What Are Some Ways To Keep Wild Rabbits?

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By Larry

Many people enjoy seeing wild rabbits hopping around their yards or neighborhoods. Rabbits can make fun additions to your local ecosystem and liven up outdoor spaces. However, directly keeping wild rabbits as pets is not recommended. Wild rabbits have not been domesticated and require vastly different care than domestic breeds. If you want to better provide for local wild rabbits while following ethical guidelines, there are some effective approaches. This article explores sensible ways to successfully Keep Wild Rabbits at home.

Provide Proper Shelter

One of the best things you can do for wild rabbits is give them access to appropriate shelters. Wild rabbits need places to chill when predators or bad weather freak them out. As a student looking to level-up your sustainability game, you can help local bunnies out by building some crash pads around your place.

Good spots for rabbits to hunker down include:

Log and stick piles: Stack up logs, branches, twigs and stuff to make little hidey holes with multiple entrances and exits. It mimics the burrows rabbits dig.
Mini wooden bunk beds: Construct a basic wood platform a couple inches off the ground with boxes underneath for bunnies to crawl into. Put some straw inside as bedding.
Pipe caves: Use large PVC pipes or cinder blocks to make covered tunnel shelters.

Ideally, hook rabbits up with multiple shelter spots arranged around your space. Place them in quiet areas away from dogs, cats, or humans doing their thing. Position the openings away from usual wind direction and aim the tunnels toward bushes, trees or tall grass. Check on the shelters now and then and add fresh bedding so they stay good chill spots. Proper crash pads let wild rabbits relax and make more rabbits while they’re rooming in your ‘hood.

Offer Supplemental Food Sources

Providing supplemental food sources can also help local wild rabbits meet their dietary needs. While rabbits normally forage on grasses, buds, bark, seeds, fruits and vegetables, you can provide some additional foods to support them. Useful food sources include:

– Piles of fresh hay:Scatter piles of timothy, oat hay, or other grass hay in sheltered areas.

– Low growing food plants: Grow plants like clovers, alfalfa, carrots, peas, and greens low to the ground for easy access.

– Fruit or vegetable scraps: Toss out veggie peelings, tops, and unused fruits for foraging.

– Rabbit feeders: Use specialized wooden feeders with fruit or veggie offerings inside.

– Water sources: Provide a fresh water bowl (with ramp or stones for easy exit), bird bath, or small wildlife pond.

Offer feed in multiple spots to reduce competition. Monitor to ensure moldy, rotten or spoiled produce isn’t left out. Properly preparing wild foods can supplement rabbit diets and promote fuller, healthier populations. Just take care not to inadvertently attract unwanted wildlife as well.

Use Chemicals and Pesticides Minimally

A very important tip for keeping wild rabbits is minimizing chemical use. Common landscaping and farming chemicals, pesticides and insecticides can be extremely toxic if consumed. Rabbits groom themselves regularly, licking compounds off their fur. Avoiding chemical applications whenever possible reduces health hazards.

If treatment is essential, stick to all-natural, non-toxic products. Favor natural fertilizers over synthetic options. Seek out least-toxic methods for managing lawn or garden pests instead of harsh pesticides. Carefully follow all label instructions and never use more than directed. Always store chemicals securely out of rabbits’ reach. Making conscientious chemical choices promotes healthier, safer environments for wild rabbits living nearby.

Let Vegetation Grow Wild in Sections

While manicured lawns or neatly landscaped beds have their place, allowing some areas to grow more wild also assists local rabbits. Rabbits prefer living among moderately tall, dense vegetation that serves protective cover. Allowing weeds, brambles, wildflowers, brush and grasses to flourish in certain zones provides improved habitat. Zone off sections along fencelines,property edges or unused parts of your yard to re-naturalize. Resist the urge to frequently mow, prune or trim these designated wild zones. Doing so supplies better cover, more diverse foods and increased shelter for any resident bunnies.

Predator-Proof Your Yard

Backyard rabbits always live under the threat of predation, especially juvenile cottontails. Common predators like cats, dogs, coyotes, foxes, hawks and owls view rabbits as tasty prey. Protecting local rabbits means minimizing these hunting risks. Bring outdoor pets in at night when most predators are active. Keep companion animals confined if they are not trustworthy around wildlife. Installing motion-sensor lighting, predator-proof fencing or sturdy enclosures for small pets helps deter nocturnal prowlers. Removing brush and debris eliminates stalking spots for daytime hunters. Taking sensible precautions reduces threats so wild rabbits can raise their young in safety.

Know Your Local Wildlife Laws

Well-intentioned residents sometimes run afoul of local wildlife laws. Before taking any steps to actively feed, shelter or contain wild rabbits, be sure you understand applicable regulations. Generally, rules prohibit capturing, keeping or caging untamed wildlife. However some exceptions exist for temporary nursing of injured animals. Most guidelines simply restrict direct interference to support ethical treatment of local species. Check with your state’s department of natural resources, wildlife agency or local animal control office for specifics. Following wildlife laws allows you to properly coexist with wild rabbits while avoiding penalties.

Wild rabbits can make pleasing additions to your neighborhood or acreage. Following these tips for shelters, foods, reduced chemicals, habitat growth and predator control supports local bunnies while adhering to regulations. With a thoughtful approach, you can have wild rabbits hopping happily around your property. Taking conscientious steps provides needed resources so rabbits residing in the area can thrive safely.

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