Why Do Rabbits Dig Holes?
We, as humans, when the time comes to rest, we appreciate our privacy. In this matter, rabbits are not so different from us. Rabbits dig holes in their territory to make a place to rest and sleep.
If you found your bunny digging a hole, it is not unusual because it is included in its habit and instinctive nature. It is a sign to be what they really are. Rabbits can also dig holes when bored, anxious, or in the breeding season. Here are some reasons why rabbits dig holes in detail.
Digging Hole is in Rabbits’ Roots
European wild rabbits are the ancestor of pet rabbits. If your pet is digging, it means it is a throwback to your pet from its European ancestors.
The scientific name of the European rabbit is “Oryctolagus cuniculus.” “Orycto” means “digger”, “Lagus” means “hare” and “cuniculus” means “underground path”.
By combining, we obtained the information that these are the creatures that love to dig the underground path. Both rabbits and hares are very similar, but burrow digging is a major dissimilarity between them.
Before digging a hole, rabbits watch over the land that overwhelms them. They assume that place as their territory. It is observed that the territory of rabbits is generally not large, they have a small area.
In search of food, rabbits do not stray far from their burrows. They prefer to stay close to their place. This is because if predators see them, they are more likely to quickly flee to their burrows.
Rabbits emerge from their holes when the need for food arises for them. They generally move to look for food in a group. The place or burrows of rabbits where they live in a group is called “warrens. ” The male residents of warrens are often responsible for the protection of their group.
There are a few reasons behind this move. The first is to create a false den. Among the different animals, the rabbit is intelligent. They know that for the sake of the prey, the predator will check the holes. Through this movement, the rabbit can distract the predator and get the extra time to flee.
To keep themselves protected from predators like foxes, owls, cats, weasels, and even humans, they use their burrows to stay under the radar of these predators.
Domestic Rabbits and Digging
Domestic rabbit burrows are such safe places that mother rabbits give birth to their young ones and use them as their home.
If you find your rabbit digging in your lawn, you will notice curious phenomena. You will see that your bunny will dig a hole and then close it or cover it. It will be a suspicious move for you, but your pet is bound to do so.
During pseudo-pregnancy or pregnancy, you are more likely to see this behavior because, after pregnancy, she hides her babies in these holes until the time of feeding. The rabbit intended to use the hole as a warren but was thrown out. A snake may have seen its warren. Perhaps the most dominant rabbit found the hole and claimed it. She plans to use the hole as a warren. She doesn’t want anyone else to steal. She hopes it is hidden. She will return later after eating.
If you see that your bunnies are digging in their cage, then you should know that it is natural for your rabbits to dig deep into their cage. They do it extensively just for entertainment. If you have enough grass in your rabbit hutch, you will be happy for a while. Even if your pet reaches the bottom of its hutch, they will dig later.
Not all rabbits prefer to dig holes. It depends on your species. Cottontail rabbits do not prefer to dig. They choose to take over burrows that were previously created by other creatures. Pygmy rabbits and hares are also included in the same category as the cottontail rabbit.
There is also a positive purpose for digging. Rabbit’s nails grow perpetually. Wild rabbits are physically very active in their regular lifestyle. Digging helps them to maintain the size of their nails. Domestic rabbits are not as energetic and physically strong as their wild counter, so we must provide them with digging units. This will help maintain your nails. Otherwise, you should cut your rabbit nails regularly.
How to Help Your Rabbit to Avoid Damage to Digging?
Most rabbits love to dig like their wild relatives; domestic rabbits also like to dig. For this purpose, the owners should provide them with a digging unit to meet their natural needs. Plant containers filled with soil, sand, and wood shavings can be used to make them feel comfortable.
This is not only for your comfort, but also prevents the backyard from digging. It is the best way to make your pet happy and busy.
When they get the digging unit, they will stop looking elsewhere to dig. The digging unit gives your pet the impression of being outside, even safe from the outside and at home. If you offer your little buddy need a special place to dig, it’s very effective. If your rabbit begins to enjoy digging in its provided place, it will not damage anything else in another part of the yard. Grass mat is also useful for this purpose.
You can increase their entertainment by hiding rewards in the hay. Raisins are the best suggestion to hide it in the hay as a reward. They will enjoy this activity. You should remember to remove these raisins before getting moldy because eating moldy food makes rabbits sick.
Pay attention to the behavior of your pet, as well as the behavior of his digging. If digging is constant, your rabbit may get bored, upset, or stressed. If your rabbit’s cage is too small where it cannot play or move freely, then they can try tunneling.
Regularly check where your pet is focused. If she keeps digging, stop her, because there is a chance she’ll make a hole and escape. Behavior like this shows that your rabbits need a digging unit to meet their digging need.
Also, give your rabbit more time out of his cage. If your little partner is constantly digging, it can be a sign of frustration and lack of energy. Never punish them for digging because they are restricted, and it is their natural habit. All you have to do is provide them with more entertainment.
What To Do if Wild Rabbits Dig Holes in the Garden?
If you feel like wild rabbits are digging in your lawn, or through digging, they are reaching your pet rabbit and harmful for them, you can solve this problem. Dig a trench at least three feet deep around your property and install a wire fence. This should prevent the rabbit from digging and will not be able to enter. Cover your garden with smells that offend rabbits. Garlic and onion plants can do this. Use human rabbit nets.
Never hurt these wild bunnies for digging because they never stay in one place for long. They will walk away before you know it.
Rabbits can dig holes when bored, stressed, anxious, in the breeding season, or show an instinctive nature. If your rabbit has this digging habit, then provide them with a digging unit because this will make them have fun for hours.
Rabbit Breeder Associations
|American Breeders Association||United States||ARBA|
|House Rabbit Society||California||HRS|
|Ohio States Rabbit Breeders Association||Ohio||OSRBA|
|Livestock Conservancy||North Carolina||LC|
|Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund||United Kingdom||RWA|
|British Rabbit Council||United Kingdom||BRC|
|European Association of Rabbits....||Europe||EAP|
|Australian National Rabbit Council||Australia||ANRC|
|Australian Rabbit House Society||Australia||ARHS|
|ARBA - Rabbit Shows||United States||ARBA - Shows|