What to Feed Wild Rabbits (Do’s & Don’t)

Most of us have a great attraction to wild rabbits. When you see a wild rabbit in your yard, you probably want to feed him/her. Yes, it is necessary to provide food to the wild bunny because they 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. This is for common safety.

However, here, I have tried to cover all the answers related to wild rabbit’s diet and lifestyle, especially in winter.

So, let’s go on.

What Do Wild Rabbits Eat?

The wild rabbits generally eat the fresh grass, weeds, clover, crops from fields, wild vegetables, fruits, and flowers in the warmer season. In Harsh winter, wild rabbits mostly depend on the buds, bark, twigs, or the greens left in nature.

We found rabbit in our yard, lawn or in the garden in the winter especially. Yes, rabbits love to eat and they regularly explore their nearest vegetable garden like the deer. In a nutshell, these are the main foods of wild rabbit.

What to Feed Wild Rabbits in Winter

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, fruits 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.

Can You Feed Wild Rabbits?

While many of us consider wild rabbits as pests, they always want to keep away from rabbits because wild rabbits destroy the garden, vegetables, and fruits.

On the other hand, people like me who love wild rabbit, they feel love for them.

Anyway, you could feed the wild rabbits in the extreme weather when the natural food is unavailable like in the extreme winter. But in general, you should not feed the wild rabbits directly because they will depend on the human completely.

So, use your commonsense when you see a wild rabbit. if the bunny is poor, you should provide some rabbit safe food to the bunny.

Hay is the safest food for bunny and hay is the lions share of their diet. Also you could provide pellet food to the bunny. If you don’t have the rabbit safe pellet, you could buy the following one.

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 rabbit safe vegetables for 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 bananas 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 wild rabbits.
What do you feed a wild baby bunny

What Do You Feed a Wild Baby Bunny?

Well, before feeding a wild baby 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.

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

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.

If there is no rehabilitation center nearby you, then you should take care of the wild baby bunny 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.

People ask me a lot of questions regarding the wild rabbit food habitat, especially when they want to feed them. Here, I have covered all their question briefly. I hope, you will be benefited.

Do Wild Rabbits Eat Carrots?

Whether it is a pet rabbit or a wild rabbit, they love carrots insanely. Moreover, carrot is a popular food for the bunny all over the world.

In nature, wild rabbit eat a lot of carrots. Carrots contain high amount of carbohydrate that is not good for the rabbit health.

But the wild rabbit runs miles to miles daily. Comparing their workout, this extra amount of carbohydrate doesnt affect them.

But for the pet rabbit, you should not provide carrots daily because pet rabbits have not the luxury to run miles to miles daily.

Do Wild Rabbits Eat Bird Seeds?

It’s Okay to eat the bird seeds for the wild bunny when there is a scarcity of foods. Usually, Bird seeds those fall on the ground are not the regular diet for the bunny. Some birdseed contains a high amount of fat and carbohydrate that keep the rabbits warm and healthy in the winter.

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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