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Top 10 Foods Wild Rabbits Eat

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Rabbits are fascinating creatures, and you cannot be able to resist their cuteness and cuddliness. If there are ways to let more about these animals, it is always interesting to spend time learning about it. If you suddenly become the parent of a wild rabbit, if you are planning to adopt a wild rabbit, if you often see a wild rabbit in your yard, and if you want to understand the organic lifestyle of your pet rabbit, keep on reading.

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When it comes to rabbits in the wild, they do not have unlimited choices. They are known to graze for food from dawn until dusk. Here is the most common list of food items that they consume while they are living in the wild.

1) Pine Needles

Pine needles range in size from 3 to 5 inches and are seen as a deep forest green color. They are thin and long needles that vary slightly from different types of variety. This is depending on the region in which they grow. These animals have a strong pine scent, and they have a resinous flavor that can be quite biting.

In the wild, pine needles can be foraged by bunnies throughout the entire year. They can be found on evergreen trees all over the world, and they are known to be high in Vitamin C, alleviate congestion, and help against other respiratory problems. They are known to have wound healing, disinfectant, and decongestant properties.

2) Twigs

Rabbits enjoy chewing on most types of wood. They thrive on a constant supply of food items that are rich in fiber. Having wooden twigs around helps the rabbits to get a cheap and easy replenished source of roughage to sustain their needs. This is good for their digestion, and it helps to keep them amused as well.

Rabbits can eat twigs from these types of wood:

  1. Apple
  2. Birch
  3. Blackberry
  4. Fir tree
  5. Hazel
  6. Hawthorn
  7. Maple
  8. Pear
  9. Raspberry
  10. Spruce tree
  11. Willow

Chewing on twigs help rabbits wear their teeth down, as their teeth constantly grow throughout their lives. If you will provide this to your rabbits, make sure that you will wash the wood thoroughly and remove any loose materials such as ivy and moss before you give it to your pet.

3) Gnaw Tree Bark

Like how it was mentioned earlier, rabbits enjoy chewing on things regularly so that their teeth remain healthy and trim. Wood is always a popular choice for rabbit owners, but not all types are safe for use. Tree bark is especially loved by rabbits during the winter, and the tender bark of young trees can be really vulnerable to the sharp, gnawing teeth of rabbits.

There are numerous tree bark options that you can give to your rabbits, but these are the safest ones that you can provide them:

  1. alfalfa
  2. apple
  3. arbutus
  4. ash
  5. aspen
  6. apricot
  7. bamboo cane
  8. basil
  9. blackberry
  10. black currant
  11. borage
  12. carrot
  13. cat-tail
  14. chickweed
  15. chicory
  16. cholla
  17. cilantro
  18. clover
  19. coconut shell
  20. common comfrey
  21. cottonwood
  22. crabapple
  23. dandelion
  24. dogwood
  25. grapevine
  26. hackberry
  27. hawthorn
  28. hazelnut
  29. jewelweed
  30. kiwi
  31. kudzu
  32. lambs-quarters
  33. lemon balm
  34. linden
  35. mallow
  36. manzanita
  37. maple
  38. mesquite
  39. mint
  40. mulberry
  41. parsley
  42. peach
  43. pear
  44. pecan
  45. pigweed
  46. pine
  47. plantain
  48. purslane
  49. poplar
  50. Queen Anne’s Lace
  51. quince
  52. sycamore
  53. willow
  54. wingstem
  55. yarrow
  56. radish
  57. raspberry
  58. redroot pigweed
  59. rose
  60. shepherd’s purse
  61. sow thistle
  62. stinging nettle
  63. strawberry
  64. squash
  65. sunflower
  66. sweet potato

4) Seedlings

A seedling can be defined as a young plant that has developed out of a plant seed or embryo. The development of a seedling starts with the germination of a seed. Rabbits love eating these tiny plants that are usually found in gardens and landscapes and seen by rabbits as a chance to consume all that they can eat.

