The key to attracting wild rabbits is either through the environment or through offering them the right food. If you’re looking to attract rabbits into your yard, there are a few things you can do to encourage and welcome them.
Some sure ways to attract wild rabbits include creating a habitat, offering them rabbit-friendly vegetables and water, and many more things. Check out the rest of the post to find out more.
Ways to Attract Wild Rabbits
There are several methods you can try to encourage wild rabbits to come into your yard. Once they establish a safe place (especially if they get food there) they’ll probably stick around.
Create a Habitat
One of the biggest problems wild rabbits face is the loss of their habitat. By leaving hollow logs, letting plants overgrow, and growing grass long, you’ll be providing building blocks for the wild rabbits to live, forage, and play.
A big open space with a mowed lawn and hardly any plants won’t be ideal for wild rabbits, and they probably wouldn’t like somewhere so open. A bonus of planting and creating habitats is that it could benefit other species too – like bees, insects, and birds.
Rabbits will follow food sources, you can draw them into your garden with the promise of a snack. You can do this by either leaving out food for them or planting vegetables and allowing them to eat it as they please.
Make sure that whatever food you offer the rabbits is safe for them to eat. Both wild and domesticated rabbits should follow the same diet, and avoid eating foods that’ll be problematic for them.
Rabbits need plenty of clean water to drink to stay hydrated. You could leave a shallow container or bowl somewhere they’ll come across which will fill with rainwater.
Remember though: You’ll need to clean the container out regularly and re-fill it because the rabbits won’t like stale, dirty water.
Once you have wild rabbits visiting, you need to make sure that they’re safe. Dogs and cats are just the start of a long list of predators that wild rabbits have to contend with. Having a safe place to hide out will be exactly what a wild rabbit needs.
Just creating an area with thick foliage can present an area for the rabbits to convert into a safe space. Adding logs, bushes, and evergreen trees on the edge of your yard by the fence line creates a little space that bigger animals can’t access. This will be a perfect place for rabbits to feel safe.
If you have the resources, you could put a structure like a hutch in your garden. Something secure with a rabbit-sized entrance will make a cozy home for the wild rabbits. This’ll provide relief from predators and the elements.
What Else You Can Do
If you’re looking for further ways to help the wild rabbits in your area, there are a few things you can do:
- Avoid using chemicals in your garden if wild rabbits run across your lawn. Also, don’t leave grass clippings on the lawn, as it’s toxic to rabbits. Check out our post all about that to learn more.
- If you’re growing fruit or vegetables that wild rabbits will have access to, then ensure that you’re growing them organically.
- If you come across an injured rabbit (e.g. if they’ve been attacked by a predator) take them to a vet or wildlife rehabilitator ASAP – or call a shelter to see if they can help.
Things to Consider
Before you start trying to attract wild rabbits, consider these points:
- Accidental poisoning: There’s a bunch of plants and flowers that are toxic to rabbits, so if you’re inviting rabbits into your yard be aware that you may be putting them at risk. Rabbits eat just about anything, and will often eat a poisonous plant without knowing the harm it’ll cause them.
- Wrecking your garden: If you take pride in your garden be prepared for the rabbits to have free reign – eating, digging, and potentially damaging your garden.
- Safety: If you have pets like dogs or cats, consider whether attracting wild rabbits in your garden will be safe and comfortable. If there are a lot of predators by where you live, make sure you have a safe place where your rabbits can run to if they need to.
- Your vegetable patch: If you grow vegetables at home then you should separate it from the rest of your yard if you want to have any left to harvest at the end – a rabbit would make quick work of a vegetable patch.
- Upset neighbors: Rabbits don’t understand boundaries, they’ll freely move in the nearby area including in your neighbors’ properties. This can cause problems if other people don’t want rabbits digging in their vegetables, and can lead to the rabbit coming to harm in dangerous situations (e.g. attacked by a dog or getting stuck in a shed).
- Commitment: Once you invite rabbits in, it’ll be tricky to remove them should you change your mind. Make sure you’re happy for wild rabbits to be around long-term before you start encouraging them.
- Disease: If you keep domesticated rabbits, diseases may spread from unvaccinated wild rabbits. They might also become territorial if they smell other rabbits.