Do Rabbits Eat Fellow Rabbit’s Meat?

Do Rabbits Eat Rabbit Meat

Meat is part of the human diet. It contains protein that keeps their body and muscle strength. For some animals, meat is also an essential food. But it is different when it comes to rabbits. 

Rabbits are herbivores, meaning they are plant consumers. Their diet is different from others because of their digestive function. They mostly fodder on grass, hays, and pellets. Rabbits cannot eat meat. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) stated in their article that meat upsets a rabbit’s stomach.

But according to some people, they see their rabbits eat their fellow rabbit’s meat. Let me tell you the truth about that in this post.   

Eating Meat For Rabbits

Rabbits eat plants by nature. Their diet does not change even if they are domesticated animals or live in the wild. A good amount of greens helps them improve their digestive problems. 

You see, rabbits’ stomach function is more vulnerable than other animals. It is a one-way trip metabolism. When we say on-way, once the food enters their body, the only way out is through their rectum and anus. This is also one of the reasons why rabbits cannot vomit

Going back, eating meat is bad for rabbits. Although a few pieces cannot upset them, overconsuming can lead to several health risks. According to Oxbow Animal Health, the protein intake of rabbits should be less than fiber. 

In addition, if you offer meat to rabbits, they will likely like it because of its taste and texture. You should prevent this from happening because you will be disrupting their natural diet.   

Danger Side of Eating Meat For Rabbits

Meat is rich in protein and fat but does not contain fiber. So, it’s unsurprising that your pet will struggle to digest meat. When they consume meat, it can lead to several digestive-related problems like gastrointestinal stasis and diarrhea. And worse, feeding a rabbit with meat can result in the early death of the rabbit. Hence, you should avoid giving your pet even a small piece of meat.  

Even if the rabbit looks curious about the food, don’t allow it to taste the meat. Do not be fooled by their adorable faces, like begging for food. The rabbit will take advantage of the opportunity for sure.        

Even a wild rabbit is a plant-based eater. They hunt food like other animals, but they look for tree bark and sometimes vegetation and plant crops. 

Read More About Rabbit Health: Definitive Guide to Your Rabbit’s Health

Rabbits Eating Fellow Rabbit Meat

Some claim that they see their rabbit eating meat from their fellow rabbit. Is it true? The answer is yes! But, this is commonly seen in mother rabbits. The National Geographic stated that when a mammal gives birth to their babies, their survival instinct kicks in. They become protective of their litter. They also added that it could be seen in many animals. Bears, dogs, cats, rodents, and other mammal mothers. 

Here are the common reasons why rabbit eats their babies:

  1. When a mother rabbit eats their first litter, it might be confused. They think the baby is part of the afterbirth that the mother will naturally eat. Most animals do not need assistance giving birth because they can handle it themselves. 
    • They clean their baby by eating their placenta. But on rare occasions, they might think that the first baby is still part of the placenta, so they try to eat it.  It is inevitable, but it should happen only once.        
  1. When a litter is born dead, the mother will eat it. This happens as a way for the mother to correct the error and remove the evidence of the dead litter. It is also their way of protecting the next-born litter to avoid them having the same fate.   
  1. Mother rabbits can also eat babies due to nutritional deficiency. Most mammals are instinctive to lick and digest the placenta from their babies. It helps them regain energy as well as show affection to their litter. But on rare occasions, the mother can also accidentally include the baby.
  1. If the litter is weak, the mother will try to eat it as a way of protecting the remaining babies. This mother instinct is very common in mammals to avoid the death of all their babies. They will seclude the weak ones and eat them later if it shows no progress. 
  1. When rabbits are threatened or frightened by their environment, they will accidentally eat their newborn litter. It’s important that when you have a rabbit giving birth, you keep an eye on them to avoid this.  

Always seek veterinarian assistance when you see your rabbit doing this behavior often. There might be an underlying problem that needs treatment. 

More About Rabbit Facts: Rabbits Facts: The Common Question About Your Rabbits

Alternative Foods 

Instead of giving meat to your rabbit, you can just offer them a variety of healthy food suitable for their digestion. 

List of safe foods for rabbits

NOTE: Always feed these foods in moderation only. 

Key Takeaways

  • Meat is not part of a rabbit’s diet. It contains protein and fat unsuitable for a rabbit’s body.
  • Rabbits are herbivores, so their primary nourishment forms a variety of grasses and hays. They can also be fed with various kinds of veggies and fruit in moderation. 
  • Rabbits have a one-way digestive system. Once food enters their body, they can only exist through poop or urine. This is also why meat is unsuitable for their stomach because it is hard to digest.
  • A rabbit can be seen eating a fellow rabbit’s meat. This is c common behavior, especially for mother rabbits. They eat their litter as a reaction to their instinct to protect the other babies.            
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