What to Feed Wild Rabbits in Winter? (In-depth Discussion)

Most of us have a great attraction to wild rabbits. When you see a wild rabbit in your yard, you probably want to feed her. Yes, it is necessary to provide food to her because the wild rabbits don’t get available food like the pet rabbit, especially in the winter. 

​But you should handle a wild rabbit carefully because she may be a vector of disease or a sick one.

However, here, I have tried to cover all the answers related to what to feed wild rabbits, especially in winter. But you could provide this recommended food to the wild bunny all over the year. 

So, let’s go on.

What to Feed Wild Rabbits in Winter?

Well, first thing first. You should have explicit knowledge of the food habit of the wild rabbit before feeding it.

Wild rabbits are experts in finding food. When they don’t get their favorite foods like fresh grasses, hays or clovers, leaves, vegetables during the winter, they quickly change their food habits.

Then, they eat the bark of trees, leaves, and buds of the bushes.

But they can’t live on their entire life on these low nutrient foods items.

Usually, you shouldn’t give any particular food to the wild rabbits for the very first time. But in case if it is heavy snow around them and they have a scarcity of food you may provide them some specific foods.

  • The best food items that you should provide the wild rabbits are hay. It is safe and also a favorite to them.
  • You may provide timothy hay, alfalfa hay (for baby bunny), orchard grass, or oat hays.
  • If you want to give them grain, then you should provide vegetables, wheat, rye, or something like that.
  • Before providing grain types of food, you should consider the surroundings first because the grain attracts rats, squirrels, or mice. You could use a hay feeder for the wild bunny.
  • You might provide a bowl of water. It is a widespread scene that wild bunny doesn’t get enough drinking water during winter. So, put them some water

However, according to most of the veterans, you might provide hay instead of other foodstuffs. A sudden change in food habits may occur a digestion problem for them.  

If you don’t have the above-mentioned supply for bunnies, You could provide the following pellet food for the wild bunny.

Oxbow Animal Health Western Timothy Hay
Small Pet Select Rabbit Food Pellets
Product Title
Product Title
Oxbow Animal Health Western Timothy Hay
Small Pet Select Rabbit Food Pellets
Timothy Hay
Rabbit Pellets
90 Oz.
5 lb.

How to Feed a Wild Rabbit?

Now the question is how to feed a wild rabbit? It is not a very easy task like the pet one in an indoor cage. You should be careful, first. And you should ensure that you don’t do harm instead of good to a wild rabbit.

If you like to feed the wild rabbits, then you may follow the following tips.

Choose A Particular Spot On Your Yard

  • It might be an excellent decision to choose a grassy area of your yard.
  • During the cold months, you may put some extra twigs and barks in the yard.
  • Don’t disturb the wild rabbits while they are eating the grass or leaves in the yard.
  • Don’t cut all the grass in the yard or garden. Keep some on a particular place in the yard.
  • Don’t spray pesticides in the yard.

Provide Hay

As earlier in this article, I mention that hay is the best for the wild rabbits. For the wild rabbits, you might provide timothy hay and for the baby rabbit, provide alfalfa hay as it contains more nutrients, protein, and fiber.

As a rabbit parent, I believe you have a stock of hay. If you don’t have one, you may buy s from the local market or the online market.

Provide Vegetables

Vegetables are favorite to the rabbit, whether she is a pet or wild. Among vegetables, the carrot is the most favorite to the bunny. But you Shouldn’t provide a lot of carrots at once. It may cause a digestion problem like blotting for the wild rabbit.

You should give at least two or three items of green vegetables, especially during the cold months.

However, this is a list of preferable vegetables to the rabbit in general.

  • Mustard greens
  • Peapods
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Bok Choy
  • Dandelion leaves
  • Swiss chard
  • Broccoli
  • Cilantro
  • Dill
  • carrots
  • Celery leaves
  • Spinach
  • Parsley
  • Basil
  • Collard greens
  • Beet greens
  • Lettuce
  • Mint.

Provide Some Fruits

  • You may also provide some fruits to the wild rabbits. Fruits like various types of berries, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries are permissible.
  • You may provide banana to the wild rabbits, but don’t provide a lot at once. A slice of banana is enough for bunnies.
  • Other types of fruit like pineapple, papaya, plums are permissible to the wild rabbits.
What do you feed a wild baby bunny

What Do You Feed a Wild Baby Bunny?

Well, before feeding a wild rabbit, you might ensure whether she is an orphan or not.

Sometimes, baby rabbits start exploring their nearby places. In this way, they may come to your yard, especially during the day. But it doesn’t mean that she is an orphan.

Usually, Adult rabbit passes their day outside their nest in search of food. Mother bunny feed milks their baby rabbit during the night and dawn.

However, by close observing, if you identify that the baby bunny is orphan, you should immediately contact your nearby wildlife rehabilitation center.

If there is no rehabilitation center nearby you, then you should take care of her yourself.

How to Feed a wild Orphan Baby Bunny

You could follow the step by step guide to feed the wild orphan baby bunny. 

  • If the baby bunny is cold, you should warm them up first. Place her to a confined place like a shoe case containing clean cloth.
  • Please manage some hay for bedding purposes. Or you could use rabbit bedding instead of hay.
  • Goat milk is the right choice, indeed for the orphan bunny. You may find goat milk in the nearby grocery stores.
  • It is challenging to feed the baby bunny because of its size. However, you may feed them with a syringe. You could collect it from a nearby pharmacy.
  • Warm the goat milk and make it bacteria-free.
  • Allow the milk to cool until it is touchable with a hand.
  • Then feed the gentle warm milk with the help of a syringe

If you have an opportunity to provide kitten replacement milk, then feed it to them.

What Should Not Feed To Wild Baby Bunny

  • You should not give Cow’s milk to the baby rabbit.
  • Also, the Pedialyte (human baby milk) is not recommended for the baby bunny.

However, the mother bunny feeds her baby only two times a day. By taking proper care, you can grow up baby rabbits.

Final Thoughts

There is a massive difference between pets and wild rabbits. So, their behavior is entirely different. 

I hope, now, you have got a thorough idea of what to feed wild rabbits in winter. And obviously, this list is not only for winter. You could offer this food item all around the year to the wild rabbit. 

Thanks for reading. And don’t forget to share your thought with me.  


Alex is a full-time rabbit lover and part-time Biologist. He is a proud parent of two rabbits. It's his childhood dream to rescue endangered animals and make the world better for living.

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