high amount of nutrition as they help them in staying warm in their burrows or a place they have chosen for their survival during the winters.

Which Hay Is Suitable for Wild Rabbits?

Hay is a bunch of grass wrapped or spread on the ground for the herbivores to graze on. Hays is one of the foods which is enjoyed by rabbits in general no matter the time of the year.

The suitable hays that can be bought online or from a local pet store can be timothy hay, oats hay since they are high in nutrition they should always be fed in small amounts in your yard or the place you have chosen to feed the rabbits from a distance. Although, there is a type of hay called alfalfa hay that should not be fed to older rabbits because they can cause health issues like gas and loose motions.

How to Feed an Orphan Baby Rabbit?

It is not advised to feed a wild orphan baby bunny without having the proper knowledge of how to do so. Firstly, you will have to be sure if the bunny is an orphan and lost his mother for life or not.

If in case you want to feed a baby bunny you can go for normal goat milk, or cow and kitten milk can also replace them accordingly. To feed a baby bunny is as hard as feeding a month-old baby so you will have to be extra ‘CAREFUL’.    

With professional help, you can feed a baby bunny in a calmer place where there is not much sound because they tend to have a psychological effect that you will hurt them even when you are trying to feed them.

It is advised to feed them with a clean syringe of one to three millimeters approx. Because in between each feeding session the bunnies must have a nutritious amount and urinate or defecate it immediately.


There will always be a difference between domestic rabbits and wild rabbits because of various factors therefore we shouldn’t play with what god and nature have already created.

There’s no harm in feeding a wild rabbit at all, it’s just the talk of knowing the limits and the ‘HOW’ factor of feeding one. We have covered the common questions and now you know what to do if you ever interact with a wild rabbit. To get more pet advice for your furry friend, visit our page. For more visit helpsmaster


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