As I mentioned back in an earlier post about feeding wild rabbits in 2011, I have wild rabbits in my backyard. They show their wonderful faces mostly during the spring and summer. This year has been a little different because I have seen at least one of them every now and then when I take my dog Maggie out before bed. Only about once or twice a week but still more than I’ve seen them other years. This got me thinking about feeding them again.
The cool thing about feeding during winter vs summer is that the cold helps preserve any fruit or vegetables you might want to put out. Here in Nashville, the summers are very warm and that can make feeding even at night difficult. Some evenings are so warm things could go bad before the rabbits make nightly rounds to get them. I couldn’t imagine being responsible for harming one of these animals in any way. Even though we aren’t in Alaska, night time temps can get very cold at times and this makes an ideal situation for putting out live food.
5 Things I Recommend Feeding Wild Rabbits
- Sunflower Seed-as long as you’re willing to make sure it doesn’t get wet or moldy, sunflower seed can help them stay warm and they like it.
- Kale-a very hardy green that’s also very inexpensive to feed. I recommend putting out a little of the kale you eat (uncooked) before buying some of this to see if they’ll take it.
- Baby Carrots-another one that would be good for you to put some of yours out first before you buy some. They’ll eat them for sure but it may take a few nights. Just remember that carrots have a high sugar content so they should be fed sparingly. This is true of ALL fruit!
- Rabbit pellets-start with just a few in with some other food to see if they’ll select them. We’re moving up the expense scale here but you could be doing a lot to help them with good nutrition.
- Apples-These are best cut up. This is another food that is relatively inexpensive to feed. If you have room, it’s best to store these in a bin in your refrigerator. The same as with baby carrots. Feed these as a treat because of the high sugar content which is not good for their digestion.
As you can see, you don’t have to turn your world or budget upside-down to be feeding wild rabbits in your back yard. Of course, if you have other wildlife in your backyard it may present a bit of a challenge. Most of the time, it’s a matter of learning when they feed and having just one night’s food available to them at that time. Or, you may have to try different food to see if your other visitors might leave it alone. Kind of like feeding safflower where your squirrels are known to frequent.
Are you feeding wild rabbits in your yard this winter? What have you had success feeding them? Leave us a comment below and help us out!
PS-Here is a site I found with a much more exhaustive and detailed listing of what to (and not to) feed your wild rabbits. It’s on the Petsial site.