What Do Rabbits Eat

So you find yourself asking "What do rabbits eat?"  Well…..that's a good question!

Chances are you're asking this question because you either have a new bunny, or you're just trying to figure out why you see so many rabbits around your landscaping.  Either way you're in the right place.  

Both domestic and wild rabbits will eat basically the same things.

Rabbits are herbivores which means their diet solely consists of plants and vegetation.

In the summer and fall months rabbits primarily eat grass, wild flowers, dandelions, farm crops, your garden goodies and any other vegetation they can find.

In the winter months when the vegetation options are reduced they will eat twigs, bark, conifer needles, buds and any other available green plants.

Digestion System - What Do Rabbits Eat

Grasses and vegetation are very fibrous and hard to digest, but don't worry a rabbits digestive system allows them to break down this fibrous food very well.

Did you know rabbits actually eat their own feces? That's right I said feces.  It's a process called "coprophagy."  

They drop soft pellets with undigested vegetation in it then eat the pellets. Re-eating the vegetation allows the rabbit to digest it a second time and thus getting more nutrients our of the plants.  

Then, after the second digestion process the vegetation comes out in harder pellets.

What Do Rabbits Eat - Wild vs Domestic

Wild rabbits love to get into your garden and eat the luscious greens and tops off your plants.  They like sweet stuff too like carrots and broccoli.  

However, these "fruits" of the plant are high in sugars and a rabbit's system doesn't digest these sugars quite as well.  That's why you mainly see them eating the top green parts of the plant.

Domestic rabbits need a diet that mimics a wild rabbits diet.  Look for a diet that's very high in fiber and low to moderate in proteins, fats and sugar.  You can buy rabbit pellets at any pet store or feed and grain store.

However, even though you're feeding pellets you should still supplement your rabbit's diet with hay, grasses and herbs.  The pellets are easy for the rabbit to chew and digest…..almost too easy to chew.

Since rabbits have teeth that grow continually they need roughage from hay and vegetation to help grind down their teeth.  If you want to treat your rabbit to a sweet apple or carrot go ahead they'll love it!  Just remember to keep the portions small and use it only as a treat, not as a part of their everyday diet.


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