Rabbits enjoy consuming the seedlings of:

  1. Apple
  2. Weeping Willows
  3. American Sycamore
  4. Cilantro
  5. Borage
  6. Hackberry
  7. Jewelweed
  8. Sugar Maple
  9. Silver Maple
  10. Mesquite
  11. White Mulberry
  12. Stinging Nettle
  13. Pear
  14. Pigweed
  15. Plaintain
  16. Purslane
  17. Queen Anne’s Lace
  18. Raspberry
  19. Sow Thistle
  20. Willow
  21. Wing Stem
  22. Yarrow

5) Shrubs

Wild rabbits love eating shrubs, which is why they can be a severe nuisance to homeowners and gardeners. Some rabbits see certain plants as so tasty and addictive that they can take residence in areas where they see their favorite shrubs.

Some shrubs that rabbits enjoy eating include the following:

  1. Bachelor’s Button
  2. Cockscomb
  3. Cosmos
  4. Gazania
  5. Impatiens
  6. Morning glory
  7. Nasturtium
  8. Pansy
  9. Petunia
  10. Rose moss
  11. Snapdragon
  12. Sunflower
  13. Sweet pea
  14. Verbena
  15. Wishbone flower
  16. Zinnias
  17. Barberry
  18. Common flowering quince
  19. Deutzia
  20. Doublefile viburnum
  21. Eastern redbud
  22. Flowering crabapple
  23. Forsythia
  24. Fothergilla
  25. Hawthorn
  26. Japanese flowering quince
  27. Judd viburnum
  28. Juneberry
  29. Korean spice viburnum
  30. Lilac
  31. Multiflora rose
  32. Oakleaf hydrangea
  33. Purple leaf sand cherry
  34. Rose
  35. Rose of Sharon
  36. Sand cherry
  37. Serviceberry
  38. Smokebush
  39. Winged Euonymus
  40. Witch hazel

6) Dry and Green Grasses

Rabbits eat grass, but rabbit keepers must check what type of grass your rabbit consumes. The grass must be clean and pesticide-free so that your rabbit can stay healthy. The purple leaf is the most natural type of food that rabbits can eat and it is often readily available for consumption at a lower cost. The grass is also high in fiber, which is great for wearing down teeth and this is perfect for the digestive system of rabbits.

7) Clover

Rabbits can eat all parts of the clover, including the sprouts, the flowers, the leaves, and the stems. The problem is that when the rabbits eat high quantities of clovers. The best part is to give small amounts. Too many clovers can give too much gas and other types of pain in the stomach. Clover also has high amounts of protein, which is why it is best to give them in moderation.

Clover is commonly used as a topping for grass and hay or as a treat for more taste. If you are using lots of quantities, you can dry them and then use them for later. Rabbits will also benefit more if you feed them with the roots of clover as they are best for digestion.

Though there are 300 types of clover, you should go for white clover, red clover, wild clover, yellow clover, sweet clover, purple clover, and crimson clover.

8) Forbs

A forb, also known as phorb, is an herbaceous flowering plant that is not a rush, sedge, or grass. It is used for subdividing wildflowers and distinguishing them from other categories such as sunflowers, milkweed, daylilies, and clovers.

9) Leafy Weeds

For rabbits in the wild, they also make the most of edible weeds. The great thing about them is that they are free, yummy, and much closer to a natural diet for better digestion. The most common weeds that wild rabbits eat are dandelions, goosegrass, smooth sow thistles, garlic mustard, and dead nettle.

10) Hay

Whether a rabbit is wild or domesticated, hay is a staple in their diet. The recommended types of hay for rabbits are timothy, oat, and alfalfa hay for older rabbits only. Hay also serves as a good insulator in keeping rabbits warm. Rabbits usually use hay as its bedding and as a source of nutrition as well.

Final Thoughts

Wild rabbits follow their instincts to find their sustenance in their environment. If you encounter a wild rabbit, you can feed them the same way as you would a domesticated rabbit. But, you should make sure to introduce new foods slowly so that the wild rabbit will not be overwhelmed and will be able to adjust well.

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