Are you wondering where do rabbits go in the winter? Rabbits are everywhere during summer, spring, and fall.
But when the snow starts sticking to the ground, they seem to disappear. It has always been a question on the rabbit’s whereabouts during these cold times.
They are naturally cold-weather animals. Specific adaptations allow them to tolerate temperatures lower than 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
Yet, winter is just as hard for rabbits as for other animals for several reasons.
When you expose them to wet or damp conditions, they could quickly develop pneumonia.
Older rabbits also suffer from sickness, such as arthritis. Grass, buds, and weeds are inadequate at this time. Scarcity of vegetation, predators, and the cold are just some of their problems.
Domesticated rabbits rely on humans to provide them with food, safety, and comfort. Simultaneously, wild rabbits prepare both body and territory to survive in the cold.
To cope with this season, they make burrows, insulate their bodies with fat, and develop thick fur.
Place Where Rabbits Go During Winter
Read on this article and learn where these rabbits go to live through the decreasing temperature.
We will talk about the different ways through which they survive, such as their diet and shelter, and some tips on keeping them away from your yard.
So, where do rabbits go in the winter?
#1. Rabbits stay in their home territory
Most animals move away from their territory during winter in search of food and comfort.
In contrast, rabbits do not move much and prefer to stay in their home ground. Provided that the area has enough food such as grasses, clover, hay, or berries, they will remain.
Unlike other animals that hibernate during winter, rabbits can tolerate the cold better than warm days. For that reason, they continue to search for food to keep them warm and survive actively.
Domesticated rabbits are comparatively delicate and if you own one, you should know how to keep rabbits warm in winter.
Since rabbits are most active during dusk and dawn, you don’t see them in the wild when it is freezing.
The risk of being caught by a predator is low during this time. Much more, the weather is milder during this time, making it desirable for them to forage food.
If this food supply is not steady, the rabbits will find other nutrient sources that are wood-based; for instance, buds, twigs, barks, or bushes. They can also feed on woody plants like birch, willow, and oak trees.
In other areas in the Midwest, they obtain energy from soybeans, corn, and wheat.
When the sustenance is inadequate within their vicinity, they resort to partially digested feces or night feces.
It allows them to survive the shortage of food in winter.
Much more since rabbits have inefficient digestive tracts during winter, it helps get nutrients such as Vitamin B.
This sustenance is vital for rabbits because they can build fat layers and grow thick fur, which serves as an insulator during icy times.
#2. Rabbits build out hiding places
Inadequate supply of food is not the only concern of rabbits in winter. As the temperature drops to negative degrees, they need to find shelter to keep them warm.
The thickest bushes where rabbits hide are reduced to droop due to loss of vegetation.
Due to this, predators can spot them easily. House cats, owls, and other birds hunt them during this season.
Additionally, they are also threatened by humans until the onset of spring.
Stems and twigs can barely defend them from hunters.
Some rabbits modify their fur colors as camouflage to protect themselves from being preyed on. They blend in the landscape of the winter and change their color into grey and white.
However, this adaptation of survival is not as effective as a defensive shelter for them.
Therefore, they must find shelter where they are protected from predators. Much more, to feed without fear of being eaten or harassed.
They search for probable quarters in thick bushes, concrete fences, and dense trees. They can also seek safety in hollow tree stumps and mounds of loose branches.
In the agricultural field, they obtain a refuge in bushy areas. The blown away grains in spaces clear of snow also offer food.
Although they can tolerate the cold, they need to stay put into conserving energy.
Rabbits build underground dens. In order to keep them warm, twigs and shrubs line the den and serve as an insulator.
Since they do not hibernate, they become less picky and more creative.
Our yards can be an excellent spot to source food, especially if you have some leafy ornamental plants that are still visible after the snow, such as tall trees and tree buds.
Other rabbits would dig in to create a quite extensive system of a tunnel to dwell in. However, some are not digging holes for them to save energy for more important things. There are various reasons why rabbits dig.
Instead, they go out and find burrows that have already been dug. These holes can provide snug and cozy ground despite the thick snow outside.
A garden shed is also a good place for them to lodge. They can easily survive consuming rose hips, fallen fruits, bark from trees, and grass that they can dig under the snow.
Much more, they can also feed on bird seeds falling from bird feeders.
Hence if you notice rabbits in your yard or garden, it means they have found a good source nearby. These rabbit-friendly food sources are desirable to them.
Also, it provides a place for rabbits to hide during cold months, thereby staying for accommodation.
Tips In Keeping The Rabbits Away
Rabbits may be adorable. However, as they heed refuge in your yard, they can ruin your plants or even make your pets sick.
There are several ways to keep the rabbits from getting into your yard or garden in winter.
You can install selective fences around the plants that are vulnerable for them to feed on. Without a source of food, they will less likely find sanctuary in your place.
More so, make sure that they cannot build a shelter in your garden by clearing your yard from twigs and branches.
It is also the best time of the year to gather all the clutters around your home too; this will make your yard less attractive to them.
Rabbits can survive through the winter efficiently because they can tolerate lower temperatures than other animals. They conserve energy and feed on almost everything to get through a difficult time.
They are seen less frequently in winter so one may think where do rabbits go in the winter? Well, the simple answer is that they go to hideouts to conserve energy and be safe from cold.
As they look for a place to hide, including your home, you’ll know that they are just staying for the food and a warm place to stay.
But if you think that you don’t want them in your yard, just follow our tips and keep your home free from rabbits.
Maria Schultz is a talented writer and a passionate animal lover who brings her expertise in the pet industry to the Petcosset team. With a degree in English and years of experience writing for various pet-related publications, Maria deeply understands the latest news and products in the pet industry. She is dedicated to providing pet owners with the most accurate and up-to-date information to help them take the best possible care of their small friends. When she’s not writing about pets, Maria can often spend time with her beloved pets, including a rescue dog and several cats.